Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa: Beaches, Gondolas and Bougainvillea

Only at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa can you enjoy a desert beach in the morning and a gondola ride at night.

Opened in December 1986, the 27-acre, 493-room luxury resort, 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, is the centerpiece of the 560-acre Gainey Ranch resort and residential development. Here, guests enjoy a lush tropical-like environment of 28 fountains, 47 waterfalls, bougainvillea, 1,000 trees and hundreds of palms, desert succulents, hanging and potted plants and flowers and a lagoon eco-pond with lush gardens.

“Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa is a true desert oasis, centrally located not only to Scottsdale but the entire Valley of the Sun,” says General Manager Michael Stephens. “From a 2.5-acre water playground complete with a sand beach, 27 holes of championship golf, world-class tennis, the Native American Learning Center and the unparalleled Spa Avania to five restaurants, three bars, including the Center Stage Bar with live nightly entertainment, and even Venetian gondola rides, our resort has something for everyone.”

Four hundred and seventy-four of the resort’s rooms and suites are in the copper-accented four-story main building centering on five courtyards — inspired by the desert work of Frank Lloyd Wright. All overlooking the resort’s lake, the other 18 rooms are in two stand-alone casita areas with two- and four-bedroom units featuring living areas, wet bars, parlor fireplaces and two outdoor Jacuzzi-style spas.

Reminiscent of ancient Roman baths, the Hyatt’s Water Playground includes 10 separate pools; a pool with a sand bottom and sand beach; a water temple with four cold plunge pools and a 16-foot-wide Jacuzzi-style spa; lit glass-brick pillars; two poolside bars; an overhead water aqueduct; and “Big Gun,” a waterfall flowing 600 gallons of water per minute.

The resort features a variety of dining venues, including SWB, a southwest bistro and Alto ristorante e bar. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch, SWB focuses on contemporary southwest cuisine and features an open kitchen with three wood-fired ovens.

Alto offers Italian cuisine and the signature Formaggio and Salumi Cellar, a collection of Italy’s finest artisanal cheeses and meats, and wines from around the world, with an emphasis on Italian varietals. Dinner is served indoors and alfresco around terrace fire pits. Afterwards, guests enjoy a gondola ride, with outstanding singers, along the resort’s waterways.

The newest addition is Noh, which offers an omakase-style six-course meal customized for each guest complemented by traditional sakes; it’s adjacent to the Center Stage Bar, which serves sushi and sashimi. Poolside, the “Water Garden” features paninis, sandwiches and salads, and Cantina Due, between SWB and Alto restaurants, serves handcrafted cocktails.

In addition, the 24-hour Canyon Market offers Starbuck’s Coffee, ice cream, sandwiches, salads and hiking items for those interested in pursuing the resort’s trails or those located throughout Scottsdale and the Valley of the Sun.

Named for the Greek word meaning tranquil, Spa Avania provides holistic, total-immersion spa experiences based on the six spa elements deemed most essential to the body’s changing daily rhythms and requirements: morning (awakening and revitalization); midday (restoration and balance); and evening (relaxation and repair). Among the many offerings: customized spa treatments, mineral water therapy, music styling, diet and natural light.

The Hyatt’s “Experiential Vacations” program offers programs and activities for children, families and adults such as “Camp Hyatt Kachina,” for children, 3 to 5 and 6 to 12, designed to teach campers about the flora, fauna, geography and history and culture of Arizona.

In addition, “Family Camp” activities are similarly inspired, such as “Cactus Scapes,” introducing the cactus in the Arizona desert. All of the family is welcome at the resort, by the way, through its “4Paws” program, including a welcome letter to the “pet guest” from Uno, the resort’s 4Paws Pet Ambassador.

And, for adults, the seasonally changing “Four Worlds” programs explore the people, food and environment of the Sonoran Desert. This spring, for example, guests can enjoy a tour of the blue agave garden in the resort’s Fountain Court climaxed by a taste of tequilas from locally produced spirits.

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