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Travel | The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch

Posted on: October 14th, 2017 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

Being a writer can occasionaly be isolating, especially when others don’t share the “community over competition” mindset I have. I love spending times with my non-writer friends but it’s also wonderful to have people to commiserate with that get your pain points, struggles and wins. This is why I am so grateful for the girls trip I recently spent at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. Myself and five lovely, hardworking writers got together for a working weekend where we shared our trials, goals and some helpful tips and tricks with one another. (And yes, there was sufficient downtime for cabana and pajama time, though not at the same time. That would be weird.)

*We all were guests of the resort and its restaurant, Kitchen West. While the stay and amenities mentioned were complimentary, all the thoughts, views and photos shared here are my own. See our Disclosure Policy for additional information.*

Staycation - The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick RanchMaking Time to Take Time

When you work really hard to keep up with all the events, news and happenings like I do, it’s critical to remember to take time to connect with others as well as to take a beat or two to enjoy yourself. While I made my way up the driveway of The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch after a sweltering morning of soccer with my boys I exhaled and felt an instant and surprising sense of serenity. I work a full-time day job, have two active children, a husband and household to keep up with all while trying to keep up with all the culinary and travel experiences happening in the Valley. Taking a day and a half to relax was a dream come true, and I was immediately transported out of my busy head and life upon arriving at the resort.

The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch FountainPoolside Serenity

I was greeted by lush grounds, with blossoms of all hues enveloping me. I was, thankfully, able to check in promptly, and found my room easily. The large king-size bed was calling my name but my girlfriends and I had a date with a cabana so I unpacked hastily and made my way to the newly renovated pool.

Now, I am not regularly one to volunteer my time in the sun, so the cabana was the perfect way to enjoy the pool views without becoming overheated and, in my pasty case, burned. Jessie, our cabana attendant, was swift to check in with us and ready with tons of suggestions on drinks and bites. There were a few ladies in our group that wanted some alcohol free options and Jessie was glad to accommodate. I started to unwind just after a few sips of my Twisted Vine Peach Tea, a potent mix of Jack Daniels, peach puree and iced tea. Jessie recommended Twisted Vine’s signature burger and I am so glad that he did. It was a simple burger, but highly satisfying and easy to enjoy poolside. After a but, I asked Jessie to whip me up whatever cocktail he would enjoy were he in my shoes, or rather summer sandals. He quickly obliged with a delightful Tequila Sunrise. It was light, fruity and really helped me to get in the mood for a little fun, learning and girl time.

After lunch, we retreated to our rooms to get cleaned up for a photo shoot of sorts. Since Kate was part of our group, who happens to be a phenomenal photographer, she offered to take new headshots of everyone and I cannot wait to share them with you within the next week or so. Having photographed on the grounds before, Kate knew all the best spots to capture everyone’s distinct personalities. There are a ton of gorgeous spots on the property, some right in the open and obvious and some a bit more hidden but equally beautiful. We were even lucky enough to capture a picture of all of us together.

Kitchen West at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormich Ranch

After we were done with our photos we headed to dinner at Kitchen West, the resort’s signature restaurant that features a variety of seating options as well as sprawling views of their golf course. Kitchen West embraced the boldness of the Western spirit and adopts a welcoming communal vibe and a modern interpretation of American Western cooking. Our server, Antonio, was quick to greet us and give us the low down on the revamped menu. Now, with 6 women, our tastes were all over the place, but Antonio was really great about suggesting items that would make all of us happy. One of the ladies has a few food allergies and he also helped to make sure that she was taken care of on all accounts. We all shared the Foraged Mushroom Kiln Flatbread, Fried Mesquite Cheese Curds and Roasted Squash, Brussels Sprouts & Pork Belly. To be honest, you could easily make a feast of starters. I was especially fond of the squash, sprout and pork belly situation. I am a sucker for sprouts and these had the perfect amount of char and bite. The squash added an extra layer of flavor and the pork belly…c’mon – It’s pork belly!

We all chose a different entrée which made for a gorgeous table. I had the special of the evening which was a collection of scallops on top of a bed of roasted vegetable. The slight sweetness of the scallops and the woodsy flavor of the roasted cauliflower were a perfect pair and I almost didn’t want to share with my table mates, but did anyway. I was lucky enough to have been offered some of Liz’s cilantro green rice and you can bet that I will be trying my darndest to recreate that at home.

Dessert was all sorts of silliness. I feel like Antonio brought out everything on the menu; there were peach cobblers, apple tarts, crème brulee, a chocolate and nut parfait of sorts and an impressive slice of “10-pound” carrot cake. It was out of control and we all had bites and tastes of everything. While we could have easily been rolled out of the restaurant space, we opted instead for a slow stroll back to one of our rooms for more talk about tips, goals and plans for the coming year on each of our respective sites. Liz even provided us with a special Arizona Sunset Party Punch, which we all enjoyed.

When we finally decided to call it a night, I made my way back to my room and let the billowing comforter envelop me and I made a fort of sorts around myself with all the pillows provided. (Does anyone else think it’s so funny that at first glance you see all those pillows and think, “Who could use all of those?” And then promptly find yourself using every single one?!

The Past and Present of The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch

We got up bright and early and headed out to explore the property. I was fascinated to learn the history of the land, as evidenced by placards that can be found throughout the property as well as a little research on my part. It turns out that the land the resort sits on was originally purchased by Winfield and Helen Scott for $3.50 an acre. They purchased 640 acres in total and used the land to grow citrus fruits, figs, potatoes, peanuts and almonds. This agricultural area was named Orangedale prior to being changed to Scottsdale in 1894. There is much more to the history and it is fascinating to see how many hands the land has passed through and how it has developed. The resort does well to honor the history and legacy of the land as well. The new lobby bar, Bar Six40 was named after the number of acres that Army Chaplain Winfield Scott purchased back in 1888.

Until Next Time

We shared a lovely breakfast together at Kitchen West and it was interesting to see how much the vibe of the space had changed from the previous evening. The space was brighter and had a much more casual feel. Each table was appointed with coffee mugs and precious bottles of milk. We all ordered something different, which may or may not have caused for some serious plate envy, but we all made do. I found that they had a benedict on the menu, and you know I didn’t need to look any further. The smoked meat and the luscious hollandaise sauce we the perfect pair!

Wendy was sweet and gave all of us girls parting gifts of Melissa’s Produce fruits which my boys were thrilled with as soon as they saw them. Dragon fruit, papaya, mango, rambutans and grapes. We feasted! (And I also was able to introduce them to a few new items that they had never heard of before!)

All in all, I had a lovely time with these smart, empowering and knowledgeable women and cannot wait for our next meetup. If you are looking to create a similar working weekend, girls trip or a relaxing staycation, you cannot go wrong with The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. Bonus? If you’re local, you get special Arizona Resident Pricing!

The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch | 7700 E. McCormick Parkway | Scottsdale | 85258 | 480-991-9000

I would like to extend a very special thank you to Wendy, Megan, Liz, Laura and Kate for accepting me into your tribe and for being such supportive women. I appreciate you more than you know!


About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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