|By Donna Hogan, The Tribune, Mesa,
Ariz.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jan. 5, 2008 - The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort is spending $6.7 million to create a boutique resort-within-the-resort for its most upscale guests.
The 69 villas in the Fairmont Gold section of the north Scottsdale property will have their own entry drive, lobby, checkin and check-out facilities, concierges and, of course, the most elegant room furnishings and amenities available throughout the 650-room hotel, said general manager Robert Foster.
Those furnishings include oversized rooms, frameless glass showers, stone floors, stained wood-framed windows, a couple of large-screen TVs in each villa and a golf course view.
The private lobby will include, in addition to more than a dozen specially trained concierges dedicated to Fairmont Gold guests, complimentary deluxe breakfast goodies and happy hour canapes, and a serve-yourself -- but only if you really want to, otherwise somebody will do it for you -- cocktail bar.
The new section will have "the highest staff-to-guest ratio" in the resort, including 12 to 15 of the property's most experienced and highly trained concierges, Foster said.
But mostly what Fairmont Gold will offer guests is "privacy and exclusivity," he said.
Those are the most highly prized amenities according to the Fairmont's well-heeled and well-traveled guests, he said.
"We talk with our most discerning guests on a regular basis and get their feedback," he said.
The concept came from compiling the high-end guests' suggestions and checking out the competition, Foster said.
The Scottsdale resort is among 20 Fairmonts to pilot the exclusive program.
The ultra-pampered guests will pay a premium of $125 to $150 a night above the cost of the already pricey resort rooms to stay in Fairmont Gold, Foster said.
Foster said his hotel was a natural because the 60-acre sprawling resort already featured a slightly tucked-away cache of 72 villas in a triangle on the southeast part of the property, he said.
The resort gave 69 of them makeovers and converted the rest into the elegant and exclusive lounge.
Fairmont Gold is slated to formally debut in Scottsdale March 1, but Foster said many of the completed villas are ready and reserved for top-level FBR Open and Super Bowl XLII guests.The Fairmont is hosting VIPs from both the golf tournament's sponsor and the NFL, he said.
The Fairmont isn't the first five-diamond, Scottsdale-area resort to build its own boutique element. The Phoenician introduced its boutique Canyon Suites in April.
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