Premier Resort Close-up: Fairmont Scottsdale

The par-3 12th at the Stadium Course.
Fairmont Scottsdale

The Fairmont Scottsdale may have dropped the "Princess" from its name a couple of months back, but it remains royalty among Arizona resorts. Just ask the Tour pros who happily camp here for the FBR Open, which is played on its backyard TPC Scottsdale Stadium course.

\nThe Fairmont Scottsdale captured Gold Medal honors in our 2008 Premier Resorts Awards chiefly for its versatility — it's an equally great fit for families, buddy trips and business conferences. Long known for its Willow Stream Spa, the Fairmont has added a host of new amenities, including Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak restaurant and the Stone Rose Lounge, courtesy of nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber.

\nFor all that, what actually boosted the Fairmont from Silver to Gold status was the extreme makeover of its second layout late in 2007, when the scrappy Desert Course added 700 yards and tons of risk/reward elements to become the appropriately named Champions Course. Toss in the thrill of bashing it around three of the greatest risk/reward holes on Tour — 15, 16 and 17 on the Stadium Course — and you've got a pretty special spot.

\nSpring room rates start at $279 per night. Green fees range from $94.50 to $272. 480-585-4848, fairmont.com/scottsdale.

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