85253 Travel Guide
Who doesn't love a speakeasy with its secret entrances, guarded passwords and carefully crafted libations? Now, what about a speakeasy that comes with a spa butler, a private spa pool and couples treatments inspired by the Moroccan deserts and Andalusia region of Southern Spain? Um, YES PLEASE.
The Puerta Privada at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale, Ariz. is combining the speakeasy and spa experiences for loved-up guests who want to escape for little longer than 50 minutes. The Puerta Privada starts at 7:30pm when guests enter a set of Castilian-style doors to the Joya Spa. They are then guided by a spa butler to the Spa Suites which are situated along a terrace and lit up by candles and decorated with Moroccan antiques. These spa suites also come with their own private spa pool.
The total wellness experience includes a one-hour couples massage, a private unique astrology experience overlooking Camelback Mountain; and a custom dinner for two created by Executive Chef Michael Cairns, based on guest preferences. An acoustic guitarist will be playing through the evening.
You know how much we love our cocktails here at HotelChatter. We'll find any reason to celebrate with a cocktail and fortunately for us (but not for our liver), hotels feel the same way. We've slurped down Summer Cocktails and Halloween Cocktails and now we're ready for the main event, Holiday Cocktails. We'll be taking a look at these concoctions all season long. If you have a suggestion, don't hold out on us. (Photos, recipes and prices are helpful too!)
It's understandable that those who live in a "Winter Wonderland" year after year, may want to hightail it to the desert for the holidays to get some sun on their skin and to ditch the layers, even if it's just for a few days. But just because you're celebrating near the pool overlooking the landscape of mountains and cacti doesn't mean you can't indulge in a little festive cocktail.
The Camelback Inn in Scottsdale is serving a Gingersnap Egg Nog Martini ($12) at their R Bar, which also has outdoor seating, a circular fire pit and live music. And in case you drink too much egg nog, room rates start at $189 a night.
If you can't make it to the desert, we've got the recipe for you after the jump.
President Obama might be requesting privacy in Martha's Vineyard during his vacation but for your Labor Day getaway you can hit up the hotel he checked into a few months back, The Intercontinental Montelucia in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The hotel is offering rooms over Labor Day for just $95 a night through September 7. That includes a $25 daily resort credit and an upgrade to a Kasbah Village Poolside Room or Oasis Village Room (if available.)
The deal can only be found on TravelZoo. Guests must use the code TZ8 to book. We went and tested it ourselves and unlike some other low rates we've seen, this one actually worked. Without the code, a signature room was going for $160 a night. The Presidential Suite, where we assume President Obama stayed, was going for $10,000 a night. Hmmm...we'll pass.
Scottsdale Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Edition Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
Soon (but not soon enough) a Ritz-Carlton and an Edition Hotel will grace this land.
Even in this economic downturn, hotel development in Scottsdale, AZ and neighboring Paradise Valley still seems like a hot item. In a development called "The Palmeraie" which is located on land in between both towns, two of Marriott's hotel brands the Ritz-Carlton and Edition will come in with a big bang.
The first hotel to be built on the property is the Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley which was originally supposed to commence construction last summer, but was held up due to a town referendum. Now ground breaking should occur soon, with an opening date of Fall 2010 scheduled. The hotel will have 225 room and 161 residences.
But the exciting part of the development (at least for us) is the construction of one of Marriott & Ian Schrager's first Edition hotels within the same development (on the Scottsdale side.)
Have you ever experienced the popovers at any of Chef Laurent Tourondel's restaurants? If not, please do yourself a favor and try them. The chef behind BLT Steak, BLT Fish, BLT Prime, BLT Burger and BLT Market makes the most life-changingly-delicious, warm, fluffy Gruyere cheese popovers.
We cannot say enough about them and have spent the last several years trying to replicate them at our holiday meals and have failed. Oh, and his steak is pretty magnificent too.
Fortunately, we can give our popover pans a rest now that we have another outpost to feed our BLT pastry and red-meat cravings: BLT Steak has just opened at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, AZ. We got word of the opening of chef Tourondel's largest restaurant (and a pretty cool video showing off the new space) via the Marriott News YouTube Channel. From the vid, it looks like we'll be able to nom-nom on our popovers while taking in an Arizona sunset.
Next up, BLT Steak will be popping over to Florida and bringing its magic to the Betsy Hotel in Miami.
Okay, we've found it, a cocktail bar that fits our wildest dreams: a place where the cocktail is the main course and everything else fits around it. The clever place with this idea is a new bar called edge (no capitals, thumbs down) at the luxury Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Arizona.
If you didn't know, Sanctuary is billed as more of a retreat than a hotel and it aims to offer amenities that cater to the "mind, body, spirit and senses" of its guests. But we guess the retreat must understand that even yogis need to let loose once in a while too.
This is just too much for us! Everyone's favorite over-70 hotelier Bill Marriott has just turned 76 and he commemorated the occasion at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn, a property that's been in the Marriott family for over 40 years and is the place for the Marriott gang's annual Spring Breaks.
On this trip, Bill celebrated his bday with a lemon daffodil cake by chef Laurent Touroundel, (pictured above) who will open a BLT Steak restaurant in the Camelback soon. In fact, the property is undergoing a pretty extensive renovation right now.
But that's not all. Aside from blogging, Bill Marriott has his own Flickr Account. Woot! Go Bill! You can flip through the photos of Bill's bday bash as well as some pictures from the past including what Camelback Inn looked like in the 1960s.
We have to admit, this is very brave of Bill to put himself out there like that and we appreciate that. Maybe when we get to be his age, we just won't care anymore either.
[Photo: Bill Marriott/Marriott Hotels]
According to plenty of hit or miss celebrity dailies, Britney Spears checked into Sanctuary @ Camelback Mountain on New Years Day to recover from the "exhaustion" caused end of 2006 antics that we are all too familiar with.
Sanctuary is luxe spa hotel which accommodates both hotel guests and local resident members. Sometimes these two groups end up fighting like the Hatfield's and the McCoy's (usual arguments: locals think they own the place, those from away act better than the locals--blah, blah, blah). What both groups agree on are that the facials and other spa treatments offered here are amongst the best in the biz.
Oh, and one recent negative review from a tipster that came in over the holidays is sure not to bother Britney:
They only had one private dressing room which I would be using because I am a modest person and don't typically walk around naked in public with strangers.
That was far too easy.
[Photo: Pug Daddies]
· Britney Spears checked into Scottsdale's Sanctuary Spa [Muzica]
· Sanctuary Arizona Hotel Reviews [TripAdvisor]