What’s New in Greater Phoenix? May 2012
Here is a roundup of the latest happenings and promotions in Greater Phoenix, courtesy of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH’S EDITION
The Phoenix Convention Center comes in at No. 7 on a list of the “Top Ten U.S. Convention Centers.”
Summer is around the corner, so take advantage of the many deals at various valley resorts.
The Phoenix Convention Center comes in at No. 7 on a list the “Top Ten U.S. Convention Centers” in the April issue of Business Review USA. The article ranks the “best of the best” among the nation’s “modern, immense and historically rich convention centers.” Five years and $650 million in the making, the expanded Phoenix Convention Center welcomed its first meeting groups in January 2009. Its architecture—dramatic angles, towering glass, earthy stone—is inspired by the colors and textures of the Grand Canyon, and its nearly 900,000 square feet of flexible exhibition and meeting space can accommodate more than 80 percent of the conventions in the U.S. Since the debut of the fully expanded center, it has hosted nearly 800,000 delegates and generated more than $1 billion in direct spending for Phoenix’s regional economy.
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel has announced its recent inclusion on Cvent’s annual list of the “Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the United States.” The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel was selected from a pool of 80,000 hotels in the U.S. on the Cvent Supplier Network, a free online marketplace connecting meeting planners with more than 200,000 venues and service providers worldwide. The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel was selected based on a set of qualifying criteria, some of which included the number of meeting rooms available, the total square footage of meeting space offered, and the amount of business the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel was awarded in 2011 by meeting planners through the Cvent Supplier Network. The largest hotel in Arizona, boasting 1,000 guestrooms and more than 80,000 square feet of meeting space, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel stands adjacent the Phoenix Convention Center and offers a variety of meeting areas, including a 29,000 square-foot ballroom and 17 meeting spaces.
Golfers at the historic Arizona Biltmore can play harder and more affordably this summer with the resort’s all-inclusive “PLAY Package.” Starting at $669 per night, the “PLAY Package” includes upgraded accommodations in Ocatilla, the Biltmore’s exclusive “hotel within the hotel,” continental breakfast for two, lunch for two, dinner for two, 30 percent off spa a la carte services; free self parking; two rounds of golf per room per night at Lookout Mountain or the Links or Adobe at the Arizona Biltmore Country Club, one Swedish massage or one facial per room per night, and unlimited tennis, use of the Arizona Biltmore putting course, and fitness center and fitness class use.
The JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort and Spa is celebrating its diamond anniversary this year, and is commemorating 75 years of history with a “Diamond in the Desert” anniversary package. The package starts at $214 per night and includes two nights in a casita-style guest room, a $75-per-day resort credit, two 75th-anniversary signature cocktails at RBar, and daily breakfast at Rita’s Kitchen, Sprouts, or room service.
Pointe Hilton Resorts are offering a limited-time deal for those seeking an authentic Phoenix retreat this summer. Guests booking a getaway to Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak or Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs resorts now through May 19 can enjoy the resorts’ summer pre-sale offer, “Buy Now, Play Later.” The “Buy Now, Play Later” summer pre-sale offers guests rates starting at $75 per night at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort and $89 per night at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort for stays between May 29 and September 8.
Enjoy a summer lovin’ getaway for the young and young at heart with the “Family Fling and Swing” package at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa. Starting at $149, this summer package is back by popular demand, and includes a $50 daily resort credit, free golf on Faldo and Palmer championship golf courses, free meals for kids 12 and under at Blue Sage, free daily appetizer at Meritage Steakhouse, free in-room Wi-Fi, 10 percent off retail purchases in the resort’s Marriott outlets, complimentary parking, and no resort fee. The “Family Fling and Swing” package is available June 3 through September 5, 2012.
The Royal Palms Resort and Spa has announced its plan for a $1.2-million renovation of its bungalow-style Valencia Casitas this summer. The project, headed by Est Est Interior Design and Hayes Architecture/Design Inc, is expected to begin this July and be completed in late August. In an effort to maintain the casitas’ private-home feel, the renovation of the 30 rooms will include a larger bathroom with a custom vanity, custom shower, built-in coffee bars and privatized water closet. The room remodels will also include a new color and fabric palette, and new floor tile to emphasize the current Mediterranean design. In addition, the renovation will include a $250,000 fitness-center expansion, which will feature new floors, new windows, and updated workout equipment.
This summer, adults can rediscover the blissful pleasure of the summer vacation—without kids in tow—at the Boulders Resort. This desert hideaway is one of the few to offer amenities and programs designed for a peaceful adult vacation, from complimentary treats served poolside to pampering spa treatments. Take your relaxation to the max with the Boulders “Summer Romance Package,” which includes luxurious resort casita accommodations, daily breakfast for two, complimentary access to the spa, fitness facilities, adult pool, steam rooms, sauna, Niwa pool, and a chilled bottle of sparkling wine or sparkling cider upon arrival. The cost of the Boulders “Summer Romance Package” starts at $249 per night (double occupancy), and the offer runs May 5 through September 9, 2012.
