Checking In: The Scott Resort & Spa

The Scott Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona is the most photogenic hotel I have ever stayed in. As soon as I walked into the lobby before ever checking in, I took out my camera and started shooting every angle I possibly could: think Anthropologie catalog. While the design is modern and almost minimalist it still exudes an upscale vibe that you would expect from a luxury hotel.

I recently checked in for two nights and had a wonderful stay. The staff is extremely gracious, the rooms and property are gorgeous, the food was incredible, and the location is central to the Greater Phoenix area.

IMG_3483

The Scott Resort & Spa

IMG_3596

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3603

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3605

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3627

Canal Club Bar

Checking In:

I want to note that checking in at The Scott Resort & Spa is a feast for the eyes. The check in desk behind it has built in shelves with painted portraits of people (no clue who they are) but I could not take my eyes off of it. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. Beyond that – once you are all checked in, you don’t just get a key for your room, you get a pink billfold with a key, hotel history, activity schedule, two travel logs, and a log with your room number and phone number for the hotel.

IMG_3474

The Lobby: 

The most beautiful part of the hotel in my opinion! The Scott Resort & Spa took their time placing each piece of furniture whether it be rattan, leather or even a comfy sofa. The design elements almost make you feel like you are in a showroom for outdoor living. There is no shortage of greenery, modern white decor, wood elements, and pops of color throughout. Some of my favorite pieces in the lobby included: bar carts, backgammon game boards, pineapple lamps, and the Canal Club.

Beyond the lobby is 2 outdoor pools with plenty of chairs and cabanas as well as outdoor seating and a fire pit.

IMG_3473

Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3589

Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3592

Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3576

Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3514

Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3554

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3569

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3606

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3611

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3480

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

IMG_3566

The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby

 

The Rooms:

During my stay I checked into a Pool King Guest Room. The best part of the room was the spacious balcony overlooking the pool and the Nespresso coffee bar. The overall room offered very generous space, separate bathroom and sink, pillow top bed, in-room safe, mini bar, plush bathrobes, and spa inspired bath amenities.

I really liked that the hotel is smaller and not crowded. Since each of the buildings only offered two floors, you did not have to walk far to reach anywhere on the resort and I could walk right down the stairs and into the pool or the lobby.

IMG_3485

The Scott Resort & Spa King Pool View

IMG_3491

The Scott Resort & Spa King Pool View

IMG_3487

The Scott Resort & Spa King Pool View

Dining:

I had the opportunity to eat at the Canal Club during my stay and the food was incredible. The paella on the dinner menu stood out so I ordered it – and surely enough it was cooked perfectly. If the paella is the only dish you get here, it will be the best!

The Canal Club also has a bar in the lobby that you can get incredible drinks from. I highly recommend the Helen & Maude – its a take on the Cuban Mojito. The bartenders are extremely friendly and personable – and above that, they craft cocktails in a way that is memorable.

IMG_3513

The Canal Club

IMG_3679

The Canal Club

IMG_3694

The Canal Club

IMG_3656

The Canal Club

IMG_3643

The Canal Club

IMG_3640

The Canal Club

IMG_3540

Canal Club

IMG_3532

Canal Club

IMG_3544

Canal Club

Outdoors:

The Scott Resort & Spa is not an overly big property, as there are only 2 floors in each building of rooms – but within the grounds there are 2 pools, one with sand entry, fire bowl, a plethora of seating options, and a fireplace (for cooler evenings).

You can get yourself a drink and enjoy the seating options or lounge poolside. I opted for the Aperol Spritz!

IMG_3496

The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas

IMG_3497

The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas

IMG_3498

The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas

IMG_3728IMG_3716

IMG_3642

The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas

IMG_3503

The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas

IMG_3504

The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas

Additional Information:

  • Address: 4925 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
  • Phone: (800) 528-7867
  • Distance from Phoenix Sky Harbor: 14.8 miles ~ 20 minutes
  • Parking: on site, you can park right outside your building
    • Uber is widely available
  • Reservations are encouraged for The Canal Club
  • Wifi for a fee
  • Spa on site – has 6 treatment rooms

Pin for your Pinterest:

Checking In_

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Visit Phoenix Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

13 Ways To Enjoy Phoenix During The Summer

Let’s be honest – the summer months in Phoenix are hot! There is no way for me to sugar coat this fact, and even if I tried – the sugar would melt. But don’t let those warmer temps stop you from visiting Phoenix during the summer. I just spent four days in the greater Phoenix area exploring more of the area and although the temps were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit everyday, I still had the best time.

Here are 13 ways YOU can enjoy Phoenix during the summer months!

Hotels are cheap!

That is right, it is an off season for Phoenix, thus making the lodging cheaper to entice visitors to come visit. This is the perfect time to score luxury digs at a fraction of the cost AND it is not crowded. Make sure and get a hotel with a pool and get that poolside cabana so you can switch back and forth.

I loved my stay at the Wigwam Resort located just outside of Phoenix. I used the adults only pool for the day and got a cabana that came with bottled water, a fresh fruit plate AND chips and salsa!

What I loved about the hotel was the sprawling grounds, lush greenery and cacti, golf course, multiple pools, and the food!

IMG_3050

Wigwam Resort

IMG_3063

Wigwam Resort

IMG_3081

Wigwam Resort

IMG_3077

Wigwam Resort

Get a triple scoop sorbet at Sweet Republic

Sorbet is nice and light and I love the fruit. I opted for a 3 scoop cone with flavors of watermelon, coconut and strawberry! It was delicious and definitely cooled me off from the Phoenix heat. Sweet Republic offers a plethora of flavors to service all tastes.

IMG_4165-2

Take in a sunset

It can still be very warm at night but the sun is not shining on you any longer and the temps start to cool down. Some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen radiate in the Phoenix area. I don’t know why, but the sky is generally lit up in amazing colors when the sun goes down.

26169411_10159862023320083_1572869386198144142_n

Desert Botanical Garden

36439469_10160641495620083_7760840131019276288_n (1)

Wigwam Resort

36448155_10160641495580083_5897414367162400768_n (1)

Wigwam Resort

Visit the Botanical Garden at 7:00am

I know, you are on vacation and you want to sleep. However, between 5-9:00 am the weather is incredibly nice and the heat hasn’t reached its high for the day. This is a fantastic time to explore the Botanical Garden and not worry about it being 110 degrees. When I went recently it was only about 75 degrees – the high that day ended around 110. 35 degrees in difference can make a huge difference when you are outside in the sun for 1-3 hours.

IMG_3824

Desert Botanical Garden

IMG_3961

Desert Botanical Garden

IMG_3983-2

Desert Botanical Garden

Visit Found: Re Hotel For the art

I recently had the opportunity to visit the FOUND:RE Hotel and explore the art. What is interesting is that the pieces do change AND they are all for sale! I spent about 1.5 hours inside viewing all the pieces the curator hand selected for the hotel and it was a nice break from being outside.

IMG_4130

Found: Re

IMG_4135

Found: Re

IMG_4138

Found: Re

Aperol Spritz when the sun goes down

Would it even be summer if there wasn’t an Aperol Spritz? I love how light and refreshing this drink is and it was perfect as the sun went down. I enjoyed this Aperol Spritz poolside at The Scott Resort and Spa!

IMG_3718

Aperol Spritz

Get a convertible

That probably sounds like a bad idea (and it can be) but hear me out. Only take the top down very early in the morning when the weather is still really nice or after the sun goes down. Once you get out of the “heat of the day” hours – its not bad at all.

IMG_4365

Visit Usery Mountain Regional Park

You can drive through here for the most part, so time of day is not really an issue. This is a great place to see the gorgeous desert landscape. One of the things I learned from the Park Ranger was that nothing is touched in the desert – it is all left natural to its elements. Usery Mountain Regional Park is a gorgeous desert landscape with plenty of photo opportunities.

IMG_4352

Usery Mountain Regional Park

IMG_4322

Usery Mountain Regional Park

IMG_4316

Usery Mountain Regional Park

IMG_4312

Usery Mountain Regional Park

Hot air balloon during sunrise

The sun rises around 5:20 am and the heat doesn’t really start to get hot until after 9:00 – this is plenty of time to enjoy the city from new heights. For those who are afraid of heights – I was too! I was so surprised by how calm it is when you are up in the air – literally floating. It is a peaceful experience.

IMG_1285

Sunrise hot air ballooning

IMG_1265

Sunrise hot air ballooning

IMG_1320

Sunrise hot air ballooning

Have a spa day!

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the indoors. Whether you go all in for a full day at the spa or just a massage, its going to be the most relaxing time you have with yourself. I recommend a massage at the Phoenician Spa for 50 minutes called “Aroma Design” where you get to design the exact aroma that would be used on you during the treatment. After the spa, enjoy a nice lunch on the rooftop with the pool. It’s the perfect little afternoon.

IMG_2968

Phoenician Spa

IMG_2984

Phoenician Spa

IMG_2991

Phoenician Spa lunch on the rooftop pool

Visit the Heard Museum

This was one of the most fascinating museums I have ever been to. Offering 11 exhibit galleries and home to American Indian Art, the Heard Museum is both inside and outside. They do offer tours (check times) but I prefer to take art in my own way by walking through, reading, and looking at the art to get my own feel for the artist.

I don’t like to overshare content from museums because I think you should visit the museum yourself to truly understand the artist and the pieces they have on display .. but, there was one piece that really stood out to me called “Indigenous Evolution” and it is a large scale fence of the evolution of how fences have been made.

IMG_0491

Heard Museum

IMG_0502

Heard Museum

Olive Oil Tasting and OliveSpa Tour at Queen Creek Olive Mill

Make sure and take a tour and tasting at Queen Creek Olive Mill. They actually have an olive farm here on site and harvest them to make olive oil and all kinds of other products. While I was there I walked around their shop to see all the amazing things they make with olive oil like soaps, shaving cream, candles, fun foods, and different types of flavored oils. I also did an olive oil tasting of a variety of flavors. Don’t miss the banana bread!!

IMG_4378

Queen Creek Olive Mill

IMG_4381

Queen Creek Olive Mill

IMG_4384

Queen Creek Olive Mill

IMG_4398

Queen Creek Olive Mill

Take in a sunrise 

But not just any sunrise .. one with coffee and a side of Camelback Mountain!

IMG_0486

Camelback Mountain

 

Pin for your Pinterest!

Phoenix Summer

Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Phoenix and Mesa Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

 

 

Checking In: Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale, AZ

Hotel Valley Ho - Entrance

Hotel Valley Ho

Hotel Valley Ho is one of the most fascinating properties with rich history that I have ever stayed in. The hotel says they are “historic charm meets modern luxury” and they hit the nail on the head with that description.

