Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.comSanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa  |  Paradise Valley, United States  |   Update from my last stay OCT 2013.!!!! if you dine at Elements, know that the kitchen closes at 9PM (yes does not make much sense but it is what it is) Elements is a FAB restaurant. You MUST ask for table #41. I think that one of the best views from the rooms is from Room # 229. Now carry on reading my previous post. Enjoy. !!!

The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain along with the Four Seasons Scottsdale, where both my favorite stays during my week exploring Scottsdale and Phoenix in Arizona. I felt that both properties offer exactly what I envisioned my experience would be, away from the urban areas, surrounded by the iconic Arizona desert. Perched on Camelback Mountain in an exhilarating blend of serenity and vitality. One of the most coveted retreats in Paradise Valley, Sanctuary a AAA Four Diamond Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. With trend-setting architecture, copious modern luxuries, and culinary delights, our boutique resort will draw you back, time and time again.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.comSanctuary on Camelback Mountain enjoys a legendary history filled with Hollywood celebrities and international tennis stars.  The story begins in the early 1950s when the unique mountainside property was bought by a group of prominent investors including Hollywood stars John Ireland, Joanne Dru and Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s son.


I was hosted at one of their Spa Suites, one of the largest Scottsdale suites, offers 1200 sq. ft. of vibrant décor and contemporary amenities, including a lava rock fireplace and a wet bar in the spacious living area. These Scottsdale suites feature an airy patio that surrounds the living room and bedroom. Large walk-in closets and a vessel sink enhance the spacious bathrooms, which include a separate shower and vanity, two sinks, and an outdoor soaking tub. My suite was the Topaz Suite, since all are named after a gemstone.
Elements Restaurant by www.carlosmeliablog.comOne of the highlights of my stay at the Sanctuary, was dinner at Elements overlooking the sunset over Paradise Valley. You can read my post here. But the breakfast the following morning was as equally spectacular or even more beautiful, this time overlooking the dawn.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.comI am sure you will agree looking at the photos I did while enjoying a healthy breakfast. Either if you are staying at the Sanctuary or not, Elements by Food Network celebrity and Executive Chef Beau MacMillan is a must.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.comOne of my favorites was to spend the afternoon laying at their infinity-edge pool overlooking Camelback Mountain, the palm trees and breathtaking views over Paradise Valley. FYI their pool is open 24 hours, so feel free to jump at any time.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.comUnfortunately timing did not allow me to experience their Spa, which features a menu of Asian–inspired services in twelve indoor & outdoor treatment rooms, so I wont be commenting on that. But I did have time to enjoy their state-of-the-art fitness facilities, including Pilates, meditation, Yoga, fitness & nutrition consultations by certified instructors and Personal Trainers. Arizona is very popular among professional athletes for its year round fantastic weather, and the Sanctuary is one of the favorite spots for those coming out of state. If you enjoy swimming, there is a special program at their outdoors lap pool taught by Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman. Recognized as the Paradise Valley Racquet Club throughout the 1950’s and renamed John Gardiner’s Tennis Ranch in 1965, our property continues a legacy of championship courts and professional coaches.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe hotel was undergoing some renovations and expansions during my visit, a multi-million dollar renovation that will yield an exciting new experience this Fall.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.comSituated 8 miles north of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and 5 minutes from downtown Scottsdale. Sanctuary is conveniently located for Arizona travel, while still offering a serene hideaway to guests. In terms of location, Sanctuary has a true advantage over the Four Seasons Scottsdale, for those in Arizona for business, but still looking to unwind after office. Literary and Oasis in the desert. When booking by CarlosMeliaBlog.com you will get the following extra amenities: Continental Breakfast for two Daily. Also available with Room Service + One 30 Minutes Spa Treatment or 50% off 60 Minutes Treatment, per Room, Once During Stay + Subject to availability at time of reservation Upgrade on Mountain Vista Casitas and Spa Casitas. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain by www.carlosmeliablog.com (*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

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Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale

Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comSushi Roku and W Scottsdale  |  Scottsdale, United States  |  During my last visit to Scottsdale, I was invited by the W Scottsdale to come and do a site inspection of their property. For those not in the Tourism Industry, a “Site Inspection” is when you visit a hotel for a quick tour of the property and usually have breakfast or lunch. Yes I know, the perks of being a Travel Agent/Blogger. So this are some of the images I captured during my visit. I wont say much more about the hotel, since I did not spend the night with them, and I only review based on my own experiences, but yes I can tell more about my lunch at Sushi Roku, which was lovely.

Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comSushi Roku is the main restaurant of the W Scottsdale, a pioneer of contemporary sushi, incorporating diverse, non-traditional ingredients from Latin America (e.g. jalapeños) and Europe (e.g. olive oil) into its edible works of art. Modern Asian cuisine with a dazzling array of fresh sushi, luscious salads, thoughtful appetizers, and an extensive selection of hot entrees.
Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comSome of the dishes we tried were: Edamame. Japanese Yellowtail Sashimi with diced Chilies. Tuna Tartar with Yuzu Guacamole. Salmon Carpaccio with Truffle Soy Vinaigrette. Free Range Chicken “Ji-Dori” Ginger Teriyaki Sauce, Grilled Asparagus, Mashed PotatoesBaked. Cod “Saikyo-yaki” in Sweet Miso. Sushi/Sashimi Assortment. All along some great Ginjo Sake by the glass.
Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe W Scottsdale, follows the same design and concept of most W Hotels and Retreats I have stayed before in Europe and Asia. Not so much what many expect here in the United States from a classic W property. Located in the center of it all! Near Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall and walking distance to the Entertainment District. You will find all your favorite Bliss, Sweat and Wet, classics of W Hotels worldwide. The Living Room lounge offers innovative drinks and signature cocktails. Mix and mingle at Shade Lounge, their sophisticated indoor/outdoor bar, while listening to a DJ spin the hottest beats, or spend a day poolside at WET. Unfortunately the hotel was sold out during my visit, so I was only able to see two room types, the standard entry level and the Spa Suite (photo below). Definitely a complete different experience of Scottsdale, from the classic Mission / Casitas style resorts, targeting a younger and coolest demographic. When booking through CarlosMeliaBlog.com, you will get the extra VIP Amenities: Full Breakfast for two Daily ($40 Maximum Credit, per Room, per Day) + $50 Sushi Roku Gift Card and the following subject to availability at the time of check in/departure: Upgrade + Late Check-Out. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Photo Jul 17, 3 05 20 PM Photo Jul 17, 1 11 27 PM Photo Jul 17, 2 46 51 PM Photo Jul 17, 2 53 19 PM Photo Jul 17, 2 57 49 PMSushi Roku and W Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Photo Jul 17, 2 57 31 PM Photo Jul 17, 2 56 51 PM (*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comArizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam  |  Phoenix, Arizona  |  They call themselves “The Jewel of the Desert”, I rather refer to them as a piece of heritage from the old, longed, Hollywood Glamour, setting the standard for elegance and style. Arizona Biltmore became world renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state, captains of industry and other famous travelers. One of the only existing luxury hotels in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design, and if you know who he is, you will understand my excitement. I mean, to this hotel, I gave a pass on any minor details or issues, this property cannot be seen or judged as a regular resort, but as for its iconic architecture, and legacy of elegance and opulent luxury for nearly a century.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comDifferently to what many assume, this resort was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a Harvard graduate, who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. Reason why I mentioned “influenced by”. One of the many things I learnt, after taking one of their History Tour (signature service by Waldorf properties worldwide).

Biltmore Block by www.carlosmeliablog.comAmong other things I learnt, including some juicy gossips of that time, was the nature of the “Biltmore Block” (see photo above), which is the DNA and structure of this hotel. The Biltmore Block features a geometric pattern that is said to represent a freshly cut palm tree, made out off indigenous materials, pre-cast concrete blocks were molded on-site and used in the total construction of the resort.

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe pools at the Arizona Biltmore have many interesting stories to tell and share, perhaps Marilyn Monroe’s favorite pool is the one to top. Did you know that the famed song composer Irving Berlin penned many tunes, including “White Christmas” while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore?
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe Arizona Biltmore boasts 740 guest rooms and is one of the largest hotels in Arizona. 78 one-and two-bedroom villas. Eight swimming pools. Seven tennis courts. A full-service resort spa, salon and fitness center. Five dining options. The adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts two of the best 18-hole PGA golf courses in Phoenix: The Links and The Adobe. The resort is managed by the Waldorf Astoria group. Yes I do agree that most rooms in need of a facelift, process that has started at the Ocatilla Wing and will continue throughout the entire property next.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe resort is divided and structured by Wings. I was hosted at their premium wings called Ocatilla at a Club Deluxe Room. This is a retreat and private sanctuary within the resort itself, where a dedicated concierge attends to individual needs in a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment and continuous culinary offerings are showcased throughout the day.

