Arizona - The Perfect Playground For All Your Outdoor Adventures

Arizona - The Perfect Playground For All Your Outdoor Adventures

Arizona, with blue skies that go on forever, desert that stretches for miles, the Grand Canyon, hiking and cowboys...what's not to love?

How did you get there?

We flew British Airways – it was a 10 hour flight time but it flew by with Channing Tatum to keep me company via Magic mike XXL.  With the red rocky outline of the Arizona Mountains in the background arriving felt like something out of Thunderbirds…. I half expected a Lady Penelope style pink Cadillac to whisk me away to my luxury retreat.

So where did you stay?

Scottsdale is known as the Spa Capital of Arizona  - there are loads of them here!  So I was relieved to discover there was a fab one at my hotel The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.  The resort has its own perfectly manicured golf course and swimming pool complete with a 900-foot lazy River – which is where I spent most of my time catching a few rays while floating around in a giant rubber ring trying to look chic. 

I also partook in a spot of Scotch tasting at the hotels Scotch Library.  I was happy with my $10 choice but a man came in and bought an ultra premium blend for $475.  I could have bought some of this seasons famed fur Gucci loafers for that, each to their own.

Sounds amazing but what if I want more of a super trendy hotel?

The Hotel Valley Ho is the place to be, a favorite of Hollywood greats like Bing Crosby.  It’s mid-century-modern architecture and cabanas make you not want to leave and the swimming pool is shaped like an olive and martini glass – tres chic!

Where to eat?

You’ve got to try the winter sungold tomatoes and goat cheese dish at FnB Restaurant downtown. Most products are locally sourced and served with local wines.  The St. Louis Ribs at Tom’s Thumb fresh Market are an amazing lunchtime treat or if you fancy something a bit different the Malee’s Thai bistro is yummy .  If you’re more into your craft beers Craft 64 is full of them, personally the Huss Magic In The Ivy did it for me.

Scottsdale’s aptly named Fashion Square is the place to head for brands like Barney’s New York, Neiman Marcus, Gucci, Prada and Macy’s.  Or visit the old town for art galleries, restaurants and other finds – my personal favorite was a store with rails lined with vintage Gucci, Prada, Luis Vuitton and the ultimate find, great vintage Levis 501’s.

Did you get out and about?

I love being outside so hiking was a massive plus.  There are lots of trails in the area but Camelback Mountain was a favorite of mine.  I also took a Hot Air Balloon Tour over the Sonaran Desert, which was a really magical experience and then finished it off in true style with a class of Champagne once we landed.

If the desert’s not your thing and you fancy seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the World from the Sky we took a plane over the Grand Canyon your guaranteed to get a great instashot

Did you check out any Cowboys?

Yep we went to a cowboy college. With its resident pot bellied pig, dogs and cattle.  Unlike the riding style in the UK you will learn the laid back style of the cowboys and be a pro with a lasso by the time you leave. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with the offer of your own cowboy to take home as a souvenir.

The Must Visit…

You can’t leave without visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s home named Taliesin West.  Built by the architect in the 1930’s it’s an amazing architectural space, which is still used as a working studio to this day.

Sounds amazing, where do we book?

British Airways offers direct flights from London Heathrow to Phoenix from £592.

Standard room rates at Hotel Valley Ho start from £113* per night in the low season and £234* in high season.

Traditional rooms at the Westin Kierland start from £106* per night in the low season and increase to £482* in the high season (*Prices will vary according to exchange rate).

For more information on Scottsdale, visit

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