As one of the most intriguingly beautiful cities in the United States, Phoenix has a special place in my heart (I will be getting married there next month)! I had a whirlwind 4-day adventure in Arizonas capital indulging every single one of my senses.
DAY 1
9:00 am Check in to the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia located in Scottsdale, a sprawling oasis at the base of the rocky Camelback Mountain. I literally opened the curtains of my room and was staring at the base of Camelback Mountain. The 19 building property, built to look like a village in Spain’s Andalucia region, has lots of discover. The Omni’s different buildings, pools, fountains, lawns, and gardens each have their own personalities. One moment I was reminded of Marrakesh, and with the next step I was transported to Italy or Spain.
10:00 am book a treatment at the Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, or if treatments are not your thing, grab a day pass, and just enjoy all the Joya Spa has to offer. This spa is absolutely stunning and no detail was overlooked. As soon as you walked through the door, the smell captivates you, and as I mentioned earlier you are transported into another country the spa being Morocco. This is by far one of the more spectacular spa visits I’ve made to date, and I don’t say this lightly.  I love the fact that the Joya is so much more than just a standard
treatment place.  Why, there are also multiple outlets for meditations in the whisper room, infused with spirituality via a touch of crystal magic and prayer/intentions, plus Turkish baths and Hammams (I believe this is the only resort in Arizona that offers Hammam!) — capped off with an outdoor spa pool that will truly take your breath away.
1:00 Enjoy all that the hotel grounds has to offer, whether its leisurely strolling the lime tree lined grounds ( I may have picked a few limes off the trees as photo props- sorry) or relaxing by one of the three pools, on the property, or grab one of the complimentary bikes and go for a ride.
5:45 Depart for dinner in downtown Phoenix at Farish House a six month old restaurant operating in an 1899 historic brick home.
6:45 Get picked up curbside by a pedal cab this was definitely a highlight for me. Our driver Billy was a wealth of knowledge about the origins of Phoenix, and had a sense of humor and personality to match. Ride comfortably as he shows you all of the amazing street murals covering the walls of downtown Phoenix, as well as the progression downtown Phoenix has gone through to become what it is today! Pass by the Chase field, which has pet friendly days, so you can bring your favorite creature to a game, how cool! Don’t be alarmed when Billy makes noises that to me sounded like he was an ewok or part of Star Trek to let pedestrians know he is approaching, and get out of the way!
9:00 pm return back to your hotel, and get a good night sleep as this was your day of relaxation, tomorrow is an early wake up and adrenaline filled day!
DAY 2
5:45 am Rise and Shine, strap on those cowboy boots, and chase the sunrise, as you head to Fort Mcdowell Adventures for a sunrise horse back ride set in the tranquil, breathtaking Sonoran Desert. Horseback riding through Arizona is like no other because you are wandering through all of the desert life while being guided by experts – I learned the proper pronunciation of Saguaro- (SA-WAR-0) and also how to determine their age. Also our guide happened to have the cutest dogs, Sadie and Cassie that literally followed us along for the whole ride!!
9:00 am finish your ride, and tour all that Fort Mcdowell has to offer, walking may be a little difficult after being on a horse for the past three hours.
10:00 am arrive at Civana – which seeks to “offer a holistic experience to a wider audience of wellness travelers” – Civana offers movement and fitness classes, programs and lectures on the healing arts, and, for an additional cost, spa treatments. I tried my first aerial yoga class here, lets just say I wont be flying anytime soon. The centerpiece of this property is the newly renovated spa. Comprising 28 treatments areas (including one Watsu therapy pool), 13 massage rooms, and a hydrotherapy circuit. I had the Down to Earth and Sea Body Detox, this was my first time experiencing a massage that involved water, and also having to sit still for 3 hours, as the massage was three hours long, I am not sure if this is for me!
7:00 pm check in to new hotel Westin Kierland Resort – in “New Scottsdale” Nestled in the Sonoran Desert, a large resort with many activities for adults and kids, and for those looking for relaxation by a pool, to pamper themselves at a full service spa, or to indulge in a round of golf, or three! There are two nice pool areas at the resort. One for adults only which has a big pool and a hot tub. And then the main pool and water park area with a larger pool, a 110-foot water slide, a 900 foot lazy river, and cabanas and islands. Also a flow rider (think simulated surfing in the desert) which operates during certain hours, and unfortunately we didn’t time our days to ride this – next time!
DAY 3
5:00 am Sunrise hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions. Unfortunately after our pick up, and a short 15 minute ride our driver received a phone call, notifying him that the winds were too harsh, and due to safety precautions, we would not be able to take off that morning. I was disappointed, as I was definitely looking forward to it, but I know when I return to Phoenix next month you will find me in the sky, living all my wizard of Oz fantasies.
11:00 am check in poolside, I definitely recommend reserving seats in advance. The pool was hopping, and the August heat was a little too much for me, luckily I grabbed a tube, and just floated along the refreshing man made lazy river. I really just felt like a kid at summer camp, with all the activities at the Kierland Resort, there is a chalkboard schedule outside of all the activities they have on tap for the day, a water slide, and the best part for me was the freezer full of dippin’ dots, although they didn’t have my favorite flavor – if you are reading this you need the mint chocolate chip in stock. 🙂
6:00 pm hop on the shuttle provided by the hotel, and go a short ways to an outdoor strip mall. Truth be told, we didn’t know about this shuttle, and took an embarrassing 30 second uber ride, but we soon learned and took it home after dinner.
6:30 Dine at The Mission Kierland my mouth is literally watering now thinking back to the table side guacamole we had made, also to be mentioned I asked as I always do for a “VERY SPICY” mocktail, usually the say of course, and come back to me with a shirly temple with maybe a hint of spice, but this one was no joke and delicious. They have a homeade ghost pepper infusion, and a highly reccomend if you like spice to have it added to your drink. The tacos were also delicious and polly pocket sized, which I liked, it helped me not make a mess of my plate and myself, since I was eating with the head of Phoenix Tourism, and wanted to give the best representation of myself.
8:00 walk around the shops, and burn some calories after that delicious meal!
DAY 4
8:30 am Check out of Hotel and head to Desert Botanical Garden.
9:00 am arrive at Desert Botanical Garden I was wearing a wedding dress in the August heat, but was determined to get an awesome boho desert bridal shot, in this gorgeous setting. At one point a passerby said to me, I noticed you before wearing “a large table cloth” and thought this girl is crazy. The DBG is a cactus wonderland in the Sonoran. It also holds about 50,000 other desert plants, of which 400 species are rare or endangered. The 140-acre botanical garden means there’s much ground to cover. I recommend getting a guide.
11:00 am Brunch at Hash Kitchen after being there only moments, my friend and I were already brainstorming ways to bring this restaurant to Nyc, and contemplating asking if they sold franchising rights. An instagrammable wonderland it will blow your mind from the first moment you step inside. The walls are covered with brunch themed phrases, there’s a DJ booth for weekend brunches and even a disco ball. Looking for brunch drinks? They have everything from cereal shooter flights to mimosa flights, and Arizona’s LARGEST build your own Bloody Mary bar!
1:00 pm Explore Phoenix I can’t tell you everything you need to do!!!
5:00 pm The last Supper at Clever Koi this was hands down, or chopsticks, my favorite meal! It could be my new found vegetarianism, and my obsession with impossible meat, but the dan dan noodles with impossible meat, literally had me drooling and not shutting up about how good they were, and ordering a second order of the Kimchi Cauliflower Bao Buns. I am leaving Phoenix with a full belly.
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