After a hectic day that included a trip to the emergency room for one of our children (don’t worry, she’s fine!), the minute my husband and I stepped into the lobby at the Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale we could feel our tensions begin to drift away. During our trip to Arizona to visit family this past fall we dumped left the kids at my parents’ house and checked into this luxurious resort for a mini romantic getaway filled with fine dining, good wine, spa treatments, relaxation and, of course, romance.
Intercontinental Montelucia in Scottsdale, Arizona
A Hopeful Welcome
At check-in we were invited to choose from a myriad of colorful rocks in a decorative wooden box. We were to then make a wish when dropping the stone into the Joya Fountain located at the entrance of the resort’s on-site Joya Spa. Never mind that I dropped my wishing stone in the wrong fountain, my wish was granted.
Joya Fountain Tradition
A Meal to Remember
A bellman dropped our bags in our room while we headed straight to our overdue dinner reservations at Montelucia’s signature restaurant, Prado. While this fine-dining restaurant’s decor and name are Spanish, the menu was filled with Italian-inspired offerings thanks to the influence of its Head Chef Claudio Urciuoli, who hails from the Cinque Terre region of Italy. Two classical guitarists, the Sonas Brothers, played Spanish flamenco music intermingled with renditions by the Eagles and other well-known artists.
To ease our rattled nerves, we ordered a bottle of a wine. I was a little surprised to find a few Arizona wines on the menu and even more surprised by how much I liked the sangiovese blend from an Arizona winery, Paige Springs.
The signature restaurant, Prado
Next, we ordered a scrumptious antipasto platter to ease our rumbling bellies. It was a delightful mixture of tastes and textures including Manchego cheese, prosciutto, olives, giant toasted almonds, orange blossom honey, and crackers. The we split the Local Lettuces. While the salad was visually stunning with its curls of bright, thinly sliced carrots and hot pink watermelon radish, the sherry vinegar dressing was too acidic for my palate. Next time I’d try the Panzanella – an Italian salad made from homemade bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta and wild oregano.
You can choose both a pasta and main course in the Italian tradition, but we skipped the noodles and went straight for the entree. My husband sopped up any remaining broth from his bowl of Caciucco, a traditional Tuscan seafood stew. Meanwhile the tangy, pillows of olive gnocchi were the highlight of my Coumbia River Coho Salmon dish.
Caciucco, traditional Tuscan seafood stew
After my husband and I (playfully) argued over which dessert to order, our waitress brought us all three choices: a white chocolate coconut cake served with passion fruit, a warm chocolate cake served with vanilla gelato, and an apple crostata served with bourbon caramel. The argument then continued over which confection was the best. My husband insists it was the crostata but if you like chocolate, the Moelleux au Chocolat is absolutely not to be missed.
Grounds for Romance
Not quite ready to turn in for the night, we took a stroll through the resort’s fountain-filled grounds before warming up in hanging chairs nestled beside a roaring fire pit. It was the perfect way to top off our romantic evening.
Warming up by the fire after dinner
Room with a View
Our room had a rustic Spanish elegance featuring carved wood furniture accented with a modern crimson couch on which to snuggle up before climbing into the plush platform bed. The massive tiled bathroom with sunken tub and separate two-head shower was impressive but the best part was the view. Giant doors slid open onto our balcony, which overlooked the pool, the resort’s plentiful fountains, and the burning fire pits below. In the not-too-far distance we could see the outline of the camel’s head of the famous Camelback Mountain illuminated by the light of the moon.
View of the resort and Camelback Mountain from our room’s balcony in the morning
Breakfast for Two
For a casual breakfast of gourmet coffee and house-made pastries, we considered popping into Crave Cafe. Instead we opted to return to Prado for the breakfast buffet. We chose the continental version with fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, bagels with cream cheese and lox, and an array of pastries. Those seeking a heartier meal can order the full buffet with eggs, meats, and other savory selections.
Yogurt and granola parfaits on display at the Prado’s breakfast buffet
A Spa Escape
No romantic getaway would be complete for me without a trip to the spa. Joya Spa invokes the feeling of an exotic Morrocan escape with its decorative tile-work, an abundance of bright throw pillows, and sheer curtains draped across entryways. My husband worked out in the spa’s fitness center while I indulged in a massage treatment. Afterward, we relaxed together beside the Joya Terrace roof-top pool.
Traditional spa treatments like facials, nail treatments, hair service, massages, and body treatments of all kinds are available. If you’re looking for a unique experience, check out their hypnotherapy, tarot readings, meditation sessions, and even belly dancing classes!
Traveling with kids? Drop off children ages 5 to 12 for a few hours of FREE childcare in the Planet Trekkers kids’ club with the purchase of any spa service 50 minutes or longer!
Worth Wishing For
What was my wish? To relax and connect with my husband, forgetting about our stresses and responsibilities for a little while. The Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa certainly made that wish come true. It would have been nice to have time to lounge by the main Kasbah Pool, take a spin on the rentable bicycles, and hike Camelback Mountain. But our parental duties called. Maybe next time we visit this resort we’ll bring the kids. Then again…maybe not!
Where do you wish to go for a romantic getaway? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
A Note from the Travel Mama: Thank you to the Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa for hosting our romantic getaway!