I spent a few days in August at the Andaz Scottsdale, which is Hyatt’s recently opened new hotel offering in Scottsdale, Arizona. The hotel opened to the public in January 2017, so it still has that new hotel smell. The hotel was basically a completely new build, using just the frames and wood-beam rafters of an old adobe-style villa property that was called Cottonwoods Scottsdale Resort in its former life. Many of the tall palm trees from the former resort are still on site, but most of the rest of the landscaping and grounds have been entirely redone.
I was interested to check out the Andaz Scottsdale because the reviews online are largely positive, which isn’t the case for some of the other, older Andaz properties that have seen better days, like Andaz Wall Street. My first impression on driving into the property, which is secluded behind some restaurants and condos off of busy Scottsdale Road, was that the property seemed quiet and peaceful in comparison to the rest of the busy Scottsdale area. In the blazing heat of August the valet station was empty, so I parked the car in the circular driveway and entered the lobby, where they got my car sorted out to the valet. Valet parking is included in the hotel’s $44 resort fee.
As a Globalist Hyatt member my party was upgraded to the Presidential Suite (this isn’t the normal Hyatt Tier Suite Upgrade, but the property was very gracious to upgrade us). The Presidential Suites are located close to the pool and lobby, and feature lots of space and good privacy options, with an outdoor shower off of one bedroom and a high wall surrounding the suite’s outdoor social area. A cabana is included in the Presidential Suite, however we did not use it because it is a level above the pool and it was easier to just sit directly by the pool. The cabana would be most useful for a large group who was partying and wanted to have an area away from the pool for their social group.
The Suite itself was pleasant if a bit bare. The smaller rooms still have the old wood beamed ceiling which lends character, but the Presidential Suite has high, bare ceilings and a lot of empty space. Still, the large sliders give great views of the surrounding trees and the nicely furnished patio, which had a gas fire pit feature and lots of seating options.
Where the Andaz Scottsdale really shines is in the public areas like the pool. The pool has a really pleasant vibe for a hotel pool– good soundtrack (no annoying pop songs, it’s more like curated, hip background music), lots of comfortable lounge chairs, and some views of the mountains. The light crowd at the pool in August was pretty local and young, but not loud or out of control. It was a nice atmosphere; friendly but not invasive or overbearing. The bar staff is friendly. There are some “events” which are basically giveaways of interesting shots and drinks at various times of day. In the evening there are art “events” in the lobby; but make sure to get a schedule so you can show up at the right time.
All in all I got the vibe that the Andaz Scottsdale is Hyatt’s play at doing an Ace Hotel Palm Springs concept, where the hotel invites you to hang out on property by providing a pleasant, hip pool atmosphere and enough artistic color and events to make you feel like you are engaging with local creative culture. For most people who visit this hotel from out of state, what the Andaz provides is probably better than what they would be able to find on their own, given that Phoenix is a sprawling city where most of the local creative cultural centers are miles away. And for people who do staycations at the hotel, it probably works too by providing a place people can go to relax where they don’t have to spend the day driving or sitting in traffic. This makes the Andaz a pretty easy choice for people looking to relax in Scottsdale without the overbearing noise or hectic-ness of a more traditional big Scottsdale resort.