Photo Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale
It is not unusual to find an Arizona resort that looks like a water park with rooms attached. And this big Scottsdale luxury property certainly fits the description: 10 pools, 20 fountains, 45 waterfalls, and a three-story, high-speed waterslide. But what makes the Hyatt Regency unique is that guests can glide along its desert waterways aboard authentic Italian gondolas while being serenaded by professional gondoliers who are classically trained singers. Beyond the water's edge, there are the expected activities, such as the 27 holes of golf at the Gainey Ranch Golf Club, open only to club members and resort guests. And there are the unexpected, such as the Native American Learning Center, created to give guests insight into native Southwest culture through art, food, entertainment, and personal interaction with some of the resort's staff. For hikers, the 24-hour Canyon Market serves up not only performance foods and gear, but also directions to the best trails.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
An integral part of the upscale Scottsdale residential community of Gainey Ranch, the Hyatt Regency is a short ride from most area attractions, including Old Town Scottsdale, where the West lives on in the taco menu at Los Gringos. A bit farther afield, anyone who is culturally oriented or dreams of guitars will want to visit the Musical Instrument Museum, where it is possible to be astounded by how many countries around the world have some form of pan pipe. Astounding, too, is that the daily-changing menu of globally inspired fare at the museum's Café Allegro is museum quality.
Need to Know
Rooms: From $159 low season, $419 high season. 493 rooms, 31 suites. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The choices here are extensive, beginning with the Alto ristorante e bar, which stocks a cellar of artisanal meats and cheeses to pair with an impressive collection of wine, much of it Italian. A fun way to experience the casual bistro SWB is though "Wine Me, Dine Me," a four-course, chef-led exploration of Southwestern cuisine, fueled by appropriate pairings of wine and tequila. At Cantina Due, an open-air terrace bar tucked between Alto and SWB, guests can order from either eatery's menu. And at the Center Stage Bar, prickly pear margaritas pair nicely with the nightly entertainment. Spa and gym details: Another creative way the Hyatt Regency encourages guests to experience the resort is the Grape Escape, a weekday tour, from 5 to 7 p.m., of the resort's Spa Avania that includes a glass of wine and a bit of product sampling. The spa has 19 treatment rooms, including four for couples. The gym is open 24 hours.
Who's it for: Families who recognize that every vacation should have an educational element, such as learning about Native American culture, but who can't wait to try the three-story waterslide. Our favorite rooms:Everyone likes a water view, especially in the desert, which is why the casita suites, sitting along the resort's waterways, are so popular. They have a wood-burning fireplace and rooftop sundeck, and can be configured with up to four bedrooms, making them ideal for families—especially any who might want to practice their Italian when the gondolas go by. Special privilege: Although a gondola ride normally costs $10 per person, it is complimentary for guests who dine at the Alto ristorante e bar.