The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona may be 40 years old, but it sparkles like a diamond in the desert after its recent renovation. The resort reopened on Sept. 8, 2015, after completing a massive renovation that transformed the Destination Hotels property and revitalized its amenities. The property is trying to re-brand itself, not only with tourists, but with locals as well, hoping for a fresh start all around.
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch is rich in history, being the first conference resort in the country. For 39 years, the property was a well kept secret, those that knew of the property were likely resort guests or nearby neighbors. The property wasn’t very welcoming to outside visitors (you can read about what it was like before), but now they are working hard to change that reputation. The resort is making a major push in to be involved in the community, spread the word about their hospitality, and welcome locals and tourists alike with open arms.
The Scottsdale Resort is located about 25 minutes from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, making for fairly easy access. It is located adjacent to McCormick Ranch Golf Club and resort guests enjoy preferred tee times for those seeking to hit the links. The property has two swimming pools, a main one, and a smaller one, a spa and fitness center, on-site dining, and meeting facilities.
What Works for Families
- The new pool area is large and inviting for families. There’s a water fall to swim under and plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas surrounding the pool. There is a shallow area for smaller children and shaded cabanas are available if families desire. There is also a poolside restaurant/bar making it very convenient for families to grab a snack or a drink.
- The rooms are fairly spacious with ample room to spread out. Larger families (more than four) will need to get adjoining rooms. There is also a small refrigerator in each room for storing snacks, beverages, and bottles if needed.
- There are several restaurants on site for hungry families. There is a restaurant for every meal of the day if you never want to leave the property.
- The staff is extremely friendly. Everyone I met on property was willing to answer questions and help with whatever I needed.
- The resort is centrally located. It’s about five minutes from downtown Scottsdale, 20 minutes from Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. If you want to go shopping, go to a ball game, or visit the zoo, they are all within easy reach.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
- As a family of five, we don’t love the idea of paying for two rooms. Suites are another option. One of the buildings not yet renovated has “hacienda style” apartments with small kitchen. Those sound like they would be great for families when completed.
- The resort is not walking distance to much of anything except the golf course across the street. It is helpful to have a car if you plan to be in the area for a long time.
The hotel is a gorgeous Spanish hacienda with a stunning lobby and beautiful courtyard areas. The entrance is a long driveway lined with palm trees, lush landscape, and a beautiful fountain that is original to the property. The resort is fairly easy to navigate, and it is nice to stroll around the grounds or simply relax in one of the lounge areas and enjoy the weather.
When the hotel undertook the recent renovation they knew they would have to work within the existing poured concrete foundation of the building. There are 326 guest rooms and suites and rooms are a comfortable size. They are probably what you would expect from a typical resort room. There’s a bed against one wall, a television across from it, a desk, a sitting area, and a small wet bar area. The bathroom is a standard tub/shower combo with a sink area and toilet with a separate sink outside this room.
There are four restaurants on property. The Twisted Vine is the poolside restaurant/bar serving salads, wraps, and burgers. KitchenWest is the premier restaurant on property serving a seasonal menu of American Western dishes with bold flavors. Guests can have single or family style dishes, which is helpful for families. BarSix40 (Bar Six40 – named after the number of acres of land that Army Chaplain Winfield Scott purchased that would become Scottsdale) is a bar with live entertainment in the evening, but in the morning it serves coffee to go and a variety of continental breakfast items. Vista Verde is the main breakfast dining area, offering a buffet or made to order breakfast.
The Spa and Fitness Center
I did not try Luna Spa, but I did try the exercise facility. There are a fair number of cardio machines (ellipticals, treadmills) and weights, and everything looks brand new.
At The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch families will enjoy a luxurious experience at a fabulous new property. The pools are made for play, the staff is stellar, and the accommodations are quite comfortable. With its central Scottsdale location, it makes a great choice for a vacation to the Valley of the Sun.