August 04, 2009

Honeymoon Series: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

If you make it to the Phoenix area for your honeymoon, take the short drive to Scottsdale to eat at the Italian restaurant named Sassi. They hold weddings and events there if you're interested in a destination event. The food is excellent, but the real draw is the beautiful design of the restaurant.

The glass candle holders on each table are made by a local artist who designs especially for the restaurant. He just loves what he does and wished to remain anonymous. Eventually, after much persistence, he decided to sell them at the restaurant. They are rare, so if you have the opportunity to purchase one, it makes a great gift to bring home. I have one and it's one of my favorite pieces in my home.

I love that this restaurant is made up of different rooms. Each room has a different layout, rather than one larger room. There is always something new to discover around every corner.

If you were to have your wedding at Sassi, it could be held on the lawn with the gorgeous desert backdrop.

Your cocktail hour or any other small event can be held on the patio. My personal dinner recco at Sassi? Hands down, the lamb!

While in Phoenix, The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort is one of the nicest hotels you can stay in. The grounds are stunningly beautiful, the hotel is immaculate, and the food is to die for. There are 81 suites and 950 guest rooms, yet the resort never feels crowded. You are surrounded by the desert and mountains. It's truly a gorgeous oasis retreat.

You'll never go hungry at the Desert Ridge Resort. For casual dining, head to Blue Sage and order the blue corn pancakes. For more formal dining, dine outside overlooking the fountains and mountains at Tuscany. You cannot under any circumstances go to Phoenix without stopping at Tuscany and trying their gnocchi. I have been trying to replicate their recipe for two years now with no look. It's incredible. The Meritage Steakhouse is another great option. The cow-patterned chair give the steakhouse an authentic feel, but the firepits and flat screen tv's add a bit of comfort.

Relaxation is inevitable when you open the doors to the Desert Ridge Spa. You are immedately calmed by the fountain centerpiece in the foyer. There are 41 rooms where you can get anything from a mani/pedi to a romantic couples massage.

There is nothing better than laying out in the pool, lazy river, or hot tub and seeing an 18 hole golf course up against the backdrop of the desert mountains. It's absolutely breathtaking.

Other great hotels to stay at in Arizona are the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort (the entire hotel does a complimentary tequila shot every night at 5pm!). Consult with the Arizona Guide for more information on traveling to Arizona.


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