Thursday, October 30, 2014

Site Visit ~ Phoenix & Scottsdale

I've never been to the great state of Arizona so I was excited to travel to Phoenix/Scottsdale and see what these cities were all about.

It's funny. I've traveled all over Europe and even to many cities in the US, but lately I've been going places with landscapes that are totally new to me. I recently went to Palm Springs and the whole mountain/desert/oasis set up was really fascinating for this born and raised Kentucky girl.

And then I got to Phoenix/Scottsdale and it was so full of cacti (cactuses?), palm trees, and mountains. I was digging it. I quickly learned which mountain was named "Camelback" and I made it my goal to locate him during every car ride.

I was there scoping out the property we will use for our 2016 December meeting. I toured 3 resorts in Scottsdale and 2 in Phoenix (all hotels will remain anonymous).

Here's some shots from the tours...

 Great open air lobby design.

 Indoor/outdoor registration area.

Many outdoor reception spaces...

This guy was rattling like crazy at us. Was it something I said?

One of the hotels sent me to their spa to enjoy a massage and their amenities. It was an amazingly relaxing evening. If I had money to afford these spas, I would go every single trip.

Here's a travel tip: If you happen to be at a resort that has a fabulous spa but you can't afford the expensive treatment options, check with them to see if they have a general spa option. Most of them will let you just enjoy their amenities for the day at a reasonable rate. So for maybe $50, you can use the facilities, relaxation room, sauna, steam room, hot tub, cool tub, pool, rain showers, products etc. It's also great to do this with friends!

During the trip I ate the most fabulous food. The restaurants at these resorts are run by some really well known chefs and the food is just to die for.

One property treated me to a private Italian banquet meal complete with lazy susan swinging around so you could pick out what you wanted. So clever.

This high end Mexican restaurant was so delicious I could eat there everyday. For dessert they brought out this flaming Mexican coffee. The presentation was as awesome as the drink itself!

The resorts were also really thoughtful with their amenities. If you've read my other site visit posts, you know that hotels like to spoil planners when they are competing for their business (hence the flashy foods and spa visits). I'm always surprised to see what hotels come up with for their amenities. Some take the personal approach...

(Knowing I bleed blue. #AllCatsEverything)

(Knowing I'm a crazy dog lady.)

And some just stuff me with chocolate and wine and I've never not been OK with that.

While site visits are fun and I get to see fabulous places and eat fabulous food, they can get long and tiring. It's just me...meeting new people constantly throughout the day. And all of my meals are with people I've never met before. So you have to be "ON" all day.

But I have to say this trip was just fantastic from start to finish. Everyone from my CVB rep, to the hotel contacts were all really great and made me feel welcome. I left feeling refreshed and excited to return in 2016.

If you are planning a trip and looking for a great place to stay in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, I can definitely help with recommendations!

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This blog is in no way affiliated with any institutions.

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