By Molly Cerreta Smith
There’s no doubt that the valley reigns supreme when it comes to our breadth of summer staycation offerings for locals and visitors alike. And if that’s the case, The Phoenician Resort, with its recent remodel and endless summer activities and specials, is the crown jewel of summer staycations.
While steeped in grandeur today, the Phoenician’s roots are quite modest. It started out as the Jokake Inn in the early 1900s, and today the Inn remains on the grounds, serving as a symbol of Old Southwest hospitality. The idea for luxury came knocking in mid 1980s with Charles Keating’s vision of building a multi-million dollar resort inspired by the “elegance and sophistication of Europe.” Each detail of the resort was considered to ensure that The Phoenician truly was, and remains today, the finest in resort lifestyle. In 1996, the property’s Canyon Suites were added, serving as the state’s only boutique hotel within a resort, featuring 60-plus rooms and ultra-exclusive services such as a private infinity pool and a chauffeur-driven luxury car available.
More recently, The Phoenician boasts the results of its latest renovation that completely transformed the entire property, giving it a more modern take on luxury. Renovations touched every aspect of the grounds, including all 585 guestrooms, common areas, pools, main lobby, retail corridor, golf course, a new spa, athletic club and restaurants. Opened in March of last year, The Phoenician Spa is a three-story complex boasting a rooftop pool and 24 treatment rooms including a couple’s VIP suite as well as a Drybar, full-service nail salon, fitness center and personal training gym.
In addition to some of its signature restaurants such as J&G Steakhouse, the AAA Five Diamond resort also welcomed a variety of fresh dining concepts including Mowry and Cotton, a contemporary Modern American restaurant. And the all-new Phoenician Golf Course and Athletic Club boasts an 18-hole course redesigned by famed architect Phil Smith and a two full stories of fitness options including seven tennis courts, two basketball courts and a pickleball court as well as an activity/rec center, refreshment center, retail options and a “family room” with video games, shuffleboard and more.
Some of the property’s more traditional offerings remain, including the ever-popular Afternoon Tea at the Phoenician. Exquisite noshing during this event includes three-courses — finger sandwiches, scones with traditional English offerings including lemon curd, Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves, and finally a decadent and delightful selection of pastries and desserts — complemented by guests’ selection of tea and champagne. Ladies of all ages don their finest (including an optional fascinator, perhaps?) for this classic afternoon tea, which was recently given an after-dark makeover with the launch of Champagne Saturdays. From 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each Saturday night, the event includes choice of champagne tiers along with an Artisanal Cheese Board Starter with domestic and imported cheeses, vine-ripened fruits, fig jam, smoked Arizona honey lavosh and crusty breads; Cold Canapes such as Ahi tuna and Thai chile crisp, macadamia-crusted goat cheese with raspberry conserve, and tomato, mozzarella and basil crisp; and Warm Canapes like French onion boule, brandied peach and brie en croute, spinach and artichoke tortilla crisp, mini beef wellington with tarragon aioli, and coconut-breaded lobster tail with Thai sauce. The Dessert selections resemble those of Afternoon Tea and include Scottish shortbread, chocolate-dipped strawberries, dark chocolate truffles and fruit tartlets.
With certainly no shortage of ways for guests to wine and dine their way through a summer staycation, The Phoenician also recently rolled out its seasonal “Summer Culinary Countdown,” with options such as a $45 three-course menu at J&G Steakhouse with a half-priced bottle of select wine; $35 menu for Afternoon Tea; and the “Bottle and Board” menu at Mowry & Cotton for just $25.
The Phoenician pools are clearly a “hot spot” in which to chill out this summer, and the resort’s Fire and Ice theme ignites here with games, music, fire displays, performances, and complimentary offerings from The Phoenician’s Chill Squad. Truly a resort for the whole family, the resort’s Funician Kids Club offers a multitude of ways to entertain the little ones while Mom and Dad enjoy dinner at one of the property’s restaurants. The Night Owls program runs nightly from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and is complimentary for two children per family for guests as well as those paying a resort fee and dining on-property. Summer fun isn’t just for kids, though! Adults are encouraged to spa their stress away this summer with specials at The Phoenician Spa; and golfers can enjoy special rates on early tee times before 11:00 a.m. For details, summer staycation pricing and more, visit www.thephoenician.com.