Review: Andaz Scottsdale
My family lives in Arizona, so when I heard there was an Andaz coming to Scottsdale around this time last year, I was very excited. The Hyatt offerings in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area leave something to be desired and since I usually end up visiting a few times a year, I was really looking forward to having a great Hyatt option in Scottsdale. The Andaz was initially scheduled to open in fall 2016, but continued to be delayed and finally opened in January 2017. We actually had booked a stay over Thanksgiving last year, but ended up needing to be re-accommodated since the Andaz was not ready to open. It worked out and we were moved to the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, which was actually very nice, but we were definitely disappointed. When I ended up needing to visit Scottsdale in late February, we jumped on the chance for two nights at the Andaz since it had finally opened.
The Andaz is centrally located in Scottsdale right off Scottsdale Rd and is super close to Old Town Scottsdale. That being said, it is somewhat hidden off the main road and you'll need to keep an eye out for the signage while driving in. The hotel was actually still under some construction in February and there's a large apartment complex right in front of the hotel which was also under construction, so there's quite a bit of activity going on in the area.
When I pulled up to the hotel entrance, the valet offered to take my keys so I could go inside to check in. One of the great things about this hotel is that parking is free (or really, I guess it's included in the "resort fee", but whatever) and there's plenty of it. This is not the case for Hyatt's other properties in Scottsdale, so I was really happy about that.
The property itself is gorgeous and all brand new. As a huge fan of mid-century and minimalist design, Andaz properties are consistently some of my favorites and this one did not disappoint. I love the neutral design with lots of natural finishes and fun pops of color. My parents visited one of the days we were staying and my dad and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what Hyatt tore down to build the Andaz. It was spacious and sprawling and the grounds have a magnificent view of Camelback Mountain, so something big would have needed to be removed to accommodate it.
After leaving my car with the valet, I headed inside to see if I could check in early. It was before noon, but the incredibly friendly front desk associate still offered me a welcome drink of wine or champagne. I told her I'd have to pass, but maybe I'd raincheck for later. She told me I could come back anytime for more than one glass if I wanted and that it was always available and I thought that was really great. Hyatt switched from Gold Passport to World of Hyatt in March, so during my visit, we were still under Gold Passport and the associate offered the welcome amenity if I wanted it. Irrelevant now, but I was able to select a small bottle of wine or one beer from my in-room minibar and also selected a small menu item for delivery the next evening. My room was awesomely available and I had been upgraded to a larger room due to my Diamond status. She explained a bit about the property and then I was on my way. What I really loved was that later that evening, I went back to the lobby to take them up on the raincheck and the associate remembered my name and seemed genuinely happy to see me. Overall, the service from the front desk definitely blew me away.
After checking in, I moved my car from the front drive to a parking lot and grabbed my bags to take them to my room. I don't like bothering people to help me carry my things, so I rejected the offer to have them help me take my things to my room and the offer to valet my car. The parking lot wasn't far and it was pretty easy to navigate the property.
The Andaz is made up of a collection of standalone single story buildings, which makes it so much more intimate and private. The buildings for the rooms usually have 4 rooms per building and they are staggered so you don't end up seeing much of your neighbors. There are paths winding through the area and the buildings are color coded so you can more easily figure out where you need to go. You'll also see markers every so often to point directions to different buildings.
Some of the rooms have small patios off the front door with a table and bench and mine was one of them. I actually got a ton of use out of it when my parents came to visit and we sat outside to have a few drinks and admire the view of the mountains.
The rooms themselves are gorgeous. As I mentioned, they make heavy use of the simplistic mid-century design and bring in color with local art and design as well. The room had a seating area to the left of the door for doing work, a separate lounge chair, a HUGE 60" TV and then connected to the large bathroom via the closet area which also housed the minibar. The minibar had a Keurig and a small selection of snacks and as always, the nonalcoholic drinks and snacks are free at Andaz properties.
