What’s New in Greater Phoenix

May 2016

 

CITY NEWS

Travel between Phoenix and Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati became much simpler in April with the addition of four new flights with Frontier Airlines. The low-cost airline will offer nonstop service from Sky Harbor International Airport to the cities as part of an initiative to expand their flights to 40 markets. Frontier also plans to add routes to Seattle and Portland this summer, making Phoenix even easier to access for business and tourism.

Downtown Phoenix has reached an enormous milestone in its growth and development. A 55,000-square-foot Fry’s Food Store is set to open in 2018 on First and Second streets/Washington and Jefferson streets. For many that live or work in the downtown area, a grocery store has remained a missing piece in the city’s core with the nearest grocery store not within walking distance. “This just made it a lot easier to move to downtown Phoenix,” Mayor Greg Stanton said in a statement (Phoenix Business Journal).

RESORT NEWS

This summer, the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is offering luxurious sun-splashed experiences that are incredible values with seasonal starting rates of $125. Snow weary Canadians can enjoy multiple pools; freshly redesigned poolside cabanas; a 92-foot waterslide; morning yoga instruction on the lawn; indulgent spa treatments at Spa Biltmore, a new menu of “fire pit pick-ups” designed to be enjoyed at the newly renovated and expanded terrace and award-winning dining.


Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort offers their Four Acres of Water Park Fun summer rates starting at $119.  An oasis in the heart of Phoenix, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort features four-acres of water park fun with a half-mile lazy river perfect for tubing, water slide, sport pool, and kids pool – surrounded by 18 holes of mini golf.  Guests of all ages can also participate in organized daily poolside activities including cannon ball contests, scavenger hunts, tug-of-war, waterslide races, watermelon eating contests, hole-in-one contests and more. The resort’s on-site Coyote Kids Camp will also be chock-full of specialized activities for kids ages 4-12 with full-day, half-day and evening camp programs available. Led by qualified camp counselors, programming includes a variety of indoor and outdoor adventures such as scavenger hunts and much more. Parents can relax, recharge and enjoy a unique dining experience at Rico’s American Grill featuring a new off the script menu of garden-to-glass craft cocktails, including the jalapeno strawberry margarita, the cucumber basil martini and more.

Families, couples and friends looking for sensational summer rates and a relaxing getaway can tap into summer fun with all-suite accommodations at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. Featuring eight private pools each delivering a unique experience, the resort’s expansive Falls Water Village features two large pools lined with 23 luxe private cabanas, a water slide, poolside café and daily activities.  If lounging side-by-side is on your summertime to-do list, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all of the poolside options at Tapatio Cliffs. Guests can also indulge in spa, dining and golf with special deals just for summer guests. As the sun sets over the Valley of the Sun, guests can enjoy spectacular savings and breathtaking city views at the resort’s mountaintop Different Pointe of View restaurant offering a special summer prix-fixe menu featuring three courses for just $39.99 per person. Summer Rates Starting at $109


Complete your va(stay)cation at The Camby with some award-winning food at a Biltmore-area restaurant. The Uptown Dine Around Escape package features an elegant mountain view king room, two cocktails to savor poolside at The Rooftop Bar & SkyWall, complimentary valet parking and the best part of the deal- dinner for two at The Gladly, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Christopher’s Restaurant & Crush Lounge or Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar. The package starts at $229/night and can be upgraded to The Double Take Escape for two nights at the recently-renovated resort.

Chill out with summer savings and plenty of freezing family fun at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-29) will bring the first blast of cool with eight tons of snow and a synthetic ice rink. They’ll host activities that will keep everyone entertained through the weekend like The Whiteout, The Polar Plunge, The Glacier Glide and The Splish Splash. If you already made your Memorial Day plans, there is still plenty of fun to be had. The Big Chill Package will be offered May 30-Sept. 5, and includes a $50 dining credit per night or two free sessions on the FlowRider wave simulator.

Surge into summer at The Phoenician with summer rates starting at just $169. Make a splash and capture every moment of cool summertime fun at Arizona’s premier Five Diamond luxury destination, where exceptional rates and signature family-friendly offerings have never been more refreshing. Enjoy an invigorating and relaxing family-friendly splash pad and themed holiday weekends.

