A few days after Christmas I received a call from a friend offering me use of his unit at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Residence Club over New Years. I had never stayed at a Four Seasons but have always heard that they are the measure of service in the hotel industry. I said yes and booked my flight from Seattle to Phoenix.
Residence Clubs with the Four Seasons are similar to timeshares; you buy in and pay an annual fee and get a week at their resort. Instead of a hotel room (at least in Scottsdale) you get a two bedroom, three bathroom unit with a full kitchen, dining room and living room. You get access to all the amenities of the hotel plus a Residence Club pool, restaurant, and club house.
The resort is located in (far) north Scottsdale. The landscape is beautiful; about as traditionally southwest as possible. Cacti. Rocky peaks. Snow. Wait, what?? Yep, it snowed over New Years. This was a deviation from the standard 70 degree temperature for winter but actually added to the beauty of the area.
One of the activities I enjoyed was a hike up Pinnacle Peak, the real life inspiration for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland. There are beautiful views from the top of the hike but along the way you get a glimpse of the diverse Arizona vegetation.
It would be easy to never leave the resort during your stay. Spa, hot tubs, swimming pool, restaurants, bar, tennis, nature walks, kids club, fitness center, yoga classes, bingo, etc. And the service does live up to its reputation. I made use of the complementary shoe cleaning (you put your shoes outside your door and in the morning they come back cleaned and gift wrapped). The bath products are first class. Housekeeping was on point. All the staff was friendly and helpful. Whether your stay at the Residence Club or the hotel, you will surely feel like home in the desert.