Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Introduction
Brad and I had both wanted to visit Arizona for a long time, and thought it would be the perfect opportunity while we were down in Las Vegas for his 30th birthday. We decided to fly into Vegas, rent a car, and drive to Arizona, where we would stay a couple of nights in Scottsdale and a couple of nights in Sedona. This would allow for a full length holiday without being subjected to spending 7-nights in Vegas… Anyway, choosing a hotel in Scottsdale can be tough, because there are a lot of them, and many of them look the same. I was initially planning to book the Fairmont Princess Scottsdale, but had a change of heart after hearing some very positive accounts of The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. I checked with American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts and found a very good price (about $300CAD per night), which came with late check-out, room upgrade and early check-in subject to availability, daily breakfast, and a $100USD spa service credit.
We picked up our Audi Silvercar rental at the airport and made the roughly 5 hour drive to Scottsdale. It was a hot day, and we were both looking forward to an evening dip in one of the resorts beautiful pools on arrival.
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale is located about 25 minutes North of downtown, in an affluent neighbourhood near the Troon North Golf Course. The entrance to the property is discrete, and it’s a short drive from the road to the main building where reception is located.
We were greeted by a friendly doorman on arrival (who would go on to greet me by name for the remainder of the stay) and directed inside for check-in. The front office staff was great, explaining everything about the resort without being too detailed. Sometimes I find the check-in process exhausting at large properties as the staff walk you through every aspect of the property, though that wasn’t the case here. She told me everything that was essential and invited me to contact any member of the team with any questions. The main lobby area is beautiful with plenty of comfortable seating.
Whoever developed this resort did an amazing job at building around the natural beauty of the desert. We also stayed at The Canyon Suites Resort, a Luxury Collection Hotel on the other side of town during this trip and found it was a bit sterile compared to this property. It truly felt like this resort was constructed around the landscape, rather than bulldozing and planting a bunch of grass.
There are a total of 210 guest rooms on the property spread out in 25 adobe casitas. As you would expect, there can be quite a bit of walking between the casitas and the main building, restaurants, pool etc, but the resort has golf carts available 24 hours a day for a shuttle.
While not necessarily my preference for design or furnishings, I thought everything fit perfectly given the surroundings and much preferred it over the other resort we stayed at which had been completely refurbished with contemporary furnishings. The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale was distinctly desert, and it works.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale One-Bedroom Suite
As mentioned earlier, we were originally assigned a room that didn’t work for us, despite a couple of emails with the reservation team prior to arrival. It should be noted that none of the guest rooms offer two queen beds, just doubles (which look like large twins) that most adults would not be able to share comfortably. We were meeting a friend on this trip and had requested two beds, assuming they were large beds, and therefore the room originally assigned was not going to work. The front office staff did a bit of digging on their end and were able to get us into a one-bedroom suite with a pullout sofa in the living room. While not ideal (sofa beds are never replacements for a proper bed, especially a Four Seasons bed), it worked for us, and we appreciated all of the extra space in the suite.
Our room was on the top floor of a Casita facing the desert with unobstructed views in the back.
Anyone who has stayed at a few Four Seasons properties knows that many of the rooms are designed similarly. This is not to say that the furnishings and small details are identical, but you’ll often see recurring themes in the room layout, bathroom design, etc. Actually, the suite we were assigned was almost identical in layout, size, and bathroom design as the Four Seasons Resort Whistler we stayed at earlier in the year. The room opened up into a generous foyer, with a closet and minibar on the left and a bathroom with shower on the right.
The foyer opened up into a large living room which featured comfortable seating, a pullout sofa bed, large television and gas fireplace in the corner. There were also sliding doors to the patio with additional seating. Up against the wall nearest to the foyer was a large desk with telephone, stationary, and work chair.
The outdoor patio was huge and stretched the entire length of the suite with access from both the living room and bedroom. There were two seating areas and one table, both with unobstructed views of the dessert landscape.
The bedroom was separated from the living room and featured a large King bed in the centre of the room with side tables and windows on each side. There was also the large sliding glass door which allowed for plenty of natural light. In addition to the bed, there was a large television and dresser and a small seating area in the corner.
The linens and pillows were luxurious and soft, as you would expect at any Four Seasons property.
Attached the the bedroom was a huge master ensuite, separated by a hallway with large closets. The bathroom was equipped with a dual-sink vanity, large soaking tub, walk-in shower and separate water closet.
