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“Not Good Enough for the Price”

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The Phoenician, Scottsdale
Ranked #20 of 75 Hotels in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Bozeman, Montana
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
“Not Good Enough for the Price”
Reviewed May 20, 2007

With some freshening of the rooms, a renovation of the spa, and a decision to not nickel and dime guests, this would be a top-shelf resort. As it stands, it is a nice but overpriced spot.

We had a Grand Deluxe room. The room was huge, with a separate seating area, a work area, and a large marble bath. The decor and finishes seemed a little 80s, a little dated. Everything was in in great condition, but it still seemed a little old. THe lack of a plasma screen television contributed to this feeling, as did the old-style showerhead in the bathroom. The hotel does provide full-size toiletries, which was a nice treat.

The pool area is quite grand, though it can be hard to find a seat at peak times. Even at the so-called relaxation pool, there was a lot of noise from the guests. This is not necessarily a place to go to get away from it all.

Perhaps the biggest affront was the $20pp charge to use the gym. At $450 per night, this is unexplainable and unforgiveable. We paid for the telecom package because for for $25 per room it afforded access to the gym, free long-distance telephone calls, and free high speed internet. The gym was quite nice, with ample selection of weight and cardio machines--each cardio machine had a television.

We used the spa facilities, which we were old and dated. The locker rooms were nothing special. They definitely need to do a major revamp to modernize this area of the hotel.

All in all, this resort has the potential to be great. With a freshening of the rooms and spa, the physical plant would be truly 5 star.

  • Liked — The prompt and courteous valet attendants
  • Disliked — The $20pp to use the gym
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank qaz123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Roanoke, Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2007

My husband and I went to AZ for the first time and are so glad we stayed at the Phoenician. There seems to be a lot of great places when you search online, but the Phoenician truly is a fabulous resort. The entire experience was exceptional. The staff is excellent and extremely accomodating and the grounds were so beautifully maintained. We also stayed at the 4 Seasons during this trip and preferred the Phoenician experience (not to mention it was a lot less expensive). I can not say enough great things about this property and we look forward to our next visit. The only disappointment I had with the property was the food.

  • Liked — service
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank travelbny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2007

THE POOLS KICK BOOTY. it is so cool. great for kids. the golfing and tennis is great. going back soon. mall close by is cool too. GO TO OLIVE AND IVY RETARAUNT.

  • Liked — activities
  • Disliked — walking to tennis sucked
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank adamsk25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2007

Same experience as Travelbug below:

Incredibly overpriced; rooms in addition to food and drink
Trying to get a chair at the pool; impossible
KIDS EVERYWHERE
Service; just OK

I travel a lot to upscale spa resorts like this - not impressed at all.

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LP1009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2007

This is a beautiful and impressive resort in many respects. From our perspective it lacks a few fundamentals, especially considering the huge price tag on the rooms.

1) The room was nice but not outstanding. Roughly comparable to a room at the Hilton or an equivalent business hotel. Only one sink in the bathroom had the two of us fighting for position as we had to get ready at the same time to get to golf.

2) No coffeemaker in the rooms. I guess they want you to use room service because they don't gouge you enough in the basic nightly rate. We ordered a pot of coffee which cost $16 before tip. Every last drop was consumed.

3) Tiny ice bucket in the room. No refrig or microwave, etc. There was no ice maker in the vicinity so we had to ask the room attendant for ice. This was fine if he was around, but if he wasn't we were out of luck.

We used Starwood points to stay here and we are glad to have had the privilege. Next time though we'll stay at Kierland or Wigwam or another of the fine resorts in the area.

Stayed April 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank Goody1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Short Hils, NJ
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2007

My husband and i stayed here in '04 for a business event and it was wonderful. This year we returned for the same event and brought our kids, 9 and 7. I was a little hesitant because it is not necesarily a child-centered resort, but they had a blast and were treated very very well by all of the staff. They declared it "the best hotel EVER"!!

We stayed in a "deluxe" room in the wing closest to Camelback Mtn, top floor, waaaaaay at the end of the hallway. We had a beautiful skyline view; some may prefer the "back" side which faces the cactus garden and Camelback. Make sure you ask because it appear the opposite end of the wing overlooks the roof, and the lower floors, the driveway. I think the hotel rooms are the same size, it's the location/view that makes the difference. The tradeoff for the great view was a longer walk to the main area and the pools beyond.

The rooms are spacious, even with 2 beds. There is plenty of room to relax on the balcony and the bathroom is huge with full size toiletries and oversized towels. One suggestion I have is to put a towel hook next to the shower - the towel bar is near the tub on the opposite wall and the floor is VERY slippery when wet. With the family along I especially appreciated the two closets, lots of drawer space, and an oversized mini-bar that has enough room for you to put in your own items. There are no sensors; if you take a cold soda out and put in a warm one , you won't be charged. HOWEVER - the inventory man comes pretty early in the a.m. and again in early evening so don't leave items unreplaced for long.

