We recently enjoyed a remarkably romantic, overnight stay at Tuscon’s beautiful Arizona Inn. After parking in the lot across the street, we entered the lovely lobby that is rich in architecture and antique furnishings. To my delight, the air was thick with history. Check-in was our first exposure to the gracious hospitality that lingered through our entire stay. We were thrilled with the up-grade to a Premium room. I struggled to keep up with our escort as I longed to stop and take in the beauty of the grounds during the short tour that guided us to the casita-style room with a patio at the entrance. The four-poster bed with the comfy mattress was the centerpiece of the spacious room that was classically furnished. The modern bath included fresh flowers. We appreciated our own large closets. Along with the handwritten welcome note from the manager was a list of amenities and a schedule of the complementary activities.
With a quick glance, I noticed we could just make the tail end of afternoon tea, which was served in the gorgeous library that bared the original hard wood flooring from 1930. Our charming tea experience included relaxing in overstuffed chairs, silver servers, china cups, petite sandwiches, sweet treats and romantic conversation. We next explored the main halls that were graced with lovely old photos that told the story of our host resort. The outdoor paths lead us under stately old trees filled with singing birds and past bountiful flower gardens, fountains and precious places that were originally built so long ago.
Frug requested a DVD (for later) from among the list of classics that are available to view and took a swim while I dressed for dinner. We dined in the Audubon Bar where we enjoyed music by the live pianist. The preserved architecture and Audubon themed décor are mesmerizing. The service was spot-on. I enjoyed the Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Tomatoes. Frug declared the Hanger Steak delicious. A moon light dance next to what I believe is the wedding fountain was so incredibly romantic, whether passers-by agreed or not, we did not care. When we returned to the room, we found the requested movie It Happened One Night (1934) and that turn down service had left us a plethora of delicious mints for dessert.
An elegant breakfast experience awaited us in the Main Dining room, complete with fingertip bowls and scrumptious scones. We burned a few calories on the croquet lawn and at the ping-pong table before heading to the pool.
It was fun to envision the list of famous people who may have enjoyed swimming in and lounging around the same pool during their long ago visits to the Arizona Inn. When the morning sun became intense, we situated ourselves under the fragrant, blooming, canopy of a tall citrus tree and relaxed away the morning while the staff kept us refreshed with iced water.
Check-out was pleasurable with offered directions to our next destination. While the rates at the Arizona Inn reflect its Four-Diamond luxury status, I assigned the resort ♥♥♥ as so many of the amenities and activities are complimentary. It was marvelously refreshing to relish in the genuine hospitality, void of charges for parking, internet access, and many of the activities that we enjoyed.
The Arizona Inn is a wonderful destination for frugal romance!
The Frugal Break Down: $328.71 Room (including breakfast) and Taxes
$ 46.00 Dinner Check, Sales Tax and Gratuity
2200 East Elm Street
Tucson, Arizona 85719
Website – http://www.arizonainn.com
Rating: Frugal ♥♥♥♥ Romance ♥♥
I enjoy exploring historical places so I was thrilled to learn that due to the summer heat, The Downtown Chandler Art Walk, which takes place on the third Friday of each month, was to be held inside at The Crown Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort.
The were many signs directing us to the Cibola Room. On the way in, we passed a cash bar and a sole musician who entertained those gathered at the outdoor tables in the pretty courtyard. The inside quarters made for a short, but nice walk. There was plenty of light to view the detail of the items, it was a pleasant environment to visit with the artisans, and most importantly, it was air-conditioned! We enjoyed shopping amongst the nice selection of quality goods.
We next went window shopping along the downtown path. We passed by the many shops, crowded restaurants and eateries. We wound our way back to AJ’s Cafe at the resort for dinner. We were excited to try their Friday Night Fish Fry for $12.95. It is served from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. As we entered through the tall glass doors, the first thing I noticed was the wonderful “old building” scent. From inside, we could view the comings and goings of those visiting the Art Walk.
We started with house garden salads and bread. It took quite a while for our fish to arrive, but it was worth the wait. It was a large piece of Cape Capensis (captured from the Atlantic side of South Africa) white fish, with a light beer batter. It was accompanied by coleslaw and a butter, sour creme, chives, bacon and cheese loaded baked potato. We managed one refill of the delicious fish and saved just enough room for the white chocolate bread pudding with bourbon sauce dessert.
The dinner is advertised as an all you can eat buffet, but it is currently being served to your table. The server’s make sure that you get your fill of the piping hot, cooked to order, freshly fried fish.
The mood was much more casual than what you might experience during their elegant Sunday Jazz Brunch. It was a relaxing way to end a busy day. We exited through the lovely lobby, where I love to pause and take in the historic ambiance that reflects ninety-nine years of hosting famous politicians, Hollywood stars, celebrities, visitors from a far and of course, us lucky locals.
An evening spent downtown Chandler, is a wonderfully frugal and romantic date.
The Frugal Break Down:
Parking & Entrance to the Art Walk – FREE
$33.15 The check, sales tax and gratuity.
One South San Marcos Place, Chandler
Rating: Frugal ♥♥ Romance ♥♥♥♥♥
While lounging at the table next to a blanket of May flowers, we peered down the center of the stunning grassy knoll (golf course) to where a lake glistened in the distance. From the beautiful lobby of the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, flowed the soothing sounds of the waterfall. The flames from the massive fire pit danced in the fresh spring wind that showered us with tiny yellow flowers from the palo verde trees above. For a full hour, the Dreamweaver’s Courtyard was filled with the achingly sweet songs that were performed by a lone bagpiper as the sun disappeared from the pink-tinted sky. Oh my…
We ordered from the Waltz and Weiser Saloon menu. My three, shrimp, soft tacos and the accompanying salsa’s were delicious, but tiny. I was famished and resorted to snatching French fries from Frug’s plate. His Waltz Burger was large, juicy and perfectly prepared. It was topped with diced green chile, white cheddar cheese and lime mayonnaise. Guacamole was served alongside. The service was friendly and efficient with the exception of the limited coffee refills.
