Experience the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort of Scottsdale, Arizona
BY BONNIE SIEGLER
While Canadian weather might be frightful with single digit temperatures, relaxation, rejuvenation, and outdoor recreation are the keys to a perfect vacation in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona. Surrounded by stunning desert vistas and spectacular mountains, this destination for the winter weary will lift your spirits whether you are into golfing, tanning, drinking lemonade or margaritas, or tackling a hike up Bell Rock, a frequently traveled rocky hill for hikers.
The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort is nestled within the awesome landscapes of Camelback Mountain. The luxury resort is situated on 53 acres and has everything to offer to its guests, whose age ranges from five to 95. I signed up for a Pilates class, which was more invigorating than any outdoor hike. But, then again, I prefer the formalities of breath core techniques over huffing and puffing in hiking boots.
Ranked the 2014 top resort in Arizona by Conde Nast Traveler, the Sanctuary Camelback Resort offers guests an array of accommodations that provide panoramic views of the majestic mountains.
The dining was another exquisite experience, where the Food Network celebrity and executive chef Beau MacMillan’s passion for fresh local ingredients is showcased in almost every serving of food.
Being a mac ‘n’ cheese devotee, I was not disappointed with chef MacMillan’s take on this tasty dish. The miso-glazed salmon with soba noodles, my main dish, certainly did not disappoint either. Besides enjoying some delicious food, I decided to relax at the Asian-inspired Sanctuary spa with a massage. Then, a nap under one of the cabanas by the infinity pool was definitely a dream to remember.
The Sanctuary concierge told my husband and me about the Mission Restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale, which is located next door to the Old Adobe Mission church. Although we made reservations for the following night, we still had to wait for over an hour to be seated. This gave us time to briefly explore the unique boutiques and art galleries in Old Town. Once seated at our table, the casual and dark atmosphere gave way to delicious aromas. I ordered the mahi mahi tacos and my husband ordered the pork shoulder tacos served with a pineapple habanero glaze and 10 handmade corn tortillas on a hot salt brick. The modern Latin cuisine was well worth the wait.
In the foothills sits Taliesin West, the winter home of famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s. Currently, the historic landmark serves as the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, which boasts striking examples of organic design and construction.
Taliesin West also offers tours to travelers. Wright felt a very strong connection to the desert with its sweeping lines, local desert rocks and magnificent natural lighting. I could almost feel the decadence that occurred long ago within the walls of Taliesin West; secrets that tour guides would not divulge.
The Arizona desert is indeed a breathtaking experience not to miss. Whether travellers choose a busy itinerary or not, relaxation and rejuvenation are unexpected reprieves in the midst of the desert. VM