Downtown Phoenix is honing in on its artsy vibes, and many of the hotels in the area are updating the look and feel of their property to match. This June, a new hotel opens -- the FOUND:RE. The theme of the hotel centers around modern and local art, which is fitting for its close proximity to the light rail, Hance Park and Roosevelt Row, Phoenix’s self-proclaimed arts district. There will be 105 guestrooms, an on-site gallery, meeting spaces and a new restaurant concept, Match Cuisine & Cocktails.  It will be globally-inspired street food made in a wood-burning oven and designed for sharing.

A destination resort and worldwide tourist attraction come together with the “Music to My Ears” package at Royal Palms Resort and Spa. The package includes two tickets to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), which is an interactive and renowned museum with over 15,000 instruments from 200 countries. Besides the tickets, guests receive a complimentary room upgrade, two “garden-to-glass” cocktails at Mix It Up Bar, daily breakfast for two, and a $10 donation to MIM will be made in your name. While you’re there, be sure to experience the on-property restaurant, T. Cook’s, Passport Series. It features a four-course prix fixe menu inspired by different delicious culinary spots around the world. Try Portuguese food in May and flavors from Southern France in June.

Tempe’s immense growth and big plans for future development definitely creates the need for an urban hotel. Located within walking distance of the Mill Avenue District and Arizona State University, is AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe/Downtown. It opens this month and is designed for urban spirits who want to connect with the culture of the city. The crisp and clean lines, monochromatic tones, and earth and water themes found throughout the property reflect the character of Tempe and the desert.

Talking Stick Resort launches their annual RELEASE pool party series. Featuring a variety of EDM DJs all summer long including Diplo, Lil Jon and DVBBS. The series is available every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Additional poolside entertainment includes various concerts like 3 Doors Down (June 10).  Take advantage of Hot Rates and Hot Dates promotion this summer with rates start at $109. Stays are available June 1-August 26,

Play hooky for a couple days and take advantage of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North’s weekday specials. Rates start at just $179/night beginning June 1 and include fun activities every day of the week like “Sundaes on Sunday” and the “Backyard Barbecue” series. Be sure to document the good times on Facebook or Instagram using #FSSummerStory for a chance to win a free stay at the property. The contest will run through Sept. 5 and three prizes will be offered to the best entry for couples, families and friends.

Phoenix is used to being given a lot of “Best of” titles, but it’s always exciting to receive another. The latest is The Boulders, which has been named the “Best Golf Resorts in the Southwest” by Golf Digest magazine. The Boulders Golf Club is notable for its two courses designed by Jay Morrish and gorgeous desert backdrop. The number two spot for Best Golf Resort in the Southwest is our very own Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

One of Greater Phoenix’s most luxurious destination resorts, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, was just renamed Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass. The “Grand” distinction has been given to just 24 other Sheraton properties worldwide. They are offering plenty of summer vacation adventures with the River Boat Adventures package for two or four people. It includes complimentary breakfast each day at Ko’sin Restaurant or Link Café, plus one hour of fun in the sun. Guests can paddle board, kayak or take pedal boats through the crystal clear water in Gila River, or pedal on bikes alongside the water.

Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass Resort is offering the “Sip, Soak & Splash Memorial Day Weekend” Package is offered with rates from $154 per night for stays from Fri., May 27 – Mon., May 30. The package includes accommodations in a luxurious guestroom and a total of four (4) wristbands granting entrance for two children and two adults into the resort’s soak and splash lawn which is happening Saturday and Sunday. (Additional wristbands for entrance available at $20 per person)  All guests on this VIP package will also enjoy Native American culturally themed programming, live poolside music, Cinema Splash, outdoor games, grill stations and much more.

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offers their Summer Escapes Pacakage. Book any two consecutive nights and receive the third night free, plus a $50 dining credit. Their Passport to Paradise-includes exclusive offers to wellness classes, culinary treats, spa services and shopping

For all visitors the W Scottsdale is offering rooms for $179 per night and for group pricing visitors can spend a night in a wonderful king room for $149 per night, perfect for a guys/girls getaway weekend. Group pricing is available from May 1-Sept. 30 and includes a complimentary bottle of champagne and complimentary Sunday golf for $30 per person per round.  The W Scottsdale is also offering 20 percent off on best available rates for Arizona residents. Food at Sushi Roku and spa treatments at Bliss Spa are also 20 percent off for Arizona residents.