The resort has undergone major renovations, and my Club Deluxe Room (which you can see above), is a clear example of the  new concept and style the rest of the hotel will be going for within the next year and so. Ocatilla has access to its own private pool.
Wright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comDining at Wright’s Restaurant, was an outstanding culinary experience. Signature dining venue at the resort offering fresh cuisine that reflects an innovative culinary style characterized by fresh, local ingredients that are hearty, yet simply elegant. You can read my full post here. Unfortunately I was not able to try any of the other restaurants.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe Wright’s Bar, features a Piano and lots to stories to tell. Birthplace of the Original Tequila Sunrise, was not strange gathering for celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., hiding from the glitz of Hollywood.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comOne of my favorite rooms at the Main Building of the resort is the legendary “Mystery Room” which opened in the midst of Prohibition. A club masqueraded as a “Men’s Smoking Room” requiring a secret password for entry and accessible only through a secret passage that started behind the resort and traveled up a hidden staircase from the kitchen. The striking stained glass ceiling, was the key for the gentleman in the room, to return to their rooms and the booze to be tucked back into the room’s hidden bookshelf. Their was a spotlight, out in the roof, that was officially known to guide guests at night, and unofficially used to search the desert for police raids. Whenever a raid approached, the spotlight would shine through the Mystery Room’s stained glass roof warning the guests. There are plans and rumors of the soon return of this Speakeasy Glory to the resort.

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comArizona’s historic Grand Dame radiates an undeniable mystique of refinement and splendor. I will say this in a very positive and constructive way, which I openly shared with the management and marketing team… I so wish they would further embrace and revive the heritage and glamour of their time. What else can I say, other than, I would have need more time to connect and explore this incredible property. I look forward for a soon return. For those of you interested to experience the Arizona Biltmore, know that when booking through me, you will get other than advantageous deals, the following extra amenities: Continental Breakfast for two Daily + $100 Food and Beverage Credit Voucher for Frank & Albert’s, per Room, per Stay + subject to availability at the time of check-in: Upgrade. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.com(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.com Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.com Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.com Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.com

J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale

J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comJ&G Steakhouse  |  Scottsdale, United States |  If you follow my blog, you will know by now that despite being a native Argentinean, I do not eat beef… therefore when I hear the word Steakhouse, I already feel totally out of my lead. But priorities are priorities, and when you are hosted for a formal dinner at a signature Jean-Georges Restaurant, all you do is to open your mind and get ready for a fabulous gourmet experience. So I did. !!! I drove from the Four Seasons Scottsdale all the way to The Phoenixian Hotel, to meet with my hosts at Visit Phoenix. When I arrived to the 5th floor I was amazed by the gorgeous panoramic views over Camelback Mountain, just in time to enjoy a lovely sunset at the bar, over a perfect Grey-Goose Filthy Vodka Martini with huger blue cheese stuffed olives.
J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comBefore I go one, I would like to comment on this… What’s with US clientele and their need to have a TV Screen and sport channels, even at the most breathtaking panoramic views of sophisticated environments ? I just don’t get it. There is a place and time for everything. I know, I know…. in the end it all comes down to what makes money, and if guest come to the bad and seat down for hours to watch a game, that’s the beauty of it right!!! I guess, NOT.
J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comJ&G Steakhouse offers a sophisticated collection of steakhouse classics as interpreted by Chef Jean-Georges. Situated atop the world-famous Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, the restaurant is draped in a rich palette of purple and gold. Guests enjoy dramatic sunsets and views of the valley while dining on premium meats and a global selection of fish. Dishes are masterfully executed using fresh, local ingredients and spices from around the world.
J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comAfter a few Martinis enjoying the sunset over Camelback Mountain listening to live piano and singing, we were escorted to our table. But this time the night was already falling and the room was lighting up with candles and low lights, bringing up the sophistication and intimate ambiance.
J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comWe began our Jean-Georges culinary experience with the Raw Bar. The Chilled Shellfish Platter  1⁄2 Chilled Lobster, 2 Oysters 2 Clams, 5 Jumbo Shrimp and 4 Mussels (USD 38). Continued with (my favorites) Heirloom Tomatoes over Crispy Onions, Russian Dressing (USD 12). As my main course I chose the Parmesan Crusted Chicken Lemon-Basil Butter Artichoke (USD 24). As you can see the menu is very well priced and accessible, given the fact of being one of the top rated restaurants in Scottsdale. Of course the Chef indulged us with a degustation of desserts, which I feel too guilty to share. My visit to Scottsdale/Phoenix, was to my surprise, all about amazing restaurants, with very interesting concepts, fresh farmer produce and vegetables, fabulous food and breathtaking panoramic views. Check their site www.jgsteakhousescottsdale.com. Enjoy !!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comJ&G Steakhouse Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com (*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Carlos Melia True Four Seasons Ambassador

