The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Posted on: December 9th, 2011 by Peter Kessler No Comments

Luxuriating at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona on a perfect stretch of late autumn days, reminds me of the quote by the early 20th Century comedian, WC Fields.   On his deathbed, he said,” On the whole I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”

Well , I’d rather be at the Princess:  getting the most incredible massage at the The Willow Steam Spa, or buying stuff for my family at the Holiday Gift Shop, or just sipping a drink watching the Carolers work their seasonal magic.  And as an important note, this spa is on the shortest list of great spas wherever spadom exists.  It was strictly no nonsense.  Check in was fast and easy, the staff made the whole process a pleasure.  And did I mention fast?

The amenities, including the outdoor and very powerful waterfall under a rock ceiling, is a waterfall perfectly made so as to soften the most stressed necks and shoulders as you wait for your massage, which is ridiculously worth looking forward to.  You can get beat up, you can be pampered, you can get whatever you want in terms of pressure and pressure points and technique.  I really miss The Willow Steam Spa.

The big time fun tequila tasting bar was simply new and unusual in theme and in execution – great tequilas with a tutorial on how they’re made and what to look for in tasting and sipping.  And the perfect appetizers come right along with it.  If you drop by you can forget all at dinner but the main course. Try the Bourbon Steak three steak extravaganza and their hashed brown potato’s, all but a few steps away from your last tequila sip.  The flow of the property works on every level.  Even if your room is far from the lobby area, a nice guy in a golf car picks you up almost instantly anytime of day.

When we got to our rooms by long golf carts able to handle you and your luggage, we detected the faint smell of pastry and coffee.  Turns out the Gold Pass program puts you smack dab next to an amazing morning and late afternoon buffet in a little building next to ours.  The service there is so spectacular you just want to sit by the fire and be pampered.  And the food is so special and different from any expectation, it’s simply divine.   There were fresh breads from all over the world one afternoon, surrounded by exotic cheeses and meats, lasagna with a real tasty marinara sauce to drizzle on it.  There were baby shrimp with a light and lemony dressing in small glasses, wines from all every corner of the world, any whisky you could think of, any tea.

And the golf was just right, not too hard nor too easy, with subtle, fast greens with very imaginative chipping complexes you could chip from successfully and have a great deal of fun in the process.  Both the TPC Scottsdale and the Stadium Course were such that if you played your best you could shoot a number. But if you are at your worst, you won’t lose many balls and the recoveries are manageable.  That’s a neat balancing act.  And the speed of play was a very pleasant treat, just under 4 hours on golf courses that seemed pretty packed. The fairways were in great shape, the rough at the Stadium growing for the 2012 version of golf’s most happy event, The Waste Management Phoenix Open.  And I did of course hit it stiff on 16.

And missed the six footer for birdie in front of the imaginary crowd screaming from the bleachers already standing and awaiting players who make their six footers under pressure.  Please note I shot a 78, everything holed, and I am an eleven handicap. Think I had fun?  And then later back at the Willow Stream Spa….

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