Celebrate 80 years of business with The Hermosa Inn. The hotel is set amidst lush gardens backed by Camelback Mountain, but was originally was the home and studio of Lon Megargee (the onsite restaurant’s namesake). They’re saying a big “thank you” to Lon and everyone that has stayed at the gorgeous hotel since its expansion into a guest ranch with an anniversary package. It includes overnight accommodations, sparkling wine upon arrival, an $80 dining credit in LON’s Restaurant, two tickets to the Phoenix Art Museum, an anniversary cocktail and enhanced turn-down service. The package is being offered through Aug. 31 for $371/night.

If laying poolside is your idea of summer fun, Hotel Valley Ho has you covered. The Stay2Play Package allows guests to enjoy the ultimate summer stay starting at $149 nightly, with a $50 daily resort credit, two welcome drinks, complimentary upgraded internet and a special gift upon arrival. All you have to worry about after check-in is finding the pool and relaxation.

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Do a little museum hopping on May 18 for International Museum Day, which celebrates the role museums play in society. Receive two tickets for the price of one at Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum, which are both historic staples of Phoenix that have impressively large collections. For completely free admission, visit the Pueblo Grande Museum to see the site of the prehistoric Hohokam’s archaeological ruins of the platform mound, ballcourt and canal system. The museum’s current exhibit, Desertscapes: Narrative Landscape, is a portrait of the American desert using black and white landscape photos, and is only in town for a few months longer

Summer’s most-anticipated event is back for another year of fandom and fun. Phoenix Comicon will be at the Phoenix Convention Center June 2-5 and has something for everyone’s inner nerd. Dress up as your favorite character and meet actors, comic book writers, authors and artists from a wide variety of genres. The weekend’s events include the Masquerade Costume Contest, Geek Bridal Showcase, Steampunk Fashion Show and the 2016 Phoenix Comicon Film Festival, all of which are located in downtown Phoenix.

Calling all LEGO-loving adults! Looking to “build” relationships with others with similar interests? Want to show off your speed-building skills for a chance to prove you’re “faster than a speeding brick?” If you’re ready to get inside the long-awaited, now-open LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Arizona – without an abundance of little ones underfoot – you don’t want to miss this month’s Adult Fans of LEGO® Night, slated for 7 pm – 9 pm Thursday, May 12, 2016.  On the roster for the community-building event aimed at LEGO® fans are an array of special events and activities, among them a Superhero model-building contest with some major prizes up for grabs. Try your hand at a “telepathy build,” a blindfolded partner event, or come dressed as your favorite Superhero to take part in a costume contest. Guests will also be able to enjoy the fan favorite 4D Cinema. Whatever your special skills, don’t miss this opportunity to explore LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Arizona while spending the evening engaging in a little child’s play among adults.


After dinner at Deseo or a visit to the Scotch Library, be entertained by Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s one-of-a-kind PaintScaping. The art form merges a virtual world with the existing world by projecting 3-dimensional digital mapping onto the buildings that act as the canvas for characters, colors and objects as living and moving parts of the façade.  This summer, the PaintScaping show will feature all-American imagery and patriotic music at 8, 8:30, 9 and 9:30 p.m.

Make your summer music plans now. Tickets for the Musical Instrument Museum’s Summer 2016 Concert Series have finally gone on sale, so make sure you have your spot saved. From May 12-Sept. 19, exciting performances by emerging and established artists, including The Django Festival All-Stars, Taj Mahal, and Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, will be featured in the series. While you’re there, be sure to catch the current MIM exhibit, Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker, before it heads back to Italy on June 5.

Music in the tranquility of the desert-where else can you experience that? The Desert Botanical Garden’s Concert Series continues every Friday through June 24 and features some of Phoenix’s best artists in Blues, Latin and Jazz like The Sugar Thieves, Cinco de Moio, Big Nick and the Gila Monsters. Grab dinner at Gertrudes, the on-site restaurant, stroll through the Garden, and be serenaded by the featured artist and sounds of the Sonoran.

