We have been pondering for some time whether to allocate 4 or 5 as the rating for this review. In the end it had to be a 5 as we really enjoyed our stay. Here are our thoughts...
We were here at the end of the summer season (1-9 Sep) so the resort was very quiet meaning we practically had the facilities to ourselves at the suites so this is probably why we had such a relaxing stay. Things may have been different had the property been busier.
The main Phoenician resort itself has 600 rooms (approx 5 minute walk away) so the 60 room Canyon suites was a better option for us. The main resort itself is very dated and really needs a modern renovation to bring it to the standards of the other newer properties. The facilities on offer are very good and we used the fitness centre daily. We came back fitter than when we arrived!
Our second room faced the golf course and we could sit on the balcony and watch the golfers play their rounds. It must be a very challenging course as we could hear several "pink" type sounds (as people tee'd off) followed by "damn"! Very amusing...
The Canyon Suites appear to be more modern although still slightly dated. The common entrance area is nice but the corridors a little dark and unappealing.
We requested a quiet room and were given a room overlooking the pool. We noticed the room had an adjoining door beside the bed to the next room. Adjoining doors seem to be a concept fairly common in the USA and we're not a fan. The soundproofing is usually awful as we found out here. Before dinner we could hear a group of people in the next room clearly having a get-together. This was slightly annoying and we couldn't help wondering if it would be a problem throughout dinner. When we returned from dinner the noise got louder and louder until we finally went to reception and asked them to resolve it. They advised they would and clearly the group were contacted as they then were ‘shuushing’ each other really loudly and laughing and joking.
Out of frustration we contacted the manager who checked us in and asked to be moved. To his credit he offered us another room (upgrade) with a golf view. We weren't seeking an upgrade, just peace and quiet, but the room we were given was perfect. Spacious, elegantly furnished great view of the fountain over the small lake and golf course. More importantly, it was quiet.
We had breakfast included in our rate (otherwise approx $25++) and enjoyed sitting outside in the shade (too hot for direct sun) with a newspaper. The service was attentive but those pesky birds, they are something else and invade each table 1 second after you vacate so someone needs to be on guard at the table at all times! On Sunday there was a buffet (the omelette man is the most popular person) and all other days it was a-la-carte. Good orange juice but coffee was a bit watery.
Other positive points are the pool area. This was a quiet sanctuary with great pool attendants. There were only two other couples using the pool so it almost felt like our own private pool. The music being played at the pool was crazily loud and after speaking with the staff they managed to find a volume control on the bottom of each speaker. It then ended up so quiet that you could barely hear it. Oh well...
There were enough sun umbrellas and easy to move around given that there was no-one else there and you could hire a cabana at $350 per day but that seems a ridiculous price so no-one hired one. The cabanas didn't even have misters unlike those at the Four Season's hotel.
There is no bar in the Canyon suites so you have to walk to the main resort. We only did this once as it just felt too far away. We know it sounds crazy being only 5 minutes away but it just felt too far. Maybe we should have bought a nice bottle of wine for our room.
We dined on our first night in Il Terrazzo and were very disappointed. The dress code seems to be anything you like. I doubt they would refuse you entrance if you wore a mankini! The food was ok but nothing special and the whole feel was of dining in a 70's restaurant that has lost it's way. That put us off trying the JG steakhouse so we dined outside of teh hotel on all other nights.
The hotel location is excellent to drive to the shops and restaurants at Scottsdale Fashion square and the Biltmore Fashion Park (less than 10 minutes) and restaurants we rated were The Mission (excellent food, albeit a bit dark and tables a little close), Wildfish (dined their twice), Seasons 52. Don't bother with Flemings anymore... For lunch we were addicted to the salads at the Paradise Bakery.
The staff we came across everywhere in the suites and indeed the main restaurant are excellent and a special thank-you to Jared who sorted out our room issue. The grounds are beautiful and the location is great. Checkout was excellent as well and we asked and were given a 4pm checkout which was well appreciated.
There was a carpark valet on the first day but not any other day. There was a small sign saying carpark closed but we ignored this and parked our own car in the garage without any issue. A lift from the garage takes you straight up to the top floor bypassing reception.
With regard to the tourist attractions, do check out Butterfly Wonderland at 9500 E. Via de Ventura in Scottsdale as you'll be surprised how fun it is. They swoop around and through you. Also every Saturday night (4pm to approx 8pm) there is a car show at MacDonald's 9140 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale AZ 85256 http://www.mcarizona.com/11120 It's really good!
All in all, a very nice stay and we were sad to leave. In comparison to the Four Seasons hotel, we felt we would return to the Canyon Suites as the location is more central and closer to shops and restaurants.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician. From sterling silver coffee and tea service, a private infinity pool, to chauffeured resort transportation, our guests enjoy unrivaled signature features. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Canyon Suites At The Phoenician Hotel Scottsdale