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“Staff Took Great Care of Me With My Broken Foot”

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The Phoenician, Scottsdale
Ranked #19 of 76 Hotels in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 December 2011

OVERVIEW OF BRAND
Starwood Hotels & Resorts established the Luxury Collection after it acquired Sheraton (Sheraton had bought the properties from an Italian group and branded these unique hotels as Sheraton Luxury Hotels). These hotels are intended to reflect each area’s unique culture or the historic building it is in (e.g., if it used to be a royal palace) as opposed to mirroring the look of other hotels within the brand. Luxury Collection Hotels used to have a uniform logo (with four horses) but each hotel was allowed to design it’s own logo beginning in 2009, which may confuse some customers.

THE PHOENICIAN
This hotel opened in 1988, and it is located approximately 12 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). An affordable way to get here is to take SuperShuttle for about $16.00 each way (if reserved online) plus tax. The grounds consist of a massive golf course, tennis courts, a cactus garden, a spa and fitness center (in the Centre for Well-Being), a salon, and a barbershop. There is a mini-mall called “the Shops at the Phoenician,” which includes a coffee shop, ice cream parlor, cyber café, wine and spirits shop, a fashion store, small art gallery, and a gift shop. Self-parking is free while valet costs $29.00 per day.

The in-room guest services guide states that there is a resort dress code with jeans only allowed during the day: “Appropriate evening wear is resort casual. Slacks, button-down or polo shirts, skirts, pants and dresses are acceptable.” I’d only brought jeans so I hid in my room the first night. However, when I asked the front desk about this on my second day, the staff informed me that the rules have become more relaxed except for the J&G Steakhouse.

Several staff members stated that the slow periods at the resort (i.e., when you may get better deals and more attention) is in-between Thanksgiving and Christmas and during the hot summer months.

THE ROOM
This is my first stay at the Phoenician (over Thanksgiving Weekend), and I was assigned a “Deluxe Room” on the first floor of the Main Building (B Wing); my view consisted of a green lawn (on which people played badminton) and a large concrete slab. In this type of room, you should find a 42” LG flat-screen (720p) LCD TV; a “mini bar” and fridge with soft drinks, wine, beer, and spirits (price range = $1.50 [small bag of chips] to $55.00 [champagne]); a pull-out couch; coffee table; desk; an iron and ironing board; a wall safe; and a Sony CD clock radio (ICF–CD–7000) with an iPod jack. There is no coffee maker in the room. The bathroom has a hairdryer, dual sinks, a cushion seat, and Remede bath products. There is a patio with a round table, two chairs, and a lounge chair (for sun tanning). There is WiFi and Ethernet; prices are about $13.00–20.00 depending on the amount of bandwidth that you want.

FOOD
There are 11 restaurants and eateries on the grounds. I only ate food from two of them: The Thirsty Camel and Il Terrazzo, which both seemed to have the same menu. Room service is available 24-hours with breakfast items ranging $7.00 (cereals) to $22.00 (Crab Benedict Plate); lunch/dinner ranging $8.00 (soups and salads) to $34.00 (steak and fries); and a limited after-hours menu ranging from $7.00 (desserts) to $17.00 (pizza). There is an afternoon teatime (2:00–3:00PM) in the main lobby. The resort does have the Kids Pass Program, which is an “all-inclusive dining program” for children 12 and younger. Visit the SPG site for more details (www.spgpromos.com/kidspass/).

GYM AND POOL
The fitness center is located at the Centre for Well-Being, and it looked like a well-equipped hotel gym. There are numerous pools and cabanas on the property, including one pool designated for adults only. There are exercise classes that you can sign up for (for a fee) and a daily guided-hike up the mountain.

SPG SPECIFIC
There is no Club Lounge for the regular hotel; however, I think there is one at the Canyon Suites (an exclusive area of the resort). Otherwise, there are no free food/drink perks for Gold/Platinum-Preferred Guests. Platinum members do get 500 Starpoints, free Internet (regardless of what bandwidth you choose), and the resort fee ($29.00) is waived. There is no “Green Choice” Program (where you waive housekeeping for points or credit) at this hotel.

