When you think of Scottsdale accommodations, one of the luxury resorts may come to mind, with its views of the Sonoran desert, world-class golf courses, and multiple pools. While the resorts are amazing, your base for this trip will be a surprising option in Scottsdale’s Arts District.
The Bespoke Inn
is an intimate hotel with only eight rooms—though two more will be added in fall 2019. As its name implies, every detail has been thought out, from custom furniture to beautiful salvaged tiles and reclaimed bricks. The property’s inspiration was the small village inns of Europe, so fittingly, bicycles are provided to guests who want to pedal around town. When guests return to the Bespoke Inn after exploring Scottsdale, they can take a swim in the infinity pool or find a comfortable chair in the courtyard garden, shaded by majestic oak trees.
After checking in and dropping off your luggage, you’ll join a guided tour of Cosanti
, founded by the celebrated artist and architect Paolo Soleri. He was born and educated in Italy, but first visited Scottsdale on a fellowship at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in 1946 and later moved to the city permanently in 1956. He was a visionary ahead of his time, with a goal of creating “arcology,” his term for an architecture that exists in harmony with an area’s ecology. Many of his ideas have been embraced in recent years, as green and sustainable design has become increasingly important. In the 1950s and 60s, however, his emphasis on architecture that conserves water and energy while minimizing waste and pollution was revolutionary. On your guided tour, you’ll learn about Soleri’s vision and have the chance to purchase one of the bells or windchimes he designed. The proceeds from the sale of these collectible items, and unique souvenirs of your Scottsdale visit, support the mission of the Cosanti Foundation.
Afterwards, head to lunch at a restaurant where Soleri, as a native of Turin, would likely feel at home. Andreoli Italian Grocer
has become a local institution (and may be familiar to viewers of Guy Fieri’s program on the Food Network). Owner Giovanni Scorzo wanted to bring the true flavors of Italy to Scottsdale—not Americanized versions of Italian cuisine. And he has succeeded, with a menu of antipasti, sandwiches, pastries, and pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven (available only on some days, however).
This afternoon, stop into one of Scottdale’s must-shop boutiques. Perusing the racks at Fashion by Robert Black
can feel like a visit to a fashion museum, except that everything is for sale. Owner Robert Black, who was also a founder of the Ford Robert Black Modeling Agency, has a discriminating eye and an expert’s knowledge of 20th-century fashion. Whether you’re looking for a smart Elsa Schiaparelli suit, a glamorous 1940s gown, or a funky design by Bob Mackie or Pauline Trigère, you may find it at Black’s store. There’s also a selection of vintage jewelry and other accessories, and while the store’s strength is women’s fashion, you’ll also find items for men.
Dine tonight at Rancho Pinot
. Some acclaimed restaurants emerge on the scene with fanfare and celebrity chefs at their helms. Others, like Rancho Pinot, choose the slow-and-steady route, consistently serving excellent and refined dishes and building a loyal following over time. When the restaurant first opened in 1993, the current emphasis on local, organic, and sustainable cuisine was still in its infancy. Owner Chrysa Robertson absorbed that ethos from her time in California, where she learned from masters like Nancy Silverton, and wanted to bring that style of cooking to Scottsdale. The décor at Rancho Point is decidedly Arizonan in its inspiration, with vintage cowboy art hanging on the wall, but the dishes tend to be rustic-farmhouse Italian with some Southwestern accents.