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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Phoenician, Scottsdale Hotel Scottsdale
- Phoenician Hotel Scottsdale
- The Phoenician Hotel Scottsdale
- The Phoenician, Scottsdale Arizona