A few weeks ago I received an interesting email invitation from the World of Hyatt/Andaz Scottsdale. The invitation was to the new Andaz Scottsdale for a free (yes, free!) cocktail event. The purpose of the event was to see the property and meet Graham Rahal, an IndyCar driver. I didn’t know this sort of thing existed but kudos to Hyatt for doing something so generous for its members!
The invite to the Andaz Scottsdale was a no brainer as it’s a new property I was interested in checking out. Plus it was free, included cocktails, and it is only a short driving distance from my house. How a mid-tier Explorist who has my status by matching from Mlife got invited to this event is beyond me. But, it sounded like fun so last week my husband and I headed to the Andaz Scottsdale.
I’ll cover two aspects of the evening:
- The free cocktail event meeting Graham Rahal and my discussion with a World of Hyatt representative flown in from Chicago
- The Andaz Scottsdale room and property that we were given a tour of
Also, important to note, at no point did I claim I was a big deal and say I had a blog. One, because I realize nobody cares. Two, in case anyone did care I wanted to just act like an interested World of Hyatt member (which I was).
World of Hyatt cocktail event meeting Graham Rahal
I walked into this event having no idea why I got invited, how big the event would be, or really anything else. I was surprised to see just a few cocktail tables spread out in the lawn area, along with employees to check us in. You could tell all the employees were super enthusiastic and customer focused right away.
We were the first ones there so I was able to snag a few pics of the setup. There were heavy hors d’oeuvres and a very nice selection of wine, beer, and liquor at the bar.
You may see what looks like apartment buildings in the background. This lawn was at the front of the property and once vegetation fills in should still feel very private.
While chatting with fellow guests I had to laugh when asking one gentleman if he was a frequent Hyatt guest. He responded by telling me that he was only a Hyatt elite by matching from Mlife! Another couple we were chatting with were complaining about despite being Marriott Platinum they can’t even get free breakfast at a Ritz-Carlton. So that’s why they prefer being elites at Hyatts. So needless to say, it was a fun group to chat with!
Meeting IndyCar driver Graham Rahal
After some chatting, drinks, and food, Graham Rahal, and his father Bobby Rahal, a retired Indy driver, came out for the meet and greet. They answered questions for about 15 minutes from the small crowd and then hung out, chatted, and posed for pictures. Not being too familiar with IndyCar myself it was still very interesting to hear about the inner workings. Graham Rahal is sponsored by Hyatt so clearly that’s why he was making the appearance but he never acted as if he was obligated to be there.
Overall this was a really nice event to get invited to! It definitely made local Hyatt members feel valued and exposed many locals to the resort who may be likely to do a staycation or host events at the property. Which I’m sure was the intent; so well done Andaz Scottsdale and World of Hyatt!
Andaz Scottsdale Grounds
A couple of the Andaz employees were mingling and I struck up a conversation with the delightful banquet manager (I think?), Thea. I was asking a few questions about when the resort opened and such and then she asked another couple and my husband and I if we’d like a quick tour of the grounds and a room. We all immediately said yes, of course. Anything for the blog!
I have to apologize for my pictures, while on a tour with an Andaz employee I didn’t feel comfortable setting up a “perfect” shot (as if I’m good at those in ideal circumstances…) but hopefully this gives you a good feel for the room she showed us, and the grounds.
The Andaz has approximately 200 rooms spread out on over 23 acres, all in single level bungalow style. It isn’t too far off Scottsdale Road which is where there are plenty of restaurants and it’s a very easy ride to Old Town Scottsdale and only about 20 minutes from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport. It’s tucked far enough back that there is no noise and it feels very secluded and private.
XL Poolside Cabana King Room
The sun was setting pretty quickly but I did the best I could with these room pictures. The rooms are all set in small groups and the one we were shown is the XL Poolside Cabana King Room. This room is the highest level room until you a suite. Especially relevant though, according to this FlyerTalk thread, there are limited suites at this property and a DSU may not upgrade you to a suite, or even the room we saw.
The XL Poolside Cabana King has two patios, one in front, one in back, an outdoor shower, and a dedicated cabana overlooking the pool.
The back patio had two lounge chairs, an outdoor shower head, and a door that opened directly to the poolside cabana which had more lounge chairs, a large tv and directly overlooked the pool.
Overall it was a very well appointed room and had some very nice features. Because it goes for $500/night for during peak season I’d probably just stick with a standard room though. But if you put a premium on a poolside cabana it’s definitely worth it and may be a good option if you are a Globalist and can get upgraded into it.
There are three high end Hyatt properties within a close distance of each other in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. The Royal Palms, Andaz Scottsdale, and the Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch. Having now been to all three I would recommend all of them. So if you love the vibe of the Andaz brand it is a great pick! The Royal Palms is a beautiful Mediterranean style property that is very intimate if you’re looking for a romantic weekend. While the Hyatt Gainey Ranch has sprawling pools and is absolutely the best pick if you’re looking for family friendly, while still being beautiful with lush scenery and an adult only pool too!
As far as the event, it was quite a pleasant surprise to get invited to an event like this. It was small, well thought out, and really showcased the Andaz Scottsdale well. Based on all of my interactions with Andaz employees I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to return. In addition, I not only met two very gracious Indy stars in Graham and Bobby Rahal, but also learned more about a new sport.