Sunday, February 04, 2007

Crazy-posh hotel.

Recently, when travelling for business, I've used Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" trick to try to score rooms in ultra-fancy hotels for dirt cheap.

Boy did I.

I'm in Scottsdale, AZ, at the Camelback Inn. The best rate I can score on Marriott's site, for the type of room I'm in ("deluxe casita 1 king or 2 double beds, private entrance, private patio"), which is the lowest priced, is $499/night. !!!! But I offered and got it on Priceline for $110/night (this is costing my university $75/night less than the conference hotel). Insane. Just completely insane.

Let me show you what I mean.

This is a view of my room from the far end, looking back towards the front door. It's very Southwest, with what looks like an authentic Native American rug on the wall and beautiful pottery in niches all around. You can see about 2/3 of the room: one of the beds, the little kitchenette, the bureau (desk behind it, that I'm typing at now), the front door and the door to the insane bathroom 'suite'.

You can't see the whole bathroom in the pic below; to the left is a closet, then a large glass shower stall, then the toilet; here you can see the bathtub at the end and the sinks and some more niches-full-of-pottery on the right.
I do realize I'm overusing the word "insane", but this hotel room is bigger than some apartments.

This is the view from my "private patio":

It's extremely quiet here. The "casitas" are 4- or 5-plexes, and there's plenty of space in between. The air is nice and desert-scented. Mostly you just hear birds and the occasional car drifting by. It feels very much like a campground!

I took a stroll over the 125-acre grounds. Here is my little casita:
There are birds everywhere, including tons of quail and many hummingbirds. This is the best shot I got of the quail, which are irresistibly cute. We get quail in our backyard in San Diego, but they're a different kind, I believe.

This is one of the front courtyards. My casita is high up on the hillside; this is down nearly to the bottom.

Here are some of the guest casitas:

It was getting dark so this pic has the brightness amped up and looks hazy, but this is the swimming pool. I stupidly didn't bring a swimsuit. Because, ya know, it's February? {sigh} but it's lovely warm. Oh well.I think I'm just going to enjoy my four nights here as much as I can. Because I doubt very much I'm ever going to be able to pull this off again. Wow.

Oh yeah, I'm knitting. And the conference is great so far. But, more later!


Laura B said...

wow! what a great deal!

karenalien said...

Bathing suit? Go buy one. You probably need a new one anyway.

If you didn't already knit one!

Viv said...

How cool you are in AZ! I am in Tucson. About 2 hours away from you. Isn't it beautiful? And today it was almost hot out. Definitely go and get a suit. If not for the pool but for the hot tub! At night it is so nice to soak in the hot tub and get out when you are just about cooked well done. The chill feels good and (I am weird) it's neat to watch the steam rise off of you. LOL Have fun and knit lots!


Earin Marybird said...

I know the inn. I've never stayed there since I always stay with friends when in the area (and I'll be there in about three weeks). It's very lovely and this is a wonderful time of year to be in Scottsdale. Get the suit!!

Loganoc said...

Wow, that's amazing... you don't really get places like that in Europe (well nowhere I've ever been anyway). Must try that cheapskate thing some time.

trek said...

Try to think of this time as almost like a mini-vacation when not in the conference sessions!

April said...

And I thought I was the only one who took pictures of the hotel rooms I stayed in. =)


Way to go, Valerie! Enjoy the warmth and luxury!

I am jealous, as it is so freaking cold here in southern Indiana.

Elinoire said...

Apartment hell, your suite is bigger than my *house*. And it's probably insulated, too.

Mmm, insulation.

Spinsterella said...

OMG - those are *proper* cactusses/cacti/whatever

(the ones with like a middle bit and two arms - only ever seen them on Road Runner cartoons)

Robert A. Swipe said...

Valerie, please, believe.....

It *never* could work out.....

(Sorry, bit of an in joke - couldn't resist....)

Still, that Dreamhome *does* look lovely...

L.U.V. on ya,


Christine said...

I never even thought to try that! Very cool idea and go you saving money and having a better experience for it. Glad you had some down time, even if it was for work :P.