An urban resort in downtown Scottsdale, this is your new holiday playground – much like it was to the rich and famous back in the day. They loved this property because the paparazzi would not follow them to Scottsdale and they could escape the hustle and bustle of their lives. The property has changed hands a couple times but it is now thriving in fabulous condition and some recent renovations have really taken the hotel up a notch.

The Hotel:

Before additions were made, and there are several buildings, the original hotel looked like a motel from the outside, even the hotel sign is reminiscent of the 50’s. But don’t let that urban vibe fool you – oh no – what’s on the inside is going to blow you away. Beyond the fabulous customer service and the vibrant decor lays a carefully planned hotel, every style room unique, just for your enjoyment.

One of the best amenities of the hotel is that they do not charge a resort fee. I was surprised by this because I cannot think of a hotel I have been to that doesn’t charge this fee. So high five.

You can choose between buildings to suit your needs for a room. The tower offers boutique luxury and the hotel coins those rooms as “classic cool.” Although I would argue every room I went through was fabulous. No matter which room you choose every room comes with a 49″ flat screen HDTV, pillow top bed, luxury bath and amenities, coffee, vanity, laptop sized safe, WiFi, and a mini bar with gourmet snacks and drinks.

The hotel has two pools, the OH pool (which is perfect for lounging around the pool and swimming) and the OHasis Pool (which is made for laps and lounging). Lush trees frame the OH Pool which make you feel like you are somewhere tropical.

Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

OH Pool

 

I did not dine on site but the hotel does offer room service, food and drinks by the pool, and their restaurant ZuZu Cafe that serves during all meals.

IMG_1352

Pool Bar

IMG_1079

Hotel lounging indoors

The Room:

IMG_1018

Tower Suite

During my stay I checked into a Tower Suite. This room was easily one of the most colorful and cozy rooms I have ever stayed in. When I walked into the room, I was immediately greeted with a vibrant yellow kitchen, crushed blue velvet sofa, 2 balconies, and beautiful decor throughout.

Other room features:

  • 900 sq. feet + 150 sq. feet of balcony
  • King size pillow top bed
  • 55″ flat screen HDTV
  • High gloss kitchen cabinets with service for 8
  • 30-inch cooktop and oven by Dacor
  • Sub-Zero refrigerator + freezer
  • Terrazzo tile bathroom with translucent walls
  • Oversized glass shower
  • Luxurious red flower bath amenities
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Modern lighting fixtures and stainless steel hardware throughout
  • Axxis stackable full-size washer and dryer by Bosch
  • Walk-in closet with shelving and drawers
  • and so much more!

One of my favorite features was the washer and dryer – now that may seem strange, but I like to travel carry-on only and was traveling for about 8 days. So I did not have to send laundry out. These are the little (but rather big in size) things that really set some rooms apart from others.

The room was very spacious for one person, but I usually travel solo and don’t mind the extra room. I had plenty of space in the kitchen, a living area separate from the bedroom, a stunning oversize bathroom, and 2 balconies to choose from. I wish I had known people in the area that I could have invited over to enjoy the room.

IMG_1019

Living area

IMG_1022

Living area

IMG_1036

Bathroom

IMG_1043

Wall

IMG_1053

Bedroom

IMG_1051

Balcony

IMG_1046

Living area

IMG_1077

Bedroom

Hotel Tour:

IMG_1347

I was able to get a hotel tour during my stay, and you can too! Just inquire at the front desk. During this tour I learned about the history of the hotel, saw 3 other style rooms, and I was able to go to the roof in which I could see all of Scottsdale and the OH pool from. I Highly recommend this tour – it is about 60-90 minutes in length.

IMG_1392

OH Pool from the room

IMG_1394

Rooftop views

 

I walked through the loft suite in the tower and in the hotel saw a studio and a terrace suite. Every room style is so different yet have similar touches. What is going to stand out is the use of amazing color schemes and patterns – it would be impossible to be sad in these rooms as they just exude happiness.

IMG_1364

Studio

IMG_1370

Terrace Suite

IMG_1359

Studio

IMG_1401

Loft Suite

IMG_1403

Loft Suite

IMG_1407

Loft Suite

 

Overall: loved my stay! I wish I had more time to enjoy the property but my schedule was packed pretty tight. I would definitely love to stay here again with friends or family. It is literally in downtown Scottsdale and easy walking/biking around the city.

Additional Information:

  • Address: 6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
  • Phone: (480) 376-2600
  • Distance from Sky Harbor: about 15 minutes drive
  • Valet parking available
  • No resort fees!!

Hotel Valley Ho

*Disclaimer, I was hosted by the Phoenix Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

9 Experiences To Have In Phoenix, Arizona

The greater Phoenix area in Arizona is one of my favorite areas in the entire world. I visited twice this past year and already I am excited to go back and explore the state. Please adopt me, Arizona. 

During my last two trips I got to experience a lot and wanted to put together a guide of my favorite things to do so you know what I loved. Of course there are tons of things to do in the area and I haven’t done them all (but one day I hope to), here are my current favorites!

Take a hot air balloon ride:

IMG_1285

Ballooning – takeoff

IMG_1177

Early morning glow

There will never be an eloquent way for me to describe the experience of riding in a hot air balloon, but let me just say, it is the most peaceful and gratifying feeling to be gracefully floating in the air above the world. To see the world from a perspective that seems terrifying and ends up being an epic peaceful adventure is one worth doing.

