In Scottsdale, the Andaz Resort Will Erase Your Winter Blues

The Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, outside of Phoenix, Arizona: The ideal getaway for winter.
The Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, outside of Phoenix, Arizona: The ideal getaway for winter.
There comes a time each winter, sometimes even all the way into early spring, that the Northeast or Midwestern winter months have everyone beat.
After months of brutal cold and loads of snow, many ask themselves, “Gee, why do I live here when places like Arizona exist?” Celebrating their one-year-anniversary just a few months ago, the Andaz resort, an affiliate of the Hyatt company, has offered visitors a range of great reasons to stay in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona, near Phoenix.
Situated on their hotel row, the Scottsdale resort is tucked away, feeling secluded but not far from the city’s bustling center of boutique shopping and fine-dining options. 

The contemporary design of the high-end accommodation compliments the open layout of the property. Designer furniture, architectural features, and local flair of the boutique hotel leave guests feeling regal.

The Andaz’s unconventional check-in process, paired with their eclectic décor, local artwork, inspired dining, and indoor & outdoor event space, this luxury Scottsdale hotel’s pod-style layout makes guests feel independent, but never alone. Surrounded by incredible gardens and citrus trees.

The elaborate pool area with copious chaise lounges and cabana-style beds compliment the beautiful blue waters of the impressive pool. Camelback Mountain is completely visible from this outdoor oasis, with unobstructed views of the impressive landscape.

Their local kitchen takes on local cuisine with their sophisticated menu of creative cocktails and desert dining.  Apply named Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen utilizes their access to incredible locally-sourced ingredients, refined cooking techniques and desert-inspired craft cocktails from their living room feeling bar and “glass box” plancha kitchen.

Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.

Or, guests can take in the views and the warmth at Andaz’s outdoor Turquoise Pool Bar for poolside snacks and cocktails under the sun. If guests are still hungry, these kitchens also offer full 24-hour room service menu options.

The Andaz is just another reason for guests to choose Phoenix as their next domestic getaway. With southwestern inspiration in their incredible decor, creative cuisine, and unique culture, guests will feel far from home right in Arizona.  And if you book a few nights in Phoenix at the Andaz using Bonwi, you’ll get points that will add up to make your next stay close to free!

Hit These 5 National Parks on a Road Trip From Las Vegas

Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon

road tripfrom Las Vegas

Las Vegas is North America’s center for glitz, glamor, and gambling. Unlike other casino centers such as Macau or Monte Carlo, however, Vegas is a gateway to some of the world’s most spectacular natural scenery. If you’ve ever seen movies that take place among expanses of the wild west with canyon walls as high as a skyscraper, you’ve seen places you can drive to from Las Vegas.

You can rent a car in Las Vegas and after a few hours crossing the desert be standing next to the Grand Canyon in Arizona or exploring the rock formations of southern Utah. This road trip is best done over a week to really soak it all in from some of America’s most scenic highways, but it would be possible to cover it all in a few days since the sites are just one to six hours apart.

Las Vegas to Zion National Park

To begin the journey, leave Las Vegas and head to Lake Mead to see this man-made lake created by the gigantic Hoover Dam. Continue on Northshore Road along the lake until you connect with I-4 heading Northeast to St. George. Stop for lunch or take a hike in St. George, then continue on I-4 all the way to Zion National Park.

Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip

Zion is known for its variety of landscapes and extensive hiking trails that lead past granite cliffs, meadows, and waterfalls. It’s common to spot mule deer, foxes, and bighorn sheep in the mountain terrain. You’re less likely to see the nocturnal creatures such as the ringtail cat and mountain lion, though you’ll probably spot their tracks in the mud.

The Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon

Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon

It only takes an hour and a half to drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park, but you will probably be tempted to stop off for photos several times along the way. Once at Bryce, spend some time viewing the incredible rock formations from different angles via the easy trails at the bottom or the more challenging ones that lead into the surrounding hills. Some of the lodging and camping areas are close enough to walk but lights are kept low to see the constellations at night.

To Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

The next two stops on this road trip from Las Vegas are close together, so these would be the best to combine in one day’s visit. Get an early start to get there though as it takes around five hours by the slow and scenic route or four hours by the I-70 interstate highway route to reach Arches National Park. The name is a strong clue of what to expect here, as erosion over many thousands of years has left giant standing arches that glow red as the sun is sinking close to the horizon.

Arches National Park

In Canyonlands, bike paths and trails go through rugged dry canyons and formations with descriptive names such as Needles, Candlestick Tower, Chocolate Drops, and Monument Basin. This Moab Region of Utah is anchored by the town of the same name and this is one of the world’s great playgrounds for adventure activities. Make this your base and you can find dozens of activities to sign up for such as extreme mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, boating, river rafting, and stargazing.

The Awesome Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon from Las Vegas

No matter how many times you’ve seen photos of the Grand Canyon, it’s hard to imagine the immense size and wonder of this great natural geological site. Spread over hundreds of miles, it would take a lifetime to explore it all, but by coming from Utah you’ll visit the less crowded North Rim and have more of it to yourself. It takes six hours or so to get here from Canyonlands, so plan to spend the night at one of the many lodges or camping areas along the highway. By visiting it late in the day and then again in the morning, you’ll see it in a whole different light. If you can do a hike down inside, you’ll get another perspective again. Just bring plenty of water.

The next day, drive back to Las Vegas and complete the road trip loop. You’ll trade in starry skies and open landscapes for the bright lights and noises that never stop, but you should have hundreds of great photos to share from your great American road trip.

For information on all these regions, see the U.S. National Park Service website. To find a great deal and earn valuable points on your stay, see our Las Vegas Hotels section on Bonwi.com.

How to Beat the Heat in Phoenix, Arizona

Wet and Wild Water Park is Phoenix can chill you out on even the hottest summer days!
Wet n Wild Water Park in Phoenix can chill you out on even the hottest summer days!

Whether you like it or not, if you’re visiting Phoenix or are a lifelong resident, you are going to have to deal with the grueling and infamous heat.

With the average temperature in July lingering around 106 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best that you find some shade and start planning ways to make the most out of the summer heat.

In 100+ degree weather, the first thing most people think of is cooling off, and what better way to do that than a water park? Wet n Wild Water Park is conveniently located in Northern Phoenix and has family, kid, and thrill rides. For $30, you can bring the whole family can enjoy swimming, fireworks, and a variety of water rides. Just make sure to pack sunscreen.

Scottsdale's Fashion Square is a cool respite from the blazing temperatures in summertime in Phoenix. Plenty of shops to stroll through and a great food court, too.
Scottsdale’s Fashion Square is a cool respite from the blazing temperatures in summertime in Phoenix. Plenty of shops to stroll through and a great food court, too.

Or maybe you’re more of an air-conditioned type of person, that’s ok too because you can get your shopping on at the Scottsdale Fashion Square. A local favorite, the mall has over 250 different stores to choose from. With small boutiques and large brand name stores, this is the perfect place to get out of the heat, and update your wardrobe!

If neither of these destinations sounds appealing, then lucky for you that Phoenix has no shortage of museums that depict local art and culture. The Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix is the ideal place to get away from the Arizona sun. The museums feature interactive exhibits that bring the museum to life and has activities for all ages.

One of the museum’s signature events is called Science With A Twist, which is an adult only event every Friday night that includes music, cash bar, food, live demos, and more. Guess you’ll be calling the babysitter for this one.

General admission for the museum for adults is $18 and $13 for kids.

Taking a stroll in downtown Phoenix through CityScape is not a bad way to spend a hot afternoon, seeing that there are retail shops galore and a huge array of restaurants available. The dynamic and urban destination is a one of a kind place where you can truly experience the heart of Phoenix.

If you really don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your home, or hotel, then try cooking an egg on the hood of your car, we hear that’s pretty fun too!

Find air-conditioned, comfortable hotel rooms in Phoenix and use your Bonwi Points to get another stay free!

Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden Is a Must-Visit

In Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden is not to be missed. You can even go at night!
In Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden is not to be missed. You can even go at night!

Searching for the ideal summer vacation in Phoenix but not sure where to start? Seeing that it is located on the upper edge of the Sonoran Desert, there are heaps of outdoor adventures to be had in Phoenix this summer.

But, above all, the one place you surely won’t want to miss seeing is Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden. If you’re wondering, there are other things in the desert other than sand and tumbleweeds.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to want to visit this garden, as it is equipped with family activities, concerts, seasonal exhibits, and cafes. The desert itself offers its visitors a delightful and extensive collection of the world’s best arid plants and wildflowers. Whether you’re a rookie iPhone picture taker or a pro wildlife photographer, I can promise you there will be many picturesque moments in the Sonoran Desert.

Whether you’re a rookie iPhone picture taker or a pro wildlife photographer, I can promise you there will be many picturesque moments in the Sonoran Desert.

The Desert Botanical Garden has over 50,000 desert plants on display throughout five different outdoor trails that portray what life is like in the desert for humans, animals, and plants alike.

Experience the garden in a whole new light, or in a lack of it. Flashlight Tours are nighttime excursions that allow you to feel, see and hear how the desert performs a night. Bring your own flashlight and guide yourself through the trails and capture what different activities and learning experiences the desert have to offer.

For those art enthusiasts, the garden also offers several art exhibitions, including the Larry Kornegay and Jun Kaneko Sculpture Exhibit. The colorful and daring artwork illustrates the desert’s beauty, allowing guests to view the art as they travel throughout the garden.

Gertrudes is the place to enjoy lunch or dinner at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gertrudes is the place to enjoy lunch or dinner at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of the most memorable aspects of visiting the garden is by far dining at Gertrude’s. The restaurant, with an ever-changing menu, offers fresh ingredients straight from the farm and pasture to your plate. The menu showcases local cuisine and ingredients from farmers and artisans in the area. Stop by for a quick brunch or a nice sit-down dinner at sunset.

General Admission into the garden costs $24.95 for adults and $12.95 for youths. The garden is open daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.  Don’t feel like paying? The garden admission is free the second Tuesday of every month–nice!

To plan your visit to the Desert Botanical Garden, visit their website https://www.dbg.org.
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