By Elizabeth Kang
Befitting to its name, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess reins supreme when it comes to family friendly fun. Not only did this 5-star hotel treat us like royalty during our stay, but the affordable off-season summer-rates might tempt us to make this resort an annual summer tradition.
Family Fun Galore
We arrived at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess after a quick 1.5-hour-flight from the Bay Area (always appreciated when flying with the young and oh-so-energetic.) After a 20-minute-ride to Scottsdale, we arrived at the regal entrance of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
From the moment we stepped inside the beautiful lobby, it became clear that both kids and adults were in for a great time. The hotel is hosting a fun superhero theme for the summer, and our kids were thrilled to pose with the in-costume superhero characters who were greeting guests at check-in. There was a also a free photo booth to create keepsake pictures, and even dress-up capes and masks for children to take home.
Along with that fun, the resort had set up an impressively high (and complimentary) zip-line so that little (and big) superheroes could test out their flying skills. My child was super excited to try her first zip-line experience, which I’m sure she’ll remember forever.
Although we didn’t use the onsite Trailblazers Kid’s Club during our visit, we always appreciate the option to get in some adult time at the spa or adult pool while our children are secure in a safe and fun environment. The kids’ club program at the Fairmont Scottsdale is open to children ages 5-12 and includes a stimulating day of games, swimming, and crafts.
For more fun activity, families are welcome to borrow fishing poles at the kids’ club to fish the resort’s pond, (rafts and toys for the pool, basketballs and other fun gear are also available to borrow.)
That night we let the kids stay up past their bedtime to watch the weekly fireworks show, which was a beautiful and exciting end to the evening.
The pools at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess are where all of the action is during the summer, and it’s definitely where we wanted to hang all day in the 100+ Arizona tempts. (Don’t let the hot weather dissuade you from visiting in the Summer though, because the high temps were a non-issue in-between the ultra-refreshing pools and powerful resort air conditioning.)
There are six sparkling pools at the resort, each with a different vibe and scene. For action-packed all-day fun, we headed over to the waterslides pool, which offered two surprisingly fast waterslides, a DJ playing upbeat tunes, a fun foam party, as well as various hosted games.
For a quieter scene, we crossed over to the Sunset Pool, which is a huge, gorgeous pool and bar with a white sand beach. Although the scene was less crowded, there was still plenty going on to entertain all, especially at night when the pool erected a giant blow-up movie screen for its “Dive-in” movie night. During the day we enjoyed poolside service and watched a few little girls’ dreams come true as they became certified mermaids during the “Mermaid Academy” training event.
Adults have the option to sneak in some quiet time at the Adult Pool, where huge swan floats drift lazily about, just begging for an Instagram-Worthy picture. There are other, smaller pools peppered throughout the property, so there’s always a refreshing pool nearby.
Dazzling Gourmet Dining
The quality of dining options at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess are impressive, to say the least. In fact, it became apparent that people from all over the area travelled to the resort just to have dinner at one of its amazing restaurants.
We had an unforgettable meal at the renowned Michael Mina eatery Bourbon Steak, where the kids were delighted at the gourmet french fry taster that swiftly arrived on our table as a sort of cleverly-thought-out alternative to the usual bread basket.
Us adults savored perfectly seared steaks and mouthwatering sides such as smokey creamed spinach and horseradish mashed potatoes, while the kids enjoyed their scratch-made mac & cheese and gourmet hot dog.
Another not-to-be-missed restaurant on the resort is the high-end La Hacienda, which serves a lighter, more refined approach to Mexican-American fare. Don’t miss the unique Margaritas and extensive tequila offerings, as well as the freshly made guacamoles with various toppings, and the popular shrimp enchiladas. Kids can enjoy their usual southwest favorites from the children’s menu, such as quesadillas and tacos.
The breakfast option we found ourselves returning to again and again was at Ironwood American Kitchen, where the reasonably priced brunch buffet kept everyone happy. Children were wowed by the donut wall display, while adults appreciated the interesting twists on classics, such as a Carnitas Eggs Benedict and Smoked Salmon Toast.
With so much going on at the resort, we found ourselves too entertained to leave the property, but there are some notable attractions and excursions worth experiencing if your’e in the area long enough.
Adjacent to the Fairmont Princess are two 18-hole championship golf courses, one of which is home to the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Topgolf is a popular entertainment attraction for both kids and adults, and only a 10-minute drive away.
Butterfly Wonderland is a must-visit for butterfly lovers, and only a 15-minute drive. Right next-door more fun can be found at the OdySea Aquarium.
The Challenger Space Center is roughly 35-minutes from the resort.
A bit farther at over 2.5 hours away is Bearizona, a drive-through park where visitors can get up close and personal with bears and other wildlife. Legoland Discovery Center is approximately a 40-minutes drive.
Old-Town Scottsdale and Scottsdale Fashion Square are both worthwhile shopping points of interest, and each roughly a 25-30 minute drive away. There are dozens of other museums, notable restaurant, parks, shopping centers and other entertainment venues and experiences a short drive from the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
So if you’re looking for an extremely family friendly, upscale resort that won’t break the bank, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a wonderful option that we highly recommend.