The JW Marriott Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, Arizona
I have been staying at this hotel for over 20 years and if it didn't take me 12 hours on a plane to get there, I'd be staying more often!
I am a creature of habit - if I like somewhere I will go again and I never ever tire of the Camelback. The moment I stepped out of the taxi and greeted by the always friendly bellmen, I felt a huge sigh of relief that after a long journey I had come home and was about to enter paradise once again. There is definitely an air of calm at the Camelback and that's why I return time and time again.
The hotel had emailed to pre warn me of the main Jackrabbit pool closure for renovation and my usual choice of room location was not available but I was provided with an absolutely beautiful alternative very close to the Spa, and therefore away from any building noise.I noticed that rooms near the renovation had been taken off sale and, therefore, the hotel had taken every precaution to allow guests to enjoy their stay without disturbance. A big thank you to Ainsley for taking such great care of me (as always).
The Spa pool was made available for everyone over the age of 18 and it was slightly busier than usual but this had no impact on my peaceful and relaxing time. Arrangement for families with children have been provided at a nearby property.
I would like to highlight a few other staff members and departments -
It was lovely to see Darci and Susan once again who were both as welcoming and friendly as ever and I noticed their friendly approach to all guests round the Spa pool, so it wasn't just me that got their wonderful service! I would also like to mention another Sprouts/Spa pool staff member - Kevin, who was absolutely charming and also gave great service. I had hoped to see him when I left to say goodbye and to wish him and his wife well as he was about to become a father, so I hope he gets to read this. The food at Sprouts at the Spa is great - I can highly recommend the Golden Gazpacho soup, so nice that I got the recipe from the chef emailed to me, which was another gold star for good service. The Strawberry Salad and the Chicken Quesadilla were other favourites of mine.
A visit to the main bar at BLT for their extended happy hour until 7pm (I think from 4 or 5pm?) is highly recommended not only for excellent value drinks, but great value food (their burger was the best I've ever had anywhere). Great service again from Jeff the barman at BLT.
Food at BLT steak is excellent, amazing steaks, great service. Not cheap but definitely well worth it and I had such good steak that I returned the next night for the same New York Strip.
I didn't have the time to visit Rita's bar and restaurant on this stay but have in the past and they too have a happy hour for food and drink between 3pm - 6pm, which is excellent value.
I'm not a large breakfast eater but I know from friends that the hotel has an amazing buffet breakfast. I was quite happy with my coffee and cheese danish from their onsite Starbucks.
Keep an eye out for the lovely Jackrabbits on the property, they are such adorable little rabbits.
I didn't use the concierge services but they did leave me a very nice welcome message that also thanked me for my loyalty to Marriott and recognised my Platinum status. This also applies to the lovely staff in the gift shop who always thank you for being a Platinum member and your loyalty. Both concierge and gift shop staff say it with meaning which is wonderful rather than saying it because they should.
During my oh too short 5 nights at the Camelback, I only left the hotel once to visit the Fashion Square Mall. There is a sign at the entrance to the hotel drive which says "In all the world only one" and I was perfectly happy to sit relaxed knowing I was in the best place in Scottsdale.
When the bellman placed my luggage in the taxi, he thanked me for staying at the Camelback Inn, which was a lovely choice of words to send me on my long journey back to London, UK.
Camelback I miss you already and I can't wait to visit again!