Now that I have a big kid job that allows me the occasional 3-day weekend, Rob and I have made it a priority to book some getaways and explore new places. We both LOVE traveling, and we’ve had the itch to get out of town for some time now. Valentine’s Day and President’s Day fell on the same weekend this year, so it was the perfect excuse to sneak away for 48 hours of quality time together. The destination: Scottsdale, Arizona!
With a freak snowstorm brewing in Oklahoma during the time of our trip, I was so thankful to be in sunny Scottsdale. I began typing up this post, poolside at our resort with a margarita in-hand while all our friends and family were back home braving the storm. I wanted to document our experience and share the highlights of our trip in case you’re traveling to Scottsdale soon!
Note: I realize that traveling right now is a controversial topic, and I want you to know that Rob and I do not take the current happenings in the world lightly. We made every effort to travel safely and consciously, and we complied with all rules (and then some) pertaining to the pandemic.
Now, let’s jump right in. Instead of listing out our itinerary, I’m breaking this post up into 3 topics: where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did. Read on to get all the details, or skip to the parts you find most helpful for your upcoming trip!
Where We Stayed
We spent 3 nights at the beautiful Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows. Andaz is a Hyatt brand with locations all over the world. They are boutique resorts that focus on integrating the culture of the surrounding area. This means that no matter which Andaz you visit, you’ll get a taste of the local cuisine, music, and art. We make it a point to seek them out wherever we travel!
The Andaz Scottsadale Resort is located not far from Old Town Scottsdale, so you’re close to great food and shopping. The resort itself is located on 23 acres with panoramic views of Camelback Mountain. All the rooms are private bungalows, which made it easy to avoid other people and feel safe. Our bungalow featured a king-sized bed, sitting area, coffee nook, closet, and beautiful spa-like bathroom. There was a front patio as well as a private patio out back with chairs for soaking up some sun.
The resort has two pools on-site, a spa, lots of activities you can sign up for (free and for-purchase), and a complimentary shuttle service that will drop you off anywhere within a 3-mile radius. The service was impeccable, and the staff was very friendly and accommodating.
We enjoyed walking all over the resort in the beautiful weather and soaking up view of the landscape and fun surprises all over the property like hammocks, lawn games, and light installations worthy of being in a museum. We have already decided we must come back to visit!
Where We Ate
This came as a recommendation from my friend Thessali from Down in the Hollow. She did not disappoint! Diego Pops is a modern Mexican restaurant featuring a la carte tacos and stellar margaritas. I can see it being a fun choice for a girls night out, but we enjoyed it just the two of us as well.
We started off by splitting the Street Corn Queso which was a fun twist on your usual chips and queso. For entrees, Rob opted for the Beef Machaca taco and the Charred Skirt Steak taco, and I went for the Brussels Sprout nachos. They were gigantic, so they’re perfect to share with 4-6 people as an appetizer or to split as a meal for 2!
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen
This is the restaurant on property at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort. With it being just a short walk from our bungalow, we ended up having breakfast here every morning! The menu has changed since our visit, but everything we tried was delicious! Sit outside for views of the pool and Camelback Mountain, or sit inside and watch the chef work their magic in the exhibition-style kitchen. We never stopped by for dinner, but the menu looks delicious! It’s a great option if you’re staying at the resort!
One night for dinner, we ended up staying in and ordering pizza and NYPD Pizza did not disappoint! We split a pizza (half-cheese, half-pepperoni and mushroom), and also grabbed a salad and wings. As you’d gather from the name of the restaurant, they specialize in New York-style pizza. It’s hand-tossed, thin crust, and baked to perfection in a stone oven. Give them a try if you’re in town!
Quiessence at The Farm
This was by far the most romantic dinner we’ve ever had! All of the food at Quiessence is farm-to-table and features produce and meat from the property. We did the tasting menu for Valentine’s Day and splurged on wine pairings. The atmosphere was absolutely magical! We dined outside under string lights in front of the original farmhouse. The service was impeccable and the food couldn’t have been any more fresh.
What We Did
Rob booked this experience at Cooper’s Hawk Winery via OpenTable. A wine expert walked us through each of the wines and made our time there so much fun! We opted for the lux wine tasting which included six wines: a sparkling, a chardonnay, a pinot noir, a cabernet sauvignon, a meritage, and an ice wine. We also got a complimentary chocolate truffle at the end. It was really affordable, and it’s a great pre-dinner activity. Conveniently, Cooper’s Hawk also has a restaurant attached, so you can have dinner there as well!
A little note: if you book a wine-tasting and want to eat at Cooper’s Hawk, you have to book a dinner reservation separately. We didn’t know this, and they were already booked up that night for dinner so we had to walk somewhere else to grab food. It was a bummer too, because the food at Cooper’s Hawk looked AMAZING.
Okay, so for full transparency, we didn’t do the hike we originally planned. We had every intention of hiking Camelback Mountain, but we chickened out. The plan was to get up early, hike Camelback Mountain, and be back in time for brunch. Since we both craved the rest, we opted to sleep in, go on a walk around the resort, and skip straight to brunch instead haha. Next time we visit Scottsdale and have more time, we are determined to hike Camelback Mountain!
Even though we didn’t make our hike, we did a lot of walking around our resort and the surrounding area. It was a nice way to spend time together, enjoy some fresh air, and be active!
Activities on the Hyatt Andaz Resort
When you book a stay at the Andaz, you’re able to sign up for activities on the resort, and a lot of them are free! There are mixology classes, yoga classes, guided hikes, and so much more. We didn’t know about these until the last minute, so we missed out on several of the ones we were interested in. We did however, sign up for the free Birds of Prey educational presentation held right on the grounds of the resort. It was hilarious that it was the only thing left, but we both love animals and thought it would be fun!
We ended up getting to meet an owl named Maggie and learned a lot from her handler about birds of prey. Maggie is part of a local animal rescue who’s goal is to help with animal conservation and public education. It was probably the most random thing we did on our trip, but we loved it!
We are so glad we were able to make our first trip out to Scottsdale and are already talking about when we can fit in another visit! If you’re from somewhere cold, Arizona in February is a little slice of paradise. The weather is lovely, the people are friendly, and there is so much to do! We can’t wait to go back and experience more of what the area has to offer.
Have you visited Scottsdale? What are your favorite things to do, see, or eat in the area? I’d love to add your recommendations to our list for next time! As always, thanks for being here and reading along.