Spa Vacation Salvation at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Luxurious spas are de rigueur at any high end resort. However, the Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort takes the integrative spa and fitness experience to an impressive level. Arizona's stark beauty provides a stunning backdrop for this revered retreat—a behemoth 65-acre sanctuary neighboring the Sonoran Desert with the McDowell Mountains in view beyond.

The initial approach to this property, which is Arizona's longest running AAA Five Diamond hotel—24 years to date, is like happening upon a desert oasis replete with picturesque palm trees, lush landscaping and cascading fountain beckoning guests into the resort's front entrance.

Mere milliseconds after I drove into the covered valet I was greeted by the property's resident "cowboy," offering me and my guests cold water and a warm welcome. No surprise given the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort is well-known for its award-winning service.

On this aspect of the experience Pam Gilbert, the property's Director of Sales and Marketing, underscores an impressive point that most of Guest Services/Bell Stand team has been at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for at least 10 years, if not 20 or more and prides themselves on offering personalized service—often getting to know returning guests by name. She cites that the resort's Director of Guest Services, Thomas Williams, was named "Outstanding Manager of the Year" by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association and went on to win the national award from the American Hotel & Lodging Association in Washington, D.C.

And so my vacation began. After regarding the resort's gorgeous Spanish architecture from the outside, now a neutral beige versus the princess pink exterior of yore, it was time to settle in to my accommodations.

There are ten different types of room options at this property that start with the simple yet meticulously detailed 525-square foot Fairmont room appropriately decorated in Southwestern décor. On the high end, the property boasts a 2,100-square foot Presidential suite complete with a living/parlor area that seats six, two bathrooms, a 600-square foot bedroom and a covered patio among other inducements.

Also available are stand-alone Casita Suites, 850-square foot versions of beautifully appointed Spanish Colonial estates. The separate living and sleeping areas are a boon for families or those on a working vacation, and the gas fireplace sets a more romantic mood for couples in the winter months. The wet bar with Nespresso machine and the 42" LG flat screen television are crowd pleasers for all. The Casita area of the resort features its own private pool area with Jacuzzi, which makes staying in these detached dwellings perfect for those who truly want to get away from it all.

But, no matter where on the property guests stay, beauty abounds. According to Gilbert, the resort grounds are one of the hallmarks that set this property apart. Sonoran Desert cactus blends with lily pad lagoons, a fragrance garden and a "living wall" of flowers.

With the desert flora comes local fauna, the most popular of which is Cecil—a desert tortoise with his own habitat where guests can feed, touch and otherwise ogle this gentle creature. Bunnies, blue heron, ducks, fish and water turtles are other on-site inhabitants that guests will likely see during their visit. For youngsters, the resort offers a Trailblazers Kids Club where children will meet the mascot, a bearded dragon named Skittles, plus see spiders and snakes kept in aquariums.

With bags unpacked and having soaked in my surroundings, it was time to focus on what I really wanted to do at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: hit the spa! 

Well & Being is an expansive on-site destination spa that bills itself as one that "embraces a foundation of whole health, inspiring guests to be healthy, balanced and a more energetic version of themselves," which is achieved by delivering a "personal and sustainable wellness program to guests who wish to incorporate optimal health and lifestyle choices with guidance before, during and long after they leave the resort setting." I aimed to see for myself how these laudable yet lofty goals would be achieved.

It turns out that Well & Being fuses health, wellness, nutrition, integrative medicine, cutting edge fitness classes, advanced skincare and personal care to offer an exceedingly broad range of innovative spa experiences that suit any guest's needs or wants.

For those seeking to get, or stay, in shape while in Scottsdale, one great option is the individualized "Fitness Prescription" program. It starts with a consultation with the resort's resident exercise physiologist who performs a fitness assessment and risk analysis and discusses fitness goals, lifestyle and exercise preferences.

The assessment includes three diagnostics: the BodPod, the Body Gem and the Fit Mate Pro. Quite notably, the BodPod measures body composition of fat versus lean muscle tissue while the Body Gem measures resting metabolic rate. The Fit Mate Pro is also extremely comprehensive, measuring maximum oxygen uptake, anaerobic uptake, anaerobic threshold predictions, individual training zones, strength and stamina. Wellness Coaching and Nutrition Consultation services are also available.