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch offers “Hyatt Free Time,” available from May 1 through September 30, 2012, subject to availability. The rate begins at $165, not including tax or resort fee. Stay two nights and receive the third night free! It also includes a daily breakfast for two and a 20-percent discount on Spa Avania services. Or, for a shorter stay, take advantage of the “Advance Purchase” rates. With this rate, guests receive a 20-percent discount off the “Hyatt Daily” rate.
Make the most of summer with Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and the new “Very Important Kids” package. Boasting a full calendar of family fun, this Sonoran Desert retreat is the ideal place to stage a family-sized adventure, sure to make this a summer to remember. The “Very Important Kids” package includes a $100 resort credit for every two paid consecutive nights, family-themed “make your own snack mix,” turndown amenity, one complimentary in-room family movie during stay, and one voucher per child (up to two per room) to receive one complimentary poolside smoothie during the stay. This summer, the resort also welcomes back the popular “Dive-in Movie” series, with complimentary movies running every weekend throughout June, July and August. Other poolside activities include weekly smoothie demonstrations, organized pool games and daily refreshing poolside treats. The “Very Important Kids” package is valid June 1 – August 31, 2012, with rates beginning at $194 per night.
From May 24 to September 3, guests at the The Buttes, A Marriott Resort can take advantage of the “Sizzling Summer Advance Purchase Rate” and stay at a rate of $99 per night! The offer requires a 14-day advance purchase, and is only valid on the weekends (guests must stay a Friday or Saturday night).
Send dad to Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North for a “Barbecue Basics” class, where he will learn the secrets of sauces, rubs, and grilling techniques just in time for Father’s Day. The Barbecue Basics class will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Participants will enjoy cold beer from a local brewery, specialty cigars rolled onsite, and of course, demos of sauces, rubs and techniques by Executive Chef Mel Mecinas and Executive Sous Chef Jesse Hansen. Guests will enjoy barbecue fare after the demonstration, as well as homemade ice cream and whiskey floats. Each guest receives a takeaway recipe book, sample sauces and rubs, and a cigar to enjoy while grilling at home with their family. Participants can choose to extend the fun with an overnight stay Saturday, June 16, or Sunday, June 17, 2012. Weekend summer rates start at just $179 per night, and the cost for the class is $75 per person. Reservations are required.
Get out of town—or just get out of the house—and settle in for a sweet escape at the Kimpton Firesky Resort and Spa. Perfect for moms and daughters to enjoy together, the “Sweet Escape Package” package offers two welcome cocktails at Taggia, complimentary dessert at any dining experience in Taggia or a Kimpton restaurant, certificates for shopping discounts at Fashion Square and beyond, and 25 percent off of a 60- or 90-minute treatment at Jurlique Spa. The special package rate starts at $209 through May, and at $109 from June through September.
ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT
The Heard Museum makes way for a landmark new exhibition, “Through the Lens: Diné Photographers,” which will open on June 12, 2012. On loan from the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, this thought-provoking exhibition of work by contemporary Navajo photographers marks the first time ever that a show curated by a regional museum of American Indian arts/culture has traveled to the Heard. This juried show will present a fascinating and diverse range of photographers and subject matter. Through these compelling images, museum visitors will see the many ways Navajo photographers celebrate beauty and comment on their homes, their land, and contemporary life. The photographs will also provide an opportunity to explore the similarities and differences between Navajo culture and mainstream culture via themes such as rites of passage, sports, family and love of the land.
As the weather shifts into spring and wildflowers bloom at the Desert Botanical Garden, Ballet Arizona, in collaboration with the garden, is proud to introduce the upcoming presentation of TOPIA, a world-premier production by Ib Andersen. This world-class ballet will be preformed in an intimate desert space at the Desert Botanical Garden, overlooking the dynamic red rocks of the Papago Buttes. With its revolutionary 80-foot-wide performance space, TOPIA will present a unique perspective of dance and the natural beauty of Arizona. The show will be performed 17 nights in May 2012, including: May 2-5, 9-13, 16-19, and 23-26. Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the performance will begin at 7:30 pm. Food will be available for purchase, and a cash bar will be available as well. Ticket prices for the general public start at $39.
Big Surf Waterpark is offering 50 percent off of general admission during the first three weekends of May. Each guest must bring in at least three non-perishable food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to receive the 50-percent-off discounted admission. This promotion begins on May 5, when Big Surf Waterpark opens for the 2012 season, as well as Sunday, May 6, Saturday, May 12; Sunday, May 13, Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20.
