A cooling elixir to soothe my skin after every drop of moisture had evaporated due to the 100-plus degree Fahrenheit heat. That’s how I’d describe the nopal cactus paddle gel as it was massaged into my skin during the Nopal Massage (starting at $185, 60 minutes) treatment at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.
Welcome to one of the many moments of peace and wellness I enjoyed during a recent visit to this oasis in the Arizona desert. You’ll find the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale tucked away among the red rocks beyond Phoenix, about a 45-minute ride from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. What I loved about this property is that from the dining options to the bi-level, free-form pool, I didn’t need or want to go anywhere else during my visit. (But, FYI, if you do want to visit spots off-property like Old Town Scottsdale, I’d suggest renting a car, as Uber rides can easily add up.)
Read on to learn why this the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale should be on your must-visit list the next time you need a fit and well getaway to recharge your batteries.
What We Love:
- A room service breakfast menu that features healthy options like green juice and berry-based smoothies with chia seeds
- The daily schedule of yoga and other fitness classes
- The million-dollar views of the mountains, valley, or lagoon-style pool that you’ll enjoy from the comfort of your room
- In-room electric kettles and Nespresso machines for the perfect cup of tea or espresso.
- The spa boutique, which carries brands ranging from Anatomie to Vuori
What Not to Miss:
- The 60-minute Nopal Massage, which incorporates gel from cactus paddles that are full of antioxidants and vitamins
- Treating yourself by reserving an Oasis One-Bedroom Suite, where you’ll enjoy your own private plunge pool and alfresco garden shower
- A sunset dinner on the patio at Talavera.
- An in-room bath in your deep soaking tub
- Year-round use of the hiking trails located right in the resort’s backyard
A cozy but chic Southwestern vibe—that’s how I’d describe the look and feel of my private casita. The 210 casitas (188 guest rooms and 22 suites) that comprise this Four Seasons property are sprinkled around the property so that you feel like you’re living in a stunning adobe community versus staying in a high-rise hotel. I really enjoyed being able to be outdoors and take in the beauty of the property as I walked from my casita to other parts of the property.
Once inside, you’re greeted by the soothing colors of the Sonoran Desert and stunning views of the mountains, valley, or lagoon-style pool. And although this property has a uniquely different feel than many of the Four Seasons hotels I’ve visited, I love that you’ll find the same luxurious touches associated with the properties including a cloud-like bed outfitted in linens that felt like butter against my skin, a fully stocked mini bar, deep soaking tubs, twice-daily housekeeping services, and electric kettles and Nespresso machines for the perfect cup of tea or espresso.
If you really want to indulge in the ultimate R&R experience, treat yourself like I did, and book the Oasis One-Bedroom Suite. The beauty of this casita type is the privacy and the views. First, there is an alfresco shower off the spacious master bathroom (you have a separate bath in the living area of the suite). Then, the “backyard” includes a patio with a flat-screen TV, a fireplace, and plenty of seating (including a whimsical hanging chair). Oh, but it gets better. Each suite features its own plunge pool that overlooks a brilliant red-rock mountainside. In this casita, I always felt like I was on my own little compound tucked away from the world. It was just what I needed to disconnect from the world and recharge my batteries.
Whether it was a delicious order of huevos rancheros and a green juice enjoyed in the privacy of my casita (thanks to room service), or the refreshing shrimp and scallop aguachile (similar to a ceviche) served up at Proof, every bite and sip I tasted during my visit did not disappoint.
Given how hot the afternoons were during my visit, my dining strategy was to indulge in a large breakfast of chilaquiles or a veggie frittata and fresh-pressed juice or kombucha, via room service—because breakfast is better when enjoyed poolside in your casita. And I’d also order a smoothie to put in my in-room fridge that I could enjoy in the afternoon when I knew I needed to consume some calories, but didn’t want to eat much, given the heat.
Dinners were enjoyed at the more casual Proof where I opted for the healthier aguachile along with a side of the pretzel knots, which are as indulgent and delicious as you’d imagine. Plus, the kid in me appreciated I was able to order a takeaway create-your-own sundae for dessert that I enjoyed in bed.
If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, don’t miss a sunset meal enjoyed on the patio at Talavera, which is the resort’s take on a modern Spanish steakhouse. This is where I treated myself to the last meal of my visit and got to see the beauty of the sprawling resort at twilight. Of course, the dazzling pinks and oranges of the sunset were a sight to behold, but so was the nearly full moon and watching the birds and bats glide through the air with the shadows of the red rocks in the background. But back to the food and drink…from the perfect dirty martini to the lobster tostadas to the Secreto Iberico (think the finest pork served up with mole negro and other delights), every bite made a memory. And if you’re looking to enjoy a bit of dessert, don’t miss the cinnamon churros with a warm chocolate dipping sauce. Oh, and ask to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. You’re welcome.
Spa, Fitness Facilities, and Activities
Wellness bliss. That statement sums up the fit and well offerings you’ll find at this Four Seasons property. The spa is home to 14 treatment rooms, separate men’s and women’s relaxation lounges, steam rooms, and a boutique where you can splurge on finds from Anatomie and Vuori. It is the ideal spot to spend a steamy Scottsdale afternoon.
The treatment menu includes a selection of massages and facials, using product lines from Body Bliss, Omorovicza, and La Natura. Plus, the spa also offers several signature body treatments like the indulgent Prickly Pear Renewal (starting at $255, 90 minutes), where your skin is gently exfoliated with prickly pear body scrub native to the Sonoran Desert and then massaged with a prickly pear oil. Or you can indulge in an experience at the Aroma Design Bar (starting at $305, 90 minutes; $405, 2 hours) where you’ll be guided by a dedicated Alchemista to custom-blend an eight-ounce body butter and an eight-ounce body polish. Then, you’ll be treated to a custom massage and body scrub using your hand-curated product. (And FYI, you get to take home the leftovers!)
I opted for the 60-minute Nopal Massage, which incorporates the application of the warm cactus gel. The paddles are soaked and then cut in half and placed directly on the skin, creating a heavenly feeling. (The nopal cactus, which is more commonly known as the “prickly pear cactus,” offers a variety of health benefits due to its high antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content.) The experience was exactly what my skin needed after a few days bathing in the desert sun.
While I opted to get my exercise by hiking the Pinnacle Peak trail in the hotel’s backyard, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale offers a well-equipped, state-of-the art fitness center (housed within the spa), featuring Pelotons and other cardio and resistance training gear. Also, if you need a little motivation to complete your daily workout, the fitness center offers a full schedule of classes, including yoga, Pilates, high-intensity interval training, and spin ($10 per class), as well as guided hikes. The spa also offers a variety of fitness events throughout the year, including its annual Global Wellness Day celebration (on the second Saturday of June). I happened to be visiting on this day and enjoyed the festivities—complimentary and open to guests and locals—which included a light hike, breathing exercises, and fresh juices, followed by a 45-minute flow yoga class and sound bath. Golfers and tennis/pickleball lovers will also rejoice, as guests have access to the Pinnacle and Monument courses, and freshly striped courts. Finally, if you’re looking for adventure beyond the property and golf courses, the resort team is available to help you plan a variety of additional activities. From horseback riding to mountain biking to a desert Jeep tour, there’s an option to suit everyone’s thrill level.