Spring training in arts-and-food-loving Scottsdale, Ariz., has always been a popular destination for Bay Area baseball fans.
This year — with the Giants coming off a thrilling World Series championship run — expect even more visitors to flock to the Sonoran Desert to watch their favorite team warm up for the 2011 Major League Baseball season.
In addition to hosting to the Cactus League, which includes the Giants and 14 other teams, Scottsdale — an easy two-hour flight from the Bay Area — is also home to several luxurious hotels and resorts.
Call it home
There is no shortage of great hotels in the Scottsdale area. Here are four resorts with spring training packages worth considering:
Hotel Valley Ho
For the design-centric urban crowd, the Hotel Valley Ho — beautifully updated recently in midcentury-style — is located a mile from Scottsdale Stadium. Steeped in Hollywood history — it was here that Natalie Wood married Robert Wagner in 1957 — the resort features the luxurious VH Spa, a wonderful on-site restaurant, Cafe Zuzu, and one of the hippest see-and-be-scene pools in all of Scottsdale. From Feb. 27 through March 30, the hotel is running a package starting at $249 per night.
InterContinental MonteluciaResort and Spa
For the European-inspired experience, the InterContinental, a luxury pool-and-spa resort and home to the AAA four-diamond restaurant Prado. Located seven miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and four miles from downtown Scottsdale, the 293-room resort is offering a three-night spring break package that includes a $100 resort credit as well as a fourth night free. Running through May 31, the package starts at $249 per night.
W Scottsdale Hotel
For those who want to be in the center of the action, the 224-room W Scottsdale, which garners the AAA-four diamond award, is in walking distance to Old Town Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Waterfront. To celebrate spring training, the hotel is offering two packages that are running Feb. 25 to April 3: The “Who’s Hitting a Home Run?” package starts at $329 per night and includes complimentary ballpark transportation, a buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer, Cracker Jacks and a baseball hat.
Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
For those traveling with groups or with families, the Westin Kierland — a sprawling, 730-acre luxury resort that includes a championship golf course, an award-winning spa and dozens of on-site shops, galleries and restaurants — is offering two packages that will be running through April 30. For those planning on spending a week at spring training, the hotel’s “SunSational Savings” package — which starts at $359 per night — includes a $100 food-and-beverage credit that can be used at any of the resort’s eight restaurants, a complimentary room upgrade and a fifth night free (note: use promo code “ZS5” at booking).
- The Giants play their home games during spring training at Scottsdale Stadium, a 11,500-seat stadium located at Osborn Road and Civic Center Drive. It is a one-mile walk from downtown Scottsdale.
- The opening game for the Giants’ spring training schedule will be Feb. 25, when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks at Scottsdale Stadium at 12:05 p.m.
- The last game of the Giants’ spring training will be March 27 against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz., which is 45 minutes northwest of downtown Phoenix.
- Tickets for Giants games at Scottsdale Stadium vary depending on the game and date. General admission for lawn seats range from $9 to $17; reserved grandstand seats range from $20 to $27.
- For a splurge, visit www.springtraining.com; here, you can purchase tickets to the Charro Lodge. Located adjacent to the Giants’ bullpen in right field, the Charro Lodge can accommodate groups from 10 to 250 fans. Individual tickets for the Charro Lodge start at $100 per person.
Getting to Scottsdale
The quickest way to get to Scottsdale from the Bay Area is by air. The closest airport to Scottsdale is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which is served by all the major airlines, including United, America West, Delta, American, Continental, US Airways and Southwest. Round-trip flights from San Francisco International Airport average $200.
From Sky Harbor, you will either need a rental car or an airport shuttle to get to Scottsdale, located 11 miles from the airport.