If you are looking for a great company that also does a champagne/sparkling cider toast and feeds you a breakfast afterwards, I highly recommend Hot Air Expeditions. The staff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable and the experience with the balloon was amazing,.

Cruise Scottsdale:

az

Scottsdale, Arizona

The town of Scottsdale to me is quaint, tree lined and has an amazing selection of shops. Whether you are looking for a bakery, art, boutique shopping – they have it.

Take the Fresh Foodie Trail in Mesa:

I love food – so naturally this was one of my favorite things to do. There was three stops on this tour and they were all different and equally delicious!

IMG_1424

PB&J Brisket

The first stop was at Jalapeno Bucks, B&B Citrus Farm. Dianne and her husband (the owners) KNOW their BBQ! This is a must visit place when in the Phoenix area. My favorite dish here was a PB&J Brisket sandwich – and I know what you are thinking “what in the world” TRUST ME – I CANNOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. The brisket is so perfectly tender and melts with the peanut butter and grape jelly. You can thank me later.

Another thing they offer is the citrus grove that dates back to 1915!! There is a shop that you can stop in and try their fruits and they are for sale. I tried 3 different citrus fruits and they were all delicious.

IMG_1444

Queen Creek Olive Mill

The second stop was Queen Creek Olive Mill. They actually have an olive farm here on site and harvest them to make olive oil and all kinds of other products. While I was there I walked around their shop to see all the amazing things they make with olive oil like soaps, shaving cream, candles, fun foods, and different types of flavored oils.

I tried a delicious charcuterie board they on their menu and a vanilla olive oil cupcake! The food was amazing and the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful to show you around.

IMG_1463

Garage-East

The third and final stop was at Garage-East at Agritopia. This was a fun experience! I did some wine tastings along with another cheese board (which had fabulous cheese curds and sausages by the way). The wine was interesting as they make a breakfast wine (which was my favorite), they have bottled wine and there was a wine they had on tap that tasted similar to fruity pebbles cereal.

Check out the street art:

IMG_0581

Phoenix Street art

IMG_0583

Phoenix Street art

IMG_0584

Phoenix Street art

IMG_0585

Phoenix Street art

IMG_0586

Phoenix Street art

IMG_0591

Phoenix Street art

IMG_0600

Phoenix Street art

Phoenix is full of amazing street art throughout the city. It tends to be in clusters but I would recommend having a car for to see a lot of it.

Visit Taliesin West:

IMG_0926

Taliesin West

IMG_0929

Desert around the grounds

IMG_0949

Furniture

Built in the 1930’s by Frank Lloyd Wright and his apprentices, this architectural masterpiece is worth a visit. During the tour of Taliesin West you learn about why he built things a certain way, how you enter the rooms and the feelings you have about them, the furniture he designed, his life, and you also learn it is still a modern day school.

I don’t want to spoil the tour as it only lasts about 90 minutes – but it is definitely worth going to see.

Take in a day at the spa:

IMG_1103

Hotel grounds

IMG_1087

Outdoor relaxation

IMG_1100

Spa waiting room

IMG_1102

Snacks

IMG_1099

Spa pool

I think it is important to wind down and take some peaceful time for yourself when you travel. During my stay in Phoenix I went to Spa Avania at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. First off I want to say the property is absolutely beautiful! Definitely plan to arrive a little early or stay after to enjoy the spa, pools and grounds.

For my treatments I did a 30 minute Himalayan salt room and a 60 minute Swedish massage. I had never done a salt room before and I found it to be very interesting! You sit a in a room with the lights on (naked or with as little amount of clothes on as possible) and you can read, play on their ipads, whatever you want – and during the time yo are in there a salt is being pushed into the room. Your skin feels amazing when you leave and I felt like a new person. The 60 minute massage was a perfect was to complete my spa day at Avania.

Catch a desert sunset:

IMG_1507-2 (2)

Sunset

26169411_10159862023320083_1572869386198144142_n

Sunset

I actually caught 2 amazing sunsets in 4 days .. this is part of the reason I love the area. The desert landscape is my favorite in the world and paired with a sunset is just spectacular.

Visit the Heard Museum:

IMG_0491

This was one of the most fascinating museums I have ever been to. Offering 11 exhibit galleries and home to American Indian Art, the Heard Museum is both inside and outside. They do offer tours (check times) but I prefer to take art in my own way by walking through, reading, and looking at the art to get my own feel for the artist.

I don’t like to overshare content from museums because I think you should visit the museum yourself to truly understand the artist and the pieces they have on display .. but, there was one piece that really stood out to me called “Indigenous Evolution” and it is a large scale fence of the evolution of how fences have been made.

IMG_0502

Take a walking tour of Phoenix:

IMG_0628

Alley art

IMG_0633

2nd largest art piece in Phoenix

IMG_0707.jpg

Speakeasy 

I loved this walking tour of the city – Jill who owns Phoenix Rising Tours is a wealth of knowledge about Phoenix and does such a lovely job explaining the history of the city and how it rose from ashes three times. I don’t want to giveaway anything but some of the cool stuff you will see on the tour is street art, an old speakeasy, learn some fun stuff about Marilyn Monroe, and some other cool stuff – but I don’t want to give it away! So book a tour with Jill – she is amazing.

