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

  • AFI Conservatory Alumni Receive 20 Primetime Emmy® Nominations

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Thursday morning's 68th Annual Primetime Emmy® Awards announcement featured 22 AFI Conservatory alumni, who received a total of 20 nominations — up from last year's total of 14 nominations. Altogether, 50 AFI Conservatory alumni worked on the programs featured throughout yesterday's nominations.  

  • Ziff Publishing Family Lists Florida Mansion; Asking Tops All Markets

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    America’s elite homes get more elaborate and expensive every year. The mansion that was at the top of the price list in 2015 near Fort Lauderdale, Florida at $159 million came with its own IMAX theater, a $2 million staircase and an entry gate decorated with 22-karat gold leaf. 

     
  • Focus Features Celebrates 15 years with Free Live-Streaming on Facebook of Three Classic, Award Winning, Films

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A trio of film favorites from Focus Features will be streamed on Facebook Live over the next three Fridays. #FocusFridays will take place each Friday night on the Focus Features Facebook Page,https://www.facebook.com/FocusFeatures/ beginning @6:00 PM PT.  

  • Announces First Look at SELMA

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, CA, October 31, 2014 – AFI FEST 2014 presented by Audi, a program of the American Film Institute, announced today that it will offer a first look at director Ava DuVernay's highly anticipated film SELMA on Tuesday, November 11. The presentation will feature 30 minutes of exclusive footage from the film followed by a conversation with producers Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo at the Egyptian Theatre.

     
  • Twenty-Seven Animated Features Submitted For 2016 Oscar Race

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A record twenty-seven features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 89th Academy Awards®. Some of the submitted films may not have met their qualifying theatrical runs or other determining criteria.

Crime

  • Kayaker Body Found Identified as Missing Fiance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Murdered kayaker Vincent Viafore, reported missing by Angelika Graswald, his fiancee, has been found in the murky waters of the Hudson River where he was last seen in early April as the two enjoyed a recreational boating trip.

     
  • Organized Crime Boss James “Whitey” Bulger Convicted

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    James “Whitey” Bulger, the organized crime boss who fled Boston and lived 16 years as a fugitive, was convicted of murder, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and gun possession.

     
  • Baruch Fraternity Members Face Charges in PA Murder Case

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pocono County prosecutors have announced the intent to bring charges against all thirty of the Pi Delta Psi Fraternity members present the night pledge Chun Hsien Deng was killed in a hazing ritual in rural Tunkhannock Township, Pennsylvania.

     
  • Crime City USA: The Top Thirty Murder Capitals

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Crime rates are decreasing across large cities in the United States, but murder rates are on the rise.  

  • The Grim Sleeper, The South Central Serial Killer, Is Convicted

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    Lonnie Franklin, Jr., The Grim Sleeper Serial Killer, was convicted of ten counts of murder and one count of attempted murder after three decades since his killing spree began, and may face the death penalty when the sentencing phase concludes.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • Ten Top Gourmet Food Shops and Eating Establishments in the Latin Quarter Revealed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stepping into a Paris restaurant can be a formidable experience for any traveler. Not only do you have to make your wishes understood by a waiter who may or may not speak your language, but you must quickly learn how to adapt to local dining customs as well.

     
  • 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.

     
  • The Art Of Discovery - Photographs By WireImage Co-Founder Jeff Vespa

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, Ca. USA -  Jeff Vespa, co-founder of the largest entertainment photo agency in the world, WireImage and founder of Verge, will release his first monograph, The Art of Discovery, this October on Rizzoli International Publications.

     
  • Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival - A Global Experience in the Magical Mojave

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Merging its funky desert style with an internationally acclaimed lineup of musical artists, this three day (and four night) family-friendly festival is truly a global music experience. The 13th Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival melds the overwhelming spirit of desert freedom with powerful music from around the world to create a lighthearted oasis for music lovers.

     
  • HL A&E Presents The Best Summer 2016 Music Festivals, by the Numbers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Every year, thousands of people flock to church. The devotees pray in flower crowns and straw hats, fringe-laden vests and neon body paint. They are the congregation of music lovers, gathering from many different corners of the world to worship at the summer’s many music festivals.