Canyon Suites Review

Now this is a view.

Spouse and I escaped the Frigid North last weekend for some R&R, Vitamin D, Vitamin Champagne and Friendship in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

Typing this brings psychic pain, since the current windchill feels like six degrees below zero in Minneapolis.

I wish I was being figurative with my language.

A few basics: The Canyon Suites are a distinct part of the (much) larger Phoenician Resort, a Scottsdale classic property nestled into the side of Camelback Mountain.

Seriously, I don’t think current zoning laws would allow a build like this, because it is not just at the base of the mountain but abutted right into the side.

The Phoenician proper is already a great resort, but the Canyon Suites take it up several notches.

From the hotel’s website:

Here’s the lobby:

Check in was seamless. We stayed in a one bedroom suite on the first floor. There was an entry with two closets and a powder room (LOVED the marble sink), a living and dining room, enclosed patio, separate bedroom with a king bed and a master bath.

Not sure if the video tour will work, but here it is:

A few stills:

Here is the marble sink I loved in the powder room:

And the patio:

Added perks to staying at the Canyon Suites included free breakfast, a private pool for suite guests, valet parking and free shoe shine services. I sent some Gucci loafers off and they returned quite spiffy.

For fellow toiletry hoarders, the amenities are Byredo Le Chemin and include face wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap, plus lip balm and bath salts.

We arrived Friday and went for a run, went for a swim, soaked up some rays and had dinner at the on-property J&G Steakhouse, where the weather was so fine that we ate al fresco.

Then we waddled back to our suite.

Saturday consisted of more running, breakfast (free and still delicious – the Nutella mini croissants should be illegal, but at least the fancy fruit art slightly balanced it out).

I was *so* excited for Saturday night, where we’d planned dinner with my dear friends R. and J.

I brought a hostess gift and I could hardly stand to wait for them to arrive:

We had a drink at their beautiful house in Paradise Valley (the name! I want to live there for the name alone), met their dogs (and I almost stole the tiny one), had a fabulous dinner at Eddie V’s and I smiled so much that my face hurt.

It was a perfect night.

Sunday required burning off Saturday night via a long run, undoing that with the Nutella croissants, then some serious pool time.

I was super jazzed that afternoon because I’d also booked a deluxe facial. The Spa at the Phoenician is located in a building adjacent to the main hotel. As far as hotel spas go, I would rate this a 9/10. The common areas were recently re-vamped and felt peaceful and modern. There is also a really well-curated spa boutique and a separate Dry Bar.

I loved this piece of art in the waiting area so much that I tracked it down and ordered it for Fancy Pants Ranch:

My 80 minute facial was top notch. The only problem was that it was so good that when I was done, I was done.

All I wanted:

I didn’t make it far beyond relaxing on the patio, but that was just fine for our last night.

We returned home Monday, another seamless but sad affair.

Final thoughts: Spouse and I had a serious debate about The Canyon Suites versus The St. Regis. My best St. Regis comparison would be the one in Bal Harbour (Miami), which also involves a single flight (for us) and affords both sun and city amenities. Overall, I would give the nod to the St. Regis, since some suites there have their own private elevators (THE THING I DIE FOR) and there is the winning element of the ocean.

But.

The Canyon Suites were also really, really spectacular. The view of Camelback Mountain was something special and the on-site restaurants and spa give the Canyon Suites an edge. Adding the opportunity to spend time with our friends really makes the two properties a push in the end.

Which means I need to visit both a lot more to collect additional data.

It’s called research.

Healing Knots

One of my favorite activities from my spa trip last week was bracelet making class.

So, yes, this place is basically camp for adults. 

Oh! And I didn’t mention yet that when I walked in the door, the first two people I saw were two women I met last year during my camp week. My new friends L., B., and I already made a plan for a repeat visit same time, same place next year. It was fun to pal around with them.

The idea behind the bracelet class was to make a piece of jewelry to wear with intention. 

It’s purposefully simple and rustic.

Healing Knots was started by a woman who made the bracelet as a way to heal from her brother’s death. (Full story here).

You can make the bracelet for any reason, but some people make them to celebrate a milestone, mark the weeks of pregnancy (40 beads, one for each week), to heal from a divorce/death/break-up, or to signify a goal. In the last case, you are supposed to wear the bracelet until you reach the goal, then give it away.

Another rule is that any time you meet someone who seems to need the bracelet more than you do, you need to give it away.

I decided to make my bracelet with beads in natural colors, except for one.

The lone bead is bright yellow, which symbolizes being authentic, which is a word I would use to describe myself and a way I try to live my life.

Here’s how it turned out:

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My intention for 2015 is to live authentically. This is a reminder.

P.S. Here are two snaps of my own tiny spa garden, complete with fountain. It was heaven.

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Exhale

Yesterday I alluded to the fact that this week, I’m on a solo getaway.

To one of my favorite places in the world.

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I want to be a bit protective about this place, but I will say it’s a smallish resort/spa that gets rave reviews from High Ups that rate Places Like This.

I wanted to go here for a long time, and last year I got my chance.

One visit wasn’t enough.

So here I am. Again.

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The best parts about being on a solo getaway to a small resort:

  • I can be as alone or as social as I want
  • The day’s agenda is mine
  • The food is so mind-blowingly healthy that you can never feel guilty for indulging
  • Wearing a bathrobe all day is perfectly acceptable. Even encouraged.

My plan is to exercise, read, relax, sleep and get off the grid this week. Super excited.

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Looking forward to getting refreshed and inspired.