Bill and I went to Phoenix this weekend to help celebrate his parents 50th wedding anniversary with family. We had a great time connecting with family and it was hard to come home. We were fortunate to stay at the Four Seasons resort north of Scottsdale and had an excellent experience there. If you haven't been to a resort like this (I had not prior to last year when we came), I'll try to describe it for you and then maybe you'll be so inspired you'll want to go and invite me with you!
As soon as you arrive, you are treated quite nicely, the doorman will offer you ice water or cookies should you need some sugar. The lobby serves "prickly pear ice tea" all day, a huge hit with the kids. The food in the restaurants is quite good, but expensive, a glass of juice at breakfast is $6. Unless you are a multi millionaire, eating off site or bringing some of your own meals would be wise. There is also a spa on site which I walked past on my way to the amazing work out room. Every treadmill and bike had it's own t.v. so I was able to watch the Olympics while getting a run in. Iced washcloths are available as well as water and Gatorade (without charge). It was by far, the most lavish treadmill run I have ever done, I could easily get used to that.
There are three swimming pools: a toddler pool, a kids pool, and an adults only pool that is lined with misters and curtains so you can sit in the shade and be cooled by misting water. We stayed by the kids pool all weekend so we could spend time with the nieces and nephews (7 kids total this time) and an attendant will set up your chair with a nice towel, one to sit on and one rolled up for you to rest your head. The pool attendant brings ice water throughout the day and provides drinks and food from the kitchen. Another attendant might walk around with iced wash clothes throughout the day or samples of smoothies. It's quite nice.
The rooms aren't totally spectacular, but the beds are very comfortable and the bedding is drool worthy. I had a great time just sleeping. Each room at a digital flat panel t.v. and a patio with chairs for a view. Every evening a room attendant comes in and turns down the bed, sets the lighting on low, and turns on the ipod docking station (i.e. radio) onto a nice easy listening station.
The bathrooms are stocked with plush towels and robes, fancy soaps (that you can take home and give as gifts to friends!) and there is a large deep tub in case you need a soak.
The landscaping is so nicely done, you find all types of cacti and other native and blooming plants and it is not uncommon to spot a bunny or gecko resting in the shade. The resort is next to Pinnacle Peak where you can hike up for great views of the area.
All these nice things add up to a lovely and memorable experience. I couldn't recommend this resort enough, if you are looking for a desert experience at a nice resort, check into their off season specials. I hope to be back again soon. I'll write more about the hiking in the area and the great time we had with family tomorrow!