In the World War II flying epic "Flight of the Phoenix," filmed in the 1950's, stars Jimmy Stewart and Ernest Borgnine resurrect their Sahra desert crashed aircraft just like the mythical bird, the Phoenix that rises from the ashes, to fly again.
Flying into Phoenix, Arizona, is an easy adventure for the leisure or business travel, far removed from the movies, and the Hiltons in the area have you covered - tucking you in whether in the country's sixth largest city for fun or profit.
The Arizona Science Center opened in 1997 and is a great exhibit and entertain Hall. America West Arena plays host to Phoenix Suns basketball and Phoenix Coyotes hockey, football's Arizona Rattlers and the Phoenix Mercury. Seating capacity is 19,000.
Challenger Space Camp
The Orpheum Theater is for performing arts. Built in 1929, and restored for musical presentations and dramatic events.
Arizona Center is for shops and browsing, clubs and 25 screen Movie Theater.
In a garden and fountain setting. Margaret T. Hance Deck Park is a 28-acre greenbelt of manicured Japanese garden, supplied by Himeji, Phoenix sister city, in Japan.
Desert Botanical Garden
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Deer Valley Rock Art Center
3711 W. Deer Valley Road
Research center for Arizona State University.
2121 N 83rd Avenue
Top names in entertainment perform there.
Champlin Fighter Aircraft Museum
4636 Fighter Aces Drive
Vintage fighter aircraft in flying conditions. American Fighter Aces Assn is headquartered there.
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting
6101 E Van Buren Street
World's largest collection of equipment.
2301 N. Central Avenue
World-renowned museum for culture of Native Americas of the southwest.
Herberger Theater Center
222 E Monroe St;
Ballet Arizona and Actors Theatre of Phoenix and Arizona Theatre Company home. Herberger Theater Center has two small, stages for venues like plays, musicals, ensemble groups and popular entertainment. Phoenix Children Theater holds performances here. Across the street is the Phoenix Civic Plaza used for meetings and conventions and Phoenix Symphony also uses the facility
Lost Dutchman State Park
Hiking in the Superstition Mountains. 480/982-4485.
Horse racing in Phoenix
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home. 480/860-2700
The Spanish settled in the area in 1752, and today with over three million people in the Greater Phoenix area, spread out over 2,000 square miles, it is no bewilderment why Phoenix Magazine readers voted the Hilton Airport Phoenix the best hotel in town, and often rated one of the best business hotels in the country; the hotel offers a free fitness and business center, and you down have to run to the airport with the free shuttle to your flight out of Sky Harbor Airport, (www.phxskyharbor.com) serving 36 million passengers annually. (Airport parking Services are 602/683-3615; Ampco System 602/273-4545; info on airport construction and garage closures: 602/273-0954.) Sky Harbour is five minutes from downtown Phoenix and the Hilton airport facility is only 1.5 miles from the landing lights.
Phoenix means business and this regional center is home base for America West Airlines, and the hub for many others, including AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air Jamaica, Alaska Air, America West, America West Express (Mesa), American, American Trans Air, British Airways, Continental, Delta, Delta Connection (Skywest Airlines) Frontier, Lufthansa, Midwest Express, Northwest, Scenic Air (Grand Canyon Flights), Shuttle by United, Southwest, Sun Country, United and USAirways.
You, and the Phoenix Hiltons are in the American portion of the Sonoran Desert, stretching all the way down into northern Mexico. Living in the desert means Phoenix, at an elevation of 1, 117 feet, only gets an average rainfall of 7.66 inches per year, with an annual high mean temperatures of 85 degree with 300 annual days of sunshine.
If the Airport Hilton is voted one of the best hotels in town, the town itself was selected the "Best Run City in the World," by the Carl Bertelsmann Foundation, and the Best Managed City by Governing Magazine. Inc. Magazine judges Phoenix the best spot to start and operate a business. All the area and suburb Hiltons host business meetings for executive from around the world. One of the top management schools in the world, Thunderbird School of Management, also shares it's campus here.
The Metro Phoenix area has over 26,000 hotel rooms, with none outmatching the Pointe Hilton resorts Tapotio Cliffs and Squaw Peak. Squaw Peak was the first all suite resort in the United States. Tapotio is built reminiscent of a Tuscan, Italy hill town. Hilton also offers the Hilton Suites, also close to the airport, for business travelers needing a quiet, relaxing, but convenience home away from home for doing business in high tech and manufacturing, tourism and construction, the top Phoenix industries.
