Spa Vacation Salvation at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Luxurious spas are de rigueur at any high end resort. However, the Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort takes the integrative spa and fitness experience to an impressive level. Arizona's stark beauty provides a stunning backdrop for this revered retreat—a behemoth 65-acre sanctuary neighboring the Sonoran Desert with the McDowell Mountains in view beyond.

The initial approach to this property, which is Arizona's longest running AAA Five Diamond hotel—24 years to date, is like happening upon a desert oasis replete with picturesque palm trees, lush landscaping and cascading fountain beckoning guests into the resort's front entrance.

Mere milliseconds after I drove into the covered valet I was greeted by the property's resident "cowboy," offering me and my guests cold water and a warm welcome. No surprise given the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort is well-known for its award-winning service.

On this aspect of the experience Pam Gilbert, the property's Director of Sales and Marketing, underscores an impressive point that most of Guest Services/Bell Stand team has been at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for at least 10 years, if not 20 or more and prides themselves on offering personalized service—often getting to know returning guests by name. She cites that the resort's Director of Guest Services, Thomas Williams, was named "Outstanding Manager of the Year" by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association and went on to win the national award from the American Hotel & Lodging Association in Washington, D.C.

And so my vacation began. After regarding the resort's gorgeous Spanish architecture from the outside, now a neutral beige versus the princess pink exterior of yore, it was time to settle in to my accommodations.

There are ten different types of room options at this property that start with the simple yet meticulously detailed 525-square foot Fairmont room appropriately decorated in Southwestern décor. On the high end, the property boasts a 2,100-square foot Presidential suite complete with a living/parlor area that seats six, two bathrooms, a 600-square foot bedroom and a covered patio among other inducements.

Also available are stand-alone Casita Suites, 850-square foot versions of beautifully appointed Spanish Colonial estates. The separate living and sleeping areas are a boon for families or those on a working vacation, and the gas fireplace sets a more romantic mood for couples in the winter months. The wet bar with Nespresso machine and the 42" LG flat screen television are crowd pleasers for all. The Casita area of the resort features its own private pool area with Jacuzzi, which makes staying in these detached dwellings perfect for those who truly want to get away from it all.

But, no matter where on the property guests stay, beauty abounds. According to Gilbert, the resort grounds are one of the hallmarks that set this property apart. Sonoran Desert cactus blends with lily pad lagoons, a fragrance garden and a "living wall" of flowers.

With the desert flora comes local fauna, the most popular of which is Cecil—a desert tortoise with his own habitat where guests can feed, touch and otherwise ogle this gentle creature. Bunnies, blue heron, ducks, fish and water turtles are other on-site inhabitants that guests will likely see during their visit. For youngsters, the resort offers a Trailblazers Kids Club where children will meet the mascot, a bearded dragon named Skittles, plus see spiders and snakes kept in aquariums.

With bags unpacked and having soaked in my surroundings, it was time to focus on what I really wanted to do at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: hit the spa! 

Well & Being is an expansive on-site destination spa that bills itself as one that "embraces a foundation of whole health, inspiring guests to be healthy, balanced and a more energetic version of themselves," which is achieved by delivering a "personal and sustainable wellness program to guests who wish to incorporate optimal health and lifestyle choices with guidance before, during and long after they leave the resort setting." I aimed to see for myself how these laudable yet lofty goals would be achieved.

It turns out that Well & Being fuses health, wellness, nutrition, integrative medicine, cutting edge fitness classes, advanced skincare and personal care to offer an exceedingly broad range of innovative spa experiences that suit any guest's needs or wants.

For those seeking to get, or stay, in shape while in Scottsdale, one great option is the individualized "Fitness Prescription" program. It starts with a consultation with the resort's resident exercise physiologist who performs a fitness assessment and risk analysis and discusses fitness goals, lifestyle and exercise preferences.

