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Hotel review: Four Seasons Scottsdale, Arizona (USA)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Today (May 21, 2014): Review of the Four Seasons Scottsdale, jewel of the Sonoran desert (Arizona, USA).

Nestled into the foothills of Pinnacle Peak – amid towering, multi-armed saguaro cacti – the adobe casitas of Four Seasons at Troon North in Scottsdale, Arizona, embody the Sonoran desert’s magic through thoughtful design and the outstanding talent of regional artists and craftspeople. Here, guests are treated to luxurious accommodations under a low-slung desert sky, painted in shades that match the local flora. Rooms are housed in one of 25 casitas, in keeping with the resort’s piquant South-Western flavor. Immersed in desert scenery, the resort is located close to downtown Scottsdale, an area rich with Native American art and an equally impressive dining and nightlife scene.

In this review (more info below the slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • The setting of the resort is quiet spectacular, as it is surrounded by rocky hills that are covered by cacti. It is a little out-of-the-way from shops and restaurants (15 minutes by car), but I did experience that as a big plus as I was searching for some rest, relaxation and get away from it all.
  • The staff is very kind and extremely helpful. They are not as discrete as you would experience at their sister resorts in Asia or the Indian Ocean (this is America after all), but service is up to the Four Seasons standard: people will literary jump for you to meet all your demands.
  • The resort encompasses 210 generously sized guest rooms, including 22 luxury suites, in 25 mostly one- or two-storey adobe casitas. Patio doors open to a private, landscaped terrace or balcony and magnificent desert views. Capturing the vibrant tones of the desert in bloom and the purples, pinks and oranges of a Sonoran sunset, accommodation interiors feature custom furnishings – many sourced from Mexican artisans – and handmade art by Huichol Indians. Bathrooms are equally spacious and come with excellent bathroom amenities.
  • In addition to a large hot tub, the resort has three swimming pools that are located quite close one to another: one small and shallow pool for the little ones, a larger pool that is accessible to adults only, and lagoon-shaped pool that caters to families. There are enough sun loungers for all guests, but if you are worried, you can always pick you chair, have it set up and hold for up to an hour. At all pools, little complimentary snacks (ice creams, smoothies, etc ….) are regularly served.
  • Food (dinner) at the signature restaurant Talevera is excellent and of high quality.
  • The resort grounds are very well taken care of and the landscaping is brilliant.
  • As for must-dos, put Troon North Golf Club at the top of your list. Located just next door, the club encompasses two championship courses, both of which limit the number of players at any given time.
  • It is the best resort in the greater Phoenix area (and I have stayed at most of them). The Four Seasons’ only real competitors are the (Canyon Suites at the) Phoenician, the Fairmont, the W Scottsdale, and Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, but the Four Seasons beats them all in terms of scenery, resort landscape, service and room layout.
  • A nice and popular hiking trail (Pinneacle Peak) starts on the resort grounds.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

The resort is excellent although not perfect, and there are some things to you need to beware of when considering a stay here:

  • It is not the most impressive nor most luxurious Four Seasons hotel I’ve stayed at as it lacks a little of the WOW factor that I experienced at most of its Four Seasons sister properties. Having said that, the room rates are much lower as compared to more luxurious Four Seasons resorts.
  • At the adults-only and family pools, the sun loungers are placed very close one to another. In addition, sun loungers are quite short (especially for tall people).
  • The large family pool is a magnet for playing children and that may ruin the experience for those looking for tranquility (especially when the hotel is at full occupancy). You cannot escape the sound of screaming children at the adults-only pool, as the pools are located too close to each other. Unfortunately, the resort lacks a tranquil, adults-only corner where – if wanted – you can truly relax and take in the peace of the environment.
  • Paths are not well enlightened well at night, hence making one feel a little uncomfortable with all those creepy creatures out there (rattle snakes, tarantulas, scorpions). The resort does offer a very efficient buggy service though.
  • Breakfast at the American restaurant Proof is a little inconsistent. They have a breakfast buffet on weekends and I would recommend going for that at least one day. But during the week, they only serve a la carte breakfast which can quickly add up to the costs.
  • Spa treatments are excellent, but the spa decor is a little underwhelming.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 8/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Rooms: 7/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Service: 8/10
  • Overall experience: good: 7,8/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury resort like Four Seasons Scottsdale (and receive many free perks).
  • Save money: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for two, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
  • Request a room not too far from the main pool and restaurant (the resort has two clusters of rooms, one near the pool, and one a short walk away).
  • If you are unlucky and screaming children are everywhere in the pool, you can always move to the pool at the Four Seasons Residences, where the atmosphere is more quiet and relaxing.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Phoenix is November through April, when you’ll sees blue skies with highs in the upper 60s, 70s and low 80s. But whenever you visit, keep in mind this desert city’s seasons are harder to determine. The leaves don’t change colors in fall, nor will flowers blossom in the spring. You will notice differences in temperature, however, particularly in the toasty summers when highs average above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can bear this dry, formidable heat, you’ll be warmly greeted by incredible deals at the best resorts.

But even a winter gateway will not guarantee 100% sunshine from morning till evening, I experienced a very rare and pretty nasty storm in March, as you can see in my Youtube clip:


HOW TO GET THERE

Four Seasons Scottsdale is located a 45 minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The latter is served by most North American (USA, Canada, Mexico) full-service and low-cost airlines and has an overseas connection with British Airways (click here for a direct link to the airline websites).


RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

MAIN POOL

MAIN POOL

MAIN POOL

MAIN POOL

MAIN POOL

MAIN POOL

MAIN POOL

MAIN POOL

CHILDREN'S POOL

CHILDREN’S POOL

CHILDREN'S POOL

CHILDREN’S POOL

ADULTS ONLY POOL (WITH MAIN POOL IN BACKGROUND)

ADULTS ONLY POOL (WITH MAIN POOL IN BACKGROUND)

ADULTS ONLY POOL

ADULTS ONLY POOL

HOT TUB

HOT TUB

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

LOBBY AT NIGHT

LOBBY AT NIGHT

PROOF RESTAURANT

PROOF RESTAURANT

PROOF RESTAURANT TERRACE AT NIGHT

PROOF RESTAURANT TERRACE AT NIGHT

TALEVERA RESTAURANT

TALEVERA RESTAURANT

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

RESORT LANDSCAPE

SUNSET

SUNSET

SUNSET

SUNSET

DELUXE CASITA ROOM

DELUXE CASITA ROOM

DELUXE CASITA ROOM

DELUXE CASITA ROOM

DELUXE CASITA ROOM

DELUXE CASITA ROOM

BATHROOM AMENITIES

BATHROOM AMENITIES

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

TERRACE OF DELUXE CASITA ROOM

TERRACE OF DELUXE CASITA ROOM

DELUXE CASITA ROOM TERRACE

DELUXE CASITA ROOM TERRACE

DELUXE CASITA ROOM TERRACE

DELUXE CASITA ROOM TERRACE

BREAKFAST BUFFET

BREAKFAST BUFFET

HEALTHY BREAKFAST

HEALTHY BREAKFAST

PROOF BREAKFAST MENU

PROOF BREAKFAST MENU

PROOF BREAKFAST MENU

PROOF BREAKFAST MENU

TALEVERA RESTAURANT DINNER MENU

TALEVERA RESTAURANT DINNER MENU


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1 Comment on Hotel review: Four Seasons Scottsdale, Arizona (USA)

  1. Robert Williams // August 29, 2014 at 6:22 pm // Reply

    Your statement: “nor will flowers blossom in the spring” is inaccurate. There is extensive flowering on almost all desert plants in April, with the Saguaro Cactus blossoms in April being the most famous example.

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