Suburbs of Phoenix include Tempe, Carefree, Cave Creek, Chandler, El Mirage, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Peoria, Sun City, and Taliesen (cliffs or brow in Scottish). Taliesen is the winter home of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
There are 190 golf courses for the snowbirds in Phoenix. The annual PGA Phoenix open is held here and the Standard Register Turquoise Classic LPGA and the Tradition Senior PGA make it their home as well. The Tapotio Cliffs and Squaw Peak share the facilities of the Hilton owned Lookout Mountain Golf Club, one of the top ranked courses in the country.
There are seven Major League Baseball teams - part of the Cactus League - offering spring training camps in the area: the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and Anaheim Angels. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and the Chicago White Sox train in Tempe, a suburb.
And the trivia question of the day: Which Phoenix pitcher is the only pitcher ever to hurl a perfect game in the World Series? Answer - Don Larsen, in the late 1950's, pitching for the Phoenix Giants.
THE POINT HILTON TAPATIO CLIFFS
(Click each Hilton Hotel photo to instantly book that Hilton Hotel.)
My favorite Hilton in Phoenix is the 583-room/suite resort Tapatio Cliffs, with a close second, its nearby colleague, The Pointes at Squaw Peak, sharing some management and staff services. The Tapatio Cliffs is a AAA 4 Diamonds, Mobil 4 Star Resort.
For business or pleasure, the Tapotio Cliffs Concierge service can set you up with all your needs, including a round on the award winning desert scenic, 18-hole, par 72, Lookout Mountain Golf Course, voted one of the top two in Phoenix by readers of Phoenix Magazine. Bill Johnston did a fine job carving out this lavish links layout among the hills of the Phoenix North Mountain Preserve. The pinnacle is the spectacular 10th hole, featuring a 300-foot drop from the elevated tee.
The Pointe Hiltons are known for their ultra luxurious suites. Tapotio's newly redesigned suites are decorated in contemporary Southwestern décor, offering a spacious living room for additional privacy or entertaining friends. For upgraded accommodations check out the Ambassador Suites, enlarged suites with that extra attention to detail (580 sq. ft.); or the Executive Boardroom Suites, with more space, hospitality bar, conference table, and two bathrooms (880 sq. ft.); or for the crème de la crème - the Presidential Suites with huge floor plans with vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and room to roam (1,200 sq. ft.). They have a full kitchen, minibar and balconies overlooking the pool area. I felt like I was in a modern, luxurious home, living in paradise.
The Tapotio has all the standard resort amenities, such as valet, laundry service, room service, restaurant, mountain bikes, horseback riding, twin lighted tennis courts, eight heated swimming pools with Jacuzzis, a concierge level of rooms, baby sitting, bar services, I can not think of anything better than accessing the resorts high speed cable Internet and doing business while the Tapotio staff does my shopping and laundry. The Business Center also has Internet and other services.
One of the most favorite guest hangouts is The Falls Water Village"... a 3-1/2 acre oasis of waterfalls, free-form swimming pools and an open-air bar and restaurant pavilion. Centerpiece of the $7.5 million project is a 40-ft. waterfall (inspired by the Grand Canyon's Havasupai Falls) that cascades into 12 travertine pools and tranquil poolside terrace gardens; there is in addition, two hot plunge spas and a 130-ft. long waterslide. Gain privacy within one of the 23 private cabanas. Swoosh down the 138-foot enclosed waterslide.
The contemporary grill and tavern, called a Point in Tyme, is located at the north end of Tapotio, boasting the best of modern bistro and classic cuisine. Stop by for casual breakfasts and lunches and more stylish dinners. The tavern serves world class and renowned wines and spirits, including many regional microbrews.
The Cascades Café is open in the summer months, and is a casual poolside diner at the center of the Falls Water Village, featuring lunch and entrées and libations.
For nightly dining elegance a "Different Pointe of View," serves Mediterranean classico French gourmet cuisine, with a wonderful wine cellar and extraordinary service.
La Cantina Mexican Grille is for fast lunches and early dinners of tacos and burritos prepared Baja style, the way I like it. Get your fresh fish tacos here, or sip a cocktail poolside, near the adult's pool.
