The Phoenician Labor Day Weekend

September 20, 2010

I wrote a post last month about a bad experience at the Doubletree Hotel in Tucson, Arizona. In the interest of not sounding like a complainer all the time, I wanted to write this post about a fantastic experience Linda and I had over Labor Day weekend at The Phoenician, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Grounds
To be fair, this place is not a hotel. It is a five diamond resort. Keep in mind we are in the middle of the desert, yet the resort grounds? Green everywhere. Including around their nine swimming pools they somehow designed to feel intimate. Tired of lounging by the pools? Water slide anyone? How about a game of Cricket on the lawn? It’s like a putting green. Speaking of putting, you can also take advantage of their 27-hole championship course. Sadly, it was too hot for golf that weekend.

Food
Il Terrazzo Italian. We started in the lounge with three kinds of tuna tar tar. After being seated, and a quick perusal of the menu, we decided to start with the mussels. I can never turn down mussels in a fancy pants joint like this. Garlic, lemon, white white and black pepper. Garlic break soaking in the sauce.

My dinner was free range chicken served with brocollini and asparagus. The chicken was skin on, a little different than I am used but it was the tastiest. Linda had the halibut with artichokes, fennel, basil, tomato, and black olive vinaigrette. Our meals where complimented with a beautiful chardonnay as oaky as it was buttery. Just how I like it.

On Sunday night we had reservations for J&G Steakhouse. The restaurant is on the fifth floor of the resort. You take the elevator to the top and as you exit your eyes are drawn toward the breathtaking view of Scottsdale strait ahead. Amazing view. Amazing food.

Lunch. However anticlimactic it may be to mention, even the pool food was great. Their turkey burger was hands down the best I’ve ever had. I had it for lunch both Saturday and Sunday. Mango salsa. Red onion. Homemade whole wheat bun with a green leafy salad in a light balsamic vinaigrette on the side.

Service
While the grounds where outstanding, the food fantastic, the service was the most impressive. Here are two examples. On our first night, Linda wore a black dress to dinner. One of the wait staff came over with a black napkin and asked politely if she would trade him for her white napkin. No white napkin fuzzes on her black dress. Linda was floored. Second example. There is staff working in the pool area who’s primary job is to make sure guests have a full jug of ice water at all times. Come on.

In the end, we decided that this place is like the Wynn in Vegas but with a view of the outside. It was sad to go. Can’t wait to get back.

Happy Monday!

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