The Phoenix/Scottsdale region of Arizona, often referred to as the Valley of the Sun, is a booming hotspot of art, culture, cuisine, and outdoor recreation. So, it’s no wonder why concierge Jennie Kell loves working here so much. Her hospitality career began back in 2002, and since then she’s worked at The Sheraton, The Four Seasons, and currently at the luxurious Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa (5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley. Tel: 855-245-2051. www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com).
The resort is nestled in the foothills of Camelback Mountain, giving you panoramic views of the mountains, palm trees, and those famous desert sunsets. Kell says that in addition to the gorgeous views, “I adore working at Sanctuary. The journey and mantra here is to “seek opportunities to create memories” and “promise to care enough to do it well. This is obvious throughout every aspect of the resort. Sanctuary allows me to be myself while taking care of our guest’s every need in a luxurious five-star environment.”
From the award-winning restaurants, to the desert-inspired spa, Kell share with us everything we need to know about the Sanctuary Resort and Spa, while also giving us the inside scoop to the best places to eat, drink, and play in the Valley of the Sun.
Where are the coolest places to go for cocktails?
One of the absolute best places to go is AZ 88 (7353 E Scottsdale Mall, Tel: 480-994- 5576. www.AZ88.com) in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s a trendy contemporary bar and eatery with award winning cocktails and artistic ambience, weekly DJ, and a large patio that’s open until 1:30 A.M. Their Summer Solstice martini is a delicious mix of berries and citrus. Lustre Rooftop Bar (2 E. Jefferson St, Tel: 602-258-0231. www.lustrerooftopbar.com) at the Hotel Palomar, in the heart of downtown Phoenix is a chic bar serving craft cocktails and organic bites in a poolside set-up with wonderful city views. You must order their Your My Bees Knees cocktail; it’s rosemary vodka, lavender-infused honey, with fresh lemon juice. The best part is that you get to drink the cocktail straight out of a honey bear!
What are the best restaurants for a romantic dinner in the city?
Café Monarch (6939 E 1st Ave, Tel: 480- 970-7682. www.cafemonarch.com) in Old Town Scottsdale has been named #3 in North America for fine dining. It’s nestled inside a charming historic building offering an Americana prix fixe menu with wine parings from their sommelier. elements (www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com/dining/elements/) at Sanctuary On Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa is also a must-visit. Helmed by celebrity Food Network Chef Beau McMillan, elements offers farm fresh American fare with Asian accents, plus dynamic views of the sunset and an intimate ambience with excellent service. Jade Bar is adjacent to the restaurant and is perfect for pre and post-dinner cocktails. Live music is offered in the bar on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. It’s a favorite for locals and resort guests.
Who serves the greatest weekend brunch in town?
One of my favorites is Olive & Ivy (7135 E Camelback Rd, Tel: 480-751-2200. www.oliveandivyrestaurant.com), in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s Mediterranean with a California influence. They have these wonderful flatbreads that are topped with house made sausage, grilled onions, and home fires. It’s like a breakfast pizza. Also, they have the most comfortable patio in town! There’s also Mission (3815 N Brown Ave, Tel: 480-636- 5005. www.themissionaz.com) in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s Modern Latin cuisine that’s both fun and down-to-earth (like street tacos), but also upscale and unique (like roasted pork shoulder with pineapple and habanero glaze.)
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