As a 26-time recipient of the stellar AAA Five Diamond Award, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess proves, season after season in one of the most popular golf vacation destinations in America, that its guests are seldom left wanting … for practically anything.
Among the Arizona property’s superlative amenities are 750 richly appointed guest rooms and suites; a quartet of top-rated restaurants including three orchestrated by celebrity chefs Richard Sandoval and Michael Mina; a 44,000-square-foot spa and fitness center; six pools including a new 7,000-square-foot oasis with sand beach and splash pad; a 35,000-square-foot Sunset Beach Lawn and new 1880s-inspired western town for staging events and celebrations; plus adjacent access to the 36-hole TPC Scottsdale, longtime venue of the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Despite already pampering guests like blue-blood royalty, there is one additional head-swirling amenity that perfectly punctuates the Scottsdale Princess’ celebrity for customer service: taste-driven “discovery programs” that showcase its high-end tequila, rum, absinthe, bourbon, wine and classic cocktails, experiences so compelling that its program experts have earned esteemed titles like “Rum Princesa,” “Tequila Goddess” and “Cocktail Curator.”
For example, Tequila Goddess Katie Schnurr is certified by Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council and is a connoisseur of the 240 types of tequila stocked at La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval, the Scottsdale Princess’ award-winning Mexican restaurant. A must try is the Snake Bite Flight, which serves up a scrumptious sampling of sotol, mezcal and tequila on a plate decorated with the head and tail of a rattlesnake.
At the Fairmont’s Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar by Richard Sandoval, located at the TPC Scottsdale, guests are introduced to more than 150 types of premium rum offered by Rum Princesa Dre Fountain. Also headquartered here are private lockers that safely store pricey bottles of bourbon and whiskey for patrons who pair spirits with the eatery’s scintillating varieties of suviche (sushi and ceviche).
Oenophiles regularly flock to Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, renowned for its Wine Spectator-awarded wine collection. But the restaurant’s more venturous aperitifs are delicious tableside selections of absinthe, or alternatively, pours from an exclusive barrel of 10-year-old Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon, specially chosen by restaurant GM Andrew McLaughlin and Cocktail Curator Matthew Doerr.
Looking for something with an Instagram-able kick? Imbibe on a cup of La Hacienda’s infamous Bebidas de Fuego (flaming coffee), set afire tableside using Cruzan 151 Rum and infused with a choice of six different spirits including Patron Tequila. Another decadent indulgence is a serving of Café 1921, made with 1921 Crema de Tequila, coffee, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
One final recommendation: Reserve an outside, sunset-facing table at the mixology enhanced environs of The Plaza Bar, then order a round of crafted cocktails flavored with tinctures, infusions, shrubs, syrups and powders. Or channel your inner Cary Grant or Sophia Loren and order a classic dry martini — ice cold of course, and garnished with a lemon twist.
What is your favorite memory about the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess? Share your comments below.
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer. Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.