Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
An upscale casino resort with Native American design touches
The Radisson is 246-room, upscale high-rise in the desert east of Phoenix on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Indian Reservation. The casino is the main draw at the resort, but the We-Ko-Pa golf course, pool, and the peaceful, close-to-nature surroundings make it an attractive retreat for golfers and families as well. The views of desert mountains are among the most spectacular of any resort in the Phoenix area.
The hotel is more family-friendly than its closest competitor, Talking Stick Resort, because the hotel and casino here are located in different buildings. So it’s possible to enjoy the resort without ever stepping foot in the smoky casino, unlike at the Talking Stick.
The lobby feels decidedly high-end, with beautiful native stone walls, glass artwork, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Elements of Yavapai Indian culture were integrated into the design, such as basket weaving symbols in the lobby floor, and a stone "river" (representing the nearby Verde River) leading into the hotel. Rooms, by contrast, feel more mid-range.
On an Indian reservation 30 minutes from Scottsdale
The resort is on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Indian Reservation, about 20 miles east of Scottsdale, just off the Beeline Highway. It’s somewhat isolated (surrounded largely by desert), so a vehicle is necessary to explore beyond the resort. Shuttle service is not offered.
Spacious, if a tad generic
All rooms include:
Southwestern dishes at Anhala Mesquite Room, plus five more restaurants in the casino
The four-pearl Fort McDowell is stocked to the gills with features: A casino, two 18-hole golf courses, live events, restaurants, lounges, and a heated pool. Views of surrounding mountains are stunning, and the Native American-style decor is handsome. But rooms, though spacious, aren't particularly stylish, and the resort is a far 30-minute drive to Scottsdale. It's worth comparing rates with The Talking Stick Resort and Casino, which has nicer rooms and a more convenient location.