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“Return visit to Talking Stick not quite as good . . .” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Talking Stick Resort

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Talking Stick Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85256   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #51 of 78 Hotels in Scottsdale
Colorado
Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
98 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“Return visit to Talking Stick not quite as good . . .”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

This was our second Spring Break trip to Talking Stick, to spend some time in the sun and catch a couple of Spring Training games. The hotel is very popular, and the casino is incredibly popular and busy. If you have any issues with cigarette smoke, you should consider staying elsewhere. You simply can't get away from it. There is only one main entrance, and in order to walk to the hotel tower, you need to make your way through the cloud of cigarette smoke in the casino. The room was fine, and I particularly like the modern bathroom. Daily room cleaning was inconsistent. The restaurants were OK. We will be back to Scottsdale, but maybe not back to Talking Stick.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TalkingStickResort, Social Media Manager at Talking Stick Resort, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate it!
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717 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (265)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

We just stayed here again and found it much the same, except it seems to have fallen victim to its own popularity. The casino is quite crowded much of the time, and the smoke level seems almost intolerable at times. The hotel is far enough removed so it is mostly quiet and not smokey at all. The rooms are fine, staff is helpful, and the food situation is pretty good - several choices for all meals. Everything we ate was good to excellent. I went to the spa for a return visit and love this spa. It really sets the standard for hotel spas - lots of space and choices, wonderful service, and excellent aestheticians. This hotel is in a great location to get to a lot of places, and one reason we stayed here was so my husband could hike in the desert. Easy access means a lot if you get out every day. Apparently Talking Stick has become quite a local hotspot, hence the crowded conditions in the casino and bars on the weekends. If you are looking for a quiet retreat, this probably isn't it. A pretty big crowd seemed to arrive on Friday afternoon, some actually carrying twelve-packs of beer on their shoulders, so weekends are quite lively, including some shouting in the halls in the middle of the night. We been here during spring break for three years now, and this was the most crowded and loud we've seen it - maybe it's calmer other times. We probably won't stay here again for that reason - but we like it a little quieter. Certainly the casino didn't pay out anything to make the crowded conditions and the smoke worth it.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

First time guests for Talking Stick. We knew it was a casino and yes, we know the pitfalls in staying in casino resorts. However we found the casino/resort to be very nice, clean, functional and above all else... the staff was excellent.
We were checked in by Doreen. She was a joy to talk to and very efficient. We greatly appreciated her insight and enthusiasm of helping us get to our room so we could make it to our baseball game.
We stayed for 2 nights in an Executive Room (C2 floor). The room was clean and well appointed. The bathroom contained only a shower and no provision for a bath but that was not a problem for us. We were located on the southeast corner and from our balcony it sounded like we were above the exhaust fans for the casino. Never saw them or smelled anything but the sound was obvious even from the 13th floor (oops, Club 2 floor). It is my understanding that the other end of these floors are quieter since they overlook the northwest and northeast of the property away from the casino. Once the balcony sliding glass door is closed our room was very quiet and comfortable. So if you want a better and quieter view go for the north side of the tower.
We did find the pillows to be lacking. They are smallish and quite hard. Almost like one of the airline pillows you used to get for long flights. The bed, on the other hand was comfortable. Next time, we bring our own pillows.

That evening our TV went out and we were required to ask maintenance for help in resolving the problem. Maintenance arrived in less than 10 minutes and within 15 minutes had completed the repair. While there we mentioned that the light in the bathroom was having "difficulties". They jumped right to that task while we went downstairs to the pool. On our return they were just buttoning up the electrical boxes and putting all things right. Great service!

We chose to eat at the Orange Sky since all reviews gave the restaurant high marks. We had not packed anything other than shorts and T-shirts so we were apprehensive that we might not be seated. Don't worry they will seat you in T-shirts and shorts. We have eaten often at Craftsteak in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and we rate all restaurants to that scale. Given that, I would rate Orange Sky at the same level, both in service and food quality. The food was magnificent (scallops, tenderloins, scallop/shrimp steak, Prosciutto plank appetizer, roasted corn side). Our server, Lorraine was ex exceptional! She was polite, funny and knowledgeable of her menu. She served us our drinks at the infinite pool outside the main dining area and called us back when our food was served. Excellent service for an excellent meal. We found Orange Sky and Lorraine to be so good that we opted to return there the next night and made sure we sat at Lorraine's station.

We had the breakfast buffet at the Wandering Horse on Monday morning. The quality of the food was edible but nothing special. The assortment was somewhat smallish but since it encompassed nearly all our favorites we had no problem finding something we liked. We would have given the breakfast a low score but for the service. Julio was our server that morning and he is awesome. We wished to sit outside and her arranged 3 heaters to make the brisk morning air more comfortable (moving and lighting). He made absolutely sure that we had everything we needed and even offered us advice and instructions to the ballparks that we were going to attend that day. He was a truly likable and competent person and he represented the resort very well.

My biggest gripe is that the casino does not 'comp' the drinks while you gamble. We are used to Las Vegas gaming and receiving drinks as lose our money. Here, they charge for every drink even if you gamble at the sports bar where the video poker is minimum $1.

Room Tip: Stay in the Executive King room as they are quieter, corner rooms on the higher floors. Stay on the...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

Me and my friend are big baseball fans. So the idea of going to a Spring training game in Arizona and getting some spa and casino was very exciting. It sounded like a perfect weekend getaway.
We arrived on a Friday night. While waiting to check in these 2 guys come to us and start talking. They were very loud… and annoying. They wanted us to go to the poker rooms or hang out with them and have a drink… mentioned that they were staying in Talking Stick as well. They were so drunk and they smelled awful. It felt really awkward but who are we to blame.. it’s weekend in a casino that’s something you can expect. But.. weird if it happens in the waiting line to check in. Then finally these men left and it was our check in time. The lady at the front desk didn’t smile once.. But we thought that maybe those 2 other guys annoyed her. So this first impression of the hotel was not great…
Then we walk though the casino, and the smoke is one of the highest! Top top! I don’t know if they have bad ventilation or what but it is pretty awful. And we did come prepared for this.. after reading some reviews about it. But let me tell you it is worse than how it sounds. Specially on the weekends.. It’ll be hard to find a black jack table. They are always full! Poker room waiting list is really unorganized. Maybe is too big for what they can control. Slot machines were pretty empty and some video games as well… Very uneven. Bunch of drunk people and again.. the smoke unbearable!
The room was okay like described. Nothing out of the ordinary. Modern and nice decor. But noise level bad!! You can hear every step and every single world outside the hallway. TV channel very few choices, but this is something you can expect at any hotel in a casino.
We did not want to go back in that cloud of smoke so we decided to drink this bottle of wine we brought. But there was no corkscrew. We called and ask for one. It took them 3 calls and almost 2 hours to bring that to our room. Well they were busy... We had to understand.
We stayed at the club room, which is in the club floor. They serve free breakfast at the club tower which is almost like a continental breakfast. Don’t expect a buffet with eggs and sausages. But at least they have mimosas with no extra charge and people working there were very friendly and attentive. They also have this happy hour daily where they serve good tasting food and free drinks. That was the best part of this stay!
We did not have a chance to try the buffet restaurant at Talking Stick the lines were always super long. Plus they had these other restaurants at cheap cost with no lines. But don’t expect great quality food. We also had these other better options in Scottsdale and Phoenix
Okay… but the main purpose of this trip was baseball right? We went to two games enjoyed nice weather and received couple of autographs from baseball players. I received one in a ball and I was so happy about it I wanted to take a good picture of it. So I placed it on top of the martini glass in our. I know it’s my fault I should have not left it there… Yes I left it in the room and realized on my way back Los Angeles. I checked out around 10 in the morning and remembered I left it there around 2pm. I called the hotel and they said nothing was left at lost and found. No one sounded like they were willing to help. I begged someone to please go check because it was extremely important for me. He said the room I stayed in was not occupied and someone will check. Nothing was found. The maid that clean my room left for the day and was coming back in 2 days. When she returned still my ball was not found. I don’t blame the hotel for not returning my staff because it’s my fault for leaving it there. But one thing I know is that I can’t really trust this hotel. The staff did not give me the impression they actually care about me going back in there. So... I guess I won’t!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

This is a beautiful resort, with good restaurants, nicely decorated rooms, good security, and friendly employees. It has a nice size casino and some pretty views. I enjoyed a breakfast and a dinner at the Blue Coyote with good menus and fairly reasonable prices. I also enjoyed dinner at the Orange Sky on the top floor, with intimate seating and a great view. The prices were quite expensive with sides a la carte. The rooms had a Kuerig coffeemaker with free coffee, as well as a refrigerator and safe.
Now the bad...The first thing that hits you after check-in is the very smoky atmosphere in the casino which you have to walk thru to get to the room elevators. They need a much better air filtration system. The rooms/bathrooms are very pretty to look at but have some problems. The windows have shutters instead of curtains, so sunshine can come thru all the cracks, which is not good if you want to keep the room dark to sleep in. The bathroom is designed poorly. The sink is high and far back in the counter. As a short female I had to stand on tip toes to barely reach it. The lighting is very poor and the mirror is set back too far, which makes it hard to see your makeup or hair styling. They have a magnefying makeup mirror mounted on the wall, but it is so high and so far back that it is useless. Only 1 bar of soap was furnished, only body gel for shower. The shower was large but had a rain type shower head on the high ceiling. Again not great for a short person or a woman who doesn't need to wash her hair.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westminster, Colorado
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

Sorry to say we were not impressed with the resort. Pool was nice and ladies serving at the pool were great. The casino full of drunks and smoke asked the casino host if they would comp a night for the room they said we don't need too we have to much business probably won't be back. We've stayed other places in Scottsdale that were a much better experience

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pickerington, Ohio
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

We spent a week at Talking Stick in March 2014. The executive king room is very clean and comfortable. Lots of space. The balcony is very large and looked out over the golf course and mountains. Since this room didn't adjoin any others, it is very quiet, and I find that important. The rooms are well-appointed, and the bath and shower are really well done. Very large, with huge shower spaces featuring the rain-like water flow. The pool and area around it are very nice. The wait staff is very friendly and helpful. They will provide food/beverage service all day for you. The on site restaurants are also very good. The Orange Sky on the top floor is very upscale with a great view, and the Blue Coyote on the ground floor is open 24/7 and is very good as well, especially for breakfast. (Get a fruit salad) Check in and check out were a breeze, also very friendly and helpful. The one thing, and it is a minor thing to me, as a non-smoker, it is a little difficult getting used to the casino as smoking is permitted there. The ventilation is pretty good at keeping the air decent, though. I could go on and on about this property, but I"ll just say this- I'm Looking forward to our next visit already.

Room Tip: The executive rooms have balconies and are located on the ends of the hotel. The northern end is awa...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TalkingStickResort, Social Media Specialist at Talking Stick Resort, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Hi Jeff, glad you enjoyed your stay with us! We are looking forward to having you visit us soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Talking Stick Resort

Address: 9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Scottsdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Scottsdale
#41 Business Hotel in Scottsdale
#43 Romantic Hotel in Scottsdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Talking Stick Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 497
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Talking Stick Resort, a luxurious Four-Diamond Scottsdale resort, where fun is limited only by your imagination. Play in style on our 240,000 square foot casino, one of the largest in Arizona. Savor the flavors and take in the panoramic views from the award-winning Orange Sky Restaurant. Check out Vegas-style entertainment and local favorites as they take the stage in the TSR Showroom. Test your skills on 36-holes of championship golf at Talking Stick Golf Club, one of the most scenic and challenging golf courses in Scottsdale. Then when it’s time to relax, head up to The Spa at Talking Stick and enjoy a relaxing spa treatment overlooking incredible views of the Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Talking Stick Hotel Scottsdale

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