Hiking Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale

I always try to climb Camelback Mountain at least once when I'm home in Arizona. But on my most recent trip, staying at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, a few of us climbed nearby Pinnacle Peak in the early morning, which I had never done in 20 years of living/visiting family in Arizona. For a first-time visitor to Scottsdale, I'd say this is the hike to do. You have panoramic views of the valley, of Camelback Mountain and you're surrounded by hundreds of saguaro cacti. Plus, it's a simple hike for the most part. No hanging onto poles to help you get up straight vertical climbs like on Camelback. It was the best way to start an Arizona day.

Camelback Mountain

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, Arizona

You can't compare Four Seasons to any other hotel brand - they are above and beyond spectacular in every way. Continuing on the Arizona trip with Visit Phoenix and a most amazing group of ladies, we headed to the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale property is so integrated into the landscape that you couldn't feel any closer unless you were sleeping with the cacti (no thanks!). The desert vistas are home to me, but add in the mouthwatering steak and seafood at Talavera (which has the BEST SUNSET VIEW in Scottsdale), drinks, mini spa treatments, yoga on the lawn, and stargazing with a pro astronomer? I was most definitely NOT at home and it made for a memorable weekend.

The guest rooms are in casitas that gaze out at the Arizona terrain, which is nearly silent at night. And the interiors reflect what I'd want my dream Arizona home to look like - a cozy fireplace and a palette of desert pinks, purples, and oranges. I love so many of the Scottsdale hotels, but this one reflects the Arizona I love the most in its layout and design. Plus we spotted Giada de Laurentiis getting her hair done in the salon before her book signing in Kierland Commons!

The best time of day

I miss these ladies!

Entrance to my room

Loved all these paths through the resort

Arizona PerfectionSo many great views! Caught a beautiful weddingThe lobby at nightLobby during the dayCan't wait to go back when I'm home

The Best Turndown Surprise

I love turndown service at hotels. I leave my room, normally in a chaotic, explosive mess, and return to my things tidied up, water bottles by the bed, sometimes a treat, and classical music playing. All is calm.

I just checked into the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale today and got the BEST turndown surprise tonight...my twitter handle, @anniefitz, etched in orange on two pillowcases. This will make me smile for a long time!

And what a fun way to surprise someone special - calling ahead to the hotel and having a pillowcase etched with their name (or twitter handle of course!).