Consider date night taken care of. As the sun goes down, the romance of the Taliesin West comes alive. The 1937 Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece can be seen in a very unique way at the 2-Hour Night Lights Tour, which is held every Friday at 6:30, 7 and 7:15 p.m. The structures, lit from within, appear as sculptures and the fire-breathing dragon sculpture makes a guest appearance. When the sun’s out, visitors can experience their two newly-offered tours, the Garden Walk Tour and Private Collections Tour.

Cool down with something sweet at Schnepf Farms. Bring the entire family to their annual Peach Festival on May 14-22 for a full day of peachy fun! Between the hayrides, live music and carousel rides, enjoy peach pancakes, pie, cinnamon rolls, cookies, cobblers, and even peach arts and crafts. Or peruse the orchards through all of May and find the perfect peach, so you can try your hand at peach baking at home.

SPA

Embrace each moment of your vacation (or staycation) at Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass with the Joyful Moments package. On weekdays, they’re offering the Joyful Aji massage and Joyful facial experience for $99, and Joyful shegoi pedicure for $59. Or awaken your senses with the Aji Awake package for $175 on weekdays or $195 on weekends. It includes a relaxing full body 50-minute Swedish Massage or 50-minute skin cleansing facial, a 25-minute foot refresher, a complimentary Awaken cocktail and all-day access to the adults only swimming pool, fitness center, steam room and sauna. Both packages are available through May 27.

Pair your new bathing suit, sandals and brunch at ZuZu with gorgeous nails, courtesy of VH Spa, with their 90-minute Cool Breeze Mani + Pedi special for just $75. Or, after a day in the sun, choose the 90-minute Recovery Sunday Spa Package for $99. Arrive a little early to your appointment at Hotel Valley Ho’s spa to enjoy the lounges, outdoor spa deck, and saunas with chromotherapy.

Let luxury bloom at The Spa at Talking Stick Resort. They’re offering a whole host of deals to welcome the season and encourage relaxation and renewal. The Luxury of Lavender Massage is a true escape for the senses and finishes with a warm hand and foot scrub.  The Complexion Essential focuses on repair, prevention and anti-aging, but is designed for all skin types. To smooth away the skin-dulling effects of winter weather, the Brilliant Body Polish is a must. Slip on your sandals with confidence after you do the Spring Time 20, which is a manicure and pedicure for 10 fingers and 10 toes. All of these springtime treatments are under $130 and being offered through May 31.

If total relaxation is your goal, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch will take care of you during your stay. Their Spa Package includes daily breakfast and a $150 credit for each day at Spa Avania. Get glammed up with a manicure, pedicure or blowout, or completely pamper yourself with the Sacred Nature Facial, Avania Body Polish, Desert Essence Body Wrap or Focus Therapeutic Massage. They also offer Spa Pairings, which are multiple services tailored to your specific needs, and Couple’sOfferings, for relaxation next to your loved one.

Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia doesn’t think mothers should be celebrated just one day each year, but an entire month instead. For head-to-toe relaxation, they’re offering the Mother’s Ultimate Relaxation Package for $365, which includes an 80-minute Signature Massage, 50-minute Custom Facial and Hydrating Manicure or Pedicure. The Mom & Me Spa Retreat starts at $430 and includes a 50-minute Classic Massage or 50-minute Vitamin C Brightening Facial, Anti-fatigue Stone Pedicure and lunch on the Joya Terrace.

“Spring Back to Life” with a 60 or 90-minute massage at The Running Water Spa at Scottsdale Camelback Resort. It involves long gliding strokes to loosen tight muscles and increase circulation. They use warm towels and a peppermint-infused aromatherapy sugar scrub on your feet, followed by hydrating foot cream, a deep foot massage and scalp massage. They’re also offering a couples massage for just $175 and “Relax and Renew” for $125, which includes a 45-minute massage and 45-minute facial or body wrap.

Incorporate ingredients and other elements unique to the desert at Sonoran Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Now offering guests a $175 daily spa credit and 25% off spa services, all on top of their already luxurious accommodations.  The spa has treatments like the Pinnacle Facial, named after Pinnacle Peak, the Jojoba and Prickly Pear Polish, Golfers’ Massage, and Sticks and Stones Massage, which pair perfectly with the resort’s surroundings-the Sonoran Desert.

