If you can’t wait until the next international Gem or Centurion jewelry convention, to return to Scottsdale, we have plenty of other good reasons to visit – even during the summer months.
Number one is golf – with 51 courses in Scottsdale alone, and a total of 207 in the surrounding areas, you will be spoilt for choice. Next up is new hotels ranging from an upscale addition to a cool, modern favorite to the first cozy B&B opening, and restaurants with accolades from Food & Wine and Esquire to rival the bigger cities.
New Hotel Accommodations and Nightlife: One of the most popular hotels in downtown for nightlife is still the hip W hotel. The Living Room lobby is packed most nights with locals and guests sipping on signature ‘vitamin’ drinks – a concoction of vodka and fresh juices, before heading upstairs to the poolside bar or to Sushi Roku. Hailing from the IDG group in LA and Las Vegas, this is one of the best Japanese sake and food pairing experiences you can have in the area, including the Omakase dinner.
The hotel has recently added a new floor with six luxe one-bedroom suites, designed by Theresa Fatino, that give the hotel more of a ‘Mad Men’ modern vibe in the desert. Features include large balcony’s, full kitchens, dining room, spacious living room complete with a bar cart-table – very Don Draper. The bedrooms are large with desks, walk-in closets and even a washer-dryer off the hallway for longer stay guests. The best part is you can’t hear the rowdy revealers at the pool if you are trying to get some sleep before hitting the golf course in the morning, and be sure to take advantage of the on-site Bliss spa for a treatment once you return or before you hit the town.
Just adjacent to the W Scottsdale hotel Maya Day and Nightclub is the first high-end beach club bringing together entertainment, music, and food for day and nighttime fun. The resort-style pool is equipped with daybeds and lounges, private and VIP cabanas with private plunge pools, a restaurant, a poolside taco bar, Arizona’s largest LED video screen, and a clubhouse area with video games, billiards, shuffleboard, and flat screen TVs. A floating stage overlooking the pool will play host to deejays and live music. Unlike Manhattan’s Soho House and The Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, Scottsdale Beach Club is open to the public – no membership and no hotel affiliation.
For a completely different experience on the outskirts of town, a B&B has opened (the only one in town), called The Bespoke Inn, Café & Bicycles. With only four rooms, and a new restaurant, you can linger on the outdoor communal dining table and roof top infinity pool, just like at your own home. The new restaurant is being billed as “wandering Mediterranean,” Virtù Honest Craft, will serve hand-made pastas, bone marrow, braised oxtails, house-made sausages and crudo from Chef Vito Osso, along with crafted cocktails by top local mixologist Clint Spotleson. The top floor suite has a gourmet kitchen, soaking tub and an outdoor fireplace. The onsite bicycle shop is a unique twist and the owners are avid riding fans. You can have full use of a bike during your stay and if you fall in love, you can buy it to take with you.
New Restaurants: A newer instant favorites from Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza (of Bario Café fame in Phoenix), is Barrio Queen Tequileria – named one of the best restaurants in the country by John Mariani and Esquire Magazine. Known for margaritas, tacos, tortas and the best grilled corn in a cup layered with crema. In addition to the street food favorites, they feature 250 kinds of tequila.
FnB was opened by Pavle Milic of Bodega and AZ Wine Merchants, so you know the wine list is going to be good, along with the artisan store selling breads, cheese and olive oils to snack on or for your next picnic. In the main restaurant which has two small rooms and an outdoor patio, you will be treated like one of the family by Milic who somehow manages to visit every table while chatting, pouring wine and recommending dishes like the braised leeks with gooey mozzarella and a fried egg – this one landed them on the Food & Wine 10 Best Restaurant dishes. Possibly one of the best comfort meals with a healthy flair and the local wines will surprise you.
For brunch on a Sunday, The House Brasserie in Scottsdale is hard to beat in a quant, historic building, with an outdoor patio and a jazz band. Chef Matt Carter (The Mission) reinvents classic Mediterranean dishes such as pastas and paella but he also makes a great burger or roast turkey sandwich, and interestingly, killer crab fried rice. Don’t’ order the eggs unless you have low cholesterol – the scrambled dish uses close to a dozen eggs, probably best to share with a hangover and one of the signature Pisco or tequila cocktails.
Once you are finishing trying all the new eateries, the downtown area has plenty of quaint stores and galleries for clothing, jewelry, art and local crafts all within walking distance, or you can opt to jump on the free trolley, better known by locals as ‘Ollie the Trolley’ and explore the city.