Hotel review: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

I’ll cut to the chase: the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a fabulous hotel…but it comes with a few features that you might not enjoy.

I’ll start with something positive: this is the view from my balcony. Doesn’t it kind of remind you of Hawaii? The grounds at the resort are beautiful, alluring, relaxing…I loved walking around here.

fairmont scottsdale grounds

In fact, at first, I couldn’t imagine why the hotel is ranked 22 out of 79 hotels in Scottsdale on TripAdvisor. While I always take a TripAdvisor ranking with a grain of salt, I definitely use it as a guide…and 22 is pretty far down on the list. On the surface, everything at the Fairmont Scottsdale was perfection – I had a large room with premium amenities, I was captivated by the gorgeous grounds, I felt very taken care of by the friendly and helpful staff – however, as the day turned into night, I was ready to knock a couple of stars off my review as well.

Let me tell you all about it, and you can see what you think.

Room: layout.

While I am a Fairmont President’s Club member, I don’t have any status with the program. So I don’t think I got an upgraded room. However, even my standard room was designed to feel very large.

fairmont scottsdale room

It’s a little hard to describe, but the room has several distinct areas that are marked by hard wall angles. There’s the bed:

fairmont princess bed

The sitting area:

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And the work area:

fairmont desk

The room feels even larger because of the sliding glass door that opens onto a patio:

scottsdale balcony

There is a deep soaking tub in the bathroom, as well as a shower.

IMG_2700Amenities were by Le Labo. I loved the scent, but it’s pretty strong (good to know if you are fragrance-averse).

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Room: annoyances.

I really liked my room…until I had to sleep in it. I had requested a quiet room, but starting at about 5 am, there was constant noise. Golf carts clattering by and some kind of intermittent beeping noise woke me up several times, until I just gave up and started my day at 5:45 am.

It was actually really nice to sit on the balcony and enjoy an early-morning cup of coffee, but I would have rather been fast asleep.

The bed was also REALLY uncomfortable. Not trying to sound like Goldilocks, but some of the pillows were too hard, while the rest were too soft, plus the mattress was kind of lumpy.

The desk set-up was also wildly uncomfortable. The chair was too low for the desk, which made it really hard to work on the computer, and there was no way to adjust it. I tried stacking a couple of pillows on top of the chair, and then perching on top of the pile, but I kept tilting to one side and falling off.

Resort Grounds and Pool.

There were lots of little groups of comfy seats sprinkled throughout the resort.

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Some of them were in very serene locations.IMG_2714

Usually there was no one sitting in them, which was lovely if you  just wanted a quiet spot to relax.

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The pool was super refreshing. I liked that they had an endless supply of fluffy towels and fruit-infused water.

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My poolside cocktail, a spicy watermelon margarita, was one of the best drinks I’ve had in a long time. I highly recommend it.

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The poolside menu was pretty gourmet. My delicious drink went especially well with a chopped salad, which was served bento-style in a covered wooden box. Nice touch.

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Prices. Yikes.

I had some sticker shock at this resort. For example, my poolside meal was $35. Ouch.

I would absolutely return…in an informed way.

Even with the noisy room, uncomfortable furniture, and high prices, I would return to this resort. However, here’s what I would do differently:

  • I would make sure to get a room on the third or fourth floor in the F or G building, facing the casitas.
  • If I needed to work, I would go to one of the lounge areas.
  • I would rent a car and go off property for meals.

All in all, I had a really good stay. The resort is gorgeous and relaxing, my stay felt like a true getaway because of the resort’s location, plus I got a great rate through Rocketmiles (and I earned an extra 4,000 United miles with my stay). Not bad.

What do you think of this resort? Have you been here? How does it compare to other Fairmonts?

Comments

  1. heavenlyjane says:

    Just curious: if you rent a car to save on meal, what is the cost of overnight parking?

  2. Thanks for your report.

    This is an ok property. It is a large conference hotel with a decidedly non-intimate feel.

    There are plenty of nicer properties in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. The TA ranking feels about accurate.

  3. GingerSis says:

    Random comments:
    1. I was catching up last night and went to see if I had the Amex grocery promo, I don’t, but I had two rich hotel offers that your other readers might also want to look for, one was Comp Night, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts TRAVEL//Comp night and $25 hotel credit EXPIRES12/31/2014, the other was $50 back on $250 at Hilton.
    2. I love the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Arizona Biltmore, and deals can be had for it as well as the Hyatt Gainey Ranch, but distances in that area can be deceiving.
    3. Just know that when you are taking an offer like the above, Amex and the vendor are giving a deal, but they are getting your info in exchange and building even more of a profile on you. I’m cool with that because I think Amex has good people working on their privacy program, but they also know a heck of a lot about us!

    • Points Pixie says:

      GingerSis – Thanks for the tips!

      And a little disconcerting to really think about all the info out there…

  4. Rebecca says:

    I love your hotel reviews and often check your site before traveling to a new city. Thanks for the review! Hopefully you got a great rate!
    .

    • Points Pixie says:

      Rebecca – So glad you love my reviews! I work really hard on them so I’m glad they’re helpful to you. I did get a great rate with Rocketmiles. 🙂

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