Andrew Chippindall reveals his favourite local spots near Mountain Shadows, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Standing below Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain, the Mountain Shadows Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona is named after the shadows cast by the iconic silhouettes each afternoon. With spectacular views of the mountainous landscape, Mountain Shadows has earned a reputation for being home to fantastic restaurants, a stellar golf course and creating bespoke experiences for their guests including the 'Stars Aligned Package' where guests can enjoy a private stargazing session led by an astronomer and a custom map that marks the alignments of the stars on your chosen date and location.
Here, the hotel’s general manager and vice president Andrew Chippindall shares his highlights of America’s rugged landscapes.
What is your favourite venue for true, local cuisine?
The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s a great, locally owned spot with unique Latin dishes and excellent margaritas. They make the best guacamole right at your table.
What is your favourite ‘secret’ spot locally, that tourists usually miss?
The Mystery Castle is, as the name implies, quite mysterious. This unique home was built in the foothills of South Mountain in the 1930s and ‘40s by one man, Boyce Gully, using found materials and native stone. It grew into an 18-room ‘castle’ filled with Southwestern antiques. Gully’s daughter actually lived in this strange but beautiful home through 2010, and now it is open for tours October through May. >>
Are there any popular tourist attractions that shouldn’t be missed?
You can’t visit the desert without going hiking. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is vast and stunning. If you visit after a big rainstorm, the desert comes alive and the scent of the creosote is incredible. There is no bad time to visit, as the scenes change hourly. Just make sure to bring lots of water and to over-prepare if you’re hiking during the warmer months.
What one event of the year would you recommend guests experience?
If you love cars, Barrett-Jackson cannot be missed. It’s fun to enjoy a drink and check out all the classic models. Just leave the credit card at home!
What is your favourite activity for guests at Mountain Shadows?
I have to recommend The Short Course, our 18-hole, par-3 course. Golf has become so serious, and our course makes it more fun again. The views are spectacular, a round takes less than three hours and even beginners will enjoy it. Our greens are truly for everyone.