Based on her experience staying at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess with her teenage son, Family Travel Forum's resident resort reviewer takes a look at this luxurious Arizona property.
The Fairmont Princess (480/585-4848) is set against the backdrop of the majestic McDowell mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona. The AAA Five-Diamond resort boasts two golf-courses, three award-winning restaurants, and one of the best spas in North America.
When my 13-year-old son, in an attempt at pleasant conversation, asked one of the bellmen if the Fairmont had any golf, the guy kindly didn't even crack a smile. He simply said, "Yes, our guests have priority at two Tournament Players courses, and one of them is on the PGA Tour, hosting the Phoenix Open [FTF Ed Note: Now called the FBR Open]." Not one to be easily silenced, my son went on to ask him about the tennis (its tennis tournaments feature players such as Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Lindsey Davenport), and finally said, "How about croquet?"
He thought he might like to try a tennis lesson or two but once he saw the pool complex with the longest resort slide in Arizona, plus fountains, volleyball, and more, he changed his mind and threw on his swimsuit. The kids spent all their time in the water, while the older generations plopped themselves down under one of the shady cabañas that rent by the day, and enjoyed a cactus juice margarita.
The Fairmont is done up Spanish colonial-style with plazas, gardens, and patios – it feels a bit like a sophisticated old-world Mexican village. If you're traveling with older adults who don't like to walk much, plan to stay in the spacious hotel rooms in the main building; you can ask for as many connecting rooms as you need. Otherwise, consider the "casitas" which have living rooms flanked by large bedrooms and are on the edges of this expansive property. The resort's new Willow Stream spa has elevators and wide hallways and doors so those guests in wheel chairs can be accommodated. Even if you don't splurge on a treatment, get a day pass to enjoy the waterfall massage treatment where you sit in a pool and have your neck and back massaged by a cascading waterfall.
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