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“Mostly a disappointment”

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The Phoenician, Scottsdale
Ranked #21 of 75 Hotels in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 8, 2007

My husband and I chose to stay at the Phoenician for our first anniversary. We had visited several years ago and really enjoyed ourselves, so I blissfully ignored all of the negative reviews. Big mistake! We booked a Grand Deluxe Stateroom, which is supposed to be the highest level of guestroom, guaranteeing a pool, lagoon or golf course view.

Check in is at 4PM, and we checked in at 5:10 on a Friday night. We were greeted graciously, wished a happy anniversary and given room #2140 in the main building. I had called in advance and had a long conversation with reservations at the hotel itself, and had explained to them that I wanted to stay in the main hotel this time so that I could enjoy the beautiful views that they offered. Well when we got to the room at the very west side of a long smelly hallway, we realized that the room was dirty, smelly, and overlooked the entrance to the parking garage, and where they park all of the golf carts used by the hotel staff, as well as the roof and some air-conditioning units.

I immediately called to get another room and this is when all courtesy disappeared on behalf of the staff. I was told that it was the last room in that category and that it had a golf view. I told them that I was standing on the patio and that I couldn't see a golf course, and I was told that on the 2nd floor you can't see the course, but that it was there. What? How can you call it a golf course view. When you don't have a view of the golf course? After near tears on my end, my husband begging to pay for an upgrade, a manager came out and suddenly a casita with a beautiful view of the lakes, pools, main hotel and camelback mountain became available.

Loved Windows wished we had eaten their twice. The Terrace was absolutely Terrible! Rented a cabana at the Mother of Pearl Relaxation pool. Was a deal at $75, we felt completely pampered. We stayed during off peak season, and would have left if this had happened at the high season rates. The Grande Dame of Phoenix is past her prime, but with the beautiful grounds, pools and championship golfing, I guess they and all of the reviews, AAA, Frommers, etc., feel that the quality of the guest rooms just doesn't matter. It really is a bit sad. We will not be visiting again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank CaliAz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,993 - 1,999 of 2,173 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2007

This is a truly fantastic hotel – if you get the right room. We booked a superior room but as Starwood gold members got an upgrade to Canyon Suites with views of the swimming pool and Camelback Mountain as a backdrop. The suite was spacious, conservative but tasteful in decoration, some electronic gadgets were provided such as a Bose system for our iPod. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful, valet parking was free. I know that some regard the Phoenician as bombastic and over the top. I beg to differ: If they put you up in the Canyon Suites, it’s all the difference.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled solo
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3  Thank DR_at_UZH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2007

I stayed at the Phoenician for two nights at the end of August and was rather unimpressed with the overall experience. While I understand that people define luxury differently, I feel this hotel has many obvious flaws that simply cannot be overlook if they expect to compete in this arena. The hotel itself is beautiful from the outside, the landscaping and Native American artwork were truly stunning. The service, with a few exceptions is beyond reproach. The maid service was impeccable, and I found the various food-service staff members to be personable without being annoyingly effusive. The front desk staff members I encountered varried in ability from totally vapid and inefficient to absolutley spot-on stylish and accomodating. Vinny, the day-time desk manager was especially polished and courteous, what a true luxury hotel agent should be. The first room I was assigned was totally unacceptable, dark and worn with a vew of the opposite wing of rooms and a gravel rooftop. I bipassed my original desk agent, went straight to Vinny, and was given a much more hospitable room. The public areas have very beautiful furnishings and light fixtures, but the floors/carpets are in deplorable condition. The hallway and room carpet was worn, stained, and raveling almost everywhere. The hallway carpets were dingy with a 1/2 inch wide dust strip along all the edges. The 5* Mary Elaines was serviceable for dinner, but not exceptional. The service standard far outperformed the cuisine. The downstairs Terrace Dinning Room is a very 80's chic (i.e. dated) restaurant serving underwhelming hotel food, but with a very obliging staff. This hotel seems to have shifted its focus to impressing conventioneers and suburbanites, the luxury travel set having already abandoned it. I wish my travel agent would have gotten the memo. On a bright note, we had dinner at Asia de Cuba in Ian Schrager's new Mondian Hotel. It was delectable, as were the service and drinks at the adjoining Red Bar and Sky Bar. Schrager still has his finger on the pulse of the new American jet set. Too bad the Starwood people have long since gone to sleep.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled on business
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5  Thank VarsityStriker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

