Curio Collection Local Guide, Phoenix

We sent Fawn DeViney, Phoenix local and photographer extraordinaire, to Boulders Resort and Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton to experience the beautiful hotel, shoot some photos and create a Curio Local Guide. It’s full of unique tips and local secrets, just for you.

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Name? Fawn DeViney

Occupation? Photographer

Preoccupation? I love to be in nature as much as possible, with my fella and our dogs. Any chance I have to do yoga in the woods or swim in natural waters, and I’m in heaven. Also, few things are better than an amazing meal paired with wine, incredible company and good conversation.

How long have you lived in Phoenix? I have been living in Phoenix for two years.

What is the best thing about Phoenix? The fast pace in which it’s growing! There is so much excitement about all the new restaurants and businesses that are beginning to open up here. Not only that, but these new businesses are staying true to the heritage of Phoenix – as the region’s citrus groves, the Wild West, and ancient landscapes are not forgotten amidst the contemporary architecture.

Can you sum up Phoenix? There is something for everyone to enjoy! Art, sports, vineyards, James Beard award-winning restaurants, and several great resorts including Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton. As far as cities go, it’s relatively young but it’s catching up to the best of them.

What is a perfect day in Phoenix? My perfect day in Phoenix is a Saturday that begins with a sunrise and a morning jaunt to South Mountain and coffee from Futuro. On the way home we’d swing by the open-air farmers’ market at the Phoenix Public Market to pick up some fresh tomatoes and baguettes for a lunch with friends at our house. From central Phoenix, we’d hop on our bikes and ride over to Bianco’s Pizza before heading over to Valley Bar for an evening of live music.

What are the people like in Phoenix? When I lived in New England, people knew I wasn’t from there because I’d smile at everyone. Not Phoenix! If you’re sitting alone in a coffee shop, you’ll be sure to make a few friends quickly. Everyone is so friendly and thrilled to share his or her favorite parts of the city!

If Phoenix was a person, who would it be? Phoenix is your doe-eyed younger cousin with childlike wonder who is wildly excited to explore a new city. Everything is fresh and vibrant — but getting lost every now and again isn’t intimidating. You’ll just make a few friends or discover new places in the process.

What was your experience like visiting Boulders Resort and Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton? I felt so cared for during my whole stay. The team members were beyond superb! The Boulders’ property consists of individual casitas and villas as well as a full-service spa, pool, golf course and a variety of dining options . The attentive team members made wandering the grounds even more enjoyable.

I was happily educated about the history and artifacts that exist at Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton. I was staying near the spa, which was pure heaven and made my relaxation dreams a prime experience. I have had spa treatments at The Boulders before and they have always been exceptional – particularly their locally-infused spa treatments. One of their specialties is the Desert Rose Radiance Facial. It consists of delightful jojoba and desert rose exfoliation followed by a cool aloe mask, then a naturally lifting facial massage with prickly pear and pomegranate, finished with signature Desert Rose body lotion. But even if you don’t have a scheduled treatment, guests can still use other amenities, including a meditation tipi and spiral steam room.

To end my stay, I indulged in one of the best meals I’ve had anywhere in Arizona at Palo Verde, right on the property. Each course was abundant in flavor and color, and the presentation was an art unto itself.

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What made Boulders Resort and Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton special? Boulders Resort & Spa is a retreat for pure comfort and calm. During my stay, I was aware and mindful of what I was surrounded by — whether it was the bobcat (I actually did meet one!) or the way the desert light cast shadows at different times of the day on the ancient boulders hugging the property. The attention to detail and the respect given to the landscape is honorable. The resort has a teepee available where you’re encouraged to give herb offerings or you can take a mindful walk through their beautiful grounds. I didn’t feel like I was staying in the desert; I actually felt I was a part of the desert. From the pathways that lead you between 12 million-year-old boulders to journeys amongst wildlife, I felt very connected to what makes this part of the desert so special.

If a friend was visiting Phoenix for 24 hours what would you have him or her do? First, stay at Boulders Resort & Spa though, it may be difficult to do anything because the beds in each room are incredibly comfortable! If they were to accomplish getting out of bed, I’d suggest waking early enough to see the sunrise from your balcony, while sipping a cup of coffee. Just as the wildlife are beginning their day, make your way to the spa and see who you happen to run into – it could be a bobcat or javelina! Once at the spa, I’d suggest ordering the yogurt parfait, and enjoying it while admiring the view of the herb garden.

If there is a yoga class going on be sure to join in; or if you have a spa treatment scheduled, go snip some rosemary or sage for your therapist to add to the oils that they’ll make just for you. After your spa experience, set an intention for the rest of the day for discovery, mindfulness and gratitude and partake in any of the cleansing or rejuvenating rituals. Some are guided, others are noted in locations around the spa for you to do individually.

The spa may be too soothing to even think of leaving, but if you head into Scottsdale be sure to go to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum are phenomenal as well. For lunch in Phoenix, be sure to stop into Pane Bianco; it’s a relaxed, comfortable establishment and by far the best lunch spot. If in Scottsdale, I would recommend shopping at the Kierland Commons, and then dining at Zinc Bistro for French onion soup, pommes frites and champagne. By the time the golden hour sets in, the scenic drive back to Boulders Resort and Spa is itself an experience. Enjoy it with the windows down, listening to Waylon Jennings.

Enjoy your beautiful room while you get ready for dinner at Palo Verde. Keep the vast balcony doors open and take some time to sit and enjoy the sunset with a chilled glass of rosé. After having enjoyed the museums earlier in the day, you will see what inspired the local artists as you watch the sunset over Boulders. This is the reason why the Southwest is often painted with hues of pinks, purples and oranges.

There will not be a single item on the menu that will disappoint at Palo Verde. I had to refrain from ordering a little of everything. You’ll be so elated by the incredible meal that you won’t want the evening to end.

Stop by the Discovery Lounge for a nightcap before heading back to your casita to slink into the cozy robe waiting for you.

 

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City

Phoenix

Best place to eat:

Tratto

Best place to drink?

Bikini Lounge

Best place to shop:

Camelback Flowershop, Phoenix General, Francis, T. Madison, Willows Home and Garden, and Antiquities Warehouse

Best activity:

A sunrise hike up any of the mountains in Phoenix, art museums, or a sunrise hot air balloon ride for a real treat!

Local tip:

In the summers enjoy the sunrise and in the winter enjoy the sunsets.

Where to stay:

Boulders Resort and Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton