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“A bit disappointing...”

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The Phoenician, Scottsdale
Ranked #18 of 75 Hotels in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A bit disappointing...”
Reviewed August 6, 2008

Overall the stay was pleasant, but I was shocked at how many times the trash and large food carts were pushed by staff via the pool decks where we were lounging! Couldn't believe an upscale resort wouldn't have a more discrete operation. Poolside service was slow, but friendly. Not that this was a problem, but saw so many rabbits on the grounds they began to remind me of vermin. Health club staff friendly. Spa treatments overpriced and not really worth the expense.

  • Liked — Marble bathrooms, spacious, great complimentary toiletries
  • Disliked — small and crowded pool deck
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank METAM0RPH0SIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
127 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2008

Was here for conference in April with coworkers. The hotel is beautifully kept and the grounds very pristine. The lobby is nice, but non-descript with neautral furntiure. At checkin I had a very nice man, however I specifically said "no ground floor room" since I was there alone and female (I explained the reason). He said "no problem, you're on this floor which is the third floor". What he failed to realize is he put me on the side of the hallway that faces the back of the hotel...on the ground floor. Anyone could walk onto my balcony and come in. I didn't switch since I checked in at 10 pm.

The rooms are overly spacious with new modern furniture. The beds are fantastic and the bathroom one of the largest I've ever had in any hotel. Give the rooms an A+.

The pool area is beautiful with more than enough seating. However the pool attentants need training. Most seemed like bored college students with no hustle to them. You would ask for a drink , they would never return. I asked one about a menu for food and she told me go to the restaurant, even though they have poolside food delivery. The restaurant was no better for service. I had a massage appointment for 1:30 and told the waiter that I had to have my food by 1 pm (it was 12:30). He said not problem, but the food was brought out at 1:20. My coworkers said the food was good, but I didn't get to try it out.

The spa was A+. Massage was top-notch and service perfect.

The gym is great, but you have to pay for it daily, unless you have a spa treatment that day and then they give it complimentary. I don't like having to pay extra for a gym. Feel it should be included in the price of staying there. But if you have the bucks to spend the classes are good and it's spacious.

Didn't have time to do much else than hike camelback. If you are into Golf and want some R & R in the desert, then this place is perfect. If looking for lots to do locally, then I'm not sure this is the place. But Scottsdale is very pretty and I think this property one of the best in the area.

  • Liked — Beautiful rooms and bathrooms. Nice kept grounds. Pretty pool.
  • Disliked — Pool staff act like bored and lazy college students.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank njgalinbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
travel agent, San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
143 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2008

stayed here for 2 nights in a guest room in the main building. The rooms are very large and well equipped. Flat screen tv's, very large bathrooms,etc. The views are great from the top floors. The hotel doesnt charge a 'resort' fee and parking is free if you self park.
I thought the staff was very helpful and nice.
The resort is very close to downtown scottsdale.
If you want an even better experience stay in the canyon suites. They are a 'hotel within a hotel' concept. Its a whole seperate section with their own private pool for the suite guests. When we were there there were 4 other people at the pool when the other side of the resort was packed.
The rooms are lovely and staff just as nice over there also.

  • Liked — large rooms
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank christy2064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California90
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2008

My husband and I went to The Phoenician for our 2 years wedding anniveresary last week. The AAA travel agent told us about this hotel and said we should try it once. We often stay at a 5 stars hotels. We don't mind spending on a good services and good meals at the restaurant. It was the worst experience we ever had. We told AAA travel agent not to recommend any to this hotel again. We should have gone to The Four Seasons instead. We would rate this hotel 2 stars for the fact that service was absolutely horrible start from room reservations. Don't ever ask to speak to "Cheryl". She needs to be fired for being rude to her guests. Front Desk staff is NOT properly trained either. Front Desk Manager, Jill, is clueless and rude in every way. We don't mind spending on good food, but restaurant food quality iwas horrible. We were told that service staffs were cut due to low occupancy at the resort. Due to majot dissappoimement at this hotel, we wanted to check out early. Front Desk Manager, Jill, told us that if we checked out early we would be charged for the 2nd day that we were not there. We called Amex right away and stop the payment. Why shoud we pay for the service that we did not use? Low occupancy at the hotel and not enough staffs to service guests are not our problems. General Manager and Revenue Manager of the reseort should have figured this out and solve the problems on their own.

Never Again !!