When you're ready to sweat, there are any number of compelling options: Aerial Hammock Yoga, Pilates, spinning, body sculpting, Zumba, TRX and CrossFit to name a few. There is also themed programming by SICFIT and Krank Fusion. Of course, there is a fully stocked fitness center with all of the free weights, Nautilus and cardio equipment one would need to achieve health goals, whether that be to build strength and stamina or slim down. Staff fitness pros are readily available for group or one-on-one instruction.

After the fitness and nutrition endeavors, it's a must to indulge in some relaxing spa therapy. The facilities and services offered at Well & Being are truly world class, comprehensive and rife with creature comforts that include an open air rooftop adult pool with private cabanas, co-ed grotto waterfall for the ultimate natural massage, Health Spa Cuisine and beverage services available inside the garden atrium or poolside, a wet steam room, eucalyptus inhalation room, Swedish dry sauna, hot therapeutic whirlpool, cold plunge pool and a Swiss shower.

In addition to the full range of traditional spa services you would expect, such as massage, salon services, skin care, and body wraps, the resort also offers acupuncture and acupressure.

If outdoor activity is more your thing, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort also boasts a famed TPC Scottsdale Stadium Golf Course, which is home to the Annual PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open (closed for renovations until November 2014), and the Champions Course. Or, the concierge can arrange any kind of excursion to get your adrenaline flowing, including bike riding, rock climbing, hiking and more.

Of course, no spa-driven sabbatical is complete without some nutritious and delicious eats. Luckily, the resort features a Healthy Cuisine menu that serves up fitness-driven fare both day and night.

Offerings include made-to-order smoothies, breakfast items like house-made granola, and lunch and dinner dishes like Grilled Shrimp & Edamame Succotash, Black Bean & Quinoa Burger, and Poached Atlantic Salmon. Healthy eating options are offered at the spa café, at any of the property's pools, or for in-room dining so there's no excuse not to stay the dietary course. When you are ready to indulge a bit, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort does offer some incredible dining options. 

Gilbert notes, "Bourbon Steak, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant, has a cellar with over 3,000 bottles, a sommelier and a Bar Commander who teaches cocktail classes twice a month. La Hacienda, named #1 Best Mexican Food by Arizona Business Magazine for three consecutive years, has a 'Tequila Goddess' who is one of few in the country who traveled to Mexico to be certified as a tequila expert by the Tequila Regulatory Council. La Hacienda also has more than 240 tequilas, including their own private barrels from Herradura."

Also according to Gilbert, coming this fall the property is introducing and operating a new restaurant concept in conjunction with celebrity chef Richard Sandoval. The restaurant, which will be named Toro, will reside at the TPC Scottsdale, and its launch will coincide with the re-opening.

