An exterior of a hotel in the Prairie Style

Art-centric Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s presence looms large over Scottsdale. From his hilltop studio at Taliesin West he spread the gospel of his long, lean Prairie Style across America. Arriving at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows you can see his influence at work. The wood clad lobby dotted with low leather couches flows into the open concept Weft & Warp Art Bar & Kitchen and cascades down to the expansive, shimmering blue swimming pool by way of an airy terrace. To say one is drawn in would be an understatement.

With a cool prickly pear cactus lemonade spritzer in hand (complimentary at check-in) I make my way past the pool to my suite. The 185 whitewashed bungalows, suites, and villas at the resort are similarly low-slung, but in the chunky, adobe style so comfortably familiar in the southwest. They are named for mid-century leading lights like the colorist Josef Albers, the designer Alex Girard and the preeminent MCM furniture designer Eero Saarinen.

Pathways meander through 23 acres of desert gardens to reach shaded private entrances. The landscaping is immaculate and intriguing. Luckily, especially for northern gardeners like me, each towering cactus or flowering shrub usually has a name plate tucked beside it.

My Saarinen Studio Suite contains a turquoise replica of his famous womb chair and ottoman. The ceiling above me is ribbed with rough cut beams and underfoot there’s a combination of concrete colored low pile carpet in the bedroom and cool to the toes grey tile in the bath area.. The bed is a California king, soft and comfortable and piled with pillows. Several light fixtures offer a choice between soft ambience and a perfectly placed reading light.

Past the spacious bathroom with an enormous walk-in shower is a door to a private patio with lounge chairs and a canopy of bright blue Arizona sky.

There are three pools on the property, the main pool outside Weft & Warp, a pool at The Retreat, a more secluded area surrounded by villas like the 1,800 sq. ft. Albers House, and a smaller pool outside the Palo Verde Spa. I loved the spa pool because it’s open around the clock, giving guests an opportunity to star gaze as well as suntan. The 12,000 sq. ft. Palo Verde Spa offers bespoke apothecary blends with a view towards optimum health and wellbeing, as well as a full suite of spa treatments. In addition to the pool there are steam rooms, and private outdoor hot tubs for men and women and an outdoor lounge with panoramic views of Camelback Mountain. Day passes are required in some instances, and there are several free classes including yoga and crystal intension sessions that combine a meditation session with the healing power of crystals.

One of the great advantages to staying at Andaz Scottsdale is the seemingly never ending list of activities and experiences at your fingertips. On some days birds of prey and their handlers make visits to the restaurant at breakfast time. Guests can visit the apiary to see the Andaz bees anytime. There are garden tours and aerial yoga classes (harder than they sound, trust me). You can make pasta or truffles with the chef, or kick back in the evening with a S’more’s kit and live music around the firepits. My favorite complimentary activity, which I highly recommend, is a visit to Cattle Track Arts Compound.

Cattle Track was founded over 80 years ago by George Ellis, an engineer, and his wife Rachel. He built the first house on the property using reclaimed redwood staves from a discarded pipeline and other salvaged materials. He was a green builder ahead of his time by generations. Over the years the compound attracted other creatives including painter Fritz Scholder, sculptor Louise Nevelson, and photographer Jay Dusard, whose work celebrates the American cowboy. Cattle Track is now a designated National Historic Site, and the warren of interconnected studios and workshops has retained all of its handmade charm as it continues to host about twenty artists who work in a variety of media. You’ll find the saturated pencil drawings on birch wood done by Mark McDowell in many rooms of the Andaz. Chance Phillips’ fibre art installation “World So Full” graces the lobby and she is the Artist in Residence sharing her love of felting which she calls “painting with wool”.

Who would love Andaz Scottsdale?

With such a wide selection of accommodations and configurations, Andaz Scottsdale fits the bill for couples, intergenerational gatherings or wedding parties. It’s a serene environment where one can relax by the pool, take part in many of the resort’s daytime experiences and enjoy a nightcap around the fire in the evening. The hotel is pet friendly and completely accessible.

What’s not to Like?

The closets are an open style where all your duds are hanging on display. Some people might prefer this, since you can spot your wardrobe at a glance. It might drive neat freaks crazy. There is some enclosed storage you can use in a pinch.

The author was hosted by Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows. As always, her opinions are her own.

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Travel writer and luxury hotel reviewer

An experienced and trustworthy travel writer, Debra writes about luxury hotels and resorts, soft adventure, fine dining and cultural experiences in Europe and North America. Posting to Instagram since 2013 as @Where.To.Lady. Curious, attentive to detail and fun company, Debra is based in Calgary, Alberta. Member of SATW, IFWTWA, TravMedia USA, BA English, Art History U of C, former Chair TMAC AB/NWT.