By Eileen Ogintz


Air, water, earth, wood and fire….

The Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, one of the largest in Scottsdale, is said to be inspired by the Havasupai oasis deep in the Grand Canyon.

“We are so busy,” says the esthetician who gives me one of the best facials I’ve ever had. “More men than ever too…People just really need to de-stress.”

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Certainly, this is the place for it complete with steam room, Eucalyptus inhalation room, sauna, hot therapeutic whirlpool, cold plunge pool, swiss shower, rooftop pool and of course, expansive fitness center.

The 750-room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the longest running AAA Five-Diamond resort here, seems to offer a way to destress whether you are here for spaaing (check out the Live It Well Spa 3-Day Retreat),  here with kids (Starting Memorial Day, there will be Outta This World Summer at the Princess)  golf (two Tournament Players Club golf courses, tennis (five courts) or relaxing (there are five heated outdoor pools, including Sonoran Splash with two waterslides  or good eats (five restaurants, including La Hacienda as popular with locals as visitors with more than 200 varieties of Tequila presented by the resort’ resident “Tequila Goddess.”

The spa offers treatments personalized for each guest, whether a young persons’ acne or older women’s concern about wrinkles.  (Don’t forget sunscreen!)  Try a desert oasis detoxifying wrap, a desert botanical facial, Havasupai Falls rejuvenation, including a scrub of oil infused desert salts, a thermal mineral magnesium soak and a massage as well as a Sedona clay mask

The resort is on 65 acres in the heart of the Sonoran Desert with gorgeous desert wildflowers, birds, ducks parading in a stream, even jack rabbits.

Empanada and tamale at La Hacienda Restaurant
Empanada and tamale at La Hacienda Restaurant

The Fairmont Gold is popular with guests for a relaxed place for snacks, drinks, cocktails and deserts. 

And the resort couldn’t be more pooch or kid friendly.  Young guests coming this summer will be recruited on arrival and receive their official VIP Access Pass to Space Camp (half day) and official Princess Space For Sunglasses and will be greeted in the   lobby by an astronaut and giant rocket ship –all part of the  “Outta This World Summer at the Princess.” There will be space displays around the resort designed for selfies, Weekend nights  with lasers, fog, strobe lights, LED hula hoops, a DJ and even alien encounters t the Sonoran Splash Pool.

Bird perches on Saguaro Cactus at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Bird perches on Saguaro Cactus at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Meanwhile, guests of all ages can help the Princess fight the alien invasion with glow-in-the-dark laser tag mission (watch out for the Martians Wed-Saturday nights! And check out the Moon Maze)

Adults can enjoy space age fitness, meditation and spa, with treatment options for each zodiac sign. Then meet up with the kids for dive-in weekend movies weekend nights. (During the day, look for the Last Funtier Team at the pool weekends to engage the kids while astronauts and aliens roam the property ready to recruit you.) Everyone loves the Saturday night fireworks! 

The best part–who cares about the heat with five pools—there is a package with every second night free (Stay Close) and an Outta This World Package with rates starting at $299 a night with a $100 resort credit and $10 per room night to Cox Charities. By the way, all of the resort’s restaurants have kids menus.

Use that credit for dinner at La Hacienda, Toro Latin Restaurant and Rum Bar, like La Hacienda, a partnership with Richard Sandoval and complete with a “ceviche” bar—sushi and ceviche, wok dishes and more than 105 rums. Come for a drink at sunset for the views of the McDowell Mountain Range! 

La Hacienda was different from most Mexican restaurants we’ve visited—even in Mexico. I especially enjoyed the Barbary Fig margarita (tequila, lime, prickly pear and hibiscus) the fresh lobster tacos (Maine lobster flown in!) squash blossom quesadillas.  Take your pick of Tacos and enchiladas (shrimp, fish, pork, steak… or chef’s signature dish—tenderloin served with Oaxaca cheese enchiladas.  Kids will love the made at the table Guacamole, sweet plantains, tacos and more.

There’s just one thing- come hungry—very hungry!