For mid-century modern fans looking for a desert getaway, there’s no better pairing than the elegant, luxurious and surprising Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa – a hotel inspired by architect and designer Alexander Girard – and Taliesin West, designed by America’s preeminent architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. These two destinations are an art lover’s pilgrimage in a city that prides itself on its mid-century modern architectural roots.
By day, you can tour Wright’s mountain home to better understand the origins and inspirations of mid-century modern style; by night, luxuriate in The Andaz’s chic, eclectic, and romantic experience that beautifully mixes mid-century with 21st century flair.
Wright’s signature “long and low” lines were perfectly illustrated in our desert bungalow’s colossal rectangular bathroom with its wall-to-wall vanity, gargantuan walk-in shower with swinging glass door and double shower heads. A nod to Wright’s affection for finding ways to naturally illuminate a room, light poured in from transom and skylight openings, and more light reflected through a glazed back door leading to a private patio under a swath of fragrant pine trees.
The blonde wood and natural tones found repeatedly at Taliesin West we also found in the bungalow’s long-and-low headboard and matching wall piece that displays a 65-inch flat-screen TV – practically a movie theatre!
Girard—and Wright, too—loved all manner of artistic styles, and similarly the room featured unique art pieces, from woodblock prints to textile art and modern pieces. (For more art inspiration, check out the hotel property’s Cattle Tracks Art Compound, offering the talents of artists whose works are found in the rooms and around the grounds.)
Girard’s textile designs were a play of dazzling color pops, and our bungalow featured zippy hues in every corner, from a berry-purple matching chair and stool to throw pillows in Southwest-inspired primary colors. Even the Pantone Color of the Year coffee mugs offered a blend of style and color, a bright and artful flourish as we sipped our morning coffee.
Wright the architect was always seeking ways to bring the outside in, and everywhere at The Andaz you can find open and transparent spaces that sweep your eye up and out. There’s a long, pleasing line running from the lobby all the way past the see-through kitchen and open-plan bar, right out to a patio with cantilevered lanai overlooking the gorgeous pool. And the line points perfectly off into the distance, straight out to Camelback Mountain.
The hotel also takes into account the temperature swings of the desert. The pool was perfect for a swim on a scorching afternoon; once the sun began to set, fire pits dotting the property flamed to life and were wonderful, cozy spots to sip a local Arizona IPA or a tangy bespoke margarita as the night sky descended.
Touring the property, we discovered a landscaped masterpiece of winding paths, mixing brilliant green grass patches offset against gravel beds of desert flowers and cacti, rain-catch gulleys shaded by pines and perfumed trees, and the main pool area dotted by giant palms.
Exploring The Andaz’s extensive grounds after a long tour of Taliesin West, we found echoes of mid-century modern style tied together with carefully curated modern, Southwestern and classic art, and natural elements. Girard’s goal of incorporating art and inspiration into everyday life, paired with Wright’s use of earthy references and a unique sense of style and play, are to be found and appreciated in every pocket of the hotel. For a discerning traveler, The Andaz is not only a sumptuous place to stay but an intellectual and thoughtful treat.
Ann Pryor is a travel writer and media professional living in New York City. Raised in a small landlocked New England town, she is formally obsessed with no-car islands, deserted beaches, and little mountain villages. Cover: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa pool. Photo Mark C. Miller