stay & play arizona

Last week, I flew to Scottsdale, Arizona to speak at the Pinners Conference and spend three days exploring the beautiful desert city. Growing up, our family traveled to Phoenix every summer to pass entire days laying out by the pool, shopping at the giant Outlets at Anthem, and driving up to explore the breathtaking landscape that is Sedona. My college golf team also had a tournament in Phoenix every October, so I knew going into this trip that the weather would be glorious right now (aka no Houston humidity).

When I started looking for a place to stay, Marriott was my first choice as I've only ever had excellent experiences with the upscale hotel chain. The Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River agreed to host me during my stay and I could not have been more pleased with the accommodations. Not only was my room spacious and comfortable, but the entire grounds were like a desert oasis. I'm talking cactus galore, the prettiest green trees (you'll see what I mean in the pictures below- entirely green, bark and all), and a huge swimming pool with a cabana for lounging poolside. There was also a large fire pit with seating for roasting s'mores in the evening and a restaurant in the lobby, The Bistro, that housed the most delicious food I had while in Phoenix. The Bistro also served Starbucks which I took full advantage of- nothing like waking up and having Starbucks delivered to the room! A girl could get used to such luxuries.

I'll stop babbling now and let the pictures do the talking.

The aerial photos were taken from the balcony of my room, which was a large outdoor space complete with a full set of patio furniture and stunning views of the McDowell Mountains. My room also overlooked the pool, like many in the hotel, which was perfectly calming to look out on each morning as I got ready to start the day. I chose to do my swimming in the evening as the sun was setting and turning the sky a deep orange-red color that seemed to quintessentially fit The Valley of the Sun. I made friends with a woman sunbathing in a large floppy hat, sipping on a mojito from The Bistro one evening and we ended up having dinner in the hotel's quaint yet refined restaurant later that night. The quinoa salad and chocolate molten cake were to die for, and I was equally impressed by the service and speed of the kitchen. Still dreaming of that molten cake...wonder if they ship.

I usually don't sleep well my first night in a new place, especially being alone, but Zach laughed at how easily I adjusted to Pacific Standard Time. Thanks to the black-out curtains and feather-soft bed, I slept like a baby every night. But I did miss my big baby, and despite the quality of my stay in Arizona, I'm so happy to be home with my boys. We have another big trip planned soon (the boys are coming this time too!) and I need to find another Courtyard by Marriott to be our home away from home. And I pray it has a restaurant inside that serves Starbucks.

xo, Britt

I partnered with Stay & Play AZ and Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River for this post. All opinions are my own.