I recently took a vacation to Arizona. I visited Scottsdale, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon. With the never ending winter in NYC, I was looking forward to warmer weather. When my friend and I arrived in Scottsdale, it was 98 degrees and we had three days of 104 degree temps; but I’ve been told, it’s a dry heat!! And indeed it was.
I’ve outlined great places to stay and eat while in Scottsdale.
We checked into the JW Marriott Camelback Resort and Spa and immediately parked ourselves at the pool to work on our tans. I loved this hotel. They provided exceptional service, the staff was friendly and accommodating, and there were great views of Camelback Mountain. The rooms are casitas and are spread out all over the property so it’s not your typical sky rise which is perfect for Scottsdale. If you’re into tequila, I highly recommend the jalepano margarita with chips and guac when poolside.
We split our time between the JW Marriott and Mountain Shadows which opened in November 2017. This hotel is brand new and was definitely a great place for lounging at the pool. The dinner here is fabulous and the chef was a judge on Top Chef.
Once in town, we visited Old Town Scottsdale and hit up The Mission for Mexican food. The interior is almost gothic meets sophisticated with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and crosses and angel statues everywhere. We ordered the pork shoulder taco which is a must! For drinks, I ordered the Elderflower Paloma Margarita. This restaurant has a great vibe and is good for girls night or families if you go earlier in the night.
The Henry is in Phoenix and is a very fun, hip spot for friends. They have an adjacent coffee bar and bakery and a nice outdoor patio with views of Camelback Mountain. Make sure to take a picture in front of The Henry sign outside. We ordered the short rib potstickers, warm kale and truffle dip, and the spring harvest bowl.
Olive and Ivy:
This restaurant has a great big patio so we opted for sitting outside. By the time we sat down, the weather had cooled off and it was a perfect evening. What I loved about Olive and Ivy is that they make their pastas from scratch. For starters, they gave us delicious salted bread with pesto which we loved and we also ordered the lamb meatballs for a nice protein. For dinner, we split the lasagne bolognese. It’s enough for two and had great flavor. For dessert, we couldn’t resist the peanut butter mousse and a dip of gelato! The restaurant is in an ideal spot in town near other restaurants, shops, and bars.
This by far is my favorite spot. Arcadia Farms is the ultimate ladies who lunch spot with a great patio, rustic decor, and is super charming. They have amazing drinks, a great bakery and awesome crepes. We ate brunch and split a delicious fresh berries and mascarpone crepe.
For bars, don’t miss The Rusty Spur in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s the first bar in Scottsdale and is a total dive bar with a live band! Bring a cowboy hat and boots if you got them.
Elements at Sanctuary:
This restaurant is located at The Sanctuary resort which is down the street from the JW Marriott. I recommend sitting on the balcony over looking the pool and mountains for a nice lunch (in the shade of course).
My coworker and I hiked Camelback Mountain. There are two hikes you can do on this mountain: Echo Canyon and Cholla. I hiked Cholla because it was a bit easier but still challenging. I made it to marker 26. Beyond this marker it’s basically a vertical climb hand over foot.
In Sedona, I hiked the Kochina Woman Vortex behind the Enchantment Hotel. It was perfect for a small, short hike and has beautiful views. I’m going to do a Sedona post soon and I’ll recap the hotel and restaurants we visited.
The Sanctuary Spa is a must do! I did a 90 minute Signature Wakai Renewal body wrap with a message. The spa was super nice and upscale. The people were friendly and after our treatments, we had use of their pool. I highly recommend the pool at Sanctuary. It’s a little smaller than the JW’s pool and more intimate. The staff is also very friendly and drinks are fabulous. The spa is a must do while in Scottsdale!!!
I’ll be posting more about this trip so check back soon!!
JW Marriott Pool
Brunch at Arcadia Farms
Mountain Shadows’ Pool
Until next time, here’s your Passport to Travel.