Travel: Scottsdale and Phoenix

September 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

Arizona delivers the perfect getaway

By Marisa Byers; additional reporting by Andrew Veres


Yoga in the DesertIt’s a 2 ½ hour flight from Houston to Phoenix. The short flight takes you to beautiful weather and unique landscapes of the old west.  Plus, all Phoenix and Scottsdale have to offer.

The area has the perfect mix of adventure, nightlife, premium dining, shopping, and meditation.  The Galleria-style fashion district includes Nordstrom, H & M, American Apparel and tons of independent restaurants utilizing locally inspired ingredients. 

Citizen Public House, a local eatery serving classic, tasty comfort food, really satisfies the belly.  The chopped salad is so good and popular it has its own Facebook page!  Crazy! If you’re hip and cool, go upstairs to Citizen R + D; maybe they’ll grant you permission to enter the speakeasy. Patrons must review the protocols before entering the bar; house rules!   Cocktails are incredibly unique. It can take up to 10 minutes to transform the unusual ingredients into tasty beverages.

The House Brasserie evokes a bygone era when hospitality mattered. Chef Matt Carter invites you into this historic old home to explore his menu of reimagined classic world cuisine.  From house made pastas to shellfish cooked on an Argentinian-style grill, dining at the House is an exciting culinary journey. 

Scottsdale is also home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, his winter home and architecture school. Taliesin West is an architectural masterpiece, integrating indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the property.  Wright invented almost all the unique features of this 1937-built property, but never had one thing patented. Track lighting highlights art and décor; you’ll also see stadium seating and solar lighting. In spite of all his innovation, Frank Lloyd Wright died almost penniless owing millions of dollars to the IRS.Taliesin West is a must see when in Scottsdale.

If you love the outdoors, you’ll love it here.  They have over 20 world-class golf courses. You can trek through the desert on four-wheelers or Tomcars (part Jeep, part ATV). Green Zebra Adventures takes you through the Fort McDowell Yavapai Reservation, educating on Arizona’s native fauna, flora and wildlife along the way; keep a lookout for bald eagles! Feeling brave? Coast 500 feet above the ground in a Hot air balloon. Extraordinary views of the desert lead to amazing pictures.  The hour-long voyage ends with traditional gourmet breakfast and awards ceremony; adventurers are given a certificate proving they flew in a hot air balloon. 

Celebrate our world’s diverse musical cultures at the Musical Instrument Museum. With a collection of high quality instruments from every country, it is the first truly global museum of its kind. The museum fosters global understanding through incomparable interactive experiences, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances.  You can see instruments used by Elvis, John Lennon, Taylor Swift and Carlos Santana.

Where to stay

The W Hotel

The W Hotel is located in the heart of Scottsdale’s fashion and arts district, ideal for exploring the city.  The W Hotel is not just a place to STAY; it’s something you EXPERIENCE.  Every detail has been closely scrutinized.  The hotel is gorgeous, enhanced through natural elements like petrified logs from the coast of Indonesia. Fusions of air, earth, fire, and water create serene and inviting nuances. The glass-beveled wall behind the bar leading up to the pool is amazing. They even pump vanilla bourbon essence into the air.

The experience continues with luxurious suites, incredible cuisine, inviting Bliss Spa, rooftop lounge and celebrity sightings. The hotel “talent” is incredibly accommodating and warm, too. Employees are selected after “auditioning” for their “role;” they are talented at putting YOU, the guest, first. 

Arizona Biltmore

The legendary Arizona Biltmore is known as the “Jewel of the Desert.” Built in 1929, the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspiration pleases the pickiest travelers.  Enjoy the full-service spa, 18-hole championship golf course, and four diamond dining at Wright’s at the Biltmore.  Wright’s changes their menu weekly to incorporate the freshest ingredients available into their award winning cuisine. Especially notable is Sunday brunch featuring culinary delights for every taste.

Courtesy photos


The W:


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