Having sweat it out on the fitness front, gratified myself on a range of healthy grub, and basked in more than my fair share of spa services, it was time to bid the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort adieu. Sad though that was, I left the property invigorated and ready to get back to the grind of everyday life. With my proverbial batteries recharged, I waved goodbye to that ever-present Guest Services cowboy and rode off into the Scottsdale sunset.

~~~

"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and service. Her reviews can be  seen here:
www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Republished by permission of and provided to Haute-Lifestyle.com by author.

 

Haute Tease

  • Sold Out: James Naremore To Present Academy Film Scholars Book On Acclaimed Filmmaker Charles Burnett

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will host James Naremore for its 15th Film Scholars Lecture on Thursday, September 7, at 7:30 pm, at the Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 Vine Street, in Hollywood.  

  • Toronto Mansion of former Newspaper Magnet Conrad Black Set For Auction

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A grand and coveted historic Canadian mansion, privately located in Toronto's premier Bridle Path enclave, just 15 minutes outside of downtown Toronto, will be offered for sale at auction after 65 years of family lineage.

     
  • Principal Photography Has Wrapped On “The Aftermath” For Fox Searchlight Pictures and BBC Films

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Fox Searchlight Pictures and BBC Films announced that principal photography has wrapped on THE AFTERMATH, directed by James Kent (TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, THE THIRTEENTH TALE) from a script written by Joe Shrapnel & Anna Waterhouse, and Rhidian Brook, based on Brook’s international best-selling novel.  

  • AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi Announces Audience And Jury Award-Winning Films

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, CA, November 14 – AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi today announced the features and short films receiving this year's Audience and Jury Awards at a brunch sponsored by KIND. THE ROCKET, an Australian film; THE SELFISH GIANT, made in the UK; WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE, an American independent film directed by Zeke Hawkins (AFI Class of 2009) and Simon Hawkins; and B FOR BOY, a Nigerian film, received Audience Awards. Grand Jury Awards were presented to BUTTER LAMP, in the Live Action Short category, and THE PLACES WHERE WE LIVED, in the Animated Short category. Special Jury Award winners were BALCONY and SYNDROMEDA.

     
  • Western Wildfires Turn Deadly

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Three members of an elite fire squad were killed fighting a raging “hell storm” in Washington State when the vehicle in which they were traveling was overcome by flames and crashed near the town of Twisp.

Crime

  • Eight Dead, including Six Children, in Texas Home Invasion Mass Murder

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Six children and two adults have been found shot to death, execution style, inside a Harris County, Texas home after a twelve hour standoff that ended after hostage negotiators talked the suspect into surrendering.

     
  • Doctoral Candidate Held in Dark Knight Rises Mass Murder Spree

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A lone gunman opened fire in a  filled to capacity Colorado theater killing 12 and wounding over fifty during the midnight opening screening of the Warner Bros film "The Dark Knight Rises."

     
  • Shooter Kills 12 at D.C. Navy Yard

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Washington DC dawn was disrupted when a former employee, dressed in military fatigues, accessed the U.S. Navy Yard and opened fire killing 12 and injuring eight before he was gunned down by police.

     
  • Theater Shooter, James Holmes, Formally Sentenced

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Theater Shooter, James Holmes who walked into the Aurora Cinemark 16, in full tactical gear, tossed a smoke bomb designed to get his targets to stand, and systematically slaughtered 12 moviegoers and wounded another 70.

     
  • Five Dallas Police Officers Dead; Seven Others Injured in Peace March Ambush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Five Dallas Police Officers have died and seven others injured in an ambush as a protest over the recurring use of excessive and deadly force against unarmed African Americans turned violent leaving a city and nation stunned.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • Seven Continents Book Review - The World At Your Fingertips

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Seven Continents, from Schiffer Publishing, brings together an unforgettable fifteen year collection of photography amassed through personal travel by Dr. Mohan Bhasker, of unique and remarkable imagery, the expected and the unexpected captures, across each continent.

     
  • The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston - A Page Turning Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Sword & Scabbard, from Allen Woods, looks as if it would appeal to Boston’s very tony elite, not until pushing through the labyrinth of technology interruptions does one realizes Woods has created a page turning account of corruption, violence, and a bloody re-revolution massacre.

     
  • Season of Salt and Honey Review - Charming Depiction of Twists and Turns Life Serves Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Season of Salt and Honey, a novel by Hannah Tunnicliffe, is another page turner penned with her skillful artistic strokes adding layers of human emotions intertwining untimely heartache and natural healing process with the magic remedies of culinary creations.

     
  • A Pink Suitcase Book Review – Empowering Stories from Women Who Dared

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Pink Suitcase, from World Traveler Press, presents twenty-two provocative individual stories of empowered woman who dared to fulfill their dreams of global expedition, from hiking the Appalachian Trail to entering Gutsy Gal adventures.

     
  • Honeymoon In Vegas Review – Go For The Music, Stay For The Elvis Impersonators

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Writing reviews to send out is actually quite difficult for me.  The truth is, I’m a theatre snob, and I’m pretty hard to please.  Without creative geniuses such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, or even Stephen Sondheim, it’s hard for me to give my endorsement.  Not this time.  You will love ‘Honeymoon In Vegas’.