The Scottsdale Resort & Spa Shines Following $40 Milllion Renovation

For almost 50 years, The Scottsdale Resort & Spa has been welcoming business and leisure travelers to experience the beauty and tranquility of its eponymous Arizona locale. The property opened in 1976. It originally was billed as the country’s first conference resort — an oasis where guests could escape from the distractions of downtown Scottsdale.

As the Valley expanded, the resort maintained its tranquil vibe. Today, it sits within in the upscale community of McCormick Ranch, just minutes from busy Scottsdale Road. It is surrounded by the tour-tested and amateur-approved McCormick Ranch Golf Course. But even it’s only 5 miles from Old Town Scottsdale, its verdant gardens and timeless Southwest style will make you feel as though you’re staying in a private paradise.

Recently, The Scottsdale Resort completed a $40 million renovation — the largest in its history. Renovated spaces include all guest rooms, public space, and spa. In addition, four new dining concepts joined the property. And I had a chance to experience the updated property first-hand.

Southwest meets Colonial meets midcentury in the lobby of The Scottsdale Resort

A Refreshing Update

The first thing guests will notice is the light and airy lobby. Gone are the heavy leather furnishings, oversize table lamps, and ornate iron chandeliers. Now, the traditional Southwest tile work blends with breezy British Colonial and chic midcentury modern elements. Comfy seating arrangements comprise low-profile wood framed chairs and orange chenille sofas. And custom artistic room dividers are crafted from multiple miniature clay Soleri windbells.

During the renovation, the resort’s 266 guest rooms underwent complete upgrades. Rooms range from 380-square-foot standard king and two queen rooms to a 1,375-square-foot king presidential suite. Guests can choose from golf view, pool view, or patio poolside.

Warm southwest colors and patterns decorate a guest suite with a large bed and sectional sofaA closet niche decorated with cactus print wallpaper leads to a spacious bathroom with decorative tile flooring

Sleek clean lines, soothing neutral hues, and lush textures and patterns replaced the chunky dark wood furnishings, iron accents, and earth-tone color palette. Crisp white walls and white linens are complemented by wood floors, organic materials, and Southwest designs in cooling shades of soft blues and tans. The overall look is minimalist yet elegant.

The bathrooms are decorated in shades of white and tan, with wood accents and decorative concrete floor tiles. A closet niche offers a fun pop of personality with a blooming prickly pear cactus wallpaper. Located on the ground floor, patio poolside rooms open to private covered patios that overlook the sparkling pool.

The resort also has 12 villas, which currently are undergoing renovation. Known as the Stillman Villas, these two-story accommodations can accommodate up to 14 guests each and start at $1,300 per night.

Ground floor rooms with covered patios surround the pool at The Scottsdale Resort

A Dining Destination

One of the most anticipated elements of the renovation is the debut of La Fogata. The hotel’s signature restaurant is helmed by executive chef Ken Arneson. It is located just beyond the lobby and sweeping tiled grand staircase. La Fogata, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serves modern Sonoran cuisine with global influences. Large retracting window walls open the dining room to stunning views of the golf course and nearby Camelback Mountain.

After a delicious meal of classic dishes, such as beef tenderloin, Chilean sea bass, or veal chops, it’s time for an after-dinner drink. Head to one of the resort’s new lounges. The Social Boardroom is a casual space where you can play pool, watch the game on the wall-size screen, or simply pull up a seat at the bar and enjoy a cocktail and good company.

A bookshelf on the far wall holds a secret. Find the special book and gain entrance into The Madam. This throwback speakeasy harks back to the Roaring Twenties. Rustic wood paneling, heavy red drapes, and tufted leather sofas set the stage. Idle up to the cow skin-covered bar and order a bourbon under the watchful gaze of a portrait of its namesake. Both the Social Boardroom and The Madam can be rented out for private group events.

Neutral hues and Southwest designs dominate the decor at La Fogata restaurantRustic wood paneling, burgundy leather furnishings and a cow-printed bar are features of The Scottsdale Resort's secret speakeasy

Beyond Rooms

Luna Spa was also included in the renovation. The 3,200-square-foot spa includes nine treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room, and a tranquility room. Outside, spa guests can relax in a soothing Zen meditation garden. This private walled oasis features a bubbling stone fountain and plush loungers. Cold plunge pools also were added during the renovation for those who are brave enough to take a chilly dip. And, for those who need to get in their daily workouts during their travels, the new 3,000-square-foot gym offers cardio and weight machines, Peloton bikes, locker rooms, and showers.

And, of course, the hotel’s legacy as a meeting destination lives on. The 18 meeting venues with 45,000 square feet of indoor floor space received a refreshing update. The hotel also features 40,000 square feet of outdoor areas that are ideal for weddings, al fresco luncheons, or sunset gatherings.

Walled-in spa zen garden with bubbling stone fountain, plush loungers and a crosshatch lawn of grass and stone pavers

Staying at The Scottsdale Resort

Rooms at the The Scottsdale Resort & Spa begin at about $259/night. The AAA Four-Diamond resort of part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. As such, Hilton Honors members receive an additional discount. A $40 nightly resort fee also is added. This includes bicycle rentals, fitness classes, 15% off dinner at La Fogata, and 10% off select spa services. If you’re not a Hilton member, check a site like or Expedia to see if you can get a better rate.

And don’t forget about Fido. The Scottsdale Resort is pet friendly. There is a $125 nonrefundable for pets 75 pounds and under.

If you’re looking for something a little more centrally located, check out the new Caesars Republic in the heart of Scottsdale, the hip midcentury Hotel Valley Ho, or the art-inspired Andaz resort. For peak luxury is more your thing, Arizona is home to five AAA Five-Diamond resorts.

Exterior entrance photo courtesy of The Scottsdale Resort & Spa. All other photos by Rebecca L. Rhoades.

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