The tour I did was about the history and last about 2 hours and is about 2 miles in distance – all flat.

These are my top 9 experiences in the Phoenix area! I cannot wait to go back and see more of the area.

Phoenix Arizona Activities

*Disclaimer, I was hosted by the Phoenix Tourism Board – but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

11 Photos To Inspire You To Visit Phoenix

I think I have been pretty vocal about my love for the Phoenix area – if I could move anywhere today, this is exactly where it would be. Something about this area, this state just moves me. I feel home here.

The cities in the area have so much to offer that I could spend a lifetime trying to do it all.. but until that, here are some photos I hope inspire your next trip to Phoenix.

IMG_0581

Street art

IMG_1285

Ballooning

26169411_10159862023320083_1572869386198144142_n

Sunset

26166448_10159862023350083_7841596651269392757_n

Desert vibes

IMG_0804

Braised Beef Shortribs – Hermosa Inn

IMG_1177

Early morning glow

IMG_0758

The Last Drop – Hermosa Inn

IMG_1131

Scallops – Scottsdale

IMG_0502

Heard Museum

18740393_10158817460270083_8248576391684349978_n

Desert landscape

DA3rP2mVwAAl3Ea.jpg large

Scottsdale

Checking In: Mountain Shadows In Paradise Valley Arizona

pizza night (1)

Mountain Shadows was originally built in the 1950’s and just re-opened this year (2017). Offering spectacular views of Camelback Mountain, an upscale vibe, lazy days by the pool, golf, or even a night in at the bar or dining at Hearth ’61 – the hotel is sure to meet all of your expectations and then some.

IMG_0871

 

The Hotel:

From the moment you arrive, you can tell by the outside architecture in its sleek design that it is modern and has a minimalist desert feel. Which is actually pretty perfect for the area.

I love the wide open spaces, cactus spread throughout, the abundance of open areas to hang out and sit down to enjoy a drink or snack, and all the light that comes in through the windows.

IMG_0280

Entrance – Mountain Shadows

IMG_0242

Desert vibes

 

The Hotel:

I genuinely loved the property at Mountain shadows. If you were to look at an aerial shot of the grounds, the hotel sort of makes a square W with a pool in between the one side of rooms and greens and golf in the other.

IMG_0200

View from my room to the right

IMG_0235

Cozy seating outdoors

IMG_0253

Pool

IMG_0251

Pool

There are plenty of areas outside to lounge around the pool in chairs and they have cabana rentals. Just beyond on the pool area is outdoor seating that is plentiful if you have larger groups traveling with you or guests.

IMG_0261

Outdoor seating

I also loved the indoor spaces of the hotel. One of my favorite areas is this crisp white while with minimal touches. There is a desert painting in the background with a vintage cactus and the couch is oh so cozy!

25348819_10159790228670083_4608292574360842426_n

Open in door seating

IMG_0226

Bar seating area

IMG_0234

Bar seating area

The Rooms:

IMG_0204

Immerse Guestroom

IMG_0210

Immerse Guestroom

The hotel has many options to choose from and without seeing any other rooms, I want to say that I LOVED my room and loved the concept design. During my stay I stayed in an Immerse Guestroom. When you walk in you have a vanity to the left and your open concept bathroom to the right. The shower is sort of in the middle of the room in a big glass box but it is done tastefully and is very modern. Beyond the shower is a large room with tasteful touches that are local. Then for the big finish, you have a balcony overlooking the grounds and Camelback Mountain AND on the other side you have a tub that is in the room but shares a window with the balcony overlooking the mountain. Relaxation at its finest.

Some of the amenities in the room included:

  • Unlimited WiFi
  • 55″ Flat Screen TV
  • In room coffee and bottled water
  • Curated minibar snacks
  • Cocktail cart with recipes
  • Vintage postcards
  • Built-in work space
  • Laptop sized safe
  • Plush robe and slippers
  • Earn points through iPrefer
  • ..and so much more
IMG_0215

Shower

IMG_0199

Bathtub with views

IMG_0275 (2)

Sunrise view from my balcony

IMG_0855

Snack Bar

IMG_0858

Scorpion sucker

IMG_0852

Bar cart

Dining:

During my stay I dined for dinner at Hearth ’61 for an evening and I had breakfast on my patio one morning. Spoiler: I LOVE the food.

IMG_0262

Hearth ’61

IMG_0263

Hearth ’61

For breakfast I ordered fresh fruit, coffee, and ricotta pancakes that had bacon and pistachios! It was very delicious and I ate it on my balcony overlooking Camelback Mountain (I was so hungry I did not get a shot).

IMG_0473

Room service – Mountain Shadows

Dinner was another delicious meal! I make it a point to try different food when I travel and to ask for recommendations from the server or chef. In this case, my server recommended the blog orange old fashioned and short rib agnolotti. I will just be upfront and say that I thought both were amazing! I had never tried agnonlotti before and this was new to me. My server explained that they make the egg noodle and then put the ingredients inside. The noodle is a little less than done and a bit stiff but the flavors were sensational.

IMG_0426

Blood orange old fashioned & treat from the Chef

IMG_0428

short rib agnolotti

I also tried the roasted brussels sprouts and thyme-roasted fingerling potatoes! It was definitely delicious and both sides roasted to perfection – I suggest sharing the sides as they were in shareable portions.