The beds were very comfortable and the linens fine. Didn't see any carpet stains, nothing looked "worn" or "tired" as mentioned in other reviews. Maybe not all the rooms have the same furnishings or have been renovated at the same time; more likely it's just a matter of personal preference which obviously the hotel can't be expected to accomodate in every case.

The pools are fabulous, even better than I remembered (again, with kids different things become important). Don't be put off by reports of all the chairs being "taken" by 8 am...the attentive and plentiful staff set up the chairs with one spread out towel, a second folded towel, and yes, even books and magazines first thing, and constantly replace them as people leave, so it may not look like there are any vacancies when in fact they are giving heads-up service. As soon as you sit down, someone will come over with a pitcher of ice water and ask if you need an umbrella..
Even during busy periods, they will help you find a seat, or you can just cruise around a few times until something opens up (like you do in a crowded parking lot)! For the record, I hate when people think they are entitled to "save" a chair for hours on end without using it; I have no problem moving a lone hat or flip-flop that's been sitting for more than 30 minutes.

My kids loved the kids club; they buddied up with some other children. The 1/2 day with lunch is only $5 more than just the 1/2 day. They did nice crafts, went fishing, fed the fish and ducks on the property, went on nature walks, played games, and of course went in the pool.

I think the spa is nice; it's got a "natural stone grotto" feel to it rather than a sleek chrome-and-glass Las Vegas Casino or mahogany-and-brass Posh Country Club sttyle (I've been to a lot of resort spas : ) ). But again, as a matter or personal taste, some may find it too dark and dingy and the co-ed waiting area is small, awkward and uncomfortable. The treatments were top notch, I had a hot stone massage and a customized facial.

The food was very good overall; the only bad meal was at Windows which was surprising because on our last visit, that was our best meal. This time everything was very salty and the flavor combinations were odd. The pool food (yes, it's expensive, get over it) was surprisingly good and portions generous. My kids split the chicken fingers meal easily (four full strips and a gigantic basket of fried). Our business-function food (continental breakfasts, formal dinners, box lunches for golf) were the best I've ever had, and we always go to higher end resorts (Ritz Carltons, etc). The spouses were treated to a cooking demonstration by the charming executive chef at Mary Elaines; that room is gorgeous, one wall is entirely windows and it is truly breathtaking.

Most of the service could not be better; the only glitches were the overworked concierges (they were very polite and thorough once you got through to them...you'll have better luck going to their desk than calling...you'll never get through unless it's VERY early) and the front desk staff, even when standing around, were a bit too eager to pawn your inquiry off on either the already-occupied concierge, the valet parkers, the bellman, the gardener walking by, etc. The valet guys were the best, one even warned me about photo-speed traps on highway 101! They also double-checked any directions we'd been given and made suggestions how to avoid traffic, construction, etc.

Finally, in reading TripAdvisor reviews I can't help but conclude that some travelers must revel in being miserable. Hate crowds? Don't travel in high season. Too expensive? Ditto, and do your research - find a place you're more financially comfortable with. Hate "hordes of screaming kids" at a pool? Don't travel during school breaks and for Pete's sake don't sit near the pool with the basetball hoop or the waterslide (jeez, there's only 6 others to pick from, including the out-of-the-way Canyon pool. Besides, what do you expect them to do, sit in the room and play video games all day?) As for the extra charges for valet parking, exercise room and internet...park in the garage, take a hike up Camelback mountain instead (better view than MSNBC),and as for not having free internet...well, if that's a deal-breaker, stay at the aforementioned Holiday Inn or Motel 6. I don't expect everyone else to subsidize my use of the kids club, golf courses or tennis courts.

Sorry this ran so long but we just loved this resort and can't wait to go back in '09.

  • Liked — Cleanliness, the pools, the service, beautiful setting
  • Disliked — nothing - it's all good
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank lshstone2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2007

I have to be honest as I was staying at a different resort down the road, and only came by on Sat night to check out the restaurant/bar. It sure looked nice from the outside and felt like a compound a king might be at, after having to obtain a temp parking valet pass. After paying the valet I proceeded into the upper bar(by myself) and sat down to check out the menu. The bartender kindly told me I might want to head down stairs for the dinner menu at the bar in the restaurant. However, when I got down there, I was quickly asked to leave as some big shot had purchased the restaurant for the whole night and I was not welcome, even though no single patron was using the bar. I have never heard of such as that don't occur where I am from and cannot imagine any five star restaurant doing that on a Sat night. So, instead of going back up to the upper bar, I was not happy, and quickly asked for my car and left, to never ever return to that odd resort.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank seekingbest
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
#10 Luxury Hotel in Scottsdale
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Scottsdale
#11 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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