Nested into the foothills of Pinnacle Peak, amid towering saguaro cacti and other beautiful cacti you will find the desert hued adobe style casitas of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale playing peekaboo. Designed in a contemporary southwestern style the property is a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of Phoenix and Scottsdale. But that only means you get to have the magic of the Sonoran desert all to yourself. Designed to blend flawlessly with the surrounding environment, the neutral colored casitas of the Four Seasons Resort are located in the posh area of North Scottsdale near Troon North. Here you can spend your days lounging by the pool, working up a sweat on the tennis courts, play a round or two at the property’s two championship golf courses or be pampered at the spa or lounge by free-form bi-level pool that is kept at balmy 27–29ºC (80–85ºF) both in summer and winter months.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is located where the historic Crescent Moon Ranch once stood. In the 1940s, enterprising homebuilder George Ellis designed and built Crescent Moon Ranch in the beautiful Pinnacle Peak area for cereal heiress Lois Kellogg Maury. Maury used the adobe and redwood main house, two guesthouses and a bunkhouse as a finishing school for wealthy Eastern debutantes, in addition to renting out guest cottages on the 127-acre property to seasonal visitors. The cereal heiress held the property until it was sold in 1967 to Gordon Ingebritson, an insurance executive, developer, rancher and philanthropist. The “Crescent Moon” name stayed with the property until it was sold to a developer to become Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale.
We were here during our Spring break to catch a few Spring Training baseball at the Cactus League games and explore the area. I had been here before on a girls trip couple of years ago was excited to be back again in the Valley of the Sun. We picked up our car from the Phoenix airport and drove the 30 minute drive to North Scottsdale, admiring the landscape of rugged mountains and towering cacti along the way. Once checked in with some hibiscus tea in hand we walked the grounds of the resorts while our bags were taken to our room. We were in a room with two double bed and had a pretty sweet view of the rock formations of the Troon mountains and some giant saguaro from our balcony. We could hear the cactus wren foraging in the morning sun, these guys live in holes dug out in the cacti and visit the patios if you leave crumbs out. We didn’t splurge on a suite this time since the boys were going to be out all day watching the games anyway and we had the space for some mom and daughter time.
The rooms were furnished with handmade custom furnishings many sourced from Mexican artisans and art by Huichol Indians
In room fire place and a cozy chair with Nieli’kas cushion
The toiletries had a cactus theme as well
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Rooms and Suites at Four Seasons Scottsdale
Scottsdale’s 330 days of sunshine mean plenty of time spent al fresco while in the destination, so go ahead and splurge on a suite if you can afford it. The beautiful suites feature spacious outdoor patios with a wood-burning kiva fireplaces or chimineas, private outdoor plunge pools and luxurious outdoor garden showers. Want to enjoy your plunge pool at a certain temp? Call ahead and the staff can arrange it! All suites also are equipped with high-powered telescopes, ideal for Sonoran stargazing. The property’s three luxury two-bedroom suites, as well the three-bedroom Pinnacle Suite, have a butler’s kitchen areas and expansive tables, ideal for family travel and for entertaining and private outdoor parties under the stars.
Picture by Four Seasons Scottsdale
When the sun starts to dip is when the magic begins – the sky paints subtle hues and once you go past the blue hour and all is dark – the property is lit up with string lights and wood burning fire pits. Since the resort is far from urban lights, the heavens seem to open up, spilling millions of stars above.
After the first evening of just staring up in wonder if you are ready to explore the skies further. You can use one of the high-powered telescopes in the suites, there is even a detailed star chart left in the room at bedtime. Or you can talk to local astronomer Richard Allen who is available for group seminars, nighttime excursions in the desert via Hummer – in addition to a telescope, he’ll bring along night-vision goggles to check out the wilderness nightlife – and private one-on-one sessions.
Activities at Four Seasons Scottsdale
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale may be one of the most beautiful places to stay in the Southwest, but if you want go outside and explore there is plenty to do. Although you might have to drag the crew out, since they probably want to just chill by the pool cabanas. The Pinnacle Peak, towering at 600 feet (183 meters) above the desert floor is hard to miss and beckons you to come explore the Sonoran desert. Pinnacle Peak Park – located less than one mile from Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale – is open daily from dawn through dusk and features 150 acres (60 hectares) of adventure options including a 3.5-mile (5.6 kilometer) roundtrip trail for hiking and horseback riding. Three rock climbing areas provide a variety of routes for thrill-seekers of all skill levels.
Guided interpretative hikes for all levels can be arranged through the resort to explore the desert plant life, including banana yuccas and jojoba plants. The fauna we learnt includes mountain lions, coyotes and gila monsters, poisonous 2-foot (0.6-metre) orange and black lizards – not that we say any. For a real treat, sign up for the sunset hike up the Peak to view the desert landscape at its very best. You can also discover the beauty of the desert through moonlit hikes, wildflower talks, self-guided flora tours.
For the younger guests they have Supervised programs in a dedicated facility and cute Child-sized teak lounge chairs poolside. The resort also organizes activities such as “Cowboy by the Campfire,” desert dwellers, nature walks and family hikes to Pinnacle Peak Park.
