Last updated June 23, 2022
Some names just fit. Take the Phoenician Scottsdale, a luxurious spa resort in Arizona.
Like the mythical legend of the phoenix, you are a different, transformed person after you leave this magical place. And also like the legendary phoenix, this is the kind of place to return to, again and again, whenever you want to start anew.
Extra relevant as we begin to rise out of the challenging ashes of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Phoenician is the kind of place to visit every year with different types of groups: multigenerational, friends, romantic partners, even for special holidays, like Easter.
It’s ideal for “skip-gen” trips (short for “skipped generation” in reference to grandparents traveling with their grandkids, a growing trend that is also called gramping). Truly, the Phoenician is designed for everybody and any kind of travel tradition.
I decided to blend a few of those types of travel on my most recent visit to the Phoenician. I booked a romantic trip and merged it with a mini-girl trip.
I traveled with my husband (a much-needed getaway after this past year) in honor of our 32nd first date, but while he was climbing Camelback Mountain (something I already did a few years ago), I went to the spa with my friend Cacinda. Beloved Camelback is less than four miles away.
Arizona was a strategic choice in celebrating my first date with my husband more than three decades ago. You see, part of the movie “Raising Arizona” was filmed in this area—and that’s the movie we went to see together when we first met. It was the perfect full circle.
But even without the “Raising Arizona” romantic ties, the Phoenician is a lovers’ paradise. We indulged at many of the on-site restaurants boasting fantastic food and ambiance like Mowry & Cotton, which we found perfect each day for lunch.
Our anniversary was a sunset celebration on the balcony of the J & G Steakhouse as the sunset around us. While we are vegans, we still found tons of outstanding options and delicious sides here.
The service was impeccable and made us feel like royalty.
The resort is built on 250 beautiful acres of open space in the Sonoran Desert, yet it’s just a five-minute drive to Old Town and the Scottsdale Fashion Square, so you get the best of both worlds: the feeling of peaceful seclusion in nature and the convenience of being close to the action.
During our stay, it was a holiday weekend, and we saw many multiple-generation families on vacation. It was clear it’s a tradition for many to gather at the Phoenician with a group, yet it also felt intimate and personal for my husband and me.
After dining and exploring the region, we retreated to our contemporary Southwest-style guest room, with a comfortable pillow-top bed and imported Frette Italian sheets, a private balcony with panoramic views, a Roman oval bathtub, Italian marble accents in the bathroom and designer toiletries.
The rooms are lined with soft wool Berber carpet and are surprisingly spacious; the average room is 600 square feet.
The Phoenician, a AAA Five Diamond luxury resort, recently completed a massive, three-year-plus renovation—the most extensive renovation at the Phoenician since it opened in October 1988.
Here, you can enjoy swinging on the golf course or swimming in the nine different outdoor pools. Kids especially enjoy the waterslide. And while the Phoenician is close to town, there’s no need to leave the premises if you don’t want to. It has eight different restaurants on site.
If you need to squeeze in work (or are craving a remote “workcation”), the Phoenician is set up for whatever you need, with fast wifi, a business center and even a conference center.
The Phoenician Spa
A visit to the Phoenician Spa is an all-day event; you don’t just pop in for a quick massage.
It’s a special occasion, in and of itself, with hydrotherapy, a rooftop pool, yoga classes, a dry bar to get your hair styled, an Aroma Design Bar, a special couple’s suite, a full-service nail salon, fitness center, personal training, a movement studio and more.
It’s no surprise that the spa received a Forbes Five Star Award in 2021, its second consecutive honor.
The Phoenician Spa spans three stories, so make sure you set aside plenty of time to experience everything right.
Start your visit with hydrotherapy, where you alternate between hot and cold water treatments to stimulate your circulation and improve your immune system, reduce inflammation and reduce pain.
Start with the dry sauna, then move to the wet steam to flush out toxins. Then hop in a cold shower to boost circulation. Next, head to the hot tub for relaxation. Follow it up with a cool shower, and then head to the relaxation room for healthy, infused water or tea.
After your treatment, take your time to return to the “real world” in the lounge or at the rooftop pool. The rooftop pool, with views of Camelback Mountain, is a must-do at the Phoenician. Rent a private cabana or sit by the fireplace and order lunch from the healthy menu.
Now that even flying domestic in coach seems so exotic, it is time to return to travel. If you are ready to find that place that just does it for you, a place you won’t ever want to leave, head south to Scottsdale and renew yourself at the Phoenician.