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“Just not worth it”

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Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Ranked #15 of 75 Hotels in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Just not worth it”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

The Princess/Fairmont looks full of promise. Beautiful grounds, wonderful facilities. I have visited countless times and stayed a couple, and have put potential hires in here during the recruitment process and business associates here while negotiating deals. But no more.

It always feels like you must just be here at the wrong time. It misses on a few cylinders at best, but often you feel you are just bothering these people. We even lived there on the resort property for a couple years (owned a home in the attached gated community on the golf course.) While they should have thought of those of us in the neighborhood as their best customers, they often treated us as second-class citizens.

Overall, there is an unnecessary snobbiness. Snobby is what you are when you can't impress just by being great. Even the signature restaurant misses the mark, particularly with attitude and service, on most occasions. And the prices throughout the resort are just unnecessary. Other, better hotels around town (Montelucia, Boulders, etc.) take service to a new level -- and make locals feel pampered and special. How silly not to. We are the ones who bring in business travelers and others; we're their best source of revenue growth -- if they wow us whenever they get a chance.

The exception to all this is the spa. It is one of the best, and I still return there at least once a year. I used to go twice a month, but I just don't feel good enough about the place overall to do that.

(This review is based on my most recent experience in March 2013 but also aggregately on experiences from 2010-2013.)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robbie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Phoenix, AZ
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I stayed at the Princess from July 4 to July 7. The hotel was excellent, the staff friendly, the activities good but the accounting an ABSOLUTE DISASTER. To the point that I would not recommend nor stay there again. To begin with we were told the 4th activities started on the 3rd so booked our vacation starting then, then found out this was not true and had to rearrange EVERYTHING. Then we were told that the price I paid on expedia included everything and that booking directly through the hotel was the same. NOT TRUE. Expedia did not include valet (which I would not have done if I had known as the parking lot was a LOT closer to my room than valet). Booking through the hotel did not include valet, resort fee, nor taxes. Adding almost $60 a night (book through Expedia). Then the nightmare began. Between the 4th and the 7th I Fairmont charged my card 16 times (when all we did was use the room charge which was supposed to be charged once per day). One night at 3 am (5th) they tried charging my card so many times in a row ($600, $350, $300) that Visa froze the card. We were charged the wrong room rate, we were charged for food we did not get, we were charged for dinners that we didn't have, we had charges still coming through our credit card on July 9 (2 days after checking out). When I called I was credited back $89, then $24, then told that I would have to talk to accounting to go any further. I left 2 messages for accounting and heard nothing back. I still have over $200 in charges on my card that I did not authorize and another $72 I simply don't understand. What a mess!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank john3856
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We had visited a few years ago and had such a wonderful experience we couldn't wait to come back. So this finally happened last week. We arrived on Friday after the 4th of July and stayed until Sunday. My first disappointment started at check-in. The girl at the front desk could not find our reservation. When she finally did, she didn't seem to know how to handle it. She finally asked if we needed help with our bags. At that point, we thought the valet had already brought the bag to our room. But we looked behind us and there it was. No one had told us it was behind us. It could have easily been stolen. When we got to the room we were pleased it was a nice size. We didn't get a Casita like last time but it was okay. When I went to take a shower, I realized there was no shampoo. I told my husband to call the front desk and he told me the phone was dead. Luckily, there was another phone so he used that. He was told someone would come right away. 45 minutes later someone shows up apologizing that our building was not his territory and that they were really busy. By that time I had already left the shower with only bar soap and conditioner on my hair. Needless to say it was not a "good hair" night. We had dinner at La Hacienda. My braised ribs were dry and the service was a little slow. The following morning we had breakfast at the buffet. It was barely a buffet with 2 stations, mis-marked items and $30 pp. After breakfast, we went to the pool only to be told we didn't have wristbands and that we should have received them at check-in. So we go to the front desk, wait on line and get our wristbands. We find a place at the pool and order drinks. One of my favorite drinks from last time I was there was called the Miami Vice. They still had it but it was no longer good. The lunch we had was disappointing. My burger looked like a frozen burger and they dared to call it "Angus" when they served it.
So I went back to the room around 4 and I realized the room was not cleaned yet. My experience has always been that rooms are cleaned early. I called the front desk and they said they don't clean until 5 but they would clean our room right away. So I leave but when I come back to the room around 6, I ask my husband what time the room was cleaned. He tells me "they just left". So if we had decided to have an early dinner and take showers early, we would not have clean towels or cleaning people would have been in our way.
By this time we've had it with the service, so we went for dinner at Outback a few miles away. When we came back we went for a drink at the bar. There was a big roach sitting outside the elevators. UGH!!
The next morning we try to check out on the television. I kept getting a message saying our file could not be accessed. So I tried calling the front desk to see if that would work any faster. Unfortunately, they put me on hold. So I tried calling with my cell phone, explained the situation and was told I would get taken care of right away. When someone picks up, they hang up on me. So finally someone picks up from the landline and I explain the situation. The girl at the front desk is sorry but continues with the checkout. She asks me if I want my bill emailed so I give her my email address. I am still waiting for that email!
Disappointing

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank bantelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontScottsdale, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Dear Bantelo,

Thank you for commenting on your recent stay with us. Guest feedback is critical to our improvement as a hotel, so we certainly appreciate yours. I’m very sorry to hear of the various issues you experienced during your stay. The resort had record breaking attendance over the 4th of July, beyond our expectations, with a very successful program of special events, concerts, fireworks and patriotic celebrations. We would love the opportunity to speak with your personally regarding your experience and maintain your loyalty. I can be reached at valerie.lee@fairmont.com.

