Scottsdale's stunning desert setting is just one of its many attractions. The destination also offers charming boutique hotels, traditional resorts that keep reinventing themselves, innovative dining, legendary golf facilities, outstanding shopping and unique museums.
• The McCormick Scottsdale reopened last year following a six-month renovation of its lobby, all 125 guest rooms and the Diamondbacks Lounge. The property features a total of 13,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space.
• The 22 suites at the 210-room Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North recently underwent an upgrade that added new décor and furnishings.
"Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker"debuts this month at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. The exhibit includes a first-time showing of a rare 1728-made Stradivarius.
MEET, GOLF, REPEAT
Topgolf Riverwalk has three levels of golf bays, as well as a boardroom, banquet rooms and a large rooftop terrace where private events can be held for up to 1,000 participants.
• Chaparral Suites is undergoing a head-to-toe, $22 million renovation, slated for completion this spring. Work being done at the 312-suite property, which will be renamed the Embassy Suites by Hilton Resort Scottsdale, includes a renovation of all guest rooms, public spaces and the pool; several new restaurants will replace existing outlets. The property's 60,000 square feet of meeting space will be updated with new business amenities and the latest audiovisual equipment.
• The 201-room Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa is set to open this summer. A transformation of the former Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort, the 22-acre property will feature guest rooms in bungalow-style clusters of six units each, providing an intimate desert-resort experience, with views overlooking Camelback Mountain. The resort will include 20,000 square feet of meeting space and a 12,000-square-foot spa. The Andaz Salon, the brand's signature cultural program, will offer a full roster of events to support and nurture the nearby community of emerging artistic talent.
• The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is undergoing an extensive expansion, adding 102 guest rooms for a new total of 750. The new rooms will complement the resort's contemporary Southwest décor, reflecting the surrounding Sonoran Desert, and will feature patios or balconies with louvered sliding doors. The expansion also will add a new pool, Sunset Beach, which will be the largest of six pools at the property. In addition, the hotel's replica 1880s Western town event space is being relocated and expanded to accommodate larger groups. Renamed Copper Canyon, the town will have its own saloons, a stage, a dance floor, a blacksmith shop and a jail, capturing the spirit of the Old West. Another new group venue, the Great Lawn, will provide 35,000 square feet of space for outdoor dining events, receptions, team-building and creative breakout sessions. All work should be completed by May 2016.
• The 193-room Hotel Valley Ho, which opened in 1956, has unveiled a $4 million renovation of guest rooms and suites in its original wings, adding new HD TVs and 1950s-style modernist decor. The ZuZu Lounge and hotel lobby also have been completely updated with new furniture and décor.
• The 326-room Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, a Destination Hotel, has added a new restaurant and bar, redesigned the lobby and main pool, enhanced all guest rooms, and added outdoor event space. The resort has been renamed the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, a Destination Hotel and is now a member of Association Luxury Hotels International.
• Two other area hotels have new names: the Montelucia Resort & Spa is now the 293-room Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, and the Radisson Fort McDowell is the 249-room We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center, an independent golf property affiliated with the nearby award-winning We-Ko-Pa Golf Club.
• WestWorld of Scottsdale recently opened a multi-use facility, the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center, featuring the 120,000-square-foot Equidome with 3,400 seats and a concourse.
Art of the West
Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West features interactive exhibits, historic artifacts and Western art from some of the world's most prestigious collections. The museum, which welcomes groups, debuted last year. Among works on display is A Time to Dance by Martin Grelle.
Meeting Hotels: Among Scottsdale's many properties are the 732-room Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 648-room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and 453-room JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com
Airport Transit: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, about 10 miles from downtown Scottsdale. Transfer cost to Scottsdale by taxi, $25; by shuttle, $17
Taxes: Room tax, 5%; sales tax, 5.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13.92% (includes 1.77 % Maricopa County transaction excise tax and 1.65% City of Scottsdale transaction tax)
Group Venue: Maya Day and Nightclub, a "beach club" and entertainment venue, features a resort-style pool, private cabanas with plunge pools, a restaurant and a large LED video screen. Groups of up to 1,400 are accommodated. (480) 284-6033
Hungry attendees can savor the imaginative Nuevo Latino dishes at Deseo. The eatery, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, has a bar that specializes in small plates and muddled cocktails. Groups of 12 can be seated at The Rail, overlooking the open kitchen, to watch the chefs create their meal. (680) 624-1202
Contact: Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, (480) 949-6293 or (800) 782-1117