The bathroom was very large and the shower was quite something. There was a huge vanity area and tons of natural light from both a skylight and the door to your private back patio. The shower had enough space for a small party and the finishes were beautiful. The toiletries were Argan branded, which I didn't love, but they were fine. The back patio area was really cute and a great touch. However, while great for privacy, the tall surrounding stucco walls meant that there wasn't a ton of sun on the patio and despite the fact that there were two chaise lounges out there, we didn't use the area at all because it was too chilly. In the summer though, this would be a great spot to get a respite from the sun but still enjoy the warmth.
As usual at some of the larger and more spread out Andaz properties like the Andaz Maui and Andaz Papagayo, you'll receive a map and list of daily activities when you check in. There were several yoga classes and events for children offered throughout the stay, which was really nice. They are usually included as well. The resort map shows the color coding that the resort uses, which is actually a really great idea.
As I mentioned, the TV was absolutely massive. One of the cool features I noticed when I used it was that it actually has a Google Chromecast installed, which is totally awesome! I was excited to try it out because I love using my Chromecast at home, but despite following the instructions and usually being pretty tech savvy, I couldn't get it to work, which was disappointing. Not sure if it was because the Chromecast wasn't working or what, but I'd be interested to know if anyone else has figured this out because it's a GREAT idea!
After settling in, I went for a walk around the property. I mentioned before that the property was still under some construction and while the main areas were complete, the spa and fitness center were both still under construction.
The main building has both the lobby and the hotel's restaurant, Weft & Warp. Weft & Warp has some outdoor seating with a few fireplaces so you can enjoy the view of the pool although it was a little too chilly during my visit to sit outside.
The pool area isn't huge, but it was beautifully done with some very nice seating and really cute pool toys floating around for anyone to use. The pool bar served cocktails for between $12-17 as expected in Scottsdale and service was prompt, but the drinks took quite a while to be delivered after ordering.
When we were visiting, there was a bit of a cold snap and it was only 60 degrees, which we thought might be too cold for the pool, but since there was no wind, it was actually really nice. The pool area didn't get too crowded and wasn't super rowdy. There was a huge range in the ages of the guests and we saw everything from little kids to seniors, some of whom seemed to be having some sort of family reunion and a group of girls visiting for a bachelorette party.
The grounds are gorgeous and are landscaped with a combination of grassy areas and traditional desert rock and cacti. The rock was raked and pristine and I hope the hotel will continue to keep everything looking so nice for years to come. You'd also occasionally see decorative fire pits around as well.
I wandered over to the Southern end of the resort and found the fitness center, spa and conference center. As I mentioned, this area was still under construction and I don't think any of it was open. There were workers over there during the day still putting the finishing touches on the spa and I couldn't see a way to get in the gym so I assumed it was still being worked on.
We had breakfast at Weft & Warp, which was included with my Diamond status and once again, really loved the decor. The food was also excellent. I ordered Chilaquiles and Chris had the Crispy Yard Bird Waffle. The chicken and waffles were seriously good and came with an amazing bourbon-infused syrup that I will definitely be buying as soon as I can find it. I also ordered a "daily fresh pressed juice", which I assumed would be a normal sized juice (and at $4, that sounds about right). The waiter luckily explained that it was actually just a shot of cold-press juice, which I was a bit shocked by, but decided to get anyway. It was incredibly tiny, but definitely tasty. That said, I really don't get cold-pressed juice.
Unfortunately, the service at breakfast was one of the lowlights of our stay. Our waiter was nice enough, but we were ignored when we arrived for a good 10 minutes while standing in the entry way waiting to be seated and then it took quite a while to get our waiter to take our order. Once we finally got our food, he never really came back. The restaurant wasn't unreasonably busy, but we had to chase down another waiter to ask for our check and then we were brought the wrong check. Once we finally got the correct bill, we paid and got out as quick as we could. It was definitely disappointing and hopefully they were just ironing out a few kinks since the place is still new.
Overall, our stay at the Andaz was excellent. The service from everyone but the restaurant staff was great and the property and rooms are gorgeous. The location is perfect and the "free" ample parking was icing on the cake. The Andaz is definitely my new go-to hotel when I'm visiting Arizona and I look forward to future stays.
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Just a girl with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.