Carlos Melia True Four Seasons AmbassadorCarlos Melia True Four Seasons Ambassador  |  Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts  |  Thank you Four Seasons Preferred Partners Communique for featuring my review on Four Seasons Punta Mita on their last July 2013 eNewsletter. “… Click here to read a recent review of Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita from Carlos Melia, a Preferred Partner Travel Consultant…” they said on their last issue. Also I got some comments of appreciation and recognition by the Four Seasons Scottsdale on my last review on them after my stay during last week. Finally, the comments that honors and fills me with pride was the mention by Four Seasons Punta Mita “… great feature Carlos! @carlosmeliablog we can’t thank you enough! You are a true @FourSeasons Ambassador!…”. I have stayed and reviewed multiple Four Seasons Hotels and Resort around the globe and I look forward to grow my list in the near future. Read all my Four Seasons Posts and Reviews Worldwide. Curating the world of Luxury Travel and Lifestyle. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Carlos Melia True Four Seasons Ambassador(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Four Seasons Scottsdale

Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale  |  Scottsdale, United States  |  So the last night and day of my stay while in Phoenix/Scottsdale, I chose to spend it at on of my favorite hotel groups in the world, which never disappoints me, and on top of that was close to the pick up point of my Hot Air Ballooning experience I took the following morning, and offered the real Arizona experience I was looking to have before the end of my trip, away from the urban center of Phoenix/Scottsdale.  An area rich with Native American art and an equally impressive dining and nightlife scene. Even closer are the unique rock formations of Pinnacle Peak and the highly acclaimed golf mecca at Troon North.

Photos and Videos property and credits to CM by Carlos Melia / www.carlosmeliablog.com / www.carlosmelia.com. Full usage of this media is allowed only and exclusively when including full credits as mentioned above. Carlos MeliaLocated inn the high Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale, only 40 minutes drive from downtown Phoenix/Scottsdale, is a place of western lore and cosmopolitan culture, a place of awe-inspiring beauty and spectacular golf, a place unlike any other.  Nestled into the foothills of Pinnacle Peak – amid towering, multi-armed saguaro cacti – the adobe casitas of Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona embody the desert’s magic through thoughtful design and the outstanding talent of regional artists and craftspeople.

Unfortunately I was there only for an overnight, as the saying goes …” Great things, come in small amounts…”. But since I got to awake quite early upon return from my tour and the time I had to head off to the airport, I got to explore and enjoy the resort, a lovely breakfast at their new Western Canteen PROOF and the comfort and views of my Premier King Casita Room. Step onto your private patio or balcony for dramatic views of serrated mountain peaks, the valley alive with sparkling city lights, the nature-inspired outdoor pool or the surrounding Sonoran Desert. Great open bathrooms to linger in the hot waters of a deep soaking tub, or reinvigorate with a brisk shower in the separate glass-enclosed stall. A double-sink vanity, L’Occitane bath products and separate WC add to the luxury of conveniences. Full complimentary WiFi access.

Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comEmbark, like I did for my breakfast, on a culinary road trip, by Sous Chef Jesse Hansen through the main street of America at PROOF American Canteen, a restaurant that draws inspiration from the area’s history as a stagecoach hitching post, the frontier spirit of the Wild West and the days of Route 66. Stunning outdoors views of Pinnacle Peak. Featuring homestyle comfort fare sourced exclusively from the 50 states, this relaxed restaurant is a casual neighbourhood hang-out, perfect for an easy dinner, an evening with friends. A railroad track runs through the dining room, while televisions, games and a bustling bar bring buzzing energy to the restaurant on a nightly basis.
Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale, is also home to the acclaimed Talavera Steakhouse. Whether you dine alfresco or indoors, take in dramatic vistas of the desert valley at Talavera, a modern take on the classic steakhouse. Menu focuses on locally and regionally sourced cuisine, emphasising prime cuts of meat, poultry and game from boutique purveyors, as well as a wide variety of seafood. To highlight the restaurant’s authenticity and sense of place, Executive Chef Mel Mecinas seeks out fresh heirloom tomatoes and vegetables from local farms, olive oil sourced from a nearby mill and Arizona ranch-raised meats

Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comOf all our complimentary Scottsdale resort services and amenities, this are perhaps their finest, 2 outdoor pools, 2 tennis courts, 24 hours state-of-the-art Fitness Center (including sauna, steam room, weight training, studio classes and personal trainers) once again featuring majestic views overlooking Pinnacle Peak. Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comTiming was not on my side, therefore I was not able to experience their Spa Facilities, but I can share this with you: 14 treatment rooms, 10 massages, 9 body treatments, 8 facials, 6 spa packages and 5 signature treatments, all inspired by the spirit and the ingredients of the desert.
Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comFour Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.comAn abundance of natural and man-made wonders define Scottsdale and its surrounding region. Find the Resort ideally located near desert attractions, cultural institutions and sporting activities. Hike the scenic trails of Pinnacle Peak or view the stars through a professional telescope. Or even better, follow my path to Salt River Kayaking or Sonoran Desert Hot Air Ballooning. Not for nothing Four Seasons Scottsdale has ranked as one of the World’s Best Continental US Resort Awards 2013 by Travel + Leisure. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

Four Seasons Scottsdale by www.carlosmeliablog.com(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert

Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.comHot Air Ballooning in Scottsdale Arizona  |  Scottsdale, Arizona  |  Today I crossed out of my Travel Bucket List, one of the items was ranking high, and this was Hot Air Ballooning. Early morning (5AM) pick up at the Four Seasons Scottsdale, to go chasing winds among other fellow tourist, to be able to make a reality our wish to fly. This was my second chance, during my week stay in Arizona. First one failed due to weather and winds conditions, reason why our pilot, Captain Patrick, decided to cancel the first flight, which made me feel very comfortable about safety. So after an hour of riding across the Sonoran Desert, looking for the perfect flying spot, we reached the area of Lake Pleasant and Wild Horse, within the region of Scottsdale, approximately 45 minutes away from the city of Phoenix. I will not bore you with much more details, and I will allow my photos and videos to document this spectacular, quite daunting, experience, which took me on a basket, along with other 15 people, to a maximum height of 9000 Feet (crazy and lots of adrenaline). The flight was of over 45 minutes, and upon landing we enjoyed a lovely champagne breakfast, for the official ceremony of Hot Air Ballooning graduation. Yet another certificate to add to my life travel and adventure around the world, along the Elephants Mahout Driver License, Tigers Up-Close Encounter among many others. If you are not too scared of heights, and do not mind an early morning, Hot Air Ballooning, is a life experience you must try. I chose Hot Air Expeditions for my flight, based in Phoenix. As I always say, when doing these types of activities, is ALWAYS very important to do exhaustive research on the provider you will book. Hope you enjoy how I have documented this spectacular experience. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com
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Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com
Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com
Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com
Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com
Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Hot Air Ballooning at Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com (*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com<mailto:carlos@carlosmelia.com> or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Kayaking Salt River in Sonoran Desert

Kayaking Salt River in Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com Kayaking Salt River in Sonoran Desert  |  Phoenix, Arizona  |  This morning at 8AM I was picked up by John my expert outback guide by AOAArizona Outback Adventures, and we drove for almost 45 minutes East from Phoenix along McDowell and Superstition Mountains and the stream of the Salt River and the Sonoran Desert as the background, to reach Salt River Park, starting point of our Kayaking in Arizona experience.

Float down the Lower Salt River on a guided kayak tour or guided rafting trip and discover a scenic and relaxing desert oasis. While drifting on this class 1 river you are surrounded by spectacular, unobstructed 70-mile views into 4 different mountain ranges. Flowing from the mountains in Northern Arizona, the Salt River is captured by four dams and released for use by Phoenicians and farmers year-round.

A reliable source of water, the Salt River attracts a variety of wild life, making it common to enjoy close encounters with animals enjoying their natural habitat. Some favorites include; groups of wild horses ambling along the riverbanks, Great Blue Herons and the majestic Bald Eagle hunting for prey.