I requested late checkout and was given 2:00PM (versus the 4:00PM typical for Platinum). I’m not sure why as there was a mass exodus in the morning given it was the Sunday of a holiday weekend…and the beginning of their “slow season” in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nevertheless, I know that SPG resorts don’t have to give late checkout (Sheraton–Carlsbad being the absolute worst about this), and I appreciated the 2:00PM offer.

OVERALL RATING
The Phoenician is a beautiful desert resort, though it may be uncomfortable for people not wanting a very upscale place with a rather homogenous crowd. Yet, the staff is extremely friendly (esp., Bernie, a bartender; and Connie, a housekeeper) and they offer many interesting activities if you don’t care to golf, play tennis, or hangout by the pool. For instance, I signed up for the “Adult Cocktail Making Class,” in which Kira taught us to make a pumpkin martini for the holidays, gave us generous samples of an Amaretto-infused warm-cider, and samples of wine—a nice free treat given the lack of free drinks for Platinum guests typical of most other properties. I am also very appreciative of the chef who prepared me a special Thanksgiving meal for my room (which was not on the room-service menu) given that I was somewhat immobile because I recently broke my foot. Overall, the Phoenician is a very nice retreat to come to, even as a “staycation” for the locals.

Room Tip: If you can afford the Canyon Suites...they seem to have a lot more amenities (incl. a club lounge) c...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank Cisco96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,670 - 1,676 of 2,233 reviews

Reviewed 12 December 2011

I love this resort. I had free nights that I needed to use and was able to convince anyone to take them so I ended up using them on a business trip. I was stunned with the level of service at this resort. They me at the door and knew who I was. They walked me to my room where there was a delightful assortment of cheeses and snacks waiting for me. They do have a fully stocked honor bar in the room with amazing choices including fabulous wine! The room was spacious and beautiful with fresh flowers. The bed was VERY comfortable and the bathroom was huge! They had aromatherapy bath salts and amazing shampoos (I wish they sold them at the resort!). The spa is amazing. I did get a foot massage that I loved but made the mistake of letting her use the cups on my back (painful). Monday through Friday the sommelier has wine in the lobby of the suites hotel with tasty appetizers and home made breads (olive). You must eat at the italian restaurant is is amazing as well. I enjoyed every morsel and service was amazing! The ice cream shop I also ate at in the morning and the food was equally as good as the food at the italian restaurant. Stay away for D & G the food was not good and the service was terrible!

Room Tip: I stayed in the suites side of the resort as it is quieter. If you are a couple or on business I wo...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Geekontherun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2011

I stayed at the Phoenician for 2 nights in August with my family, and although we had a great stay and enjoyed the hotel, I think it may be resting on its laurels a bit. I had heard of the Phoenician many times before coming to Scottsdale. It had really been hyped up as the most gorgeous 5-star resort one could want. However, I noticed some areas that could use improvement, just in terms of renovations and service. I think one contributing factor to being less ‘wowed’ than I expected was the fact that we had just finished 2 nights at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton outside of Tucson. Having that as a comparator, I still loved the Phoenician, but didn’t see it as quite the same level of service.

The Phoenician is a large, beautiful resort, nestled right at the foot of Camelback Mountain. Considering that it’s in the desert, it’s really great how lush and green everything is. It’s like a beautiful island oasis, so they definitely put a ton of effort and money into creating this feel in the desert. That impressed me. The grounds are large, with lots of waterfalls, koi ponds, and palm trees. It’s nice to walk around the resort, and in keeping with its desert location, there is a cactus garden on the Camelback side of the hotel. I guess it would also be really easy to do some hiking on Camelback from the resort.

The location was really great for touring the area. It’s only a 5-10 minute drive from Old Town Scottsdale and all of its shopping, art galleries, and many restaurants. We took advantage of that area for dinner each night. It was also convenient to some of the attractions we wanted to see in Phoenix (the hotel is essentially right on the border of greater Phoenix and Scottsdale). It was also a very easy 20-minute drive back to the airport at the end of our stay. I loved being right in the middle of things, yet have the secluded resort feel when we were there.

