In 1985, a man by the name of Charles Keaton had a vision. He bought 250 acres of land in the Sonoran Desert at the foot of Camelback Mountain. It took 900 workers, two years, and nine months, and on October 1, 1988, he saw his vision realized when The Phoenician Resort and Spa opened it’s doors for the first time. Not wanting to conform, and wanting to offer guests something different than the surrounding desert, Keaton wished to design the resort with the elegance and sophistication of Europe in mind. Indeed he has accomplished this. White marble was imported from Carrera, Italy for the lobby, and the ceiling is etched in 24 karat gold with a stunning fountain in the main lobby. Eleven rare Steinway pianos were purchased to display in the hallways, presidential suite, and The Thirsty Camel Lounge.
To create the lush, tropical landscape, workers from the Kingdom of Tonga stepped in to design it. Approximately 22,000 trees, shrubs and cacti, along with 13,000 square feet of annual flowers adorn the lawns, and walkways, not to mention the two acre cactus garden that is kept there. Everything has a luxurious European feel in and around the resort from the stunning Il Terrazzo Italian restaurant, to afternoon tea in the Lobby Tea Court. If you are in the mood for something a little closer to home, the J&G Steakhouse is no less elite. For a more casual meal, try the Relish Burger Bistro. If you’re just wanting some sweets, or drinks, try the Cafe & Ice Cream Parlor, or The Thirsty Camel respectively.
The resort’s roots run even deeper than this with the Jokake Inn built in 1926. Named by a young Hopi Indian boy who saw the structure and called it “Jokake” which means “mud house” it still stands to this day as a symbol of old southwestern hospitality. Hospitality is one of the traits the resort is known for with turndown service, concierge, 24 hour room service, and twice daily maid service available, you’ll always be comfortable.
For those hot Arizona days, The Oasis Pool Complex has various tiers for individual enjoyment, and includes relaxing “piano pools,” children’s pools (with 165-foot water slide) for those visitors with little ones, and the famed “Mother-of-Pearl” serenity pool. You’ll feel like you’re inside a seashell with the genuine Mother-of-Pearl tiles. These were placed to create a glistening, iridescent world. There are hand-colored dark blue tiles on the rim that were specifically designed for the area. The Mother-of-Pearl tiles were imported from Italy at a cost of more than $1 million, making it the most expensive pool in the state of Arizona. In addition, the resort also boasts an art collection valued at over $25 million.
Welcoming of change, the golf course on the resort went from 18 holes to 27 in 1996. It was at this time that The Canyon Suites building was completed, previously home to the Elizabeth Arden Maine Chance Day Spa. The spa is now The Mobil 4-Star Centre for Well-Being Spa. The Canyon Suites contain the Presidential Suite, and a total of 60 chic suites. The Canyon Suites are Arizona’s first AAA Five Diamond Boutique Hotel, and have private access to their own grounds, a separate lobby and sparkling infinity pool. It’s an elegant boutique hotel within the resort.
The Phoenician has an ample claim to fame. It is known worldwide, and has been the accommodation of choice for visiting celebrities like Stevie Nicks, athletes, and former Presidents like George W. Bush. It was also featured in the 1987 movie “Raising Arizona” starring Nicholas Cage. The Phoenician has also been the subject of television shows “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” and “Luxury Getaways” on the Travel Channel. In addition to this, it has won numerous prestigious awards year after year for the resort itself, its golf course, spa, dining, tennis courts, and green efforts. The resort is very Earth conscious and makes an effort to conserve energy and recycle.
Whether you’re planning a meeting, wedding, honeymoon, family vacation, or relaxing get away, trust The Phoenician to meet and exceed every one of your expectations. Put them to the test as their impeccable luxury is sure to pass even the most discriminating palate. Be sure to make this your next destination. There’s no passport needed to experience a little piece of Europe in the Valley of the Sun!