Along bustling Scottsdale Road, a stone’s throw from mighty Camelback Mountain, there’s a sunny slice of paradise that embodies the notion of a desert oasis. The Scott Resort & Spa, currently through the better part of a thorough $15 million renovation, is a haven of serenity, beauty, luxury and hospitality in Scottsdale, one of America’s quintessential desert cities. From the lush planters eliciting images of Havana to the beach-like pool and the craft cocktails on par with the best bars in the nation, The Scott is really something special.
Located in Old Town Scottsdale, the resort tastefully toes the line between old and new, embracing chic elements from both a vintage and contemporary standpoint. At its heart is the Mission-style architecture, which lays the framework for those idyllic desert vibes and provides an apt canvas for aesthetic ingenuity. With renovations mostly complete, including all public spaces and The Canal Club restaurant, the property is ready for its closeup.
The wow factor starts to sink in as soon as you park your car. Elegant lounge chairs and benches bedeck the exterior and front desk area, with soaring interior ceilings and ample natural light helping to blend the inside with the outside. Fireplaces, sofas, vast wooden ceiling beams and floor-length billowy white drapes provide an opulent backdrop, while large trees growing out of the middle of the room, dangling with ambient lamps, are an apt centerpiece.
As you stroll back through the elongated lobby, the pool decks beckoning in the distance, you’ll find the gorgeous bar area. Serving as a cafe by day and cocktail nook by night, with ample seating both indoors and out, it’s a social focal point for the property, and rightfully so. In the morning, it’s an essential stopover for coffee or a Spanish latte, avocado toast and egg sandwiches. Come back in the evening to sip cocktails both classic-inspired and wholly neoteric. Like Helen & Maude, a riff on a mojito with Nicaraguan rum, coconut, lime, mint and soda; or the smoky, zesty Salt River Society, a mezcal-based tipple with amaro, lemon, ahi amarillo and pineapple.
The Canal Club restaurant, fresh off its makeover, is destination dining not just for hotel guests and Scottsdale locals, but for travelers near and far. The beautiful restaurant looks like something out of a Wes Anderson dreamscape, blending a color palette of light pinks and tropical greens with verdant planters, soft lighting, vibrant, museum-worthy artwork and even swank rocking chairs. The whole vibe is luxe yet accessible, exuding an ambience like a tranquil haven you’d expect to find in Miami, with the architectural backdrop of a historic setting like New Orleans. The food is just as much of a show-stopper, applying a Cuban- and Caribbean-inspired approach with bright, lustrous plates like rockfish ceviche with jicama and plantain chips, pulled chicken tortas, perfectly grilled salmon with Peruvian potato hash and a pat of chipotle butter and plantain fritters with a smoked black bean puree for dipping. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Beyond the restaurant, the bar and the lobby, the public grounds throughout The Scott are a transportive and immersive experience for guests, with enough plants and water to make the space feel more like a jungle hideaway. The larger central pool that anchors the courtyard is surrounded by lounge chairs and a couple cabanas, illuminated at night by roaring fire pits. The more adult-friendly of the two pools, this leisurely lagoon has a pool-side bar slinging daiquiris, margaritas, piña coladas and bites like burgers, paletas and Cubano sandwiches. Then there’s the smaller, more kid-friendly pool on the other side of the fence, with a sandy, beach-like entrance and chairs situated in sand to provide an oceanic sensation — an impressive feat, considering the nearest actual beach is approximately 350 miles west. Hammocks, manicured lawns and cozy fire pit groves fill out the rest of the abundant courtyard.
Then there are the 204 guest rooms, the last piece of the renovation puzzle. Courtesy of AvroKO and Rinker Design Co., the design and branding process will see each and every room get a slick new bathroom, fresh and contemporary furniture arrangements and artwork, plants and imagery geared towards more of those soothing Havana vibes. Each room has a patio or balcony, depending on which of the two floors it’s positioned on, with pristine views from every vantage point.
No stone has been left unturned at The Scott, an immaculate and opulent sanctuary in the Sonoran Desert, where the utmost hospitality and design borrows inspiration from faraway locations to provide a true sense of originality and comfort.
All photos by Tanveer Badal