The Hiltons have developed great gift or corporate business ideas: custom tailored gifts. They will put together amenity baskets for any event. I grew up in Wyoming, so I especially liked the Trail Boss themed basket, featuring Arizona flavored munchies and tricolored corn chips, salsa, cookies and candy, Arizona iced tea and a bottle of your favorite Southwestern micro brewed beer. Because I had just returned from Barbados Jazz Festival, I particularly liked the Margaritaville basket, with margarita glasses, margarita mix with margarita salt, Jose Cuervo Especial, chips and salsa and Key lime cookies. To order call 602/906-3831 or fax 601/944-6025.
If you hankered for the Trail Boss Basket, then you are ready for a Trail Horse Adventures near Tapotio. Take a spectacular ride into the North Mountain Preserve, located close to the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs. The riding center has a souvenir shop and an 1880's western town with dance floor for group events up to 500. Trot on a customized ride along the ridgeline overlooking Phoenix. They also have an operation in Tempe at the Pointe South Mountain Resort. Call 800/SADDLE UP or 800/723-3538 or locally at 928/282-7252 or www.trailhorseadventures.com
Did you know that Phoenix is the home to the largest manicured park in the world - South Mountain Park - with 16,400 acres?
POINTE HILTON SQUAW PEAK
Nestled at the base of the 300-acre Squaw Peak mountain preserve, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort captures the true authentic spirit of the great Southwestern region. The Hilton Squaw Peak Resort is all about being sweet - or rather suite. This is the place for a relaxing resort style vacation, busting out to the maximum with amenities and luxurious surroundings.
Squaw Peak is a classic Spanish Mediterranean style resort, set in the beauty of the desert, and it is truly one-of-a-kind resort, featuring all-suite accommodations that include: 412 standard two-room suites in contemporary Southwestern décor, complete with living room with sofa and chair, executive desk, wet bar refrigerator, cable, color remote television. Some have bedrooms with one king or two queen beds, private patio or verandah, second television and second phone. There are 161 king-bedded suites, 234 queen/queen bedded suites and 16 handicap-accessible rooms. Some of my favorite accommodations here are the 78 spacious two-story casitas (private villas with either 1 or 2 bedrooms, upstairs bedroom(s) with king beds, kitchenettes, patios, and private parking. Business people will love the 19 executive boardrooms suites with high-speed data ports. The Grande Suites feature two bedrooms, living room, formal dining room, fireplace, and two full baths The Palacio Suites features three bedrooms and two baths in secluded mountainside settings.
The children's features include Coyote Camp for children ages 4-12 and Kid's Koncierge where you can take part in Hilton Vacation Station, sign up for various themed children's events, or test Sony Playstations. Vacation Station is available from September to the end of May.
And the kids will love the other leisure amenities: 8 acres of pools with flowing waterfalls including a sports pool for water basketball and volleyball, restaurants to please all appetites, Slippery Rock waterslide, the Cactus Rock Lazy River. And the adults can relax while the kids are supervised, at the 18-hole putting course, state-of-the-art fitness center, and spa/salon.
Packages "Hilton Resort Select" - Guests can select from a variety of activities each day, such as horseback riding, admission to coyote camp, massage therapy, etc., allowing them to truly customize their vacation. "Hilton Romance" - Escape to the privacy of the Pointe Hilton Resorts for an unforgettable romantic vacation. But I think this resort is more about spa pampering than anything else. More and more men are now visiting spas with their families for an all around health resort respite. The Points offer the respite.
Hilton not only tucks you in with comfort, but it gets you in shape as well. The US$10 all day pass for the Tocasierra Fitness Center, or the five-day pass for US$40, gets you pumped up with cardiovascular equipment, lifecycle recumbent bicycles, concept II rower, life fitness treadmills, precor ellipticals, lifecycle upright bicycles, Stairmaster stairclimbers, and weight training equipment. Combine all that with personal trainers, wellness services, aerobic fitness classes and you will be alert for any business or leisure outing.
For total spa pampering, the Tocasierra Spa (tocar is Spanish for touch) offers deep cleansing facials, European moisturizing, problem solving clinics for skin with scientifically designed treatments, Get a glycolic alphahydroxy facial for exfoliation and renewal of the skin and reduce sun spots.
The Oja Aromatherapy facial uses essential oils and crushed herbs to refresh the body's largest organ.