Some amenities for the kids that was sent to the room since they didn’t make it to the kids activities
Surprise Stadium, Camelback and other baseball stadiums were a short drive away. We made trips to Scottsdale to have afternoon tea at the Arizona Biltmore and for some shopping at the Biltmore Fashion Park. We also visited the Heard museum and the Phoenix Art museum – more about this soon. Just a 20-minute drive from the Resort, Taliesin West, Wright’s own home and studio, now open for tours, was built in the 1930s from desert rocks and sand, creating a natural environment harmonizing indoors and out.Since the boys took our rental car to the baseball games, we choose to Uber into Scottsdale and had no problem finding rides. The resort also has a program with Mercedes where you can use one of their cars for the day – it has to be arranged in advance.
Eats at Four Seasons Scottsdale
Most days we ordered room service in the morning or ate on site in the resort at Proof, an American Canteen or had lunch by the pool at Saguaro Blossom. We loved the view of the Troon mountains while munching on nachos poolside. Drinks at Onyx Bar & Lounge during sunset is a tradition, some thing not to be missed is watching the sun go down as the sky paints beautiful colors of pinks, purples and oranges against the Pinnacle Peak. Indulge in a signature Prickly Pear Margarita or a craft cocktail of choice and you will understand what I’m talking about. No amount of pictures is going to do justice to this view!
Our room service was served warm and setup beautifully on the patio for us to enjoy listening to the morning sounds of the desert
Poolside nachos and adult lemonade at Saguaro Blossom
Come on over, I saved a seat for you to watch the sunset
The magical sunsets (this was an amateur capture and does not do justice to the spectacular colors)
Proof, an American Canteen, where we had dinner one night had a laidback ambiance and the perfect gathering place – Shuffleboard, lively music and tables for large parties make this the ideal spot for a night with friends and family. A railroad track runs through the dining room, while televisions, games and a bustling bar bring buzzing energy to the restaurant on a nightly basis. You can enjoy American classics, such as fried green tomatoes, shrimp and oyster po’boys, and chicken and waffles with bacon and bourbon syrup. Not to be missed are the signature pretzel knots, served with a delectable beer cheese sauce. An old-fashioned soda fountain serves up nostalgic milkshakes, malts and floats. Morning breakfast fare was delicious as well – from fresh juices to pancakes – highly recommend the masa pancakes with candied oranges and blueberry compote with a side of hash browns. They do have a buffet during weekends for breakfast.
At Proof for dinner, where we enjoyed the famous pretzel knots among other dishes
Spa at Four Seasons Scottsdale
The Spa features 14 treatment rooms and a variety of desert-inspired treatments. Natural desert botanicals such as jojoba, prickly pear and sage offer restorative healing, while the Spa’s skilled team of therapists provide knowledgeable, intuitive service. Signature therapies include the Jojoba & Prickly Pear Body Polish and the After-Sun Soother, utilizing cucumber and aloe vera to provide relief to sunburned skin. Remove impurities and nourish the skin with the Sedona Earth Clay Body Mask, using iron-rich Sedona clay. Or bring back your natural glow with a Sonoran Honey Body Polish, combined with the refreshing energy of local citrus. (Disclaimer: I didn’t make it to the spa but the Spa menu in the room was definitely tempting)
Grounds and Arts at Four Seasons Scottsdale
I loved walking the grounds to photograph the different cacti – including the iron and mosaic ones. You can find plenty of flowers, particularly in early spring, when wildflowers such as the Arizona fiesta flower, desert hyacinth and woolly daisy are in full bloom. The towering Saguaro cacti is native to the Sonoran desert and is almost tree like, it can grow up to 70 feet tall. We loved walking up the Troon mountain in the evenings marveling at the houses in the neighborhood in colors that blend in with the desert and had cacti decorating their yards. There was plenty of beauty both natural and man made all around the resort waiting to be discovered.
Indigenous to western central Mexico, the Huichol are a mountain people whose rich culture includes a unique art form that uses colorful fibres to express shamanistic ideas. Nieli’kas (commonly known as yarn art) are tablets coated in beeswax and pine resin to which threads of yarn are pressed to form symbolic designs. Traditionally found in sacred places such as shrines and temples, nieli’kas are now on display in the casitas and suites of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. This art form is gaining popularity in the United States, with modern artists branching out into larger abstract pieces that are often exhibited and sold at auction.
What we loved about our stay at Four Seasons Scottsdale
As you would expect in any Four Seasons property their signature service and accommodations were top notch. The on-site restaurants Proof, Saguaro Blossom were delicious and we loved watching the Sonoran sunset with handcrafted cocktails at the Onyx Bar. If you are thinking about traveling to the sprawling desert landscape of Phoenix – I would say don’t hesitate on the account of an extra 10 or 15 minute drive to the far reaches of North Scottsdale. You get luxurious accommodations that only a Four Seasons can provide, not to mention the magical sunset views and starry nights. My favorite part was wandering through grounds and finding different cacti, and of course the fiery orange sunsets! We love Spring in Scottsdale and the boys loved watching the Baseball Spring training games so I’m sure we will be back in Scottsdale again soon and if we did, we know we have found a beautiful place to call home at Four Seasons Scottsdale, even if only for a few days.