Feel as cool as a cucumber this summer at Agave, The Arizona Spa at Westin Kierland Resort. Beginning May 30, the spa is offering treatments created to cool you down like the Cool as a Cucumber Facial, which includes chilled cucumber water and cucumber eye gel. Relieve your whole body from the warm summer air with the Big Chill-Out Massage, a full-body massage that includes an essential oil scalp massage and application of a refreshing Menthol Rosehip Treatment. Both treatments are 50 minutes and less than $160, and include complimentary use of the Aguamiel pool, a yoga class, relaxation area, whirlpool, steam room and sauna.

DINING

The list is finally out! The restaurants participating in Arizona Restaurant Week includes Valley favorites like Durant’s, Okra,  The Capital Grille, Drexyl Restaurant and SumoMaya. Diners can get outside of their own neighborhood and try a wide array of flavors from the best restaurants in town from May 20-29. Indulge in a three-course prix fixe menu for $33 or $44 at a number of restaurants spread throughout Greater Phoenix

Sip and stroll through downtown Phoenix for the Urban Wine Walk on May 14 from 1-6 p.m. It’s a self-guided tour that encourages exploration of the city center and tastings of local restaurants and bars. Wine samples are $2 or $3 and include a delicious hors d’oeuvre at each stop. So light rail, bike or walk through the participating locations found along the light rail corridor from uptown to downtown Phoenix.

It’s a favorite restaurant concept among Phoenicians and visitors, and is opening another location for wining and dining. Postino Highland opens May 4 and is housed inside a restored mid-century bank designed by renowned architects, Drover, Welch and Frank Henry. They revitalized the building by incorporating retro art and light fixtures, so it doesn’t lose its vintage flair. Postino Highland joins six other Postino locations spread throughout Greater Phoenix. Check out the new spot on a Monday or Tuesday for their famous Bottle and Board deal, which includes bottle of wine and board of bruschetta for just $20.

One of the Phoenix’s best chefs has been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City and represent our own growing city. Executive Chef Dustin Christofolo of Quiessence at The Farm will demonstrate his craft for more than 75 attendees on May 20 at the prestigious event. The five-course meal will incorporate several local purveyors including Queen Creek Olive Mill, McClendon’s Select and Sand Reckoner Vineyards.

SPORTS/GOLF

Let the countdown begin! With less than a year until the tip-off of the 2017 NCAA Final Four in Phoenix, Sky Harbor International Airport began their official countdown clock. It’s located in Terminal 4, which serves 85 percent of Sky Harbor Passengers, and is meant to increase excitement and buzz around the event. The games will be held in April 2017 at University of Phoenix Stadium and are expected to attract more 70,000 fans over the course of the three days.

There’s hardly any excuse to not attend an Arizona Diamondback’s game when it’s so convenient and affordable. You can ride the light rail directly to Chase Field, and according to Major League Baseball, spend less than at any other stadium in the league. The Fan Cost Index is a representative look at the costs for a family of four to attend an MLB game. The D-backs nabbed the number one spot for the tenth year in a row with an average cost that’s $88 below the industry average of $219.53. So grab your friends and family, support Arizona’s baseball team, and enjoy some unbeatable food and fun.

Phoenix helped pave the way for women in professional sports back in 1997 when it made Phoenix Mercury one of the original eight WNBA teams. Their 19th season begins May 14, but the first home game at Talking Stick Resort Arena will be May 20 against the Seattle Storm. The next three games on May 25, 29 and 31 will also be held in downtown Phoenix.

Longtime Arizona Diamondback fans can get a little nostalgic at one of the Throwback Thursday games this season. Chase Field is hosting five Throwback Thursday, which will include a poster giveaway for the first 5,000 fans at the game. Each Throwback Thursday game will have the theme of a D-Backs playoff team throughout history and alumni from that team will participate in the ceremonial first pitch. Players and personnel will sport the purple and teal uniform used from 1998-2006, and fans are encouraged to do the same. Post your retro experience on social media using #DbacksTBT.

An unforgettably FUN event is coming to Phoenix on May 21. Slide the City is a family friendly slip-and-slide water party event with 1,000 feet of slick vinyl. When you’re not sliding down the length of three football fields, enjoy live music, food and drinks. Bring the whole family, floaties, water guns and any other water-related toys you can find.


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