Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: What Makes it Special
Few resorts in Arizona can match the beauty and luxury of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Located in North Scottsdale, about 25 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, this resort is consistently recognized as one of the top Scottsdale destinations by the best, well-respected travel organizations.
The Scottsdale Princess has 750 guest rooms including more than 200 suites, situated on more than 65 acres of Sonoran Desert, adjacent to TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course, the golf course used during the Waste Management Phoenix Open each year. While the resort offers guests an upscale experience for conference attendees, business travelers as well as for families, the Scottsdale Princess goes above and beyond in almost every category. Awards abound for the fine restaurants on the property, the Well & Being Spa, the six heated swimming pools, the fitness facilities, championship golf, the kids club, themed family activities and holiday events. In 2016, the resort opened Sunset Beach, the largest pool on the property where guests will find a white sand beach with a zero-depth entry into the heated pool.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is pet-friendly. Resort staffers here are always helpful, but guest favorites are the official resident canines that spend some of their day greeting people in the lobby. The Posh Paws program makes sure that guest pets feel just as special as their humans do while at the resort.
Factoid: Sunset Beach has more than 800 tons of white sand, and it doesn't get hot, even in the summer. No, there's no cooling system under the surface. That's an urban legend; it simply relates to the type of sand used. Not only is the sand white and cool, it is soft. Finally, a reason to get Arizona kids a pail and shovel!
Next Page: Dining at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Dining at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
You won't go hungry at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The three main restaurants at the resort are all recognized as fine dining experiences.
Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak is a contemporary American Steakhouse serving high quality American Kobe and all-natural Angus beef, as well as seafood and other selections. The wine list is exemplary. Some of the dishes here qualify Bourbon Steak to be one of the most expensive restaurants in town, and you won't find many children dining here (but inquire about a Kids Eat Free program for children ages 12 and under). This might be the choice for a quiet, romantic evening enjoying flavorful and unique dishes, or for a dinner with that special client. Bourbon Steak is open for dinner only.
La Hacienda is a bit more casual and warm in its decor, and more likely to attract families and friends. It is casual, but still sophisticated, without being pretentious. Groups celebrating special occasions choose La Hacienda for its fun menu and inviting decor. While the eatery is defined as a Mexican restaurant, this isn't where you'll find your typical tostada and refried beans. The food is modern and fresh, attractively presented. I enjoy spicy food, but never fear if you do not. Chef prepares these dishes with wonderful flavors of the Southwest, without the burn. La Hacienda's Tequila Goddess will help you design a flight from their more than 200 tequila selections. For a bit of drama after your meal, try one of the flaming coffee cocktails! Prices at La Hacienda are very reasonable for an upscale dining experience. Open for dinner only.
Ironwood American Kitchen is the main traditional dining room at the resort. Serving all day long, here is where you can get wood-fired pizza, sandwiches, salads and sandwiches. There is a children's menu here. Dine outside if you'd like a view of the Princess Pool.
Toro Latin Restaurant and Rum Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located at TPC Scottsdale, this casual restaurant specializes in Latin American flavors offering small plates for sharing and featuring a rum bar with more than 150 rums in the collection. The resort will gladly shuttle resort guests to Toro.
Other dining opportunities include the Plaza Bar and various poolside cafes.
Bourbon Steak, La Hacienda and Toro Latin Restaurant are all popular destinations for locals as well as resort guests. If you aren't staying at the resort, Toro is the easiest to access and park because it is right at the golf course, not at the resort itself. That is, of course, if there isn't a big golf tournament taking place....
Tidbit: The resort also offers, for an additional charge, the Fairmont Gold experience for resort guests. Designed especially for business travelers and discerning leisure travelers, it includes access to the private club (southeast part of the property) where you can relax in a tranquil environment and enjoy happy hour canapés and desserts, as well as breakfast the next morning. I found that the food at Fairmont Gold Club was a great substitute for an entire meal! Non-alcoholic beverages are available all day and in the evening an honor bar is offered.
Next Page: Activities at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Activities at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Many people would be happy visiting a resort with luxurious rooms and suites, multiple pools, and award-winning dining establishments. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess takes the resort experience several steps further with the many adventures and experiences available to guests.
Let's talk golf! No other Arizona resort can claim to have access to the course where all the professional male golfers come to play in the first PGA event of the calendar year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Both the Stadium Course and the [slightly easier] Champions Course are public courses. Naturally, you won't have thousands of people cheering for you — or jeering at the results — as you tackle the par-3 16th hole on the Stadium Course. If you are coming to play golf, make sure to check the schedule for times that the courses are closed for overseeding (in the fall) and special events (in the winter). The Golf Concierge can also arrange for tee times at the nearby Grayhawk Golf Club with two more 18-hole courses offering challenging rounds with spectacular views.
Let's talk swimming! With the addition in 2016 of the largest pool at the resort and featuring a sandy beach, Sunset Beach, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has six swimming pools. The Sonoran Splash Pool is where you'll find the twin water slides. The Princess Pool & Bar is what many would consider the main pool, off the Lobby and near the main restaurant. Other pools afford a quieter lounging and swimming spot. If you have toddlers in tow (yes, adults like it, too!) there is a pop-jet fountain at Sunset Beach.
Let's talk spa and fitness! The Well & Being Spa is located adjacent to La Hacienda on the west side of the resort. Yes, of course there are spa and salon regimens, but you'll also be enticed by an array of specialty treatments. Experience the Five Pillars of Wellness: Spa & Beauty; Fitness; Nutrition; Personal Improvement and Healing Therapies. But don't forget to have some fun with sessions like aerial hammock yoga, zumba classes and more. A variety of health conscious and nutritious foods are available from the spa cuisine menu. The design of this award-winning spa is drawn from nature's primary elements — air, water, earth, wood and fire. You'll want to spend an entire day here to take advantage of the open air rooftop adult pool with private cabanas, co–ed grotto waterfall for a natural water massage, and a full array of heating and cooling experiences which include wet steam room; eucalyptus inhalation room; Swedish dry sauna; hot therapeutic whirlpool; cold plunge pool and a Swiss shower. Spa services are offered to guests 18 years of age and older, and no phones or electronic devices are permitted. The Fitness Center here is for spa guests only, but there is a 24-hour Fitness Center for all resort guests near the Princess Pool.