The entire experience was relaxing and utterly romantic. Other frugal options might include visiting Coffee Flats and Snowbowls (at lobby level) for latte’s or Gelato to enjoy while snuggling on the sofas surrounding the fire pit or having drinks while sharing a heaping plate of nachos.
We exited by way of the picturesque palm-tree, lined drive. I sighed aloud as a result of time and money well spent with my Frug. Sunset at Westin Kierland Resort and Spa is a superb frugal and romantic Arizona date!
$40.52 The check including sales tax and an 15% gratuity.
Rating: Frugal ♥♥♥♥ Romantic ♥♥♥♥♥
When the Royal Palms Resort and Spa come to mind, visions of beautiful courtyards, gardens, and feelings of romance flood my mind. Sweet memories of luxurious pampering and exquisite cuisine at T. Cook’s (see 25th Wedding Anniversary post) captivate my thoughts. In the past, I categorized the resort as a special occasion destination. Through the Newsletter, which is available by email, I learned that there are plenty of frugal opportunities offered throughout the month at one of my most favorite romantic places in Arizona.
I secretly wondered if the romantic, hot spot of the desert would be as wonderful, as a “frugal” date. We chose to Self Park, and then lingered a moment at the lovely fountain in the entrance courtyard. The staff was gracious and welcoming as always. As we stepped through the first archway, the familiar royal ambiance sweetly embraced me. The lounge was pleasantly full of people enjoying the jazz melodies performed by Stephan Powell’s Jazz Project. As the live music was piped to the outdoor seating, we chose a table under the stars, next to a heater, in the beautifully lit courtyard.
I had a hot tea. Frug went for the $20.00 burger/beer special. He was pleased with the new signature house brand Royal Palms old Pale Ale that he selected. I was happy with the side salad that accompanied Frug’s “Michelle Burger”, until he referred to it as a chick burger than I just had to taste a portion of the employee contest winner. A perfectly cooked, 10 oz. ground tenderloin patty, sherry marinated tomatoes, Manchego cheese, arugula, asparagus chips, onion strings, inside a large, warm, chili aioli coated, onion bun. Congratulations on creating an irresistible burger, Michelle! (What holiday diet?)
The service was exemplary. The outdoor fireplaces and gurgling fountains created a wonderfully, relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Yes, I am thrilled to report that whether it is a special occasion splurge or frugal date, romance is wonderfully alive and well at the Royal Palms. I am excited and look forward to experiencing more of the many special events listed on the Happenings, Special Offers and Events page of their web site.
The Frugal Breakdown:
$29.72- The check with sales tax and gratuity.
If a momentous romantic occassion is in order, Check Out: Romatication
Rating: Frugal N/A Romance ♥♥♥♥♥+++
It was a midweek celebration. To my amazement, Frug took two weekdays off from work for the occasion. With the help of Robert Vickrey, the Director of Romance at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa my usually frugal to the max hubby, planned an unforgettable, romantic anniversary splurge that was overwhelmingly fabulous!
I was dropped off early for a day of luxurious pampering at the Alvadora Spa. My sixty minute Swedish massage, lunch, and a sixty minute citrus facial was perfect. I spent the chilly winter day in robe and slippers, but I was kept cozy by the many warm fireplaces, drinks, and a neck warmer. The staff and the entire spa experience were incredible.
I entered our Casita to find Frug waiting for me. He looked gorgeous, dressed in my favorite of his suites. The fireplace had warmed the room. Silver 25th anniversary décor was everywhere. A vase containing twenty-five red roses perfumed the room. A collection of my favorite songs were playing. It was hard to leave our room for dinner. We enjoyed refreshments in the lounge at T. Cook’s while we waited for our table. A pianist played softly and set a romantic mood for the night.
In the dining room, we were seated near a fireplace. Rose petals, tea lights and a congratulatory personalized menu adorned the table. We opted for the chef’s special that included a first course, two entrees, and two desserts for 100.00. As this was nearly two years ago, I do not recall all of the details about the meal except that we were both thrilled by how delicious everything was. Happy 25th Anniversary was written in chocolate upon our dessert plates.
We strolled around the grounds of the historical and beautiful resort. The gardens and courtyards were graced with romantic lighting, gurgling fountains and fireplaces at every twist and turn. We snuggled into a love seat next to the biggest of the fires where we reminisced about our life together.
When we returned to our lovely lodging, I found that chilled Champagne had been delivered. The fireplace was warmed. The linens were turned down, and robes were placed at the end of the four-poster bed which was decorated with rose petals shaped to form a heart. Fresh bottled waters were placed on the night stands along with a box made completely of chocolate that contained truffles prepared by the pastry chef and gift box of massage oils from Alvadora.
The next morning we enjoyed delicious breakfasts that were delivered to our room. Frug spent time at the Jacuzzi and late check-out allowed us more time to relax and explore the resort.
I am so grateful to the team effort of Frug and the staff at The Royal Palms Resort and Spa for arranging an incredible anniversary. For their exquisite attention to detail and because romance oozes from the crevices, I highly recommend this world-class destination resort for special occasions.
The Breakdown: Being frugal was not the focus on our 25th!
For accommodations, dining, spa treatments, all of the special touches, sales tax, resort fee and gratuities. The bill was just over $700.00. (2009 Pricing)