StellaBella By City: Scottsdale, AZ


While we wait for the weather to warm up here in NYC, I find myself reminiscing on a trip Big Ronnie & I took in 2013.  I admit I had low expectations before we left, but I absolutely fell in love with the warm dessert city of Scottsdale, AZ, after only a few days.  Another edition of my favorite series - StellaBella By City!

Tagging along with Big Ronnie to conferences is a chance for me to check out a city I'd probably not have the opportunity to visit otherwise.  If time and budget allow I make a point to visit the Resort's Spa, check out the local shopping, and any must-see sight seeing for that area.


Upon arriving at the Fairmont Resort, I didn't think there would be much of a point to leave the grounds for the duration of my stay.  The entire enormous resort was immaculately landscaped, and more pools and jacuzzis than we needed.  The Well & Being Spa was by far the best I have ever been to.  Inspired by a hidden oasis deep in the Grand Canyon called Havasupai, the design of this alluring spa is drawn from nature's elements - air, water, earth, wood & fire.  The spa included:
  • Wet steam room
  • Eucalyptus inhalation room
  • Swedish dry sauna
  • Hot therapeutic whirlpool
  • Cold plunge pool
  • Swiss shower
  • Fitness center access & classes
  • Rooftop adults-only pool with private cabanas
  • Co-ed grotto waterfall
  • Healthy spa cuisine served in the rooftop pool area or garden atrium
I spent two full days at this wonderful oasis; once you make an appointment for a service, you can stay for the rest of the day enjoying the entire spa!  I would have done a massage and facial in one day, but since I had the time - I spread it out between 2 days to take advantage of lounging and relaxing luxuriously for as long as possible!  Since I was in pamper mode, I took very few photos.  But I couldn't relax the entire time.  After treating myself like a queen, I was ready to take on an adventure!  

Day 3: A guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West.



At the age of 70 when most men have already retired from active life, Frank Lloyd Wright accompanied by his wife and 30 apprentices in architecture, came upon a plot of land on the Arizona desert at the foot of the McDowell Mountains.  They began preparing the site for the erection of a new building - housing and workshops for the Taliesin Fellowship.  Established in 1932, the fellowship was a training experiment by FLW in the lines of architectural education.  The program was barely 5 years old when Mr. & Mrs. Wright decided that its original location in Wisconsin was too cold for proper study during the winter months.  They would migrate back and forth every year, flocking like birds in nature. 

Taliesin West's site was dictated by its relation to the mountain range.  No building, if Mr. Wright could help it, was ever placed on a direct north-south axis.  By tilting the plans, the sun and shade could play throughout all of the rooms throughout the year.  Upon completion the site never obstructs the beautiful view of the mountain behind it, which was very important in the natural theme of FLW's creations.  Built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, it is among one of his most personal creations.  Today Taliesin West is a national historic landmark, and home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesen, The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

We toured through most of the site, and I went crazy snapping away through each of these rooms:
  • drafting studios
  • dining room, garden room
  • student living quarters
  • Wright's office
  • Wright's private quarters, kiva
  • courtyards, sculpture garden
  • music pavilion, cabaret theater
  • museum bookstore














The above are just a selection of the photos I took on this amazing day I spent in the desert learning about the life of this architectural genius, and the institution he and his students built for decades of learning.  And at what a perfect time for me to reflect on this tour.  My new position in non-profit is supporting architects!  I am happy to announce that I am the new Membership Coordinator for the AIA, NY Chapter!  I am thrilled to learn more about this industry of arts, and apply all of my experience to this new organization!  







I would love to spend more time visiting the desert, the dry heat felt amazing.  Next time,  I will make a point to visit the Arizona Biltmore, another structure that FLW put his signature on throughout the magical deserts of Amazing Arizona.

Remember StellaBella Readers - to take chances, and travel when ever the opportunity comes your way!


La vita è bella,

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