Let's talk kids! Children ages 5 to 12 can participate in the Trailblazers Kids Club with interactive activities, games, crafts and swimming. Each day of the week features a signature theme activity. The resort fee includes up to three children free in Kids Club for a half-day session, extra charge for lunch and full day programs. There is also a Trailblazers Recreation Center off the Princess Pool where families staying at the resort can drop in and play both indoor and outdoor games (check the schedule for days and times).
Let's talk nature! I love the fact that there are so many surprises all over this property. Yes, it can be daunting to walk from one end to the other and back again — it is spread out! I encourage guests to explore, from guided tours around the lagoon and riparian area, to wildlife walks, to fishing derbies, to finding the lovebirds. Have you met Cecil who lives next to La Hacienda?
Let's talk summer! While other resorts hunker down for low summer turnouts, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess doesn't let the triple digit temperatures get in the way of great deals on summer packages, beach parties, dive-in movies, fireworks, sunset and night golf, Aqua Park inflatable water slides, extreme water rides, Techno Glow pool parties, character visits, train rides, wine tastings, cooking demos, and special programs for kids, like Mermaid University and Swashbuckler Academy. While offerings may change from year to year, you can be sure that summer at the Princess won't be boring! If you live in Arizona, I see a summer staycation at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in your future....
Let's talk special events! The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is well-known for its spectacular holiday parties and dining events, most of which are open not only to resort guests, but also to the public (there may be fees for some activities for nonresort guests).
Factoid: The hawks that live at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess are actually working there. Their job is to keep other birds away from the people dining al fresco at the restaurant. You won't even know they are there, and no tips for the hawks are expected!
Next Page: What Could Be Better?
What Could Be Better?
I have not yet found the perfect hotel or resort. I promise, I'll keep looking! While the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is on my "highly recommended" list, you might want to be aware of some items. These may be important to you, and they may not, since not everyone has the same needs when booking a resort stay.
1. Like most local resorts, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has a daily resort fee in addition to your booked rate. Depending on what you do at the resort, it might not seem like it covers much. For example, it includes basic internet, but does not include high speed internet.
2. The rooms do not have a refrigerator in them. You can order one for a fee.
3. This is not a budget resort. Rates here and prices for golf, adventures and experiences can be hefty. Make sure you check out the special golf, spa, holiday and summer packages.
4. If you don't like to walk, you might not be happy here. The grounds here are expansive. When arranging for your room, I would take a quick look at the map and decide what your preferred location might be. Want to be near Sunset Beach? Then the Fairmont Gold rooms might not be the best choice. Spending a good deal of time at the The Well & Being Spa? Sunset Beach or the Casitas might work best for you. Got kids? The east side of the property close to the Sonoran Splash pool or the Trailblazers Family Adventure Center might work best. Keep in mind that no matter where your room is, at some point you'll want to get to the opposite side of the resort for swimming, dining or meetings. If walking is difficult, call and the resort will send a cart to transport you to your destination.
5. During special holiday events when the public is invited, you can expect parking rates to be very high. That includes self parking. If you are a local coming to the resort for a special event, check to see if there is a way to park for free. For example, sometimes if you dine in one of the restaurants before or after the event, they will waive the self-parking charge or offer discounted valet charges.
6. Expect security measures to be enforced. In the summer, you might have to actually show your room key card to be admitted to the pools. That means that even if you are a resort guest, you can't bring your sister who lives in Scottsdale to the pool with you if she isn't a resort guest. Stringent? Yes. The resort is so popular that limiting pool use to resort guests is the policy. Of course, people who are not resort guests may dine in the restaurants and Plaza Bar, shop, and enjoy the resort grounds.
Next Page: Address, Map, Contact and What's Nearby
Address, Map, Contact and What's Nearby
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is about 17 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and about three miles from the Scottsdale Airport.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Address:
7575 E. Princess Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Directions to Fairmont Scottsdale Princess:
From the south, take the Loop 101 Pima Freeway to Pima Road / Princess Drive, Exit 36. Drive west (left) on Princess Drive (you will cross over Hayden) and follow road to resort entrance.
From the north and west, take the Loop 101 Pima Freeway to Exit 34, Scottsdale Road. Turn south (right) on Scottsdale Road to Princess Blvd. East (left) on Princess Blvd. to Princess Drive.
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Toro Latin Restaurant and Rum Bar
Toro Latin Restaurant and Rum Bar at TPC Scottsdale presents a menu that fuses Asian with Latin flavors, and those are two of my favorite kinds of food! It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here you can see my lunch, Chifa-Style Fried Rice with chorizo, chicken, shrimp, and egg along with a sushi selection, and one of the signature rum cocktails.
Yes, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is spread out, but take some time to discover all the lovely areas to stop, relax and enjoy your surroundings.
Sunset Beach at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
When you're at the beach, nothing tastes quite as refreshing as a piña colada!
Special Programs for Kids
These girls are receiving introductory remarks from their instructor at Mermaid University. Soon they will be all "finned up" and learning how to maneuver in the water in their fish tails. Notice, in the background, a member of the Swashbuckler Academy team. Summer programs at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess may change from year to year.
Check the schedule to see when you can meet with the resident hawks at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. They aren't just for show — they actually work here!
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