FireSky Resort And Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
A middling motel in downtown Scottsdale turned boutique-style standout by the Kimpton Group, the FireSky "resort" offers something for everyone -- a sandy play space by the pool; free wine during happy hour; a cozy cocktail lounge; a small but sufficient spa; 13 meeting rooms, and a 24-hour business center. It's crowded for a reason: value.
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Westin Kierland is, all-around, a great resort with a convenient Scottsdale location. The resort boasts fine dining, great golf, a quality spa, an adults-only pool, and lies just across from a shopping mall. It satisfies guests by providing routinely fun, friendly service, and a bit of Scotch-Arizona character -- bagpipes at sunset, for instance.
Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This 326-room resort in central Scottsdale, next to the high-end McCormick Ranch Golf Course, is upscale but laid-back, with expansive, landscaped grounds and Spanish-style architecture. Its attractive, casual pools and attentive staff are highlights, but the rooms -- while nice -- aren't quite luxurious. And be warned that the resort fee will cost you an extra $19 a day.
Carefree Resort & Conference Center Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The Carefree Resort and Conference Center is a landmark in the beautiful Sonoran Desert foothills, with mid-century design, attractive cacti-covered grounds and mountain views. Its mid-range rooms are extremely spacious, but some are starting to show their age (a multi-million dollar renovation of the entire property is currently underway). Still, it's less expensive than other resorts in the area, like Boulders.