Kayaking Salt River in Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.comSuch a relaxing and rewarding morning, learning about the Sonoran Desert, local native Americans, the desert ecosystem, while floating and paddling along the Salt River. Won’t take you longer than a full morning, and if you choose booking the option which includes transfers in/out, you will be back at your hotel before lunch, unless you really enjoy the outdoors and opt for the full day option. Josh, my guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and professional. I went for the private tour option, but prices for the regular tours start at USD 100 per person on. MUST Try. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommen

Kayaking Salt River in Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
Kayaking Salt River in Sonoran Desert by www.carlosmeliablog.com (**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.
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NOCA

NOCA by www.carlosmeliablog.comNOCA  |  Phoenix, Arizona  |  When I mentioned to people that I was coming to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, and I began my research on places to visit and restaurants to experience, there was an unanimous consent over NOCA – aka. North of Camelback Mountain, as one of the hidden culinary gems to be experienced. So off I went yesterday for lunch, since during the summer season, NOCA remains closed for dinners.
NOCA by www.carlosmeliablog.comLocated in Phoenix’s Biltmore area, NOCA utilizes the finest ingredients to present Modern American cuisine in a vibrant atmosphere without pretense and formality. NOCA’s daily changing menu reflects the best of the season featuring; local organic produce, crudo, house-made pastas, East & West Coast fish and prime meats. NOCA has received many accolades including; by the James Beard Foundation as a Semi-finalist for “Best New Restaurant” in the US, AAA’s 4 Diamond Rating, Wine Spectator Magazine’s “Award of Excellence”, “Best Place to Take a Foodie”, “Best Contemporary American Restaurant”, “Best New Restaurant”, “Best Seafood Restaurant”, “Best Fried Chicken” served on the last Sunday of each Month, “Best Burger” for the Tuesday night special “nocamelt” and one of “Phoenix’s Best Sandwiches” for their Lobster Roll that is featured on Wednesday night as well as Thursday’s Special the Wagyu Pastrami. Bon Appetit Magazine recognized Sunday’s Simple Supper as having the “Best Daily Special”, which is a 3 course set menu with choice of entree for $35.
NOCA by www.carlosmeliablog.comUnexpected, unpretentious and laid-back are the terms I would use to define NOCA. Located in an open mall area, you would never expect to find and experience such gourmet experience. Our degustation menu consisted on: Alice Waters UDS6  Mixed Greens, Pickled Strawberries, Candied Pecans, Apples, Radishes Parmesan, Tomatoes, Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. Soup Of The Day USD 5 which was a mix of pumpkin ginger and a drizzle of olive oil, served at mid temperature. Exquisite. !!! and Funghi Pizzette USD 9 Wild Mushrooms, Tomato, Mozzarella, Chile. And Of course, some local Arizona’s Beer Kilt Lifter. www.restaurantnoca.com for more information. OH and BTW if you haven’t had enough of NOCA, try their brand new stand at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the famous NOCAwitch for their decedent sandos and versions of sandwiches.  CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

NOCA by www.carlosmeliablog.comNOCA by www.carlosmeliablog.comNOCA by www.carlosmeliablog.comNOCA by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Wright’s Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore

Wright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright’s Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore  |  Phoenix, Arizona  |  Dinner at Wright’s at the ‪Arizona‬ ‪‎Biltmore‬ ‪Resort‬ by Waldorf Astoria ‪Hotels‬ was so fabulous sophisticated and glam ‪Gatsby‬ chic that I would repeat over and over and over. The favorite and iconic resort of Hollywood stars not only allows you to lay at Marilyn Monroe’s favorite outdoors pool, or to stay at the Reagan’s Honeymoon Suite, or play the piano along Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Liza Minnelli…  but also to enjoy a brilliant culinary experience. Wright’s at the Biltmore is the signature dining venue at the resort offering fresh cuisine that reflects an innovative culinary style characterized by fresh, local ingredients that are hearty, yet simply elegant. The Chef only utilize the freshest ingredients from boutique farms across the country – including herbs from the Chef’s garden outside the dining room. The menu changes weekly to reflect what is in season. Iced Seafood sweet lobster, jumbo prawns, oysters, crab, mignonette, tabasco. Scallops Meuniere truffle cauliflower, yellow corn, capers, parsley. Ceviche scallop, salmon, citrus, baby radish, avocado. Halibut “Oscar” Alaskan Halibut, jumbo lump crab, asparagus, béarnaise sauce. A degustation of desserts with the staring Grand Marnier Soufflé and the flavored Cotton Candy by Chef de Cuisine Bryan Gorton CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
Wright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.com
Wright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Wright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.com