Last post I acknowledged the remarkable reward trips we in the travel industry are privileged to experience. I failed to mention, at the risk of spiking the ball, that our business meetings aren’t exactly shabby either. Now if this strikes you as rubbing salt in the wounds, to mix metaphors, go back and read the last post about the “other side of the coin” (warning: metaphor pile-up!). I am pretty sure a quick, side-by-side comparison of our respective bank accounts will have you suddenly feeling much better about your life.
My most recent meeting was a Travel Leader’s FAB (franchise advisory board) meeting at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. I know what you must be thinking. “YOU were elected by your peers to serve on an advisory board?” I know, I was every bit as shocked as you are. Apparently none of my constituents have stumbled across this blog and honestly, I would just as soon keep it that way. Why disabuse them of their harmless illusions regarding my sound judgment and sterling character?
When I arrived at the resort, I had a little free time so I embarked on what the Aussies call a “walkabout”. Granted that term may be a bit of a stretch since I am neither an Australian Aborigine nor did I spend six months tracing the paths of my ancestors. In point of fact, I got tired after half an hour and plopped down in the Dreamweaver’s Canyon Courtyard, sipped a Negra Modelo and gazed at all the swells strolling by. It doesn’t take me long to get the lay of the land, especially when my favorite beer is beckoning.
Why don’t we reenact my little stroll to give you a bit of a feel for this magnificent resort? Once I had gone to my room and stowed my gear (something I feel compelled to do in the first ten minutes upon arriving at any hotel . . . can you say OC?), I walked out a side door and this is the very first view that greeted me. The similarities with my landscaped back yard were startling. Or maybe it was the dissimilarities. I would return to this very table below at Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Cafe a little later in the evening for a delicious repast. The resort has numerous charms but dining al fresco as the sun sets behind a bagpiper in traditional Scottish dress piping his haunting melodies is toward the top of my list.
Even the golf is unique. Read this sentence from their website, “Only at Kierland Golf Club can a golfer – novice to experienced – enjoy innovative amenities and experiences like Segway transportation, Fore-MAX golf training, climate-controlled golfing and Scottish-themed Golf.” As an avid golfer, I can say without the slightest fear of contraception, that is not a sentence that would apply to 99.99% of the golf courses anywhere in the world.
After a tough day of climate-controlled golf, what better way to cool off then tubing down the winding 900-foot lazy river. How is that for a nice segway . . . I mean segue? There is also a 110-foot water slide and even Aguamiel, a quiet retreat for adults. But without a doubt, the feature causing the greatest waves (pun intended) is the FlowRider.
My only regret was that I arrived on a Monday afternoon and left on Wednesday afternoon which didn’t permit me to enjoy all the amenities as I would have liked. If you happen to have the responsibility in your work life for planning meetings or incentive trips, I strongly recommend this resort as a suitable site. Based on my brief experience, you will not be disappointed.
Have you ever stayed at the Westin Kierland and how did you find it? No wisecracks about using Garmin or TomTom, please. That would be way too easy!