Sincerely,

Valerie Lee
Director of Public Relations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Arizona, United States
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I first went to this resort in the 90's and it was excellent. It was a little disappointing this time. The spa is still stellar. It has been every time I visit. My husband & I even went to the spa just for a day of relaxation a few years ago. Ask for Misty. She gave a great massage, was attentive and friendly. That was our purpose this visit. He was overworked and needed to unwind. We paid for a king room with early check-in. Didn't happen. The king room wasn't ready and the desk clerk tried to give us a double room. NO! We had a spa appointment at 11:15 am also. He acted frustrated at us because we wanted what we had booked. We got our king room at 2 pm & they waived the early check-in fee we had paid. Nathan took us to our room and was very kind and helpful. The room was clean & well stocked. The a/c kept us cool. The pool side bar is nice; good wings but overpriced drinks. Cassandra & Tyler were excellent servers; fun, friendly, helpful, patient. attentive. They are 5 star employees. La Hacienda has happy hour for exactly one hour each day and it's not the best prices. Ironwood American had a nice breakfast. I don't think we will return here for a long time... if ever. Maybe we will try the Biltmore or Phonecian next time we need to get away. They just didn't impress us or act like they appreciated our business.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the pool area for added quietness
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wendy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

My husband thought I was crazy when I suggested Scottsdale in July, but that was before we arrived at the Fairmont Gold! Our room is quiet overlooking the golf course and includes the Fairmont Gold clubhouse (where breakfast, afternoon appetizers and dessert bar are served and included.). But most impressive of all is the Well and Being spa which is also included in the Fairmont Gold packages! A rooftop adults only pool, a relaxing therapeutic waterfall, classes, fitness room, aromatherapy room, and so much more all free for our use! I feel so relaxed and great! The staff here is constantly offering water and asking how they can help us! What a perfect vacation! Try it! You will like it!

Room Tip: The golf course view is very quiet (but a bit of a hike to the main building.)
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Debbydoo3115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontScottsdale, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear Debby,

Thank you for your recent visit and sharing your experience! We are delighted to hear you enjoyed a relaxing vacation and look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Sincerely,

Valerie Lee
Director of Public Relations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler, AZ
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

If you are looking for concerts, fireworks, contests, and buffets over 4th of July, Scottsdale Princess delivers quite an extravaganza. Our stay was slightly disappointing, however, because it was Fourth of July and there were just too many people. We booked our staycation there so we could have some much needed relaxation by the pool while our children enjoyed the waterslides. The crowds were so intense that there was not a chaise lounge to be found - I had to remain perched on an unshaded rock in the 111 degree heat for much of the afternoon. Also, because the hotel was "fully committed," some initial room juggling took place, which landed us in a way-out casita overlooking a dirt lot. As with your typical Arizona resort, it becomes tempting to accept golf cart rides to get across the sprawling grounds. There were so many unanticipated twists and turns on this bumpy stay that we interacted with just about every level of staff. All were top-notch, and I would return because of them - just not over a holiday weekend!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank K2A2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

The resort is beautiful. The grounds are an amazing mix of natural setting and class. The service is top notch. The spa is world class and top rated for a reason, you have to see it to believe it! The only disappointment was we were in the "upgraded" 1bedroom casitas. It was a very far walk to the rest of the resort. There is a very cool pool with a firepit located in this area, but no food or drinks, unless you count the overpriced minibar. The room was large, but the fan was in the sitting area away from the bedroom and the bathroom was large, but very dark. I would go back, but stay in one of the hotel rooms next time.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PLTmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Property: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Address: 7575 East Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85255-5802
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Scottsdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Scottsdale
#7 Luxury Hotel in Scottsdale
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Scottsdale
#7 Romantic Hotel in Scottsdale
#8 Spa Hotel in Scottsdale
#16 Family Hotel in Scottsdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 5*
Number of rooms: 750
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment you set foot on the grounds of the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, you are surrounded by a mystical landscape of lagoons, fountains, fire pits, colorful desert plants and expansive green spaces – all set amid the sun-drenched Sonoran Desert and the majestic McDowell Mountains of Arizona. Blending exquisite pampering and warm, personalized service with alluring Spanish-style architecture and outdoor adventure, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers all of the superb amenities you expect from a world-class destination resort: -Lavish Well & Being Spa, featuring a variety of spa, wellness and fitness services -Two championship-level TPC golf courses, home to the Annual PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open -Six sparkling heated pools, featuring waterslides, cabanas, poolside service and a 9,000 sq. ft. white sand beach -Five award-winning restaurants and lounges, with something delectable for every taste -316,000 square feet of flexible event space, including both indoor and outdoor venues with two conference centers -Trailblazers Family Adventure Center, offering a wide range of onsite activities to keep kids happy and engaged -Personalized Concierge services, offering access to exciting activities to satisfy everyone ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Scottsdale Hotel Scottsdale
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Fairmont Hotel Scottsdale
Scottsdale Fairmont
Scottsdale Princess

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