Amenities were by a local company instead of the brand-standard L’Occitane (which I don’t like) and were fine, but not great in my opinion.
Overall, the suite was really impressive, and nearly identical in layout to our Deluxe Executive Suite at The Four Seasons Resort in Whistler. While it’s not how I would choose to decorate my own home, I thought the decor and colours were very fitting in the desert. This is an older property now and is starting to feel a bit dated with some of the furniture, but like all Four Seasons, everything is spotlessly clean and maintained well, which makes the entire room feel a little less old than it is.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Dining And Amenities
We were at the property towards the end if August, and to say it was hot would be an understatement. Part of why rates were so attractive is because apparently nobody in their right mind chooses to vacation in the desert at the end of summer! Who would have thought? Lucky for us, we love the heat, and spent the bulk of our time down by the pool. Everything about the resort pool was great – the staff were engaged and eager to help, the area never felt crowded, even in the morning when the heat was less intense, and the poolside beverages were delicious and reasonable priced (for a five star luxury resort).
The area is split up into three parts: The main pool with plenty of seating, in addition to an adults only area and a splash pool for children. There were also plenty of cabanas that could be rented, though we didn’t see any of them in use during our stay.
There was a bar area at the pool with covered seating, and an option to have drinks/snacks delivered poolside.
We ate all of our meals (with the exception of one lunch) at the resort restaurant Proof Canteen and we were pleased with all of the food we sampled. Breakfast was included daily through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, and I found the quality and serving size to be great!
There was a service issue on our second night having dinner at the restaurant where I was asked to show ID when ordering a beer. Now I have no problem showing ID (I’m well beyond the legal age and consider it flattering), but we had been at the resort for two days, being greeted by name by most staff, and had been ordering drinks since our arrival. Naturally I didn’t have my ID on me, since I charge everything to the room and have no need to carry a wallet around the resort. The conversation went something like this:
Server: Can I see a piece of ID please?
Me: Sorry, I left my wallet in the room. I can assure you I’m of age and have been ordering drinks without issue since arriving. That server over there served us yesterday and can vouch
Server: Ok, let me get my manager and see what I can do
A few minutes passes by….
Manager: Hi Mr Weatherup, I’m the assistant manager here. I understand you don’t have your ID with you?
Me: Yes, that’s right. I left it in my room thinking I wouldn’t need it since I’ve been ordering drinks without issue and most staff seem to know me by name
Manager: I completely understand sir, but as per Arizona law, once asked, the person must produce ID. I’ll need you to return to your room and get your wallet.
Now normally I wouldn’t care so much, except that I was hot, tired, and hungry. Also, our room wasn’t just up an elevator, it was about a 10 minutes away. In all fairness, the manager did offer to have someone shuttle me there, but I’m a bit stubborn and said I would walk. After I returned I felt kind of bad for the server, and I apologized saying I knew she was just doing her job. Needless to say though, the service was a bit awkward for the rest of the evening.
To make things a bit more frustrating, the manager came back to the table just as our meal came out (now 20 minutes delayed) and started apologizing again just as I took a bite of food. While I appreciated the gesture, and considered his apology sincere, it probably could have waited until after the meal.
During check-out the next morning, the resort manager, Philip Clough came out and offered his sincere apologies for what happened at dinner (the internal communication at high-end properties is always impressive). We had a good conversation about the stay, including the mixup with room assignment, and he offered to contact him directly before our next stay, which I may do soon given the terrible weather in Vancouver these days…
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Bottom Line
Overall this is a tough property to fault, and I can’t imagine there’s a better resort in Scottsdale for any traveller who appreciates true luxury resort.
Highlights of the stay include:
- Spacious and well-appointed rooms with decor that blends in perfectly with the natural desert surroundings.
- Sprawling property with beautifully landscaped grounds and desert vegetation
- Great location near world-class golf courses and hiking trails
- The pool area was relaxing, comfortable, and open 24 hours per day with attentive and engaged staff
- Four Seasons service (which is to say, it was exceptional and personalized from start to finish)
- Housekeeping and maintenance is not overlooked. Despite being an older property, everything was well taken care of
- Participation in American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts can add a lot of value to your stay
- Rates can be expensive during peak season, though you really get what you pay for (and all of Scottsdale can get pricey during popular travel times)
- Rooms with two beds are not queen size, and likely not appropriate for sharing adults
I can’t wait to return to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale and would recommend it to anyone looking for a luxurious and personalized desert retreat.
What do you look for in a luxury resort? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!