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Hotel Check: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows

WHERE IS IT? Just a short drive from old-town Scottdale’s numerous art galleries, shops and restaurants, the Andaz is perfectly situated for urban activities and desert solitude. There’s even a free car service that takes guests anywhere within a three-mile radius. Tucked away on multi-acre grounds, the resort is close to everything (including Phoenix/Scottsdale airport about 20 minutes away), but feels like a world all to itself.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The design of the grounds is so distinctive with meandering pathways passing the one-floor bungalows and villas. There’s even a map available to guests highlighting the most Instagrammable spots around the resort. The main guest house features reception and the restaurant overlooking the swimming pool. Camelback Mountain sits in the distance and provides a great backdrop to this mellow resort. While many other area resorts have a large-scale feel to them, this resort feels far more private while also demonstrating the clever design touches that Andaz is known for in its hotels around the world. Its theme is centered around the art scene that blossomed in the 1950s with folk art and cultural work on display throughout the property. Due to COVID-19, several safety measures were in place during my visit including masks required indoors, social distancing signage and the removal of minibar items. Still, the high levels of service from Andaz were in full swing as it navigates a difficult time for the hospitality industry. Aside from masks and plentiful hand sanitizing stations, you won’t notice many differences.

ROOM FACILITIES The villas and bungalows are laid out amid beautiful gardens with hammocks and fire pits encouraging lingering. Large windows overlook the grounds, but luckily blackout shades can be lowered for privacy. The design of the accommodations is inspired by well-known architects of the region. This means the interior décor and style varies depending on which unit you select. My villa was quite spacious as a two-room suite with a separate living area, large bedroom with outdoor patio, and two full bathrooms. Refrigerators included complimentary mineral water with a free bag of potato chips; Andaz properties are known for offering free minibars although fewer items are on offer here at the moment due to safety protocols. Enormous closets were a highlight with lots of storage nooks and drawers. Bathrooms featured huge towels, separate water closets, and wide vanities with fragrant toiletries from eco-friendly pump bottles. Glass shower stalls have plenty of room to towel off inside without getting cold, and they feature skylights so you can ponder the blue sky while you lather up. The beds (like the desks) have power and USB outlets well-positioned, but as I am a light sleeper, I had to move the old-fashioned clock to the bathroom to muffle its ticking sound. It was definitely a nice design touch to have though. There’s also The Retreat, which is a private section of bungalows with their own pool reserved for guests wanting maximum seclusion.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Weft & Warp Art Bar+Kitchen serves three meals a day with indoor dining and an outdoor terrace facing the pool. Fire pits and lounge-style seating ring the main guest house providing space for guests to dine or work outdoors. The menu mixes southwestern flavors with creative continental favorites prepared from an exhibition kitchen. Expect tasty dishes like chilaquiles, chorizo and egg burritos, and smoothies at breakfast changing to Mexican street food-style appetizers and grilled meats and chicken dishes later in the day. On weekends, live music keeps the atmosphere spirited. Globalist members can enjoy a hearty, complimentary breakfast each morning, which is a great perk of membership.

LEISURE FACILITIES The main pool is ringed with lounge chairs, umbrellas and private cabanas for rent. The staff circles around with chilled towels and a pool bar menu. Guests can splash in the pool or relax in chairs to the light sprinkling sounds of the pool fountain. A separate whirlpool is nearby. The spa features several treatment rooms, a beauty salon, and separate men’s and women’s lounge areas with sauna and steam room facilities. An adults-only pool provides an additional oasis where guests can relax. Filtered water stations are available throughout the resort where guests can refill their water bottles. The gym was well-equipped, but limited to six people at a time during my visit as a precaution. Fitness classes on the lawn are another option with free yoga and barre sessions throughout the week, which are included in the resort fee.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Free wireless Internet works well all around the resort including outdoors, and it was very fast. Several meeting rooms with outdoor patios are part of the conference setup here, but it is tucked into one corner of the resort.

VERDICT The design layout of the accommodations coupled with minimalist, chic décor gives the property an almost retro feel. Come here for a laidback resort vibe within close proximity to Old Town Scottsdale

HOW MANY ROOMS? 185 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Spread-out resort with villas and bungalows amid tall palm and olive trees.

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $266

CONTACT 6114 N Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85253, Phone 480-368-1234.