The assessment includes three diagnostics: the BodPod, the Body Gem and the Fit Mate Pro. Quite notably, the BodPod measures body composition of fat versus lean muscle tissue while the Body Gem measures resting metabolic rate. The Fit Mate Pro is also extremely comprehensive, measuring maximum oxygen uptake, anaerobic uptake, anaerobic threshold predictions, individual training zones, strength and stamina. Wellness Coaching and Nutrition Consultation services are also available.

When you're ready to sweat, there are any number of compelling options: Aerial Hammock Yoga, Pilates, spinning, body sculpting, Zumba, TRX and CrossFit to name a few. There is also themed programming by SICFIT and Krank Fusion. Of course, there is a fully stocked fitness center with all of the free weights, Nautilus and cardio equipment one would need to achieve health goals, whether that be to build strength and stamina or slim down. Staff fitness pros are readily available for group or one-on-one instruction.

After the fitness and nutrition endeavors, it's a must to indulge in some relaxing spa therapy. The facilities and services offered at Well & Being are truly world class, comprehensive and rife with creature comforts that include an open air rooftop adult pool with private cabanas, co-ed grotto waterfall for the ultimate natural massage, Health Spa Cuisine and beverage services available inside the garden atrium or poolside, a wet steam room, eucalyptus inhalation room, Swedish dry sauna, hot therapeutic whirlpool, cold plunge pool and a Swiss shower.

In addition to the full range of traditional spa services you would expect, such as massage, salon services, skin care, and body wraps, the resort also offers acupuncture and acupressure.

If outdoor activity is more your thing, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort also boasts a famed TPC Scottsdale Stadium Golf Course, which is home to the Annual PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open (closed for renovations until November 2014), and the Champions Course. Or, the concierge can arrange any kind of excursion to get your adrenaline flowing, including bike riding, rock climbing, hiking and more.

Of course, no spa-driven sabbatical is complete without some nutritious and delicious eats. Luckily, the resort features a Healthy Cuisine menu that serves up fitness-driven fare both day and night.

Offerings include made-to-order smoothies, breakfast items like house-made granola, and lunch and dinner dishes like Grilled Shrimp & Edamame Succotash, Black Bean & Quinoa Burger, and Poached Atlantic Salmon. Healthy eating options are offered at the spa café, at any of the property's pools, or for in-room dining so there's no excuse not to stay the dietary course. When you are ready to indulge a bit, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort does offer some incredible dining options. 

Gilbert notes, "Bourbon Steak, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant, has a cellar with over 3,000 bottles, a sommelier and a Bar Commander who teaches cocktail classes twice a month. La Hacienda, named #1 Best Mexican Food by Arizona Business Magazine for three consecutive years, has a 'Tequila Goddess' who is one of few in the country who traveled to Mexico to be certified as a tequila expert by the Tequila Regulatory Council. La Hacienda also has more than 240 tequilas, including their own private barrels from Herradura."

Also according to Gilbert, coming this fall the property is introducing and operating a new restaurant concept in conjunction with celebrity chef Richard Sandoval. The restaurant, which will be named Toro, will reside at the TPC Scottsdale, and its launch will coincide with the re-opening.

