I fell in love with the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona before I even arrived. The photos online, the descriptions of the hotel, the grounds and the activities available all persuaded me that I was going to love this place and I was absolutely correct. Located right beside the Kierland Commons, a fantastic shopping center, the Westin Kierland has a gorgeous entrance, beautifully landscaped with colorful flowers, palm trees and local plantings. Step into the huge, open lobby and you will be immediately entranced by the view through the huge windows out to the open air restaurant, the fire pit and the golf course. The lobby, like the resort itself, is very classy and yet kitschy at the same time with touches like a marble bear posed in a corner.
Another great thing about the lobby is that every evening they bring out this completely marvelous dessert cart with a huge selection of freshly made desserts which you should sample every single day because they are delicious. We checked into our deluxe king room where we were mesmerized by the fantastic view. We were in a deluxe room with a king bed which was perfect but they have avariety of accommodations, all the way up to the Presidential Suite with 2,135 square feet! After checking out the fantastic view of the golf course, I decided that, even though I am not personally a golfer, if I was I would come here to golf because it is so beautiful. When you are tired of golfing, you can also check out the fitness area and the tennis courts.
We spent the evening in Dreamweaver’s Canyon, an open terrace area with plenty of seating and a large fire pit so we could see the “Scottish Pipes at Sunset Series” which takes place in Dreamweaver’s Canyon every evening at 5:30. The bagpipe playing is a nod to the contributions made by the Scottish immigrants to the development of Arizona’s railroads, mines and towns.
There is absolutely nothing like the wailing melody of the bagpipe to make your heart clench up and tears come to your eyes. When Michael McClanathan strolled out by the lake with his traditional Scottish garb and began playing, the entire crowd fell silent. Ater the bagpipe performance, we headed over to the Waltz & Weiser Saloon which offers an upscale bar menu and appetizers. You can eat inside while watching a game on the flat-screen televisions or you can eat outside in the Dreamweaver’s Canyon Courtyard. It was a clear, beautiful and cool evening in the desert, so we sat outside and enjoyed it. They have a pretty extensive menu and I recommend the Nachos which are excellent.
We slept peacefully that night in our wonderfully comfy room, then headed over to the Brittlebush Bar & Grill for breakfast the next morning. Try their “Cornbread French Toast’ which is unique and delicious.
A visit to the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa would not be complete without a day at the Agave Spa which might include a yoga class, a seasonal eating class and one of their signature treatments. When you walk into the spa, there is a small room on the left where they offera variety of classes, including yoga. There are also exercise machines outside the spa, which just shows the wonderful weather you, can find in Arizona – where else would you see exercise machines outside? Westin Workout is also available, which has state of the art equipment, a sauna, steam room, whirlpool, relaxation area and lockers and is available to all resort guests who get a 50 minute spa service.
My yoga class was absolutely wonderful and surprisingly full of people who were at varying levels of yoga experience which the instructor easily addressed, suggesting easier or more difficult moves, based on your experience. The seasonal eating class was quickly set up in the same classroom where we had our yoga class and is described as “In this live cooking demonstration, learn how to maximize the health benefits of seasonal food by preparing meals that are packed with nutrients as well as flavor.” The instructor prepared a complete lunch in front of us comprised of fresh, local ingredients and explained about all about healthy, seasonal eating.
After lunch, I had a fabulous massage, then headed out to the Aquamiel adults only pool. The Westin Kierland has two pool options which make it very nice for both families and adults who are looking for a quiet refuge. There is an entire Adventure Water Park with a 900- foot lazy river, a 110-foot waterslide and children’s play area and shallow pool that would be great for families. Then there is the Aguamiel pool which is right near the Agave Spa and is reserved for adults only. It’s open 24 hours – very unusual, in my experience – and is heated in the cooler months. There is also a Jacuzzi and private cabanas. I spent the afternoon in a private cabana poolside which are available for rental.
Be sure to make time for dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants at the Westin Kierland – I can personally recommend Deseo where one of your choices will be to sit at the bar and watch the demonstration kitchen. It’s a lot of fun to watch them prepare the wonderful food with dedication and artistry. They their “muddled” drinks made by combining ingredients, usually fresh herbs and spices by pressing them with a wooden muddler that looks like a tiny baseball bat before you add the liquid ingredients. Everything from the bread to the entrée was wonderful but the dessert meticulously designed to look like a cigar and matches – all edible! – was truly our favorite.
For more travel information and ideas, visit my blog at http://www.wanderlustwonder.com/!