IMG_0430

brussels sprouts

IMG_0433

fingerling potatoes

Since I was dining alone and ate way too much, I did not get to try dessert – but I imagine its just as amazing as the rest of the food was.

Other Hotel Features:

  • Fitness center and classes
  • Golf
  • Juice Bar
  • Close to hiking for Camelback Mountain

Overall I loved my stay and wish I could have stayed longer. My love for the Phoenix area is immense. The grounds are just stunning, the customer service was incredible and my stay could not have been more perfect!

Additional Information:

  • Address: 5445 E. LINCOLN DRIVE PARADISE VALLEY, AZ 85253
  • Phone: 855.485.1417
  • Email: info@mountainshadowsresorts.com
  • Hearth ’61 Menu –> here

 

mountain shadows drone

Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Phoenix Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

10 Foodie Spots Not To Miss In Phoenix

I just spent 4 days in the greater Phoenix area exploring new restaurants and every place I ate was scrumptious! From Phoenix, to Scottsdale, to Mesa, and more – this area is simply divine for food. I already cannot wait for my next trip back – THAT GOOD!

Below is a list of places that I genuinely loved and I hope you will too ❤

The Henry

I went to The Henry for brunch and everything was so good!! Now I don’t want to get ahead of myself here … but they may have had the best avocado toast ever. I know you can find this anywhere, and I order it a lot – but it was different – and amazing!

The Henry has a pretty big menu to choose from for brunch and they have a Bloody Mary cart strolling around the dining room floor. I did not get one because I was driving and had tours, but if I had free time I would have.

IMG_0176

Beverly Hills Club

IMG_0183

Smashed Avocado Toast

IMG_0185

Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cake

Hearth 61:

During my stay at Mountain Shadows Resort I dined at Hearth 61 for dinner one evening. The chef uses local ingredients from a few places to create fantastic dishes.

IMG_0426

Blood Orange Old Fashioned & treat from the chef

IMG_0428

Short Rib Agnolotti

IMG_0430

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

IMG_0433

Thyme-roasted Fingerling Potatoes

LON’s:

This was my favorite dining experience in all of Arizona! Located at the Hermosa Inn – everything about this meal was SENSATIONAL! This is a must eat establishment when visiting the Phoenix area.

They do offer indoor and outdoor seating and have fires going.

IMG_0758

The Last Drop

IMG_0798

Hermosa Salad

IMG_0804

Braised Beef Shortribs

IMG_0815

LON’s Signature Cowboy Candy Bar

Pizzeria Bianco:

Several people have recommended this place to me before my trip and they were right – the pizza is amazing!! My favorite is Sonny Boy.

IMG_0610

Greens

IMG_0612

Sonny Boy

IMG_0615

Wiseguy

Mountain Shadows Resort Room Service:

These banana ricotta pancakes have pistachios and bacon on them .. need I say more?

IMG_0473

Bacon please!

Queen Creek Olive Mill:

I loved visiting here – this place is on the Mesa Foodie Trail and offers so much more than food. They make their own olive oil there AND lots of products. I had to resist buying everything.

My favorite item on the antipasto board was their chardonnay herb mascarpone cheese. So delicious!

IMG_1444

Antipasto Board

Jalapeno Jacks:

I have not had all the BBQ in Arizona – but Jalapeno Jacks is going to be hard to beat! I sat down with the owner and tried some of her amazing food and I have to say, my favorite was the brisket sandwich with peanut butter and grape jelly. One of the best things I have ever tasted – and I am sure you are skeptical, as was I – but trust me … amazing!

IMG_1424

PB&J Brisket Sandwich ..

SWB at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale:

The good news: the food with the wine and tequila pairings are amazing .. the bad news: the menu is not set and always changes.

SWB does a “Wine Me, Dine Me” each night and they create different menus. All the food they prepared was done exceptionally well and we ate it all. You may not be able to get these dishes but based on my experience I highly recommend giving this a try. It is basically a chefs table and its intimate.

IMG_1131

Scallops

IMG_1141

Soup

IMG_1153

Veal

IMG_1163

Hand crafted chocolate, raspberry, and coconut dessert

Garage East: 

Located along the Mesa Foodie Trail AND part of Agritopia, Garage East is a micro winery within the community. I did try some of their wines with the charcuterie board and my favorite is their breakfast wine and cheese curds.

That is right – BREAKFAST WINE!

IMG_1463

Garage East

Fat Ox:

I was not even hungry when I showed up for dinner here – but the food was so good I tried everything and ate all of my dinner! That is telling ..

The three of us shared all of the dishes except our entrees. I do think this restaurant is fabulous for its take on Italian food.

IMG_1540

Prosciutto

IMG_1542

Burrata Di Bufala

IMG_1543

Garganelli

IMG_1546

Rigatoni Lamb Verde

IMG_1549

Swordfish

IMG_1550

Scallops

IMG_1553

Salmon

IMG_1557

Lemon Tart

Let me know if you have been to any of these places or if you visit them. I cannot get over how amazing the food was.

foodie phoenix

Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Phoenix Tourism Board but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

 

Checking In: Omni Montelucia Scottsdale Arizona

CHECKING IN

Visiting the Omni in Scottsdale is one of my favorite hotels this year in America. It is a visually pleasing hotel and it certainly helps that the food is fantastic and so is the customer service. I think I spent maybe 2 hours just walking the grounds and taking photos during my 1 night stay. It truly is one of those properties that you just can’t get over how pretty it is. Noted for its Spanish influence – you will feel like you have arrived in Spain during your trip to the desert.