Staff perform refresher facials for gentle cleansing, back facials for complete treatment and Ampoule Treatments for specific needs
Body wraps, ultimate calming relaxing, and metabolism stimulator to increase circulation. The warm moisture is applied full body, with a multilayer wrap allowing your body to absorbs trace minerals as it detoxifies and deep conditions skin. Enjoy the quiet time with chilled chamomile eye pads and herbal eye pillows. Then it is a loofah and massage with marine lotion rehydrate from the Dead Sea, with minerals and aromatic oils added in to seal in the moisture. Wow. I could stay here forever.
A really unique treatment is the Oja Body Wrap - Using aromatherapy and Ayurveda principles this exceptional treatments cleanses and detoxifies and nourishes you, using crushed warmed herbs from India. The rich oja oil leaves the body tranquil, balanced and glowing.
Hungarian Moor Mud Body Wrap is loved by women, and the treatment is a legendary and powerful healing European therapy is used to heal and rejuvenate tired muscles and banish joint inflammation.
The Seaweed Body Wrap uses therapeutic virtues that include remineralizing and rebalancing and stimulates the lymphatic system to release stored toxins, and it aids in minimizing cellulitic conditions and stimulates circulation. Seaweed contains vitamins that are potent antioxidants.
The Desert Clay Body Wrap is rich in minerals and clay, which promotes intensive revitalization of skin tissue. Clay cleanses the pores, while removing aged skin cells and purifies the skin, producing a healthy glow.
The Dead Sea Mineral Body Wrap is a wonderful spa treatment that contains mineral rich elements from the Dead Sea, and it refines skin texture. The sea kelp, age fighting antioxidants and A, C and E and ginko extract provide exceptional remineralizing and anti-aging effects.
The Spa Oasis Herbal Body Wrap is a homeostasis treatment for mature women. The ultimate in female specific therapy, this treatment utilizes organic herbs such as wild yam to counteract the negative effects that pre-menopause and female cycles can have on the body. It utilizes a unique combination of oils that are synergistically merged to create a natural barrier for the prevention of moisture loss and essential oils that induce euphoria, banish depression and calm tension.
Wrap your senses up with the Aroma Wrap Delight massaging application of warm essential oils from flowers, plants and herbs. The treatment reduces stress, tension, and fatigue and restores the body’s natural balance and energy. Choose from four custom blends.
The Shiradhara Treatments are derived from ancient therapies that restore inner calm and balance. It is also a rejuvenating treatment for hair and scalp. This is great for relieving mental stress.
Native Grain Body Scrub is a special blend of native grains which smoothes, refines, and enhances moisture retention. After dry brush exfoliation of the body the skin is conditioned with a grain scrub and loofah mitt. Revive yourself with a shower, then a rich avocado lotion, rehydrates the skin. This treatment is effective for mature, dehydrated, weathered skin and for skin changes during pregnancy.
The Body Polish is also a dry brushing and exhilarating magmatherapy with the body rubbed with minerals from the Dead Sea using a loofah mitt; It restores the skin to a natural glow, and infused you with essential oils of lavender, geranium and peppermint to make you feel reenergized. After a shower it is a short massage with marine lotion to seal in moisture.
Spa Glo Warm Dead Sea Salts and essential oils bath gelee offer extraordinary cleansing and exfoliating. After dry brushing the body is exfoliated with warm salts, gelee and spa mitt. Invigorate with a shower and a massage application of marine lotion to rehydrate with rich minerals, lavender and geranium. The skin feels fresh, silky and glowing. Do not shave your legs prior to this treatment.
Swedish Massage is a full body massages that improve the circulation. It is a deep, firm, full body massage, focusing on areas of stored tension that is beneficial for nervous systems, detoxification and balancing.
Aromatherapy Massage uses aromas to extended benefits with warm essential oils from flowers, plants and herbs. It reduces effects of stress, tension, and fatigue and restores the body's natural balances.
The Maternity Massage if for special needs of a mother-to-be during the very happy time of pregnancy. A Prego Pillow is available for comfort.
Reflexology uses ancient healing therapies that stimulates the body’s healing forces, focusing upon specific reflex points in the hands and feet.
Ayurvedic Scalp Massage is an enjoyable and stimulating scalp massage with deep conditioning essential oils of rosemary, sandalwood, orange, lavender and sage to nourish the scalp and strengthen the hair. It is recommended that you leave the Ayurveda scalp oil in for at least two hours.
The Sports Massage invigorate and loosen muscles after intensive use, and it is beneficial in increasing circulation and flexibility and preventing injury. You can also have a massage in your suite.
By Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine.