Good things come to those who wait describes the most anticipated and much delayed opening of the Andaz Scottsdale. The 15th Andaz to open in the world, the Andaz Scottsdale had its grand unveiling in December.
As one of the hotel’s Artists-in-Residence (more on that later!) I was especially anticipating the hotel’s debut. Andaz, a boutique brand of the Hyatt Corporation, is focused on culture, design and hyper local experiences and socialization.
Andaz Scottsdale is located on 23 acres off of Scottsdale road, just north of Old Town. The hotel began life as the Cottonwood Suites, but the only similarity I see is that the Andaz kept the bungalow style guest rooms and suites. The Andaz replaced the Southwestern feel of the property with a midcentury modern design that feels much fresher. The result is that the energy on the property is brighter, livelier and more inviting.
I check in to the hotel in one of the all new buildings on property- a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired guest house that serves as the Andaz’s lobby, bar and dining space. I’m met by a Millennial on an iPad and she offers me wine, beer or juice to enjoy as she gets the electronic paperwork going. It was a nice touch I’ve never seen at another hotel.
My bungalow is a 450 square foot deluxe room with both a front and back patio. The midcentury modern interior design continues in the room with the standout feature the epic shower in the large bathroom. The apartment I had in New York wasn’t as big as this water palace! Now, as tempting as it looked, I later learned that a shower with all that space is COLD!
While the Andaz itself is a cool space, what really makes the hotel unique is its partnership with the Cattle Track Arts Compound , located about a mile from the hotel, and the Artist-in-Residence program. Opened in 1936, Cattle Track is artists’ collective featuring artists, jewelers, potters, blacksmiths, printers, and performers in a collaborative environment. One of its artists’, Mark McDowell, gave me a tour of the compound. I couldn’t believe I’ve lived in Scottsdale for 18 years and had never been to this undiscovered gem. Andaz offers programing for guests to come to Cattle Track and work with local artists and features artist workshops and their work at the hotel on a rotating basis.
While I am not part of Cattle Track, I am a part of the Andaz Artist-in-Residence programing, teaching journaling. Through my company, the Journaling Atelier, I offer journaling workshops and individual sessions that help people use the power of journaling to understand themselves more, deal with emotions and challenges, and clarify life goals. I’ve been journaling since I was eight and I firmly believe it’s a game changer. It’s the cheapest therapy I’ve ever experienced! Stay tuned for details on when I’ll be at the Andaz.
Back at the Andaz it’s time to experience the culinary arts at Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen. My group is at the Art Bar drinking and coloring. Yep, coloring. Adult coloring is trending as a meditative practice so I grab some colored pencils and join in. Between the methodical coloring and the wine I’m pretty sure Zen is just a sip or color away!
While I’m a wine girl, the cocktails at the bar are sheer entertainment. The bartender encourages someone in our group to order the Mercury Mirage, a potent concoction of Rittenhouse infused rye whiskey, demerara syrup, and hella smoked chili bitters. The best part of the drink is that it involves a set-up that will remind you of high school chem class complete with fire and smoke. Worth ordering just to see it!
I’m very lucky to enjoy a tasting of many things off of the dinner menu. While the winter squash entrée with pickled red onion, pepitas and mornay sauce is a vegetarian’s dream, it was the whole trout from the plancha that won my heart. I don’t normally love trout and this was the best example of the dish I can remember ever having. It’s served with grilled lemon, cauliflower and a pecan romesco sauce (on the side for the Travel Diet). The side of cornbread is so good, I’m sure it will become a signature. I order tea after dinner and the science experiment/interactive drinks theme rears again. I don’t just get a cup of Lipton, oh no, I get an adventure. I have a choice of local teas (almond lavender?!? Yes please!) and a timer to make sure I steep it correctly. Once the group sees my set-up, many more order tea!
Open kitchens have become popular and Weft & Warp wins the prize for the best in town. This huge glass enclosed kitchen feels like an art installation. I’m hoping there will be some cooking classes and chef’s dinners in the kitchen in the future (hint, hint).
The Andaz is definitely a great base for a Scottsdale vacation, a staycation or simply having a wonderful meal or getting in touch with your inner artist (or writer!)