We chose a grand deluxe room in the casitas. I definitely recommend both this room type and the casitas in general. I was very confused when booking a room online before the trip, so it was good to figure out what the different room types are. Essentially, you have a choice between 2 locations and 3 views. The price only seems to differ by view, not location. The 2 locations are the main building and the casitas (there are many more rooms available in the main buildings). The main building rooms are in the 2 large horseshoe-shaped buildings on the side of the resort by Camelback. This is where the lobby, restaurants, and conference facilities are located. The other option is the casitas. These are also arranged in a horseshoe shape, but they are a grouping of several small two-story buildings across the resort by the golf club. The rooms here all have exterior entrances and parking right by the buildings. We chose a casita room just to try something different, plus it sounded very convenient for parking and access to the pool, which it was! Even if you’re in the casitas, it’s only about a 5-minute walk up to the main buildings, which requires walking up past the 3 levels of pools. I actually thought it was a really pleasant walk at night. I looked at the aerial view of the resort on Google Maps to get a good feel for how it’s set up before we arrived.

In terms of the views, superior is the most basic view. In the main buildings, this means looking across at other rooms and the hotel driveway. The way these buildings are built, one is built directly behind the other, so that rooms on one side of each look right into those in the other building. In the casitas, a superior view would get you a view of parking lots. Deluxe is the next view upgrade. Deluxe is a view of Camelback Mountain and the cactus garden in the main buildings, but a view of the golf course and gardens in the casitas. The best view is Grand Deluxe. We went for this view and loved it. Regardless of which building you choose, this is a view of the pools and beautiful grounds/gardens in the middle of the resort. You’ll just be looking at different pools depending on which building you select.

Our room itself was great, and very spacious. We were on the second floor of the casita and loved the view. The casitas do not have elevators if you’re on the second floor, but that wasn’t a problem at all. It was so convenient to be able to park our car in the small lot right outside our casita, and just walk up the stairs and into our room. Our room had windows on 3 sides, which is unusual for a basic hotel room. The balcony was huge, and so nice to sit out on. The balcony was completely covered, which was perfect in the August heat, and had a chaise lounge, as well as a table with 2 chairs. We had a great view of the mother-of-pearl pool from our balcony. The room itself was a great size, and decorated just as the pictures show. The rooms are pretty neutral with a botanical sort of style. It definitely wasn’t just redone, but it was still nice. I think the rooms will need to be renovated soon to look fresher. However, everything was in great condition and perfectly clean. The bathroom was great. We had a huge bathroom, much larger than what I’ve seen in other pictures posted. It had a tub, 2 separate vanities, a walk-in-closet, and huge shower that could easily hold several people. The toilet is in a separate room with a bidet. The bathroom definitely shows the age of the rooms. The bathroom is very nice with marble everywhere, just doesn’t look like it’s ever been updated.

We really enjoyed time at the pool. There are several pools on different levels, each with lounge chairs and lots of noodles in the pools (some of which definitely needed to be replaced-they're cheap enough!). The top level has multiple pools closest to the main buildings. The middle level is the adults-only pool with a swim-up pool bar. The lowest level is the signature mother-of-pearl pool, which is the one we chose to use, since it was closest to our room. There is also a very fun pool slide by the lowest level pool. I recommend guests of all ages try the slide. It wasn’t too crowded at the resort when we were there on a weekend in August, so we didn’t have trouble getting lounge chairs ever, but I can see that it might be an issue other times of year. A lot of the chairs are reserved for those who purchase cabanas for the day.