Arriving:

When you first pull into the driveway of the hotel, you notice there are beautiful trees, plants, and gorgeous tiles. For me, when I arrive to a hotel, the design elements are the first impression – and I knew the hotel was going to be gorgeous after seeing the welcome.

IMG_2504

Driveway

IMG_2503

Driveway

IMG_2502

Driveway

IMG_2501

Driveway

The hotel does offer valet – I usually get valet because I find it is easier and they have in and out privileges, which allowed me to come and go as I wanted.

 

IMG_2664

Lobby Check-In Area

The Grounds:

I cannot stress enough how beautiful the grounds and hotel are. Ever since I returned I keep plotting to return. Every tree is planted perfectly where it should be, the pool has an overlook of Camelback Mountain that is stunning, overgrown ivy is everywhere on the walls, the colors are perfection –  I genuinely feel this property was made for those who love design.

18767739_10158807643270083_5238682323639883367_n

Omni Montelucia

IMG_2585

Hotel

IMG_2482

Palms

IMG_2489

Reflections

IMG_2490

Grounds

IMG_2493

Sitting Area

IMG_2495

Pool

IMG_2498

Beautiful Tiles

IMG_2492

Sitting Area

IMG_2528

Ivy

IMG_2582

Hammock Hangs

IMG_2563

Walk-Out Balcony

IMG_2570

Pool

IMG_2587

Hotel

IMG_2567

Hotel Views

IMG_2564

Flowers

IMG_2532

Walk-Out Balcony

IMG_2558

LandScape Views

IMG_2593

Walking the Grounds

IMG_2608

Sunset

18700055_10158807644725083_8588734397424881577_n

Sunset at Omni Montelucia

IMG_2578

Hangout Area

IMG_2577

Sunset

IMG_2486

Grounds

IMG_2456

Entry

IMG_2612

Hangout Area

IMG_2624

Ivy

IMG_2640

Details

IMG_2663

Spa

IMG_2639

Lovely Trees

IMG_2626

Wedding!

The Rooms:

The hotel has 293 rooms available, including 2 Presidential Suites.

I checked into a Poolside room that was on the second floor. The room had a separate bedroom, an expansive bathroom, living room, work area, and a large balcony that was equipped with a table and 4 chairs and 2 loungers overlooking the pool.

IMG_2470

Bedroom

IMG_2471

Living Area

IMG_2472

Balcony

IMG_2473

Balcony

IMG_2480

On the first floor looking down

IMG_2485

Area outside the room

I personally loved the balcony and the view. I can remember sitting out there and just taking in the view for quite awhile.

IMG_2610

Balcony View

The room also comes with 2 TV’s, a minibar, room service menu, a large bath tub, luxury bath products, and the all important air conditioning! It was definitely hot during my visit – and having the ability to change the temperature was a blessing.

Dining:

The hotel has 5 dining options plus room service. When I arrived I had breakfast in Prado and immediately fell in love with the food and the staff, so I knew I would return for dinner and brunch the following day.

I will say the bacon here is delicious. If you know me or follow me on any of my other channels, I talk about bacon a lot. I love bacon and find it delicious. Both my mother and I raved about their bacon our entire trip – so it is definitely worth ordering.

All the food at the hotel was scrumptious. It was above par and I have no complaints.

IMG_2557

Prado

IMG_2440

Prado Indoor

IMG_2448

Prado Outdoor

IMG_2442

Prado

IMG_2439

Breakfast

IMG_2541

Dinner Welcome Bread

IMG_2545

Dinner – Salad

IMG_2548

Dinner

IMG_2551

Dessert

IMG_2455

Sitting Area in Prado

Overall:

I loved my short stay at this hotel. I will forever rave about the details because I found those to be the draw to this property. For me, design is everything. It can really change your experience when you enjoy the visuals around you. No detail was left undone at this property and I genuinely want to come back as quickly as I can. 1 night was just not enough time to take everything in.

Additional Information:

  • Address: 4949 East Lincoln Drive Scottsdale, Arizona85253
  • Phone:
  • 3 Pools – cabanas available
  • 24 hour gym and business center
  • Location is about 15-25 minutes from Phoenix Airport.

 

 

24 Hours in Sedona

24 Hours In (1)

 

Sedona had long been gracing my bucket list for years and the time to visit came on a long holiday weekend but I would only have about 24 hours. I wasn’t sure I could do it in that time frame but I am always up for a challenge. Turns out 24 hours was perfect!

Where To Stay:

I will be up front and tell you I picked my hotel based on its view. I have no shame in telling you that. I stayed at a Kimpton property called Amara, and the views are spectacular.

18739813_10158807643950083_4287974861887905788_n

Amara – Sedona

This view was taken from my balcony and just felt like I was living in a real life postcard. I found the entire property visually appealing, luxurious, detail focused on the area, and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful – sharing insider local tips.

IMG_2797

Lobby area

IMG_2694

The grounds

IMG_2681

Bedroom

IMG_2690

Work station

IMG_2692

Hotel Grounds

IMG_2749

Lobby Area

IMG_2779

Hotel at night

amara-resort-and-spa-pool-75cc019f

Infinity Pool – retrieved from Amara 

18739649_10158807697640083_4866864791993730879_n

Amara

 

Where to eat:

Because time was cut short and because I always like to try the food at the hotel I am staying at, We ended up eating our meals at Amara. The restaurant on property, SaltRock, is incredible. Serving up southwest style food, make sure and try the grilled corn. I know that sounds like a dish you can get anywhere – but I promise, it is different here! I was here 6 weeks ago and I am still talking about how good it was. No two dishes are created equally and this one was exceptional.

