The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale offers no reason to wander beyond its boundaries.
The Sonoran Desert mesmerized me the minute I landed in Phoenix. And as my family and I drove north of the airport, I got a close up of the sandy landscape dotted with boulders and cacti of varying heights, shapes and colors. Having lived in sub-tropical climates most of my life, it was like nothing I’d ever seen. Nestled in this arid terrain at the foothills of Pinnacle Peak and secluded away from the hustle of Phoenix, is the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, which honors its unique backdrop with a design that blends seamlessly into the surroundings. The 210 adobe rooms and suites are one- and two-story Southwestern style “casitas” that overlook a stunning panorama. I had an idea what Arizona’s desert would look like, but I didn’t know how it would feel to stare out at 40 acres of desert blooms and watch the sun set in brilliant reds and oranges from our private balcony. It was a pure pinch-me heaven that cleared my mind of life’s clutter. And the view was just one of the reasons why we never left the resort property during our long weekend. Here are four more reasons we stayed put.
One of the most expansive views of the area can be seen from the top of Pinnacle Peak, which can be reached via a trailhead on the Four Seasons’ property. The path off the main drive meanders through towering saguaro cacti and other desert flora to Pinnacle Peak Park, where you begin the 1.75-mile ascent up to 2,889 feet. From the hotel’s trailhead it’s 4.7 miles round trip, so expect a workout, and don’t forget to wear a hat and pack sunblock and water. TIP: There are several other concierge-recommended hikes a short drive from the hotel, so arrive ready to trek.
CASUAL TO CLASSY HOTEL FARE
Whether you want to dress up or dress down for dinner, you’ll feel right at home. The property’s upscale dining spot, Talavera, is decorated in jewel tones and Southwest flair and ideal for steak and seafood lovers. The dinner only restaurant serves produce from local farms, olive oil sourced from a nearby mill and Arizona-ranch raised meats. For laid back comfort food all day long, head to Proof, an American canteen featuring shuffle board, a vintage bar and televisions buzzing with the latest sports. If you just can’t get out of your bathing suit for a meal, Saguaro Blossom, the poolside bar and grill, has you covered with light Southwestern spa cuisine from 11 a.m. to sunset. When the sun begins to dip, head to Onyx Bar & Lounge off the lobby for cocktails, small plates and stunning views, as well as live weekend entertainment.
A morning swim turns into a lazy pool day at the 6,000-square-foot freeform pool, which cascades on two levels and includes a whirlpool and shallow children’s pool. What will keep you parked in your chaise lounge all day, however, is the poolside service. Revel in ice water, chilled towels and “Evian spritzes”, along with cut fruit, seasonal bites and sunglass polishing, to fight the desert heat. Yes, please!
The 12,000-square-foot, Forbes Four- Star spa offers a local lesson in pampering. Specialty massages, body treatments, skin scrubs and body wraps are inspired by the “four seasons” of life and Native American rituals, using indigenous ingredients such as Sonoran honey, prickly pear, Sedona clay and ground pumice. Destress and untangle tight muscles with a journey that indulges the face and body, such as the 110-minute Pinnacle Facial that includes an anti-inflammatory facial and body treatment using gold-infused sugar scrub and shimmer oil.
Taking children to any four-star hotel can be a stressful affair, but at the Four Seasons Scottsdale, the red carpet is rolled out for adults and kids of all ages. At check-in, young travelers receive a stuffed coyote toy, and items such as cribs, high chairs, strollers and bath amenities are available at no charge. The “Kid for All Seasons” program also keeps kiddos entertained throughout their stay with cultural crafts and programming, as well as a dedicated facility equipped with a game room, movie theater, ping pong, pool and foosball tables. Complimentary meals are extended in all the restaurants to children younger than 4 and, for families with older children, adventurous excursions, such as a Jeep or Hummer tour, panning for gold, stargazing or a hot air balloon ride above the desert, are sure to create lasting memories.
FOUR SEASONS RESORT SCOTTSDALE AT TROON NORTH
10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive
Scottsdale, Arizona 85262
Starting room rates: $179-$549, depending on the season
STORY: Giannina Smith Bedford
Giannina S. Bedford is multi-faceted writer and editor. Her work covers design, travel, food and business. She’s penned Simply Buckhead’s home feature since inception and held a variety of editorial roles at the magazine. Her freelance work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Virtuoso Life, Hemispheres and TravelandLeisure.com. She also contributes regularly Atlanta Business Chronicle. Fluent in Spanish, Giannina was born in Miami and grew up in Brazil, Chile, Hawaii and Australia. She currently lives in Dunwoody with her two kids and husband.