Hot in Phoenix: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
Writer Shannon Severson
Photography courtesy Andaz Resort
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa opened its mid-century modern retreat in December 2016, but within just a few months, it has already earned worldwide recognition and a coveted spot on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s annual Hot List. The list recognizes the 75 best new hotels and resorts worldwide, though only 22 United States properties made the cut. It is the only Arizona hotel on the list.
The resort specializes in luxurious cultural immersion, incorporating the work of local artists into every inch of its 23 lushly landscaped acres. Palm trees sway in the breeze above low-slung bungalows with original beamed ceilings and hand-troweled walls. Each is decorated with colors inspired by both pop artist Alexander Girard and the ancient hues of the Zuni color wheel.
Tucked away off Scottsdale Road with an impressive view of Camelback Mountain, the property feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet it’s just minutes from all the attractions of Scottsdale.
The sophisticated vibe is infused with a laid-back, welcoming spirit. General manager Scott Mason believes that the secret to much of the award-winning feel of the place lies in its people.
“We have had the great blessing and benefit of having extraordinary people,” says Mason. “Something I’m most proud of is that all of them are led by their intuition. There’s no script for creating the perfect guest experience, but we all operate under a strong, primary mantra of doing the right thing and positively contributing to the strong culture of our hotel. At every level, this team makes the guest experience ideal.”
Indeed, there is no script at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa, but there is certainly a story that has already been captivating guests from far-flung locales and from right in the neighborhood. Just as the paintings, sculptures, and pottery from the resort’s collaborative relationship with Cattle Track Artists Compound down the road is subject to interpretation, so too are guests invited to create the visit that best speaks to them, with a healthy dose of indulgence.
Nothing feels cookie cutter, from the hip, living room-like guest house, which acts as a non-traditional lobby, to each guest room’s inviting terrace and completely customizable spa experiences at the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary. It’s easy to see why the editors at Condé Nast find this stylish, creative spot a standout on the world stage.
“There’s a natural flow of energy in the spaces that has been magical for our guests,” says Mason. “We’ve been very fortunate to this point to be able to see that the beauty of the design and the spaces really don’t require words, because the feedback we’ve gotten from people is that it’s really just about the feel. It’s a very genuine, individual experience.”
Beyond being a very comfortable place to sleep, it’s also a fantastic place to enjoy a meal or a craft cocktail. Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen is earning rave reviews for its creative yet approachable cuisine. A glass-enclosed exhibition kitchen with high, countertop tables surrounding a plancha allows a peek into the masterful culinary world of Chef Adam Sheff and his staff as they transform locally produced indigenous and artisanal ingredients into dishes that reflect Arizona’s culture in new ways.
Even the bar snacks, including chef-made jerkies — ostrich with mescal and green chile, spiced lamb, and beef brisket with orange flower honey — are inventive twists on comforting standbys and every cocktail has a story; just ask one of the friendly bartenders.
Outside, guests can sip and chat around fire pits on the restaurant’s terrace or lounge by the spectacular turquoise pool at the center of the resort. For the ultimate poolside experience, private cabanas with flat-screen TVs and cushy furniture are available for hire. A fresh salad or spiked popsicle for the grown-ups is the perfect accompaniment.
Corporate guests find the many meeting spaces to be conducive to brainstorming and collaboration. Thinking outside the box is just easier when surrounded by natural light and clean architectural lines.
Mason has heard from the partners of business travelers who find Andaz Scottsdale to be a mutually beneficial destination. They’ve enjoyed their downtime by utilizing the amenities of the resort while their other half is in meetings. Certainly the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary and various salons featuring local artists and performers is part of that appeal.
There is quite a demand for creative, personalized weddings and private parties held at the resort’s vast selection of meeting spaces. With 10,000 interior and more than 36,000 exterior square feet of meeting space, there are plenty of places to set the scene for a very personal, custom event.
“The national and international exposure we’ve received is invaluable,” says Mason. “It’s an honor, but at the end of the day, we are always going to be local because our focus is to share and celebrate all the different cultures that have come through Arizona. It’s what makes our property special.”
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
6114 N. Scottsdale Road