IMG_2795

SaltRock In-Door Dining

IMG_2776

Outdoor Dining at SaltRock

IMG_2761

Grilled Corn

IMG_2764

Rabbit Confit Tacos & Carnitas

18740052_10158807643170083_3472613716634117699_n

Margarita at SaltRock

IMG_2790

Buttermilk Waffle

 

I would note – whatever the chef puts in his whipped vanilla cream on the waffle is addicting.

What to do:

IMG_2738

The beautiful thing about Sedona is that there is no shortage of natural beauty! If you want to hike – there are plenty of options, if you want to drive around and marvel at the beauty – it never ends how beautiful the views are.

We spent our day driving around to various spots in the city and walking around taking in all the views.

One place I highly recommend is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The church is built into the rocks and its so incredible how perfect and equally stunning it is.

18814323_10158807643675083_1179955906294803853_n

Chapel of the Holy Cross

IMG_2735

Neighborhood Views

IMG_2727

Views

IMG_2724

Driving Through Neighborhoods

IMG_2716

Rocks

18813344_10158809061890083_3923629253435226315_n

Random Beautiful Door

18814136_10158832407205083_4224409641943239629_n

Dream House

IMG_2738

Neighborhood

IMG_2699

By Chapel of the Holy Cross

IMG_2720

Area of Chapel of the Holy Cross

 

One of the local tips we were given was to go see the overlook up at Airport Mesa. Clouds came in right at sunset so we were not able to see that view, but we went the next morning and its just breathtaking.

Tip: A lot of people go up there and they do charge for parking – there is not really anywhere to walk to get there. Parking is $3.00.

IMG_2801

Views from Airport Mesa

IMG_2814

Views from Airport Mesa

IMG_2817

Views from Airport Mesa

 

Additional Tips for visiting Sedona:

  • Know the weather – during the summer temps are very hot and although it is dry heat, it can still take its toll
  • Cooler months during the winter won’t bring such harsh temperatures
  • Low season is usually during the summer months because it gets so hot – I went at the end of May and although it was sweltering hot, I had an amazing time!!
  • ALWAYS have sunscreen and water on you
  • Book tours in advance – I did not know I wanted to take a tour until I got there and they were sold out (poor planning on my end)
  • Pay for the extra insurance on your rental car – there is loose rocks and you can encounter small falling rocks – better safe than sorry
  • There are hotels for every price range and experience in the city
  • Keep your cameras charged for those million dollar shots – because they are at every turn

eatlivetraveldrink (2)

 

Postcards from Arizona

Over the long weekend I took my mom to Arizona to explore Scottsdale and Sedona. Needless to say, I fell in love. It has been a very long time since I went to a place and felt like “this is home.” I think I have decided that desert is my new favorite landscape. ❤

I will be writing about this trip in the near future – but until then, here are some of my favorite photos.

DA3rP2mVwAAl3Ea.jpg large

Scottsdale

18739754_10158812559460083_4394455806177958225_n

Sunset at Boulders Resort

18699999_10158809061950083_5906679468243948276_n

Boulders Resort

18740592_10158818554535083_6222325950608092875_n

Sedona

18700292_10158809061910083_7556255648214243131_n

Boulders Resort

18740218_10158807642860083_1700716610729309883_n

Ruze – Scottsdale

18767776_10158807644930083_7146731800569323864_n

Omni Montelucia

18814323_10158807643675083_1179955906294803853_n

Sedona

18813699_10158807644615083_5896779514048670420_n

Omni Montelucia

18813373_10158807644855083_4278782178184341064_n

Omni Montelucia

18813344_10158809061890083_3923629253435226315_n

Sedona

18813326_10158807644170083_1020214260574226568_n

Amara – Sedona

18767739_10158807643270083_5238682323639883367_n

Omni Montelucia

18765951_10158817460235083_5093994683451835872_n

Sunset at Boulders Resort

18765754_10158807642440083_6881393052889923889_n

Omni Montelucia

18765710_10158817460230083_5833909920862941873_n

Boulders Resort

18739649_10158807697640083_4866864791993730879_n

Amara – Sedona

18739774_10158809061945083_3882326908830690237_n

Boulders Resort

18739813_10158807643950083_4287974861887905788_n

Amara – Sedona

18740052_10158807643170083_3472613716634117699_n

Amara – Sedona

18740131_10158812559540083_6842921277282369041_n

Sedona

18740366_10158807644425083_2889358620904883538_n

Omni Montelucia

18765671_10158807642500083_2597844638592417691_n

Omni Montelucia

18700175_10158807642620083_3083892112464608271_n

Omni Montelucia

18765682_10158807644145083_2613018879343323792_n

Amara – Sedona

18699853_10158807643530083_5454804087118083427_n

Sedona

18699830_10158807697665083_1357023678636280155_n

Amara – Sedona

18698393_10158807644625083_3806831847098923127_n

Omni Montelucia

18698389_10158807642635083_502567025070078971_n

Ruze – Scottsdale

18700055_10158807644725083_8588734397424881577_n

Sunset at Omni Montelucia