The Boulders Resort, home to one of Golf magazine’s “Top 10 Golf Courses,” is offering exceptional summer values and golf instruction at the Boulders Golf Academy. New for summer is the “Family Golfers Guide”—ideal for families, new golfers, or golfers who need help with approach shots—which allows participants to play the new and innovative “Pebble Tees” with hole lengths between 60 and 200 yards. The “Summer Bonus Golf Series” is perfect for the avid golfer to build consistency in the game and it includes added value. “Summer Vacation Fix” includes two days of instruction (a total of four hours), personalized full-swing diagnosis, short-game finesse shots, and two nine-hole rounds.
Give your Mom her favorite flowers this Mother’s Day in Agave, the Arizona Spa at Westin Kierland Resort. Celebrate during the month of May with spa specials enhanced with organic flower essences perfect for Mom. These special services incorporate elixirs, organic skin care, and natural perfumes to enhance clarity, peace, and happiness. Indulge in the “Rejuvenation Flower Essence Edition” and receive a 50-minute flower essence pedicure and choice of one of the following three 50-minute services: body therapy, massage, or facial (excludes oxygen infusions). The “Rejuvenation Flower Essence Edition” is $239 (includes gratuity). Or, select the “Desert Duo Flower Essence Edition” for $159 (includes gratuity) and receive a 50-minute flower essence manicure and a 50-minute flower essence pedicure. You can also share your special day with your little prince or princess with a Razzle-Dazzle Mani/Pedi (children up to 12 years of age).
The Centre for Well-Being and Salon Mila at The Phoenician is making it easy – and economical – to escape weekly and indulge in a rejuvenating service for mind, body or soul with new “Therapeutic Thursdays.” Each Thursday from March 1 through May 31, 2012, visitors can enjoy a variety of luxurious offerings with up to $60 in savings, including a massage, personalized facial or tarot card reading for $79, a shampoo and blow-dry for $45, a 45-minute manicure for $45, or a 45-minute pedicure for just $65. In addition, spa and salon guests will have access to the Phoenician’s signature pools, and can participate in a complimentary Meditation session or a tai chi or yoga class held Thursdays in the Centre for Well-Being’s newly renovated fitness center.
Get ready for summer and rejuvenate from your busy first part of 2012 at Montelucia Resort and Spa. For the month of May, the Joya Spa will be offering a special discounted “cleansing retreat,” which will feature traditional Moroccan tea combined with the guest’s choice of exotic synergies, a rare volcanic body masque, body balancing, or exquisite foot treatment, all followed by an application of argan oil synergies. The cleansing retreat is available Monday through Thursday, for 80 minutes, at the May monthly special rate of $165 (regularly priced $219), or Friday through Sunday, for 80 minutes, at the May monthly special rate of $175 (regularly priced $229).
In order to help with the physical and psychological ailments of daily stress, the Golden Door Spa has introduced a new “Desert De-Stress Package,” including a vacation package and meditation classes. Golden Door Spa’s Desert De-Stress Package includes a 50-minute therapeutic massage, 50-minute Vitamin C facial, and a relaxing lunch at the Spa Café. Additionally, the Spa has expanded its meditation sessions so guests can take advantage of a variety of programs designed to help them address stress in their lives. In private meditation, guests learn techniques for stress reduction, including visualization and connection of the mind, body and spirit. Meditation takes place in the Spa’s labyrinth, the organic garden, on a meditative walk, or in the spa’s authentic tipi – a structure that stands 18 feet in diameter and 26 feet in height and is used for guided meditation sessions by the spa’s resident “shamanic ceremonialist.” Astrological soul readings and the spa’s wellness series presented by a Buddhist monk are other programs offered at the Golden Door Spa that can help ease stress and promote spiritual healing and wellness.
Guests can perk up their weekend mornings at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North with the new Crema coffee shop, offered poolside at Saguaro Blossom. Crema is open every Friday through Sunday, from 7 to 10:30 am. Guests can enjoy locally sourced press drip coffee, a full espresso bar, blended coffees, and a variety of “create-your-own” smoothies. Those looking for something more substantial can choose from a breakfast burrito, breakfast sandwich, granola parfait, whole fruit and a variety of homemade pastries. For the ultimate pick-me-up, choose the Scottsdale breakfast for a shot of espresso and a cold, local Arizona beer.
There are big changes going on at Enchantment Resort in Sedona’s Boynton Canyon, and none bigger than the new dining experiences unveiled in the newly renovated clubhouse. With the recent debut of its new signature restaurant, Che Ah Chi, and the re-opening of the Tii Gavo Bar, Enchantment has appointed David Schmidt as executive chef to oversee all culinary operations and menu creation at the resort. A seasoned talent with extensive experience garnered at hospitality hotspots throughout Arizona, Chef Schmidt is committed to delivering the excellent food and service guests expect.