Arizona Bucket List No. 68 – Princess Resort Stay-Cation

It’s a little late to post about this, but… I’ve always wanted a proper Stay-cation at one of the major Scottsdale or Phoenix well-known hotels. I’m talking the Phoenician, the Palomar, or the W Scottsdale. The Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix is a familiar place for us; my family likes to celebrate special events at the Compass, the rotating restaurant atop this property. That’s where we had dinner the night my husband and I got married before a downtown Phoenix courthouse judge and we also hired the Hyatt to cater our reception. I also enjoy dining at Sushi Roku at the W.

But I’ve never had the chance to check out the rooms and the pools until this past summer (2017). My friend Hayley (who is also a local journalist, hi Hayley!),Princess_Toes.jpggot a room at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and invited friends to stay, do the pools and dine. It was an excellent way to sample some of the Valley’s best accommodations. The hotel property almost feels like a small mall. I pulled in (it’s gated) and was offered valet parking or a self-park lot. I chose to self-park, since I knew we’d be walking around the place a lot. When you cross through the lobby, you arrive in a nice outdoor area that has a bar and a lot of shops. It kind of reminds me of being at one of the larger Honolulu/Waikiki Beach resorts where there are clothing stores, shops to buy new bathing suits, souvenir shops, a small cafe and even a convenience-type store. Princess boasts six heated pools (although one is available only with spa services and accessible only through the private spa — the Well & Being rooftop pool). The pool to the farthest east on the property has two twisting and very fast & fun water slides. This is where we saw the most families hanging out. Next to it is a pool with cabanas and a bar when you can borrow giant soft floating pads that are square. It feels like you’re on a giant pool love seat or spa. In addition to regular lounge chairs, they also have huge lounge beds in the sun or shade.

We walked around and found another large pool to the south of the property that also had a nice hot tub. Around the to the West-side is a huge, shallow wading pool with a fountain right in the middle. This pool is pretty much fully in the open sunlight and feels like a beach.

We enjoyed our tour of the pools and around happy hour we made our way to Toro, which feels like a Spanish-style steakhouse and fancy cocktail place. As we stepped in, we had an excellent view of the TPC golf course where the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open takes place. We recognized it right away and couldn’t believe we were on the very same course that gets so full of visitors, party people and pro golfers for a long weekend every year. It looks so different when there’s not the open going on!

All in all, Princess was a luxurious and relaxing place for a mini-stay-cation. Some reviews online say the property is dated, and it may be, a little bit. But it’s still a nice, high-end resort to take the family or to spend a honeymoon weekend.