Scottsdale Travel News: November 2013



It’s a fact of life. Sometimes restaurants need to plant roots elsewhere. And sometimes chefs seek out new opportunities. No matter the reason, they leave a void when they go. Luckily in Scottsdale, a new restaurant or chef is always just around the corner ready to capture our hearts and our stomachs.
Last year FnB began dishing out its sophisticated comfort food in a new downtown location just blocks away, leaving an empty storefront bookended by Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz World Wine Bar. Luckily Peter Kasperski, the mastermind behind Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz, has a plan for the neighboring spot. This fall, Kasperski will open Counter Intuitive, a lunch spot and nightlife destination.  On weekdays between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., you will find carryout house-cured meats, breads, steamed buns, muffins, sandwiches, oysters, rilletes and just about anything else you can imagine. On Fridays and Saturdays between 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., you’ll find cocktails to quench your thirst as you munch on the delectable menu items. But that’s not all. Between 5 and 10 p.m., Counter Intuitive becomes an extension of the beloved Cowboy Ciao. For media information, contact Catherine Arthur at or 480-695-9122.
In 2011, the closure of Trader Vic’s left our Polynesian food cravings unanswered. Satisfy those cravings once more at Hula’s Modern Tiki, which opens this fall. The restaurant will open in a spot in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, giving the former Big Earl’s BBQ some Polynesian flair. Sip on a Mai Tai, chow down on seared Ahi wontons and Bali Hai BBQ ribs, and top off the meal with a luscious banana cream pie. For media information, contact M. Dana Mule’ or 602-300-4395.
Fortunately for us, LON’s and Last Drop Bar at The Hermosa Inn already had James Ducas on staff as Chef de Cuisine following Jeremy Pacheco’s departure this summer. Ducas’ transition to Executive Chef will be swift and painless for fans of the eatery. This culinary visionary beat out more than 30 chefs for the coveted position. Ducas has been a mainstay at The Hermosa Inn since 2007, and now he takes the spotlight, promising to keep beloved dishes on the menu while incorporating bolder flavors and cutting-edge cooking techniques. For media information, contact Kendra D. Schultz at or 602-792-1917.

The party has only just begun for The Phoenician, which, as of Oct. 1, has been open for 25 years. To celebrate the resort’s silver anniversary, The Phoenician announced a multi-million dollar room renovation project and released its first ever children’s book.
Pardon the dust this coming summer when The Phoenician’s multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation kicks off with facelifts for  616 guestrooms. This $34 million dollar project will revamp all of the resort’s main rooms and casitas, as well as all the guestrooms and suites in The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician, Arizona’s only Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond Hotel. All rooms will undergo a complete redesign with  finishes and furnishings that will cultivate a distinct and elegant Southwestern style. Since 2008, The Phoenician has invested more than $100 million dollars in property enhancements. This next enhancement is expected to begin in May 2014 and run through October.
And why not cozy up on those newly minted furnishings with a good book to read with your kids? Lose yourself in the pages of Discover The Phoenician with Phoe-Phoe & Friends, the resorts first children’s book. You and your children will team up with “Mama Phoe-Phoe,” the resort’s cottontail rabbit mascot, and her friends as the book leads you through the 250-acre resort. As you embark on your journey with your new storybook pals, also get to know Snickers, a character named after a real-life therapy dog with Gabriel’s Angels, a local agency that delivers healing therapy to at-risk children. The book, which is available at the resort and online, is just another extension of The Phoenician’s commitment to offering a truly family-friendly experience. For media information, contact Denise Seomin at or 480-423-2657.

Everyone knows exercising is important, but that doesn’t mean you can always muster the energy to tough it out on a treadmill at the gym. Scottsdale resorts are making exercising exciting again with unique workout programs that break the mold.
Move over tennis, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa is offering the latest racket sport craze, Zennis. Merging meditation found in yoga with skills used in tennis, Zennis is a unique fusion fitness program. At the start of the clinic, you will be led through a series of relaxing stretches and poses that increase body awareness, movement and mechanics. For the remaining time, use your newfound focus and flexibility to hone your tennis skills. For media information, contact Alison Bontrager at or 480-607-2321.
Embrace your inner Cirque du Soleil acrobat as you literally elevate your fitness at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess during aerial yoga at Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa. During the class you will go through traditional yoga movements, breathing and exercises while being suspended in the air by a fabric hammock. Aerial yoga will help you master traditional yoga movements by allowing you to use your full range of motion. Classes are open to all experience and fitness levels. For media information, contact Valerie Lee at or 480-585-2706.
Adjust your kilt and grab your clubs for Scottish golf at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Start your day by renting an authentic kilt and head out to the course for a great day of golf the “Scottish way.” After working up a sweat, reward yourself with a glass of Johnnie Walker and a hand-rolled cigar. As your day comes to an end, listen as the sounds of bagpipes call you back to the resort. For media information, contact Jennifer Franklin at or 480-624-1315.

Come December 2014, put on your cowboy boots and bolo tie and mosey on over to the long-awaited Scottsdale Museum of the West. The “West’s Most Western Town” will pay tribute to its roots with the opening of a museum that tells the story of history’s notable pioneers and frontier expansion. Through its five galleries showcasing paintings, sculptures and cultural artifacts, the museum will depict the ever-evolving American West, from cowboys on horseback to historic roads like Route 66. Pieces by famed artists such as Carl Oscar Borg, John Coleman, and Maynard Dixon will take the spotlight at the two-story, 40,000-square-foot museum. With its dynamic rotating exhibits, educational programming and special community events, Scottsdale Museum of the West will seek to transport guests to the 19th and 20th centuries and teach visitors about the Western demeanor and mindset: integrity, optimism, perseverance, courage and creativity. For media information, contact Mike Fox at or 480-334-3121.

Set amongst 12 million-year-old boulders that are reminiscent of the dramatic landscapes portrayed in “The Flintstones,” The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort has always been a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts looking to connect with the Sonoran Desert. Now, the resort has elevated its offerings, allowing adrenaline junkies to test their limits with a bevy of activities that scream extreme adventure. Try your hand at fly fishing in the lakes throughout the golf course; fly high over the desert terrain in a hot air balloon that takes off and lands right on the resort’s property or during a daytime helicopter ride to Sedona or Grand Canyon from the resort’s private helipad; and traverse the desert’s dramatic terrain during a jeep ride led by a Boulders’ guide. These new programs add to an already robust lineup of outdoor offerings at The Boulders including rock climbing, stargazing, hiking and bicycle tours. For media information, contact Debi Bridges at or 480-306-4242.

Remember to log onto for additional tourism news, press kits and releases, media tour information and more. And, you can always turn to our public relations team for additional assistance, from photo needs and story ideas to help customizing an individual media tour. To keep up with Scottsdale’s latest news and happenings, follow @scottsdaleaz on Twitter or at

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