PHX Architects, SB Design redesign Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center

Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, A Destination Hotel, will embark on a renovation project starting on July 1. The resort is the newest property in the Destination Hotels portfolio and the only resort in the Phoenix metropolitan area to undergo a renovation in 2015.

In September, the property will be unveiled as The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, A Destination Hotel, and it will have an updated look to accompany its new name. The first phase of the renovation will inject $9 million into the property, introducing a new restaurant and bar, transforming the main pool, adding outdoor meeting and event space and enhancing guestrooms, all while creating a more open feel throughout the resort. The property is owned by Cornerstone Advisors, which also has Motif Seattle, A Destination Hotel in its resort portfolio.

The designers at PHX Architects in Phoenix and SB Design in Scottsdale developed plans to update the look of the resort and introduce new amenities, while staying true to the history of the property originally designed by Scottsdale architect Bennie Gonzales.


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The architects drew inspiration from Mexico and South America, incorporating the architecture of Mexican haciendas (Spanish for estate) into the design, color palette and furnishings. The outdoor space will tap the fazendas of Brazil from the Colonial period. These farms had ancient stonewalls, arcaded portals, cobbled courtyards and grand salons. The resort’s new look and feel will als draws inspiration from Argentinian estancias, which were country estates and working ranches that guarded the nation’s cultural heritage from its Spanish-colonial beginnings.

Accompanying the physical changes to the property, The Scottsdale Resort will experience a brand overhaul including new names and logos for the resort, restaurants and spa.

During summer, Sangria’s Lounge will be completely remodeled and, upon completion, will offer communal dining, an open-air kitchen and updated furnishings. The new restaurant will have a new culinary concept and menu influenced by the Western US for lunch and dinner. The resort’s executive chef Rick Dupere will oversee the new culinary outlet.

In the middle of the current lobby, The Scottsdale Resort will debut a new lobby bar serving as an extension of the restaurant. New bar seating at the lobby windows overlooking McCormick Ranch Golf Club will provide views of the fairways.

The existing Palm Court Restaurant that boasts second-story views of Camelback Mountain and the golf course will also be renovated.

For events, The Scottsdale Resort will expand and upgrade the outdoor event facilities. The property’s four tennis courts will be removed to create two event lawns and one sport court, used for volleyball and basketball. The larger main lawn will offer more than 10,000 square feet of event space to accommodate up to 1,200 people, with views of the McDowell Mountains in the backdrop. The new community lawn near the resort entrance will also host a variety of events.

The Scottsdale Resort’s Alameda event space will be transformed to match the Hacienda design of the resort. Brick pavers will replace the concrete path, and bistro lights, water features and bench seating will be added. The path will also be lined with trees, hence the Alameda name.

The Scottsdale Resort has 326 guestrooms, casitas and suites. Many of the accommodations offer views of fairways, gardens and pools. The 54 king rooms currently on-site will be renovated, and 76 of the double-queen rooms will be converted to king rooms. All 130 new king guestrooms will receive new artwork and bedding, a headboard, two chairs, a window table and desks. Private patios will be added to 20 first-floor rooms. Guestroom corridor carpeting will also be replaced.

The main pool area will be remodeled and include a new full-service restaurant and bar. It will have 16 new cabanas available for private rental, a shaded trellis in the water and a bridge-like water feature dividing the new pool, which will be 2.5 times larger than the existing one. The pool area will also be modernized with fire pits and water features.

The Amansala Spa will be enhanced to include a lobby and a new entrance for the fitness center.

The resort’s main entrance tucked away in an upscale Scottsdale neighborhood will be guests’ first introduction to the property’s overhaul. It will be completely redesigned to feature new signage and ranch-style landscaping. Date palms will line the circular drive and drive-through archways will welcome guests to the new Scottsdale Resort.

The wall behind the concierge desk will be removed, allowing natural light to flow into the lobby and providing views of the main pool. Adjacent from the lobby entrance, guests will be able to access The Plaza through multiple doors.

The property first opened in 1976. In 2016, it will celebrate its 40th anniversary and embark upon a second phase of renovations that summer.