- Published: Friday, 10 April 2015 09:00
- Written by Lance Wiedower
Riding along the streets of Scottsdale in the mid-morning Arizona sunshine it’s hard not to notice the blue sky contrasting with the green cacti dotting the landscape. I was one week removed from snow and ice at home in Tennessee, and a long weekend of sunshine and temps in the 80s had a nice ring to it.
Spending time leisurely hiking Camelback Mountain, catching some Spring Training baseball, and relaxing at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia was looking like a great “welcome to spring” weekend.
But my first visit to Arizona would feature an immediate dilemma.
After an early morning of travel, it would have been easy to just collapse under an umbrella next to the pool, order a drink from one of the roving servers, and take a nap. But with Camelback Mountain looming in the distance, I couldn’t resist tackling the minor beast, especially since this warm late morning would quickly turn to a comfortably hot afternoon. The timing was now or never on this day, because let’s be honest: lunch and the beautiful Kasbah Pool were waiting.
One of the great things about the Omni Scottsdale Resort for outdoors enthusiasts is its close proximity to the base of Camelback and the Echo Canyon Trail. About a 10-minute walk on city sidewalks from the resort, the Echo Canyon Trail is challenging enough to have proper climbers engaged but casual enough that hikers looking for a comfortable walk up can enjoy the path, too. I decided against going all the way to the summit, but I did go far enough that my legs were aching the rest of the weekend—which would be taken care of soon enough with a deep tissue massage at the Joya Spa.
Back at the resort, I found a bar stool calling my name in Centro, a modern restaurant where a green chile-chorizo cheeseburger, sweet potato tots, and a local beer hit the spot after my hike. The restaurant is bright and airy with large windows that provide views of the mountain outside, not to mention the adjacent Kasbah Pool.
Speaking of the pool, it is a classy setup, with cabanas spread around the perimeter and an abundance of lounge chairs closer to the H-shaped pool. There is also a large Jacuzzi set on the terrace above.
The Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia opened in 2008 based on the flavor and designs of Southern Spain’s Andalusian region and Morocco. Omni bought the property in January 2014, adding its unique touches to an already luxurious property. The resort features 293 guest rooms, including 38 luxury suites and two presidential suites that rival well-appointed homes, with the option of a private pool or beautiful courtyard with views of the nearby Camelback.
The Omni has two faces: a daytime spot of relaxation and a nighttime intimate European village style. There is a warm, inviting sense of community during the day or night. The evening vibe starts around fire pits scattered throughout the property and continues at Prado, Centro, and Crave Café where visitors as well as Scottsdale locals spend the evening over food and drinks.
The newest addition to the property that enhances the dining experience is the 4,000-square-foot Chef’s Kitchen & Herb Garden, which provides fresh, local produce and herbs that are used in the property’s restaurants. It’s also available for events featuring unique menus.
The Omni Scottsdale Resort is family-friendly, and I saw a few kids scattered about, splashing in the water at the Kasbah Pool. I also happened upon what looked like a large family gathering at the resort enjoying a game of bocce.
But while families are welcome and encouraged, don’t think the Omni Scottsdale is crawling with children. The Oasis Pool is for adults only, and if you have an appointment at the Joya Spa, make sure there is plenty of time to relax on the second-floor Joya Terrace at its peaceful pool and deck with possibly the best views of Camelback on the property.
The Joya Spa is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and features a range of treatments, from massages and facials to body treatments and wellness services.
The property is just a few miles from Downtown Scottsdale and its quaint shops, art galleries, quirky souvenir stalls, restaurants, and the Old Town Farmer’s Market. If it’s spring it means the San Francisco Giants are at Scottsdale Stadium where the team holds spring training every preseason. Baseball fans will enjoy the greater Scottsdale and Phoenix areas in general, with 15 Major League Baseball teams calling it home.
Families looking to catch a game or two while being pampered, relaxing by the pool, and enjoying the outdoors have a uniquely Scottsdale home at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa with an old Europe charm straight out of Spain.