Worth getting out of bed for
After you’ve watched synchronised swimming at the Picante pool, and succumbed to a prickly pear treatment at the spa, head out to experience the Western charm of Scottsdale.
Hit Old Town to pick up cowboy boots from Saba’s (www.sabas.com). On Saturday mornings, the neighbourhood hosts a farmers’ market with fresh produce, local cider and flowers bright enough to match the hotel decor. Head for Main Street in the Arts District to see fantastic contemporary collections at the galleries. American Fine Art Editions (www.americanfineartgallery.com) is famous for its collection of Norman Rockwells.
Half a mile from the Saguaro, the 40-seat FnB on East Stetson Drive (+1 480 425 9463; www.fnbrestaurant.com) serves farm-centric food (such as braised leeks with fried egg) and pours exclusively Arizonan wines. Near that on East Fifth Avenue, gastropub Citizen Public House (+1 480 398 4208; www.citizenpublichouse.com) serves upscale comfort food, including chicken and waffles, pork-belly pastrami, a grilled cheese made with halloumi, and meatloaf punched up with amaro. The bar menu, which includes craft beers and excellent cocktails, makes this a good stop for after-dinner drinks as well. A mile from the hotel on North Hayden Road, Carlsbad Tavern (+1 480 970 8164; www.carlsbadtavern.com) serves hearty portions of Southwestern food, including chilli-simmered pork and an extra-spicy habanero burger. Sit outside with margaritas in nice weather. Pizzeria Bianco (+1 602 258 8300; www.pizzeriabianco.com) may be a 20-minute drive into neighbouring Phoenix, but nobody should miss a visit to this famous pizza spot, praised by fans around the world as the best in the US. Waits can stretch up to a few hours, but those who are patient will be rewarded with wood-fired pizzas topped with house-made mozzarella and artisanal ingredients.
Want proof of Rusty Spur’s cowboy cred? John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are among the western heroes who’ve bellied up to Scottsdale’s oldest bar (rustyspursaloon.com). These days, the saloon hosts country music and serves spicy wings. Sip wines from unexpected places at Kazimierz World Wine Bar (kazbar.net), where the 2,000-bottle list includes Lebanese blends, Arizona dessert wine and sparkling wine from Brazil. Pair the pours with fondue or flatbreads.
A few blocks from the hotel, Arcadia Farms (+1 480 941 5665; www.arcadiafarmscafe.com), started as a gourmet market and is now a local favourite for breakfast and lunch. Expect vegetable-packed crepes, big salads, sandwiches and fantastic pastries. Since the late 1950s, Sugar Bowl has dished out house-made ice cream, elaborate sundaes and cooling sodas. The retro menu also includes sandwiches, soups and side servings of jello or cottage cheese (www.sugarbowlscottsdale.com).