On a recent getaway to Phoenix to relax, eat more than I should and enjoy a little baseball, I had the good fortune to check into The Scott Resort & Spa. Located in central Scottsdale, on the west side of Phoenix, the hotel offers a comfortable place to kick back and explore the city.
When you walk into The Scott, you’re met with a sense of openness. The hotel recently remodeled the lobby (more on that later), and I was struck by the Cuban-style furniture – Miami in Arizona – and the many different seating options and plentiful board games. The space seems designed for conversation or perhaps a nice cocktail – comfortable without being pretentious.
Walk past the wrap-around, indoor/outdoor bar, and the same logic applies to the patio, with more seating, fire pits, palm trees and beautiful foliage.
Beyond that lie the two swimming pools. There’s a shallow rendition with sand – your own inland beach – ideal for kids. The larger pool next door features The Canal Club bar, seat-side service and private cabanas for rent.
We stayed in one of the patio guestrooms, which was spacious and comfortable and featured nice amenities, like a fridge and an espresso maker, which I kind of got used to. Out on the balcony, more comfy chairs and a pleasant view of the pools. But even this close to the swimming area, once I closed the doors, the room was nicely soundproofed.
The Scott will be remodeling the rooms over the summer, going for a lighter touch, smaller furniture and more seating, much like the lobby. They’re now in the process of beta testing the new design and will begin the remodel during the summer. (see photo below for a sneak peek of the upcoming room renovation)
This attention to detail can be seen throughout the hotel. They’ve obviously spent a lot of time trying to anticipating their guests’ needs. The service is efficient and not overly solicitous. Everyone seems genuinely happy to be there.
The Canal Club offers breakfast through dinner. I enjoyed a nice vegetable paella with a few shrimp added at my request. My partner in crime dove into one of the Oaxacan pizzas.
There are also a number of restaurants within walking distance. We enjoyed breakfasts at Modern Market, particularly the waffles. Around a mile south, in Old Town, the Sugar Bowl offers sandwiches and amazing ice cream. The Top Hat may be the best hot fudge sundae I’ve ever inhaled.
Given that Scottsdale is an old cow town, it’s no surprise the area is rich in steak houses. But there’s also great seafood and Italian and a surprising number of vegetarian places.
Out and About
Getting around town is made easy thanks to The Scott’s complimentary transportation within three miles of the resort. This added bonus gives guests a chance to explore sunny Scottsdale, a popular destination that combines its cowboy past with a modern flare. Old Town features the rustic side, with ample souvenir shops to take a piece home. But there’s also a vibrant arts district and ample shopping, as well as Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter studio and home.
You can take a hike up Camelback Mountain to get a beautiful view of Phoenix and surroundings, though warning, it’s a bit strenuous near the top. Scottsdale has its own waterfront as well, a pretty canal, ideal for nice strolls, just a five minute walk from the resort.
Of course, February and March are Spring training season in the desert. The San Francisco Giants have their facility in Scottsdale, but it’s an easy hop to any of the other Cactus League ballparks. Checkout your favorite stars or promising minor leaguers at a game or on one of the backfields.
Scottsdale is terrific fun to explore, especially in the spring with its cool mornings and warm afternoons. Overall, The Scott offers a pleasant base to explore the Phoenix area or simply hang out by the pool, read a book and maybe have a drink or two. It’s a nice oasis from the frenetic pace of everyday life.
Contributing travel writer Josh Baxt has been writing about travel, science, healthcare and other topics for more than 18 years. Based in San Diego, he is particularly interested in finding hidden gems (and sharing some of them). At this moment, he is thinking about his next great meal.