Having sweat it out on the fitness front, gratified myself on a range of healthy grub, and basked in more than my fair share of spa services, it was time to bid the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort adieu. Sad though that was, I left the property invigorated and ready to get back to the grind of everyday life. With my proverbial batteries recharged, I waved goodbye to that ever-present Guest Services cowboy and rode off into the Scottsdale sunset.

~~~

"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and service. Her reviews can be  seen here:
www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Republished by permission of and provided to Haute-Lifestyle.com by author.

 

Haute Tease

  • Nine Foreign Language Films Advance In Oscar® Race

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA —Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 86th Academy Awards®. Seventy-six films had originally been considered in the category.

     
  • Celebrity Interviews & Review: The Signal – A Trip Worth Taking

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Signal," from Focus Features and Low Spark Films, brings to the screen an unassuming sci-fi fantasy flick with fresh, genuine, dialogue and sharp visuals that twists into a layered, hidden, unusual and unexpected fast action thrill ride.

     
  • Academy Names Edgar Aguirre Director, Talent Development and Inclusion

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the appointment of Edgar Aguirre as its Director, Talent Development and Inclusion. Aguirre will become an integral member of the Academy's education and outreach team.  

  • Mom Charged in Newborn’s Homicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amanda Catherine Hein, 26, recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the bathroom of a local Bethlehem, Pennsylvania sports bar and promptly smothered him to death and stuffed his remains in the toilet tank.

     
  • Nicholas Kemp Joins Kino Lorber As Director of Theatrical Marketing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kino Lorber announced that Nicholas Kemp is joining the company as Director of Theatrical Marketing, after a five-year run as the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Digital Marketing Manager, and will report to the company's Senior VP Theatrical/Nontheatrical Distribution & Acquisitions Wendy Lidell.

Crime

  • UPDATE: Fourth Victim, Cousin of Shooter, in Washington State School Shooting Dies;Brings Total to Five

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The fourth student victim of the deadly shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State, has claimed its fifth victim as parents and survivors are returning to school while trying to cope with the senseless tragedy.

     
  • Theater Shooter, James Holmes, Formally Sentenced

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Theater Shooter, James Holmes who walked into the Aurora Cinemark 16, in full tactical gear, tossed a smoke bomb designed to get his targets to stand, and systematically slaughtered 12 moviegoers and wounded another 70.

     
  • UPDATED: Colorado Teen Has Died From Injuries Sustained in School Shooting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Claire Davis, 17, the Arapahoe teen shot at point blank range by a lone gunman who entered the Colorado suburb high school prepared for mass casualty, has died from injuries sustained in school shooting.

     
  • Double Homicide Suspect Caught on Camera; Manhunt Widens

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The main suspect in the murders of Liberty German and Abigail Williams, the two Indiana teens killed while hiking on Delphi Historic Trail, has been identified and his image was captured on park surveillance.

     
  • Misclassification of Homicide Case Aids Murderer in Escaping Justice; FBI Offers Reward

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brittanee Drexel, of Rochester, New York, was last seen in 2009 leaving a beachfront hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to hotel surveillance cameras, the FBI said in a recently released statement and simply vanished.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • Interstellar Soundtrack with Music By Hans Zimmer Out In Time For The Holidays

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (October 28, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA) WaterTower Music today proudly announces the November 18 release of Interstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, with music by renowned composer Hans Zimmer, whose career has earned him Grammy, Golden Globe, Classical Brit, Academy, Tony, and American Music Awards.

     
  • HL Artist Interview: Joshua Haupt, the Steve Jobs of Marijuana, Talks Epilepsy, The Cost of Weed Knowledge and The Burning Debate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    While the debate rages over medicinal marijuana in conservative states, one young man in Colorado is moving forward, with a mission. Undeterred by the challenges Joshua Haupt has partnered with several major consumer goods giants to introduce cannabis as an alternative treatment.   

     
  • LA Lakers Great Tommy Hawkins Pens Reflections from the Soul

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Tommy Hawkins, former Los Angeles Lakers legend who helped shape the dynasty of today, recently launched his first ever narrative book of poetry.

     
  • Ten Top Gourmet Food Shops and Eating Establishments in the Latin Quarter Revealed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stepping into a Paris restaurant can be a formidable experience for any traveler. Not only do you have to make your wishes understood by a waiter who may or may not speak your language, but you must quickly learn how to adapt to local dining customs as well.

     
  • After Snowden - Privacy, Secrecy and Security in the Information Age Review – Opens The Floor to Debate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In June 2013, Edward Snowden leaked thousands of documents he stole from the National Security Agency (NSA), from several laptop computers, exposing flaws and violations of the Fourth Amendment routinely practiced in the Domestic Surveillance program.