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A Desert Oasis: How Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Transforms the Arizona Desert

Arizona's Sonoran Desert in North Scottsdale is a place of extremes, and nowhere is that more apparent than at the AAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. A magical place surrounded by the lush green of golf courses, the rugged McDowell Mountains, colorful desert landscapes, cooling lagoons with fountains, refreshing pools and stunning sunsets, this destination resort is truly a desert oasis.

Stunning Havasu Falls

Beachfront Oasis in Arizona
Nothing transports you to an oasis like a shimmering white sandy beach, but most visitors are surprised to find one waiting in Scottsdale. The new Sunset Beach pool, the resort's sixth pool, has a shimmering white sand beach, along with a zero-depth entry and splash pad, making it the ideal year-round escape for the entire family. Rent a casita alongside Sunset Beach and spend the day relaxing, with nearby saguaro cacti outlined by the blue Arizona skies.

For an ideal way to extend your getaway, book one of the new Sunset Signature Rooms that blend Southwestern comfort with modern design. Outdoor patios are ideal for enjoying afternoon drinks or morning breakfast, and the oversized spa shower lets you luxuriate in your own private in-room oasis.

Sunset by tonda

Well & Being Retreat
An oasis is a place of refuge, and you will find just that at Well & Being Spa. There are separate male and female locker and lounge areas that each include wet steam rooms, eucalyptus inhalation rooms, Swedish dry saunas, whirlpools, cold plunge pools, Swiss showers and relaxation rooms. Chill for the day at the adults only rooftop pool with private cabanas, and stop by the grotto waterfall inspired by the Grand Canyon's Havasupai Falls for a natural water massage.

To pamper yourself in the oasis that is Well & Being, book any treatment to have all-day access to the spa amenities. Try the two-hour Havasupai Falls Rejuvenation Massage. The treatment includes many of the plants, oils and salts from the area, including jojoba, desert salts and indigenous essential oils.

Group of saguaro cacti at sunrise

Tequila, Rum and Creative Cocktails
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess includes a selection of dining options and watering holes, a definite necessity for a desert oasis. Pair the authentic flavors of Mexico with one of more than 240 tequilas at Richard Sandoval's La Hacienda. Let the restaurant's Tequila Goddess share her knowledge as a tequila sommelier and pair your dinner with one-of-a-kind tequila, or try the unusual "Snake Bite Flight." This fun trio of tequilas, served with a (no longer dangerous) dried rattlesnake head for desert authenticity, is an Instagram moment on a plate and a pleasure for your palate.

After dinner, while you nibble on the classic churros with chocolate sauce, add a little heat to your oasis with a fiery flaming coffee. This tequila-laced treat is a blend of Mexican coffee, cinnamon and creamed tequila, plus a show that is sure to please even those who might not be tequila fans.

If you prefer rum, head to Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar, overlooking the TPC Scottsdale Stadium golf course's 18th hole. The rums pair beautifully with the offerings from the suviche bar, presenting dishes blending Asian raw sushi and Latin ceviche. With more than 100 rums, Toro has more rum available for tastings than anywhere else in the Phoenix area, along with a large selection of Latin wines. Not sure which rum you want? Just ask the Rum Princesa for her recommendations.

As with any oasis in the desert, there are great places to relax and rejuvenate as you explore the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. A guest favorite for unwinding each evening is The Plaza Bar. The contemporary indoor/outdoor bar with patios and fire pits is the perfect spot to order a classic cocktail, creatively crafted artisanal drink, local or regional brew or glass of wine while taking in the beautiful desert sunsets.

Desert Saguaros, Scottsdale Arizona

Lagoons, Fishing, Swimming, Sliding, Wildlife, Oh My
Every oasis has plenty of water and wildlife, and Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is no exception. There is water fun here for the entire family. The beautiful lagoons and grounds are popular throughout the year, and the ideal place to start is the Trailblazers Family Adventure Center, located behind the South Pool. The fun is nonstop including catch-and release fishing in the lagoons and wildlife spotting around the grounds with binoculars available for checkout. Make time to stop by and meet Cecil, the resident tortoise.

The youngest trailblazers will enjoy the kids club, available as a half or full day to kids ages 5 to 12. The kids club offers everything from nature walks to art days, Old West explorations to wildlife fun, and cooking classes to sports days, all while giving mom and dad much needed alone time.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess does have six pools, offering year-round fun in the Arizona sun. Kids love the Sonoran Splash pool with its two 200-foot twisting water slides, and there is a zero-entry deck that is perfect for the smallest swimmers as well.

No matter when you visit, there are special events happening throughout the year at this beautiful destination resort. Every summer, the pools are the hot spots in this desert oasis, with concerts for the Fourth of July Freedom Fest Weekend, fireworks every weekend from Fourth of July through Labor Day and poolside fun all summer long.

Desert Tortoise Close Up

Create Your Own Desert Experience
Sitting in the shadow of the craggy McDowell Mountains, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess captures the natural beauty of Arizona's Sonoran Desert. Each season offers something unique, found only in Scottsdale. You can spend cool winter evenings around the resort's many fire pits. Find a personal oasis at the spa on a spring afternoon. Spend summer days lounging at Sunset Beach. Grab a fishing pole on a balmy autumn morning and head for the lagoons.

Do you want to create something special during your visit to Scottsdale? The property’s Leisure Concierge can help you design a bespoke oasis getaway in the Arizona desert. Get your boots dirty on a hiking trail, or spend a day with a golf concierge who can assist you with your game. Arrange for a local tour guide to take you on a desert excursion, or hop on a four-wheel-drive to see the Grand Canyon or Sedona. Whatever your heart desires in this land of mystical extremes of the Sonoran Desert, you can probably find it in the oasis that awaits at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.


Susan Lanier-Graham has been traveling the world and writing about food, wine and luxury destinations for 30 years. She loves filling her passport pages with stamps and visas and has visited every continent except Antarctica. Susan’s luxury travel articles, focusing on experiencing local cultures, have appeared in such publications as Luxe Beat Magazine, Modern Luxury, Montage and Rosewood Magazine.


Photo Credits: 

Sonoran Desert in Full Spring Bloom by SMcGuire45 

Sunset by tonda

Stunning Havasu Falls by skiserge1

Group of saguaro cacti at sunrise by davelmorgan

Desert Saguaros, Scottsdale Arizona by Enrico01 -

Desert Tortoise Close Up by twildlife



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