Prevue March-April 2014 - (Page 93)
Upscale & Homegrown
[ON LOCATION] JULIE ANN SIPOS
It's hard to believe that Scottsdale, known as the resort capital
of the U.S., was once a humble agricultural and ranching
community. The century-old city, labeled "a desert version of
Miami's South Beach" by The New York Times, lays claim to
more than 1.3 million sf of meeting space citywide, spread
across 70 world-class resorts and hotels. On-site art collections,
sustainable and savvy architecture, world-class spas and
over 200 championship golf courses help groups soak up
Scottsdale's upscale and homegrown vibe.
HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE
At the 27-acre Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at
Gainey Ranch, general manager Peter Rice welcomes groups
into an indoor/outdoor lobby whose retractable shotgun design
allows for a natural air-conditioning system fueled by the high
"We're taking climate control to a whole new level," says
Rice of the engineering triumph, which can be opened or closed
with the temperatures of the Sonoran Desert.
Scottsdale's desert scenery serves as a value-added
proposition. Buildings are designed to blend into the majestic
landscape and city ordinances call for low wattage signage no
taller than local scrub oaks.
"It's not about separating ourselves from the location, but
ﬁguring out how to become the best part of it," says Rice.
The Hyatt's architectural ﬂuidity, inspired by famed architect
and Scottsdale winter resident Frank Lloyd Wright, fans out
to 483 revamped guest rooms and suites, 33 meeting rooms
and 70,000 sf of indoor/outdoor function space. Architecture
aﬁcionados in the group will delight in a tour of Wright's studio.
Corporate gatherings set against the McDowell
mountainside up the ante on group return on experience (ROE)
with a chorus of cacti, palm trees and wildﬂowers that perform
an inspirational stage show in the sky. Planners will make good
use of Hyatt's Passkey, a digital dashboard that keeps up with
every facet of group activity in real time, whether taking in the
sites, local culture or cuisines.
There are quite a few on- and off-site Native American
cultural experiences to be had. Hyatt's Native American Learning
Center offers Hopi and Navajo exhibits, a reference library and
local art. The Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art and
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park are treasure
troves for education and discovery. Groups can marvel at a
20-room, 12th-century cliff dwelling in the Verde Valley or study
petroglyphs in the Hedgpeth Hills. Local tribes stage interactive
dances at the Hyatt during a lively happy hour every Friday.
Chilled vats of herb-steeped waters are switched out twice
daily and served around a bubbling mineral pool at Hyatt's Spa
Avania, rated one of the best spas in the world by a 2014 poll
conducted by Condé Nast Traveler.
"Whether or not you want it, always take the water," Rice
says, recommending the fruit-ﬂavored concoction he is personally
doling out. Speaking of water, Hyatt recently revamped its 2.5-acre
water playground to include a 3-story, high-speed waterslide, four
poolside cabanas and an al fresco H2Oasis.
The Phoenician celebrated its 25th anniversary this past year
with improvements to 643 guest rooms, suites and casitas.
The Phoenician's allure is partly from the historic Jokake Inn, an
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue March-April 2014
Planner's Pick: Dallas
Fresh Meets: Marriott Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Montreal
Good Business: Sandals Foundation
Sea Shores: State of the Cruise Industry
Incentives, Golf + Spa
Special Section: California
On Location: Loews Don CeSar St. Pete
On Location: Chic Outlets
On Location: New Zealand
On Location: Los Cabos
On Location: Scottsdale
On Location: Aruba Hyatt Regency
On Location: Dolce Silverado
On Location: St. Croix
On Location: Hilton Bomonti Turkey
On Location: Aruba Marriott
Checkout: Conrad Pune, India
Meetings, incentives and Corporate Events, Club Med 2014 Edition
Prevue March-April 2014