The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers desert-luxe rooms, award-winning southwest cuisine, a spectacular destination spa, a to-die-for pool and the chance to be treated like royalty.

By Carly Scholl

A stay at the AAA 5-Diamond Award-winning Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is the ultimate mid-winter escape.  I recently had the good fortune to experience firsthand the meticulous attention to detail, unrivaled service,  and unending fun synonymous with the Fairmont’s standards.  I have never lain in the lap of luxury like I did during my brief time at the Princess.

Arriving in the late morning, my first impression was the smiling faces of the friendly valet team, who whisked away my bags and car, and ushered me to the VIP check-in desk.  Here, the concierge placed into my hands a packet bursting with information on the dozens of activities and opportunities available during the weekend, before a bellman walked me through the magnificent lobby—elegantly decorated in signature southwestern style.  As we wound our way through the expansive grounds on the way to my room, he made sure to point out all the “margarita checkpoints,” amongst the multiple pools, bars, and restaurants.

We made our way to the B building where my deluxe room awaited.  The spacious floor plan left ample room for relaxing; every amenity I discovered more luxurious than the last.  Just outside the private balcony was the resort’s lagoon, twisting and turning across the tropically landscaped grounds, ending in a peaceful pond absolutely brimming with lily pads.

After a few minutes of settling in, I made my way over to the Well & Being Spa for a spa treatment.  A guide gave me a short tour of the facilities, and I could not help feeling like I had entered a mermaid sanctuary of sorts.  Complete with a grotto waterfall, eucalyptus inhalation room, aerial yoga atrium, and every kind of shower, bath and sauna one could dream of, the Well & Being spa is truly a destination of peaceful indulgence.

After sampling all the amazing amenities, I enjoyed a delicious lunch while lounging by the exclusive rooftop pool, shaded by towering palms and serenaded by the soft sound of water cascading over the infinity edge.  My curry chicken lettuce wraps and berry sangria were both light and satisfying, and I began to feel like a Scottsdale princess myself.

Around noon, my spa treatment began. On a recommendation from the Fairmont staff,  I received the Purification Ritual: a sumptuous 90-minute treatment focusing on detoxification and exfoliation, aided by  a coffee body-scrub, oat polish facial, aloe mask, hair conditioning oil, and a full body massage.  Heavenly.

The remainder of the afternoon floated past in a dreamy haze of poolside relaxation, a little shopping at the resort’s fabulous boutiques, and further exploration of the sprawling acreage of the grounds.  Upon returning to my room to ready myself for dinner, I found a prelude to the Mexican fiesta I would later enjoy:  waiting for me in my room was a  trio of hand-crafted salsas with chips for dipping, and a mix-your-own-top-shelf margarita tray.

The Scottsdale area is known for its plethora of authentic and upscale fusion Mexican cuisine,  however, Chef Richard Sandoval’s La Hacienda—voted the #1 Best Mexican Restaurant in Arizona—was unlike any southwest supper I had ever experienced.  As my  dinner date and I devoured La Hacienda’s signature guacamole trio appetizer (hello, bacon guacamole), we were honored by a surprise appearance  of the Tequila Goddess.  Yes, you read that right.  Her official job title is “Tequila Goddess, ” and she is an expert in all 200-plus varieties of tequila housed at La Hacienda.  The Goddess bestowed upon us a  flight of tequilas to taste,  but what really caught my attention was the vicious-looking rattlesnake head and tail decorating the plate.

The extremely satisfied walk back to my room after dinner was illuminated by the nightly firework show booming above the south lawn—the perfect conclusion to a dazzling day.

I discovered that the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a chameleon of sorts, offering a getaway that speaks to the passions of each guest, from a sun-splashed golfer’s paradise, to a decadent poolside lounge, to a serene and rejuvenating spa destination.  But don’t take my word for it.  Book your visit and find out what the Princess can be for you—a golfer’s dream round, a family’s unforgettable getaway, or a cowgirl’s chance to swap her Stetson for a crown,  if only for a few days.