Framed against the majestic McDowell Mountains, the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch does luxury on a grand scale. It’s a total lifestyle destination where Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture mingles with Native American influences and bountiful desert landscaping. And the visitor experience is impeccable for leisure enthusiasts of all ranks.
The 493-room resort, opened in 1986 on the site of a former Arabian horse farm and ranch, was designed with vacation in mind. Perhaps the most dramatic of amenities is the maze of interconnected swimming pools linked by waterfalls, 30-foot slide and sandy beach. Also featured are 27 holes of championship golf, fitness center, hiking trails, rock-climbing wall, kids’ club, Native American Learning Center and upscale shops.
I spent my free time during a hosted visit at Spa Avania, where a unique holistic approach matches time-of-day therapies to the body’s natural daily rhythms and needs. As in, awaken in the morning, rejuvenate in the afternoon and unwind in the evening. Even the background music and herbal teas are selected to follow the circadian patterns of life.
Guests may begin or end their sessions with a soak in the heated French Celtic mineral pool in the outdoor garden or lounge in the Himalayan Salt Room, which is said to boost immune systems and enhance healing.
My choice of treatments was the Herbal Poultice Massage, a full-body treatment that originates from 14th Century Thailand. Heated muslin poultices are filled with healing herbs and applied in a kneading action to soothe muscle tension and reduce soreness. You might prefer the Citrus Quench Body Wrap of a honey scrub followed by a massage with Vitamin C-infused cream.
Five distinctive restaurants and three bars cater to a variety of tastes, from casual bites to elegant fare. Our dining picks were SWB, a southwestern bistro, for a contemporary take on regional favorites and Alto Ristorante for eclectic Italian fare. Ingredients are sourced locally and served thoughtfully, executive chef Eric Howson told us. The Fire Roasted Huckleberry Salmon was served with quinoa salad, baby greens, roasted Cipollini onions and dollops of huckleberry jam. The pan-seared Pollo Marinato was accompanied by guanciale lentils and a citrus-olive mostarda. After dinner, take a Venetian gondola ride along the Hyatt waterways. Ask nicely, and your gondolier may sing an aria for you.
All guestrooms and suites are exquisitely furnished with private balconies or patios, heavenly beds, high-def LCD televisions, complimentary wi-fi, refrigerator, coffee maker, plush bathrobes and deluxe toiletries. But you won’t be in your room for long: Watch your favorite televised sports in the Grotto Bar, or enjoy daily live entertainment in the Center Stage Bar. My favorite early-evening spot was on the terrace near Fountain Court, where the fuchsia and magenta sunsets are breathtaking. Be sure to have your camera ready—you’ll want to take the color show home with you.
7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85258