For those of you who don’t know what “bleisure” means, it is where business meets leisure…and it’s the perfect word for describing our recent stay at the gorgeous Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona. The purpose of our visit was actually a work trip for the nonprofit I work for, Remember Nhu. We were hosting an important fundraising weekend with donors and wanted them to know how much we appreciate them by having the event at a nice resort, underwritten by an extremely kind board member.
However, when my wife and I realized our “business trip” was happening at a resort…and that the resort was in sunny Arizona…we decided to tack on a few additional "personal" days for some relaxation. In other words: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But when life gives you lemonade (and a resort in Arizona), well then…make more lemonade! (And perhaps a Piña Colada?)
The Princess is an ideal setting for a large work trip, accommodated by multiple on-site conference rooms. We met in the Gold Conference Room for main sessions and meals and it was a perfect fit for our group. A great thing about the Gold Conference Room is the nearby Gold Lounge Access, featuring refreshments, big screen TV, and afternoon hors d’oeuvres. The catering at Fairmont Princess is fantastic, easy to work with from the coordination side (operates on basic head counts), and can be served both indoors and outdoors depending on the weather and mood of the meal. They serve a great mix of cultural foods that keep people asking for more!
Personally, my favorite part about doing a “work trip” at the Scottsdale Princess is that you don’t have to leave the resort grounds or schedule off-site activities in order to experience the uniqueness of Arizona. The whole resort is sprawled across the blooming Sonoran Desert, featuring vast open spaces, lush landscapes, epic Saguaro cacti, green agave plants and colorful flowers against the bright orange and purple Arizona skies. You will find southwestern architecture, Native American décor, and Latin-themed restaurants around every turn. The resort prides itself in providing an authentic Arizona experience on-site, which is very convenient for not having to coordinate large group shuttles into town in order to get a taste of the true surroundings during a work event!
Have you ever heard the old saying, “Work now, play later?” Well my wife & I have learned that can be a great recipe for life, as long as you of course make sure to actually play later! This is where bleisure becomes such a great idea. After the lovely business portion of our trip was over, we most joyously welcomed our two vacation days for some added fun in the sun (and naps in the shade!) at this gorgeous resort. We were fortunate enough to get a room in the newer Sunset Beach portion of the Princess. This pool area lives up to it’s name! The sandy beach, large circular pool, beachside bar, and relaxing beach chaises make’s it feel like you’ve escaped to an oasis in the middle of the desert!
Perhaps the most relaxing part of our stay was our morning massage at the popular Well & Being Spa. We had the Hacienda Massage, which was a blend of oils, scrubs and massage, the kind that makes you truly forget your problems and even fall asleep if that’s your cup of tea (and yes, you can actually get a cup of tea as well, for all of you literalists out there). We were pleasantly surprised to learn that a spa treatment purchase comes with complimentary all-day access to the rooftop pool, high-end workout studios, and various hot tubs within the spa. My favorite was the “waterfall” themed hot tub in a section of the spa that is designed to resemble Havasu Falls in The Grand Canyon. Talk about relaxation!
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention how easy it was to find food without leaving the resort. The variety of restaurants throughout the Princess reflect the true blend of Arizonan cuisine, featuring the Mexican La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval, Bourbon Steak for when the southwest atmosphere leaves you craving some high-end BBQ, and my wife's and my favorite: Toro, which features a fusion of Latin and Asian favorites. When you just need some straight, old-fashioned American, the Ironwood American Kitchen has your back.
If at this point you are seriously contemplating some “bleisure” at a sunny five-diamond resort for yourself (or just some pure leisure, no guilt in that!) then I’d like to mention that this particular time of year is working in your favor for The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The summertime features discounted room rates as well as the Princess’ highly anticipated Summer Splash Birthday Bash, which celebrates the resort’s 30th birthday by offering weekly activities and fun events listed here. Why not give it a try? Chances are you’ve earned it.