  • Liked — Nice landscape
  • Disliked — Bad services
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank California90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Mexico
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2008

I booked at stay for myself and my daughter for 3-5 July 2008. We were visiting the area to do some shopping. I sent an email requesting a room located close to handicapped parking. A very nice woman called to discuss my needs and she stated that she would assign us a room in the casitas so that I could park right outside of my room. I also enquired about very specific dietary restrictions and if it would be a problem accomodating them (basically, grilled/steamed fish or chicken with steamed vegetables - no spices, sauces) and I was told that they would be happy to assist me.
We arrived around 7:30 pm after driving all day. We were given the room keys and we left. Valet was supposed to escort us to our room. They did not. We were not told which building our room was in and we kept pulling in looking for our room number. I had to call the front desk to ask which building we had been assigned to.
We were hungry and decided to order room service while we were unpacking. I looked at the menu and there was nothing listed that I was able to eat (it was italian - with spices, heavy sauces, etc) and my daughter only wanted a simple grilled steak and vegetables. So I called (since I HAD been told that they would accomodate my restrictions) and requested grilled fish and steamed veggies for myself and a steak and veggies for my daughter. The woman told me that they would not get food from one of their other restaurants and that we must choose from the menu. We both ordered plain kobe burgers and small salads (greens only). When the food arrived we still had to pick items out of the salad.
The next morning my daughter wanted only plain french toast and ordered off the childrens menu and specifically stated "plain". Her food arrived coated in nuts and sitting in a pool of chocolate sauce. I ordered wheat toast hoping that they could handle THIS simple request.
On Friday, we returned to the resort to retrieve something from our room before finding a place to dine (one that WOULD accomodate my restrictions) and we could not find any parking at all near our room. People were illegally parked in handicapped parking, double parked and parked in fire lanes. When we returned a few hours later, still the same. We drove to the front desk to speak to the manager and he did not seem to care that there were no available handicapped parking spots and that they had been taken by vehicles that had no authorization to park there. He just stated that many couples arrived, each driving a seperate vehicle, and that alot of their children drove seperately too. I tried to explain that there was an issue of double parking and parking in the fire lanes which besides being illegal, was a safety issue.
We left and parked in a parking lot by a golf course and I walked all the way to my room. Two hours later, he called to apologize because he verified that what I had said was true. He claims to have put notices on the vehicles in handicapped parking that displayed no tags, and have notice to the other illegally parked vehicles.
He asked about our stay and I told him about the food issues too. He stated that they SHOULD have accomodated my needs. I knew that! I told him that it was not a matter of being "picky" but this was totally unacceptable. What happens if someone has a severe food allergy and they refuse to make any adjustments.
He again apologized and offered a free night stay. I told him that we were leaving the following morning. He offered a free night the next time I returned and I told him that I would not stay there again. Too many things wrong, uncaring attitudes, incorrect information, etc.
We also had been informed that the spa accepted their last appointment at 7pm since they closed at 8. I called at 5:40 and was told that they quit taking appointments at 5:30. He did not say that they were fully booked, just that I was calling too late to book any spa services.
The facilities may look nice, the rooms are spacious....but they do not have the level of service that is expected at a "luxury resort."

  • Liked — the bathroom
  • Disliked — poor service
  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank lindaraj1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2008

We just returned from a 5-day stay at the Phoenician and absolutely loved every minute of it! This trip was specifically booked as a relaxing getwaway.......we were here to relax by the pool, enjoy a few cocktails and enjoy the beautiful surroundings while experiencing first-class service and upscale accomodations. The Phoenician certainly provided the perfect destination for this!

Let me first say that we do not travel the world staying in 5-star hotels. We are fortunate enough to enjoy a "treat' like this every once in a while. This does not mean that we are easily impressed though. We both work in the hospitality industry and hold high expectations.

We arrived at the hotel early (about 10:45am) and after a few minutes of searching, the front desk cleark found a room ready for us (three cheers for ultra-early check-in!). Imagine our delight when we found we had been upgraded from our standard room to a pool-view casita!! The bellhop graciously took our luggage and escorted us to our room via golf cart, pointing out features of the resort along the way. We had barely been in the room for two minutes when another gentleman came with our car keys, informing us he had drove our car around and parked it right in front of our casita.

The grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. The room was large and clean and we loved the balcony and outdoor furniture.....perfect for relaxing after a day by the pool or at night with a cocktail. The bed was comfy and being as we were there in June, we adjusted the a/c to our preference...the room cools down quickly which was a good thing! There was more than ample storage (two closets and a chest of drawers). We used the mini bar to store a few items we had purchsed at a local store in the event we wanted snacks and such (cheese, crackers, beer, water).....avoiding the high-cost items they offered. We also received a paper every morning.

We did not eat in any of the on-site restaurants, but did enjoy room service several times and lunch by the pool.....all was good. Be forewarned that room service isn't cheap.......there is a $4 charge + a 20% service fee.....we paid $26 for a pot of coffee and one glass of OJ one morning (oh, but the french press coffee was SOOO good!).

The pool areas were nice.......super-comfy lounges and large towels. They boast 9 pools, none of which are super large, but big enough to cool down after sitting in the hot sun. They also provided pitchers of water and were great about refilling when needed. The pools had plenty of those "noodles" for floating around and relaxing. We really enjoyed the relaxation pool the best.....generally less small children, quiteter with a larger pool. Cabanas could be rented for the day (for a fee), but we didn't feel it would be woth it for us.

The best aspect of this resort is the service. On every level, at every encounter.......the service was fantastic!! Every time we encountered an employee, we were greeted with a smile, a pleasant greeting or were asked how we were enjoying our stay! While I know these are not large gestures, they made us feel special and contributed to our overall experience.

The resort itself is close to some great shopping and a neverending amount of restaurants. We tried a small wine bar called Terroir, which offers a great selection of wines by the glass as well a small menu.....perfect for sharing! There is also a great breakfast place down the street (Scottsdale Rd. toward Old Town) called the Breakfast Club....or you can also try Arcadia Farms (not far away).....both a great for breakfast and also serve lunch.....they both offer outside seating. The hiking trail is close to the hotel, but is not accessible from the grounds themselves.....we parked just outside the hotel gate and walked up. Do yourself a favor a start EARLY and brings LOTS of water! Also, if you are looking for something different, try one of the ATV or Hummer tours. We took an ATV tour (booked by super-nice Roberta at the concierge desk) through Desert Dogs which was a scenic 40 minute drive to the trail head. There is also another company that will pick you up right at the hotel.....ask for details. It was a GREAT time and definitely something that we would not normally do here at home!

Like all resorts, The Phoenician isn't without its faults. We did find a Palmetto bug in our room the first night......most likely due to us leaving the balcony door open....certainly not the resorts fault....could happen anywhere. We were mistakenly charged for items from the honor bar which we didn't use.......I told the front desk clerk and we both agreed that it was most likely due to us putting some of our own items in the fridge (perhaps it looked as if we had taken one of their beers, when it had actually been ours)....no big deal....the charge was immediately taken off, no questions asked. Water seeped out from under the shower door, making a large puddle on the floor.....fixed by putting one of the gazillion extra towels on the floor.....they were always replaced during nightly turndown service. There were certain areas in need of updating, but nothing detracted from our stay or would make us not want to stay again (and again!).

All in all we had a GREAT stay and would recommend this hotel to others. We can't wait to go back!!

  • Liked — Outstanding Service, Relaxing Surroundings, Locations
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank flourgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2008

Just completed a 3 night stay at this Starwood Luxury Collection resort. There are 2 main categories that I judge a luxury resort property - the physical (buildings, rooms, grounds, amenities) and the service. As for the first part, this resort is one of the finest in the U.S. (with one exception being the spa....noted below). The service is not up to par with a Ritz Carlton or other fine hotels (i.e. Montage, Mandarin), but still above your average hotel experience.

THE SETTING - Sitting at the base of Camelback Mountain, built slightly higher than the surrounding terrain, this resort is just stunning. The grounds continue to be meticulously maintained, with the golf course and various small lakes set among the various buildings of the resort. The entrance to the property reminds of some of the grand resorts of Hawaii, with waterfalls and extensive plantings.

THE ROOMS - Here, the Phoenician's standard rooms compare to the finest hotels in the country. They are large with a sitting area, large bath with separate shower and water closet, and large terrace with a chaise lounge, table with 2 chairs and room to spare. I was in 3130 overlooking a large fountain, the pool and southern views over the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. This particular room appears to have been recently renovated, with muted tones of tan and light green - a very pleasing combination. 3130 has a king bed with standard size sofa, club chair, a desk with upholstered chairs on each side and a 46 inch LCD TV with many HD channels. The couple of points about the room that might need attention:
- the bed linens are somewhat ordinary for an otherwise luxury hotel experience
- the shower does not have a place to hang a towel, except for the shower door handle, which can be a tight fit with the large, thick towels

AMENITIES - There are main pools, descending down from the main hotel, ending up at the casita/spa level. The top pool appears to be a more sports/active pool. It actually is made up of 3 or 4 different pools separated by walkways through the pools. The 2nd level is a pool surrounding the bar and the 3rd level is the more adult/luxury pool with private cabanas ($225 wkend / $175 wkday). There are wooden chaise lounges with thick cushions surrounding all of the pools. In addition to the 3 main pools, there are 2 or 3 smaller pools with jacuzzis off to each side.

PUBLIC AREAS - The lobby and other public areas are nicely decorated with furnishings in very good condition. There are 4 or 5 shops located between the main lobby building and the adjacent building with rooms that sits just across the valet & driveway. You may consider parking at public parking which is beneath the main buidling and easily accessed via a bank of elevators next to the lobby and can be directly accessed from the 2 floors below. I found it to be quicker than the valet.

SPA - in the MassageEnvy age, a resort spa (or any spa for that matter) really has to offer a 'wow' factor in addition to excellent treatments & therapists to compete. I stopped by the spa before booking a treatment to see if they had updated the facilities since my last visit some 3 years ago. They had not. The decor is of some 2 or 3 decades ago. Picture faux rock formations on the walls with hand lettering identifying the different rooms/areas, with a hand painted hibiscus flower on the sign. It was right out of the early 80's and just sort of set the tone for this out-dated spa. The relaxation room looked excactly the same as my last visit, except that the lounge chairs appeared to have a few years of extra wear & tear. Based on the tired atmosphere, I chose not to pay the resort prices for a spa service ($150+) so I cannot comment on the quality of treatments. The spa menu does indicate a somewhat interesting selection to choose from - but the setting just doesn't support the prices.

SERVICE - While I found many good things to say about this resort, the service was just 'okay'. If you consider the Ritz Carlton a '5 star' in service, I would give the Phoenician and 3+ or 4-. There appeared to be 1 or maybe 2 pool attendants for each pool, plus a food & drink server. While they laid out towels on each chaise, I didn't see anyone (except a couple of cabana guests) receive help in setting up chairs. They did help a few people with umbrellas - but it was not like a Ritz Carlton where just about everyone is greeted by the attendants and assisted with finding and setting up the chairs. The food & drink server was okay, though it was not very busy during my stay. One nice touch is that they bring each party a large pitcher of ice water to help with the heat (110+ during my stay, but bearable in the shade)

Valet attendants did a good job for the one time I used them.

Housekeeping could use a little polish (no pun intended). They left an empty plastic water bottle in the room for 2 days, and when making the bed, it appeared someone sat back down on the bed after it was made on the 2nd day.

Overall, service was not what you would like to see at a 5 star property, but also not bad enough that I would not return.

In summary, I found The Phoenician to be an outstanding resort in need of a few updates and refinements to bring it to true luxury status. At $90 per night, with 4800 per night Starpoints, this was a fantastic deal.

PLUSES
+ Large, nicely decorated and furnished rooms
+ Large terraces with comfortable furnishings
+ Exquisite grounds
+ Beautiful public areas

NEEDS ATTENTION
- Very drab, "tired" spa
- Pool service needs to be tweeked to offer more assistance to pool guests
- Housekeeping needs a little more attention to detail

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AtlantaSingle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Phoenician, Scottsdale

Property: The Phoenician, Scottsdale
Address: 6000 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251-1949
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Scottsdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Scottsdale
#9 Luxury Hotel in Scottsdale
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Scottsdale
#10 Spa Hotel in Scottsdale
#13 Family Hotel in Scottsdale
#14 Romantic Hotel in Scottsdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Phoenician, Scottsdale 5*
Number of rooms: 647
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Phoenician is a luxury resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, situated on 250 acres at the base of Camelback Mountain. From May through September 2017, The Phoenician will be undergoing extensive enhancements to its signature public areas. During this time, the main lobby, front desk, pool complex, spa and select dining venues will be closed. These services and amenities will be available at alternate locations on the resort grounds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Phoenician, Scottsdale Hotel Scottsdale
Phoenician Hotel Scottsdale
The Phoenician Hotel Scottsdale

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