Maybe it was because we were in a casita, and would come and go from there, but we didn’t encounter much of the staff. The only staff I interacted with was the pool attendants, who actually left a bad taste in my mouth. They essentially keep all of the towels in their cabana, and are responsible for bringing each guest a towel when they arrive at the pool, along with a complimentary pitcher of ice water. They also serve drinks and food. The first day I was at the pool, the staff must have looked at me and decided that I wasn’t going to be purchasing any food or drinks, and basically ignored me. It took almost half an hour for someone to even come over with a towel and water pitcher. In the meantime, the same few guests were being waited on over and over again. Once someone finally did come over to me, there was no apology. The attendant acted as if I had refused a towel previously and was bringing it over “just in case you need one”. I don’t have a problem getting my own towel, and I honestly wish towels would just be out to pick up yourself. However, if a resort sets up the pool like this, with attendants guarding the towels, I expect that everyone will at least be given a towel promptly. I will say, the second and third days at the pool, the service was better.

All in all though, we really did enjoy our stay here. The grounds are lovely, and the room was really comfortable and nice. Time at the pool was so relaxing. Looking at the lobby and some things about the rooms, though, I will say that the hotel seems like it’s seen better days. It’s a bit over the top with marble for my taste. It looks like it was built to be really flashy in the 1990s, but that’s just not the style that new resorts have today. My parents were really impressed by the marble and crystal chandeliers everywhere in the lobby, but my brother and I thought it was a little over-the-top and outdated. The rooms, while nice, were also not recently redone, and the bathroom definitely showed its age. Is it beautiful? Yes. Is it a great resort? Yes. Does it live up to its hype? Not quite as much as I expected. I think it’s seen slightly better days, and service needs to get better (at least at the pool) to stay a truly 5-star property. There is stiff competition for resorts in this area. I recommend the resort highly, but I wasn’t quite impressed enough to say it’s the only place to go in Scottsdale.

Room Tip: Consider the view and building you want ahead of time: grand deluxe rooms have great pool views, and...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank mrg0137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2011

As a very special holiday treat we took our young teenage daughters to The Phoenician for afternoon tea. There were ten of us (5 mothers and 5 daughers) and the experience was absolutely fabulous. Wanda was our server and she was lovely, very warm and engaging and provided superior service with a sense of fun and genuine joy....truly a credit to your team. The food was simply incredible, delcious sandwiches, light fluffy scones with real devonshire cream and lemon curd and decadent deserts. The atmsophere was charming, we have lovely memories of our special afternoon together.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank azgirls2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2011

Stayed at the property with my husband and 3 teenagers the week of Thanksgiving. Overall, a very enjoyable experience. The grounds are absolutely beautiful, and the pools were fabulous.The service was, for the most part, excellent. All of the staff I encountered was very helpful and courteous. I, like many other people after reading these reviews, mistakenly wandered onto the golf course during my morning walk. The man who drove up on the golf cart was very friendly - even though he told me I had to leave as it was dangerous. They really should mark that better for us non-golfers! The rooms were comfortable, but I have to say the king sized bed that I shared with my husband definitely had a depression in the middle, which made it hard to sleep well. Not what you expect to find at a resort of this caliber. We had very nice breakfasts every morning dining at the outdoor restaurant and a really wonderful meal our last night at J&G's. The meal did last 3 1/2 hours, not sure why, but they should definitely pick up the pace of the serving. It was hard on my elderly mother and young niece to sit at the table that long. The spa was ok, nothing special, and like everything else, very pricy. Not sure if I'd go back to the spa next time. We already decided we'll come back to the resort next year, but will try to get a room closer to the elevators or maybe try one of the casitas. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience.

Room Tip: Try to stay closer to the lobby. Very long walks to and from the elevator.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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Thank ellie411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhoenicianManager, Manager at The Phoenician, Scottsdale, responded to this reviewResponded 2 December 2011

Thank you for spending part of your Thanksgiving week with us, and for sharing your comments. We take great pride in our commitment to providing the highest quality service, from landscaping to dining. In regards to your sleep experience, please note that new beds were recently introduced in all resort accommodations. It is possible that the bed frame in your guestroom somehow became unattached, creating the sinking effect you described. To further assist us in our efforts to provide an exceptional experience for all of our guests, may we request that you call The Phoenician and ask for our housekeeping supervisor, providing your room number during your stay? With your information, we will be able to examine the bed to ensure a peaceful night’s rest for our future guests. The award-winning Centre for Well-Being spa offers a variety of signature treatments, many of which feature properties found in native desert plants and minerals. Our well-versed staff, including several associates who have been with us for a dozen years or more, can create a personalized experience for our guests based on individual needs and preferences. We’d like to extend an invitation to you to visit our spa again upon your next stay. Please feel free to contact our spa director prior to your arrival, and she would be happy to recommend some of our premier treatments for you. Thank you again for taking the time to provide your feedback. We look forward to having you and your family with us again soon!

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Reviewed 28 November 2011

From the moment you drive in off Camelback road you realise you are entering somewhere special. The long driveway that takes you past the Phoenician golf course up to the hotel is in itself spectacular. When you get to the hotel main entrance you are greeted by bell boys who take care of your luggage and valet park your car for you. Walking in the hotel it is then you know you have made the right choice of hotel, it is nothing short of spectacular. From that moment on it is first class all the way. The Grand Delux rooms on the first floor are the best in my opinion they are spacious with the most comfortable bed and spacious bathroom with a closet shower, these rooms make for easy access to the pools and the breakfast restaurant. There are 4 pools to choose from some with cabanas (for an extra charge). Each pool is exceptional with attendants to match, they will bring you a jug of iced water whenever you need it, drink and food can be served at your sunbed or there is a restaurant for lunch which sits beside the swim up pool bar. Your every need is taken care of at all times. We have stayed at most of the 5 star hotels in Scottsdale and none of them come close to the Phoenician. Trust me as I am a hotel snob and this is the best by far, all be it expensive, but why "slum it" when on vacation is the way I view it and with the Phoenician you get what you pay for and more. Try it once and you will go back I promise you that.

Room Tip: The Grand Delux rooms on the first floor make for easy access to the pool areas and the breakfast re...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank PETER M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2011

The Phoenician is beautiful. I stayed there with my husband and his business partners and their wives in mid November. I'll go through a list of pros and cons:
Pros: The views are amazing. The rooms are nice and pretty large. I love that the room we stayed in had a patio area and a view of Camelback. The pool area was a large and well kept. Breakfast at Terrazo was very good.
Cons: Service was next to awful, unfortunately. We went to J&G steakhouse and dinner took almost 3 hours!! They did comp us two desserts because of this, but when your spending $700 on dinner, that doesn't do much. The food was okay, we went to Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse the next night and it was much better as was the service. We stayed 4 nights and had drinks each night in the lobby bar area. Getting a drink was like pulling teeth. I don't know if they were understaffed or what, but it was difficult to ever find a waitress. We ate breakfast at the Terazzo. The service again was lacking and they ended up comping our whole breakfast because of the wait (which was nice but we had "waited" our whole vacation so we were kind of fed up. The last complaint was the things you have to pay for. We expected to pay a lot for our stay, we knew this was an expensive place, but a few things were just really big turn offs. My husband had a business meeting. They rented a small room for one day, it was $500. No problem. Then they wanted an internet hook up for one IPad, they were told that would be another $500!! There was a marker board in the room, assumed it was included in the rental fee. But when they asked where the markers were, you had to BUY them!! It was a little crazy. I think the employee could see the distaste in my husbands eyes and comped him the internet connection. So they are good at comps, but not without irritating their guests first.

We probably won't stay here again. It was a beautiful place for sure, but the little things, poor service, nickle and diming small things, just were too distasteful for us.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TACHance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Phoenician, Scottsdale

Address: 6000 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251-1949
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Scottsdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Scottsdale
#9 Luxury Hotel in Scottsdale
#10 Spa Hotel in Scottsdale
#11 Family Hotel in Scottsdale
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Scottsdale
#14 Romantic Hotel in Scottsdale
Price Range: £232 - £719 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Phoenician, Scottsdale 5*
Number of rooms: 647
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Phoenician is a luxury resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, situated on 250 acres at the base of Camelback Mountain. From May through September 2017, The Phoenician will be undergoing extensive enhancements to its signature public areas. During this time, the main lobby, front desk, pool complex, spa and select dining venues will be closed. These services and amenities will be available at alternate locations on the resort grounds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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