By Roger Cox, Editor
No longer has tennis courts.
Sadly, the resort has decided to all but eliminate tennis (there's no longer a mention of it on the website) after reducing the number of courts to a mere four, too few for a resort this size. You can still play, but don't expect a lot of activity.
I am really deeply sorry to see the decline of interest in tennis, since there is so much to like about this resort. Its architecture is Spanish Colonial, including a vast internal plaza, like the courtyard of a hacienda, graced by fountains. Some of the 649 rooms, the smallest has 525 square feet, have entrances off the upper floors above that plaza, but most are in wings and buildings beyond, with views of the lagoon, gardens, golf course, or desert. Recently refurbished, they have tasteful Southwestern decor and full width patios or balconies.
Golfers no doubt thrill to the prospect of playing the resort's two TPC golf courses, but for me the stellar amenity is the Well & Being Spa. Although it encompasses 44,000 square feet over three stories, it feels intimate rather than large. Inspiration came from the hidden oasis of Havasupai deep in the Grand Canyon, and that's reflected in the red sandstone block walls, a co-ed pool with a waterfall, and subtle decorative tilework. Particularly alluring is the rooftop pool, open to the sky, and bordered by more of that red sandstone and palm trees. It also has its own cafe, Nourish, with healthy options from morning to evening, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. And beyond all of that, the resort has the amenities you'd expect in one this large: several swimming pools, including one with a double waterslide slide, a lagoon with catch-and-release fishing, a Trailblazers Family Activity Center for kids, multiple restaurants and bars (La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval and Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina foremost among them), and a sprawling conference center.
Pro Shop: 480-585-4848
Golf Courses. The resort has two TPC courses:
Spa & Fitness Center. I've already described—and raved about—the Well & Being Spa in my introduction. Its treatment and relaxation facilities aside, it also harbors a brightly lit fitness center with windows on the landscape outside (there is a fee for its use unless you've booked a spa treatment). However, as a guest you you also have free access to a smaller but well-equipped fitness center within the hotel itself, though it is in a windowless room. Between them they also offer a variety of fitness and yoga classes.
And ... There are five swimming pools at the resort altogether, the most child-friendly the Sonora Splash pool, which has a water slide.
Kids 5 to 12 can look forward to the Trailblazers Family Activity Center, which has its own room in the hotel and offers half-day and full-day programs of games and activities. those may include a desert discovery treasure hunt using a GPS or a photo safari around the hotel grounds.
If you like the sound of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, also check out:
Visit the website for current rates
Seasons. Year-round, though most comfortable from October to May.
Travel Instructions. The nearest major gateway is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), 25 miles to the south.
©2017 Roger Cox