The hotel and the grounds were pristine. The artwork throughout the hotel was unbelievable (I wish I had taken the guided tour). The pools were beautiful and the cactus garden was quite unique. The room and bath were spacious and comfortable. The bath amenities were very generous. The surprise for us was that everything had an additional fee. $10/hour to use the internet, $20 to use the workout room and $26 for valet parking (that I almost paid until I learned I had the option to self park) are a few examples. The restaurants were priced similarly to high-end restaurants in NYC. This is more an 'expense account' or 'couples' hotel rather than a 'family vacation' hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank dane2184
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

On arrival at the phoenician we were informed that we had been upgraded to the canyon suites. The suite was large with 1 and a half baths, master bed, sitting area, office and dining area. We were on the ground floor and the only problem that arrised was that the turndown service often forgot to set up the sofa bed. We received complimentary tea and coffee in the morning and were able to make completely free phone calls. The pools were large and they were often completely empty. We used the pools at the main resort also. The food and drinks were expensive but the setting of camelback mountain compensated for this. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel. Even moreso since it was possible to feel relaxed in very nice surroundings and the kids were extremely kid friendly with noodle floats and volleyball and basketball net. Don't be put off by the bad reviews, we had an exceptional stay.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank sunseekingtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2007

After a long flight and a short drive from the airport we arrived at the Phoenician late afternoon, the hotel is set in lovely grounds and looked very inviting. After arriving at check in we were told the suite I had booked was actually in the Canyon Suites, so the bell hops arranged to move the car and luggage whilst we were taken up to the new area via a golf cart. We were greeted by an ambassador who immediately showed us to our room whilst explaining all the complimentary services that were on offer, including a pressing service, shoe shine, gym, newspapers, fruit, morning coffee and internet access (maybe some of the people who’re complaining about paying for internet access should consider what room they book in future) to name a few.

The room itself was very nice, with a lobby with large cupboards and guest bathroom, a large dinner / lounge area with hd tv and an equipped office area. The bedroom was a good size with soft sheets and duvet and a second hd tv. This led to a large bath room with double spa bath and separate shower and a third tv. The balcony had lovely views over the golf course to the south. There was also facilities to play an iPod through the in room system or the bedside alarm clock. All the furnishings were very clean with no marks or damage, in fact the only problem I can think of is one of the sinks wasn’t draining correctly, which we mentioned to the ‘ambassador’ on the way out and it was fixed when we returned.

Anyhow on with the review, the first night we decided to have lite dinner and so we had a few drinks on a balcony in the main resort lounge the Thirsty Camel, and it wasn’t long until the flight and time difference caught up with us and we were heading back to the room. We knew we would be up early due to time differences so we confirmed our spa treatments and ordered the complimentary morning coffee to ensure we were awake. Which wasn’t necessary as we we’re both wide awake pre dawn so we sat on the balcony and watched the sun rise.

We took a golf buggy to the spa and was checked in and both had three treatments, all were done to a high standard, the aesthetician was exceptional and deserves a separate mention. The spa itself could do with an update it seemed very dim and tired especially compared to the spa at the Scottsdale Princess. The gym also suffers from a similar problem to the spa, its ok but needs an update

The next day we spent some time by the Canyon Suites exclusive pool, although there were probably no more than 10 people out there at any time but we decided to rent a cabana as these appeared to have the best position and they seemed good value, especially compared to some places. The cabana itself was very nice with plenty of room and a private bathroom with shower, we were constantly given complimentary soft drinks and they refilled the tortilla chips several times (charging only once).

We ate breakfast at Mary Elaine’s, as the Terrace was closed for renovation, the breakfast itself was very pleasant we attentive staff and a quiet atmosphere. The view itself makes it worthwhile with clear views to the south.

All in all a very pleasant hotel with nice gardens and a calm atmosphere, with good attentive staff. And reading some of the more recent reviews I can only assume they tried to get a bargain and booked a discount deal in an attempt to save money, when the old adage of you get what you pay for always seems to stand (having booked discount rooms in the past, in other hotels, I’ve not been surprised to been initially placed in an old room with no view).

I am definitely booking again next year.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank toneb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2007

Just returned from attending a conference at the Phonician, and I was not impressed. When you stay at a 5-star resort, you do NOT want to be inundated with additional charges, i.e., $5 daily gratuity for housekeeping, a $20 daily internet connection fee.....these charges need to be built into the rate. One of our speakers even mentioned the internet fee (very negatively) from the podium, and you would have thought the hotel would take some action......Additionally, upon checking out, the front desk was not able to complete a simple divison of the room bill correctly.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled on business
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3  Thank MissCookie
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

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: $359 - $709 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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