I spent Memorial Day weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was expecting hot weather but it turned out the temperature was in the 80s during my visit which was actually nice. I was surprised to find many houses I liked (from an architectural point of view). There are many modern looking houses in the area. There are also many huge houses or mansions in Paradise Valley.
We stayed at the Montelucia Hotel which is part of Intercontinental Hotel Group. The hotel is very nice and it has three large pools. The location is also very nice. It sits at the bottom of the Camel Back Mountain. We got upgraded to a junior suite with a large balcony with two large lounge chairs. It was very nice to be able to sit and relax on the balcony. We also got to spend half a day at the Joya Spa. I got a great full body massage. The facility was amazing with many great amenities including a dry sauna, wet sauna, cold shower pour, hot tub, and a hot room (for the Hammam ritual). The spa also has its own pool on the second floor where we had lunch.
Here are a few pictures of the room and the hotel.
Taliesin West. I am a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright and his design. He has a winter house and architecture school in Scottsdale, so it was great to get a chance to visit. Prior to this, I had been to one of the houses he designed in St. Louis. At Taliesin West, they offer many tours and we took the standard 1.5 hour tour. It was very informative and they also allow you to take pictures of the house inside and outside (except the living room and the bed room). Another cool thing about this tour is that you get to sit in the living room in original Frank Lloyd Wright designed chairs. To learn more about Taliesin West, please visit their website.
Arcosanti. This is an interesting place which is located about 1.5 hours north of Phoenix in the middle of nowhere. It was originally designed by Paolo Soleri who spent some time at Taliesin West with Frank Lloyd Wright. Arcosanti is designed according to the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology) to eventually house about 5,000 people. The project is still going slowly and it is now a home for about 80 people. They offer a tour for $10 which takes you around the facility, talks about the history of the place, and shows you how they make their signature metal bells. You can spend a night, a week, or a year there. They also offer concerts throughout the year. To learn more about Accosanti, please visit their website.