Sunday 7 August 2011

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The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

So our Disneyland days are behind us now.  We've left the "Happiest Place on Earth", but after a six hour drive across the desert, we're now in the hottest place on earth, or at least it felt like it last night.  Scottsdale, Arizona is our new home away from home for the next five nights, and we've been fortunate enough to find a good deal at one of the premier hotels in the city.  Actually it's not hard to come up with good deals in Arizona during the summer, as most sane people don't come here then, but I was very happy with the rate that was available at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

We got a late start from Anaheim, so it was well after dark by the time we pulled in to the Fairmont.  After checking in we were told that the bellman would show us to our room, which involved the 5 of us piling into a golf cart and taking a quick ride in the darkness along brick pathways and through some patios until we got to our casita.  While it was nice to have been chauffeured right to the door of our room, the journey through the darkness had left me with no hope of finding my way anywhere in the resort before daylight the next day.  Fortunately the number one item on my to do list was get some sleep, so any games of Blind Man's Bluff would have to wait for another night. 

Come morning I was ready to assess the situation properly.  The room is very nice, with a separate bedroom and living room.  For once Lori and I are taking the bedroom, and the kids are all sleeping in the living room.  Each room has it's own TV, and, of great importance to us, we get the Disney channel.  A dining room table with seating for four has been commandeered and made into our computer station.  The tub and the shower are both beautiful and large, and there is a great little dressing room off the bathroom which is perfect for storing all the luggage from a 30+ day trip.  The view from our suite is of the TPC championship golf course, and there are tons of rabbits playing all over outside our windows.  I thought back to last night and wondered just how many of them we had sent scrambling with our high speed, turbulent golf cart ride through the darkness.  The only thing missing was a welcome plate of goodies which I had assumed was standard for Fairmont as every other one we had stayed in had one in our room upon arrival.  It turns out that this isn't a written policy, but only a courtesy extended to us by the other hotels, so no marks off for Fairmont Scottsdale, but add a couple of points to the Fairmont Pacific Rim and the Fairmont Whistler.

Our main reason for coming to Scottsdale is to visit some friends of ours who live in the area.  They came out to join us at the resort tonight, and after ordering in some pizza for the kids, the four adults headed out to "La Hacienda", the Mexican restaurant of the resort.  The extent of my Mexican food knowledge begins and ends with Taco Bell, so you should have seen my face when we sat down at this "authentic" Mexican restaurant and the menu was largely in Spanish.  Luckily our friends are well versed in the art of Mexican cuisine, and in between them and a waiter who recommended something fantastic (that I'm still not sure what it was) we had an amazing meal.  I'll give a very high recommendation to La Hacienda, although coming from me you can feel free to take it with a grain of salt (Salt! Tequila! Margarita! Hmm...maybe I do still remember some Spanish.)

After dinner we took the kids to the pool where they were showing Camp Rock 2.  We've been at a few of these "Dive-in" movie nights this summer, but this was far and away the best set up.  The screen was clear and the sound system was the perfect volume where everybody could hear the movie but nobody could hear me singing along with the Jonas brothers.  After the movie we went down to the lagoon where they have fireworks every Saturday night.  I was really impressed with the display, possibly because I wasn't really expecting much.  The front desk had made it sound like it would be a couple of bottle rockets when I asked about the fireworks, but it was a solid 5 or 6 minutes of big, bright explosions and being able to watch with no crowds and perfect sight lines made for a great end to the evening.

I'll say that so far, I'm impressed with the Fairmont Scottsdale.  The room isn't perfect, but it's fairly minor details that are off, and the service, as with all the other Fairmonts, has been exemplary.  The resort is beautiful, and although we've found four pools so far, apparently there is still another one hiding somewhere that boasts two giant waterslides.  I spent some time outside today learning the pathways, and I'm pleased to report that I can now find my way back to the lobby from our room, but it was too hot to try and find my way anywhere else.  We were told that the golf cart was available to us 24/7, and all we had to do was call and someone would pick us up right away, but I can't even imagine how lazy I would feel doing that.  There's also a hotel Jaguar available to take you into town should you need to go.  I might just be willing to feel THAT lazy.