Professional Review of the Phoenician by California
I was excited to see the Phoenician at a decent rate. I’ve heard the best of the best from everyone in the Phoenix area but I wasn’t going to get too excited. I was afraid that this might be one of the establishments where the name has ran away on itself. The decor is dated but beautiful. The fountain, when it was on (down temporarily for cleaning or repair), in the lobby was a beautiful display of elegance.
The check in process was a bit disordered and scattered. Which all started at valet trying to catch their baring. There were no defined lines and people were huddling around without much direction. I waited for several minutes before getting frustrated and sauntering off to the lounge area where I was met by some delicious spiced popcorn and seasoned nuts before ordering some drinks at a fairly high price margin. The waitress was new, and from Chicago and she was great. We ordered the Charcuterie with pickles and it was satisfying but honestly just made us crave the same from Pig and Pickle down the road even more, and we went and enjoyed it later that day.
I took my second drink over to the check in area and was eventually greeted by the desk staff after waiting around for 10 minutes or so. No one apologized for the wait, or even flashed a smile at me or offered decent eye contact. I believe someone who came after I did was helped first. The desk guy was not particularly friendly or accommodating, nor did he tell me he was putting me in the furthest possible room at the end of the hallway in a wing where they were performing construction.
We self parked, then quickly changed and headed down to the pool. The pools were pristine and we were greeted by a group of Koi fish hanging out in the river by the bridge. They stared deeply at us with hungry eyes.
Pool side dining and drink service ended at 5pm, and we missed it by three minutes, which was unfortunate. The views were spectacular and the quality of the water was better than we had experienced elsewhere. The chlorine smell was not overpowering or overwhelming in any way.
When we got back to our room ready to relax we noticed our view from the balcony consisted of port-a-potties and loud construction workers and landscapers right out of our window. Our balcony was in the process of being painted and we quickly went back into our room, grabbed our things and left in hopes the workers would leave. When we returned and turn down service had been performed we took notice of a note on our pillow informing us that if we wanted privacy we would need to keep our blinds closed because there would be workers on our balcony for the duration of our stay!
This means they knew this before we checked in, had gone to the effort to write a letter about it and completely failed to inform or to notify us of this disastrous ailment to relaxation at check-in time! What a racket. This is a 5 Diamond Resort. At this point we were both laughing. We came here to get away from the noise, not be dropped dead in the middle of a construction zone.
After a late night out in Scottsdale we were woken up at 7am by the loud dropping of full paint buckets right outside our door ON our balcony…. of all places? They were painting the balcony for our suite, scaling the side of the building and everything… all at 7 am. We had just fallen asleep a few hours earlier. When I complained the front desk manager on duty Megan Yost told me that she “knows people need to sleep, that is why they didn’t start earlier at 5 or 6 a.m”. I was in complete and total disbelief. She expected me to be GRATEFUL they didn’t wake me up at 5 or 6 instead of 7!
She offered me a $40 resort credit or some points for my SPG account to get an “itunes or starbucks gift card” for a room that cost me hundreds not counting the other hundreds we spent on the resort grounds. $40 room credit for a disaster of a stay in a room that I didn’t even get to sleep more than a few hours in. Her solution? She then offered to move me rooms. She was completely not understanding that when you are woken up and completely jarred by loud noises and three people right outside your window dropping things, yelling at each other from the first floor to the ground, and other general construction noises… there is no falling back asleep. Especially not after packing all your stuff up, waiting for a bellhop, tipping them, then getting resituated in a completely different room all before check out. I looked like a monster from the black lagoon with dark raccoon eyes and my relaxing vacation had turned into a nightmare. How was I supposed to fall back asleep with all this stress even if I DID get my room changed? I actually spent a moment thinking about the noise in Motel 6 motel rooms, and just how deeply preferable that would have been over the racket I had just experienced. At least I could have slept through it.
I ended up calling Hotels.com Gold and they took care of $80 out of the reservation cost and called the front desk and obviously let them know that treating guests this way was not appropriate. This should not be necessary in a 5 Diamond Resort. The rooms were okay, they were spacious but certainly not the nicest in Phoenix. The room felt kind of empty. Regardless, we were planning on relaxing in the A.M. after a night out and we didn’t really get to enjoy it.
We ended up eating breakfast on site and it was the most redeemable part of the entire stay. The pork belly benedict done in an asian style on a rice patty was exceptional. The eggs were cooked to the perfect temperature. The crab cake benedict was the same, cooked to perfection and an absolute delight of a dish, perhaps the best breakfast I had experienced in the greater Phoenix area, certainly Scottsdale. Wonderful flavors. The spin on monkey bread was okay, but certainly not the star of the morning.
Asian Eggs Benedict with Pork Belly at The Phoenician Luxury Hotel and Resort – Il Terrazzo
My husband spoke to the manager I had spoken to earlier at checkout, and it seems they may have judged me on my appearance because after speaking with hotels.com Gold team and then speaking to my husband who also explained the situation, she removed the price of the breakfast from the hotel bill. I would have prefered a relaxing stay instead of a free breakfast when I was exhausted. As far as things go, the Phoenician could have got themselves a loyal long term client, in us both for out of town guests of ours or simple staycations. Instead they produced two people who are utterly Phoenician-phobic.
Growing up in Scottsdale, my husband had been hearing about the Phoenician his entire life, and it certainly didn’t live up to any of the hype. Or any hype at all. Not recommended.
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