Scottsdale, Ariz., Destination Guide

Eat Here
Nuevo Latino dishe from trendy Deseo
Savor the tasty, imaginative Nuevo Latino dishes of chef Doug Rogriguez at trendy Deseo. The eatery, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, has a bar that specializes in wine and muddled cocktails.

The W Scottsdale unveiled six new suites this month. The accommodations are on a private wing of the hotel's sixth floor and feature décor by designer Theresa Fatino. With the addition of the new quarters, the property now has a total of 230 guest rooms.

The Palomino Conference Center at the Fairmont Scottsdale PrincessThe 649-room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has unveiled its new $20 million, 52,331-square-foot Palomino Conference Center as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation project. The property also has modernized the Princess Conference Center, its existing 23,000-square-foot ballroom and meeting facility. The Palomino Center brings the resort's total meeting and event space to approximately 156,000 square feet, making it the largest meetings hotel in the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts collection worldwide.

The 732-room Westin Kierland Resort & Spa has unveiled its new Trailblazer Ballroom, which features wall-to-wall windows overlooking the scenic Kierland Golf Course. The venue adds 11,000 square feet to the property's total of 198,000 square feet of event space, much of which recently was outfitted with new carpeting, modern wall coverings and updated furnishings.

At the 647-room Phoenician, the 22,000-square-foot grand ballroom and other meeting spaces have undergone a $6 million spruce-up. Improvements include new lighting controls and wall sconces, all meant to provide greater energy efficiency. The ballroom has also installed digital signage and a new movable wall system for greater flexibility.

The 453-room JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley is in the midst of a $10 million project to upgrade its guest-room bathrooms with modern features, including walk-in showers, large shower heads and lighted mirrors. The property features approximately 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

The 191-room Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale has transformed two of its guest rooms and a suite into a new meeting room and adjoining hospitality suite. The meeting facility has 760 square feet of space, while the 930-square-foot hospitality suite features a wraparound patio and floor-to-ceiling windows. The property's total of indoor/outdoor event space now totals 37,500 square feet.

Scottsdale's section of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is set to undergo a major renovation over the next two years. The city is investing $4 million to repair and reroute trails through this scenic attraction.

Kimpton's 204-room Firesky Resort & Spa has earned green certification from the international standards organization Green Key for its EarthCare program, adopted in 2007 and encompassing more than 80 eco-friendly products and practices.

The Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at WestWorld of Scottsdale is undergoing a major renovation and expansion to the tune of approximately $42.8 million. Once the project has been completed at the end of this year, the arena will have 40,000 square feet of event space and an enclosed roof. The refreshed venue is expected to draw a variety of large equestrian events, as well as trade shows and other activities.

Best Views
Created by internationally acclaimed artist James Turrell, Knight Rise Skyspace at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is a viewing chamber that frames the ever-changing desert sky as a work of art.

Head to Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home, Taliesin West, in the late afternoon or evening to take in scenic views of Scottsdale's twinkling city lights.

Talking Stick Resort & Spa
Degree 270, a chic lounge on the 14th floor of the Talking Stick Resort & Spa, features gorgeous panoramic vistas of Camelback Mountain and environs.

Meeting Hotels
Properties with meeting space include the 732-room Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 649-room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 647-room Phoenician, 490-room Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, 453-room JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, 404-room Scottsdale Plaza Resort and 210-room Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

Outside the city is the 497-room Talking Stick Resort, a gaming property.

A more complete listing of Scottsdale hotels can be found at mcvenues.com.

Airport Transit
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, about 10 miles southwest of downtown Scottsdale. Transfer cost by taxi, $20; by shuttle, $20

Taxes
 Room tax, 5%; sales tax, 6.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.92% (includes 1.77% Maricopa County transaction excise tax and 1.65% City of Scottsdale transaction tax)

Group Venues
Proof, an American canteen, has opened at the 210-room Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. The eatery features home-style comfort fare sourced entirely from the 50 states and an array of local vendors, including Maya Farms for vegetables, Sunizona for tomatoes and Gila Bend for shrimp. Classic American favorites -- fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles -- are featured. Groups of up to 180 people are accommodated. (480) 515-5700

Give top performers a chance behind the wheel at the Octane Raceway. The facility, which accommodates groups of up to 750 people, features two indoor racetracks and a rock-climbing wall. (602) 302-7223

Contact
Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 782-1117