When winter attacks, thoughts naturally turn to destinations where the sun always shines, which makes Scottsdale, Arizona — which claims nearly 300 days of sunshine annually — a popular escape from the freezing temperatures.
Scottsdale began promoting itself to tourists in the 1950s, when the mayor declared it to be “the west’s most western town.” This metropolitan Phoenix community, which now has a population of roughly 250,000, still retains a blend of old west and mid-century modern in many of its buildings, particularly in its hotels and resorts.
At the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, a collection of stylish bungalows that opened in 2016 on an expansive manicured property north of Scottsdale’s downtown, combines Arizona sunshine with a “mid-century meets the west” feel.
Here’s the scoop:
Facilities and Services
The bell staff jumps to greet guests as you pull up to the reception building, ushering you into the spacious open lobby. The reception team casually hangs out around a table, wielding tablets to handle the check-in formalities, rather than working behind the more typical counter, and offers a welcome glass of wine, beer, or soda to ease you toward relaxation.
If you want to go directly into vacation mode, take a short stroll from the lobby to the property’s main swimming area, dubbed “The Turquoise Pool,” where lounge chairs, shaded cabanas, and frosty drinks await.
But before you leave the lobby, take a peek into the gift shop, where you can check out works from a local artists’ collective, Cattle Track Arts. Cattle Track ceramicist Mary Van Dusen crafted much of the tableware that the Andaz’ restaurant uses, and other artists provided works on view throughout the property. Van Dusen’s pottery is on sale along with other artists’ pieces in the shop.
Tip: The hotel offers regular tours of the Cattle Track Arts compound for guests — excursions that arts lovers would find well worth taking.
If you prefer more active relaxation, you can head for the large fitness center where garage door windows look out over a garden and a second pool, which is reserved for clients of the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary.
The spa has four treatment rooms, as well as a “blend bar,” where you can create your own oil blend to use for your massage. After your treatment, you can take the rest of your custom oil home.
The Andaz offers daily yoga or fitness classes for guests that are included in the room rates.
Off the lobby in the reception building, Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, the property’s restaurant, takes its name from a weaving term, a theme that continues into woven wood panels around the space. The restaurant faces the pool and terrace, where you can dine or drink outdoors, and where local musicians perform several nights a week.
Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour, and late evening snacks, Weft & Warp features a southerwestern-inspired menu, where dinnertime highlights include chili-rubbed prawns, crispy cauliflower with romesco sauce, a salad of compressed watermelon and goat cheese, pasta with grilled scallops and chorizo, and steak sauced with mole and chimichurri.
If you’re with a small group, you can reserve the “kitchen table,” a long table inside the glass-walled kitchen, an entertaining way to see the chefs at work.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The Andaz Scottsdale has a total of 185 rooms, spread across the property in blocks of connected bungalows. Although they’re not visibly labeled, the guest rooms are named after noted designers or architects.
The largest of the standard bungalows are the 485-square-foot Saarinen Studios, which take their name from Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, who designed the iconic “womb” chairs, reproductions of which are featured in these rooms.
The Saarinen bungalows have private terraces, some with outdoor showers. Others feature huge bathrooms with showers designed for two.
Other room types include the 420-square-foot, king-bedded Knoll rooms, named for American interior designer Florence Knoll, and the Eames rooms, which range from 330 to 355 square feet and take their name from the mid-century American designers Charles and Ray Eames.
All the guest rooms are equipped with 65-inch wall-mounted TVs, one-cup coffeemakers, and minibars stocked with pre-blended cocktails. Wi-fi works well throughout the property.
A separate block of rooms, known as “The Retreat,” is located adjacent to the spa. A private swimming pool is reserved for guests of The Retreat, who also have complimentary access to the spa pool and facilities. The Retreat rooms themselves don’t differ from the standard bungalows, but they’re packaged with these additional wellness-oriented amenities.
Standard double room rates at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows start at about $250 per night, with peak winter season nightly prices ranging from around $450. The hotel charges a daily resort fee of $39, which covers valet parking. Book your stay directly with the hotel or go through a site like Priceline or Travelocity.
There’s no extra charge for the Arizona sunshine.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Experience Scottsdale, in partnership with Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, hosted my stay for review purposes.