Review: Andaz Scottsdale in Arizona
I have to start by saying I’m somewhat new to World of Hyatt. For a while, we had been very heavily consolidating our stays with either SPG or Hilton, primarily because of their wide footprints in all places we usually frequent. It didn’t make sense to diversify our stays on another brand while we were achieving lifetime platinum with Marriott. Hyatt, also, has a much, much smaller footprint and a much, much higher price point on properties of similar luxury level, so it had always kind of detracted me from choosing them.
But 2019 is a new year, and our situation has changed considerably. We no longer have to stay at Marriott properties, so I have decided to venture out into Hyatt. I obviously applied for the Chase Hyatt card which is now offering 50K bonus points (25K after $3,000 within first 3 months, 25K after $6,000 within first 6 months).
I wanted to visit Arizona as I’d never gone to Saguaro National Park, and what better time to go than during the Trump shutdown. Luckily the Park had been taken care of by volunteers who kept visitor areas clean and toilet paper stocked, even when visitor centers remain closed to the public.
In deciding where to stay, I came across the Andaz Scottsdale and instantly fell in love with it, primarily because of their design but most definitely it was their landscaping that sealed the deal. It was my birthday weekend, and I’ll cry if I want to, so I decided to stay there regardless of cost.
How we booked it
To my surprise, all it took was 20K points per night, which we transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards to do the booking. If you have never transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards, the operation is seamless and instantaneous, but if you have a complicated name like I do, there may be glitches since your accounts must have the exact same spelling. For a room that goes for $350+ cash, plus tax and those pesky resort fees, this was a beyond exceptional redemption for us. Always keep in mind that for Hyatt properties when you book with points, the resort fee does not apply.
When we checked in, we were greeted in the most millennial way possible (but I’m not complaining) with a glass of beer or wine, which we did not decline. The booking was made in my name, and they could see it was my birthday, so I’m guessing that is partly why they decided to upgrade us to a Cattle Track suite. I’m also guessing it was because there weren’t a lot of guests.
Considering the last Hyatt stay I can remember was the Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires, which was extremely underwhelming, we were off to a great start.
Cattle Track Suite
The room is amazing. There’s a spacious sitting room with a TV, a couch, seats and a desk (yes, this is the right kind of millennial for me). The bedroom is next door, also very roomy, with a mini bar area next to a closet. For what I understand, this used to be two separate adjacent rooms which they renovated into a suite, so that means there is a full bathroom on each of the areas, one in the sitting room, one in the bedroom, along with two access points that empty into a small but quaint patio area.
Not two minutes after we got to our room, we hear a knock on our door, and it was our welcome amenity/birthday gift consisting of a champagne bottle and some delicious chocolates. This somewhat surprised me since, it being my first stay of the year and, frankly ever, since getting my Discoverist status through the credit card, I wasn’t expecting anything special. Particularly since at check-in they were not able to see I had status at all (I had been given status literally the day before, so I wasn’t surprised).
The hotel sits on 23 acres of land, which makes it feel really isolated from the streets and a true oasis in the middle of Scottsdale. There is a gorgeous pool we didn’t get to use because as luck would have it, temps dropped to the 40s and we had rain for a whole day while we were there. The grounds are what I enjoyed the most (besides not running into more than 5 other people during our stay). I did a few laps around the grounds with the excuse of exercising -but what I was doing instead was appreciating the desert landscaping and raked zen areas.
Yes, I know. I shouldn’t base my opinion on the one fantastic stay. Especially considering that we’d probably be staying at the ‘normal’ brands like Hyatt House, Hyatt Place more than we would ever stay at Andaz, Unbound Collection or Park Hyatt. But if this is an indication of things to come, it looks like I’m going to be enjoying achieving Hyatt’s top tier status, Globalist.
Are you going for Hyatt Status this year?
Here’s our signature #NMCWalkthrough of the hotel, from Instagram for anyone who’s more visual/millennial: