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Candy-coloured walls of apple green, pink, and baby blue greet me upon my first entry into a room with a pink door at The Saguaro Scottsdale, in sharp contrast to Old Scottsdale’s Southwestern earth-toned structures. I’m booked in for two nights while exploring the town and surroundings.

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Everywhere you turn, there’s a new colour palette to admire at this visually-pleasing boutique property.

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On the long glass-topped counter sits a lone Polaroid land camera, model J66, a throwback to travelling through these parts when in fact motels were all the rage. I’m brought back to the present with a Keurig coffee maker on the next glass section of that counter.

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This Joie de Vivre hotel is loaded with colourful, modern design elements and contains a spa as well as Distrito, a Mexican restaurant and bar operated by Jose Garces of Iron Chef fame.

Saguaro Hotel-12 Distrito lunch: Plantain-crusted Mahi Mahi tacos Distrito lunch: Corn flan, caramel, seasonal fruit
[Plantain-crusted Mahi Mahi tacos, Corn flan, caramel, seasonal fruit]

You’ll find a full menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch as well as adjacent Garces Trading Coffee kiosk for take-out custom-roasted GTC coffee and homemade goodies.

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I enjoyed a lazy lunch on the sun-splashed patio under the shade of a bright orange umbrella. The dishes are fresh, really tasty, and artfully presented.

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Old Town Whiskey is next to Distrito; it has a patio, outdoor fireplaces, and an equally modern interior for happy hour enjoyment.

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[Top to bottom: Picante pool, Calma pool]

The onsite fitness center is located near the main pool. There’s actually two pools: Picante and Calma. Picante is the see-and-be-seen spot for the Coachella set; Calma is better geared for a book or game of backgammon with a cold drink in hand. There’s free cruiser bikes for guests in hot pink and bright orange to take out on the town as well.

Lots of lush landscaping and songbirds bring the element of nature into the property.

The Saguaro offers:
– Complimentary valet parking (one vehicle per room)
– 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center
– Laundry/dry cleaning service
– Local telephone calls
– In-room Keurig coffee machine
– Daily newspaper in lobby
– Pet friendly hotel
– Free wifi

I liked the hotel’s central location. Within a few block’s radius are numerous bars, restaurants, museums, shops, and services, including the Civic Center Mall and flourishing arts district.

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[Lather modern apothecary natural bath amenities]

The only time I did have to take my car out from valet parking (complimentary) was the morning of my Taliesin West excursion (I’ll be covering the arts and culture scene in another article and update this post once it’s live).

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The Joie de Vivre’s Saguaro was at one time a Doubletree Hotel and in many ways still feels like a two-star motel. Now, some people might enjoy the kitschy cement block structures offering acoustic challenges, but if we’re headed to a city, at the end of a day it’s all about a fitful night’s sleep. Which the first night was non-existent due to party-goers heading back at all hours of the night.

I would have loved to have enjoyed breakfasts on the Distrito patio, however the music volume kept me indoors. Fine for happy hour, but not as welcoming at 8:30 am. 

With numerous restaurants and bars a short walk away, the hotel suffers from “location, location, location” syndrome. 

Right behind the Picante pool (I couldn’t figure out why they’d place a spa next to a DJ-thumping pool), the Saguaro Spa offers massage and body treatment services. While I enjoyed a relaxing one-hour massage one afternoon, I had to actually ask for a glass of water (a first for me).

For those not accustomed to having a massage or visiting a spa, a refreshment is one of the first things offered guests.

Each Joie de Vivre property offers a unique experience. This hotel isn’t for everyone, but if you do enjoy a lively vibe and don’t mind a bit of sleep deprivation, you’ll be right at home at the Saguaro.

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The Saguaro Scottsdale is located at 4000 North Drinkwater Boulevard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I was a guest of The Saguaro Scottsdale for the purposes of touring Scottsdale and of experiencing the hotel for this article. Opinions, as always, are my own. I’d also like to extend a big shout-out to Roam Mobility, whose stress-free talk, text, and data plans help me navigate my way around the roads, keep in touch with family back home, and stay on top of emails when I’m down in the USA. Check out their website for details on their plans and products.

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