If you’re anything like us, around the official end of winter you start to get a bit impatient for a little warmth and sunshine in your life. It seems like ages since you last enjoyed an infusion of Vitamin D from the center or our solar system.
In Europe, a quick trip to Spain usually does the trick. And in Spain, along with the sunshine and warmth, comes wonderful architecture, culture, and don’t forget the food! Much better than just sitting on a beach for a few days.
But Europe is a bit of a long haul for a short getaway. And we’ve found that for many of the things we love in Europe, there is a pretty good facsimile somewhere between sea and shining sea. So we went looking; and found a little bit of southern Spain neatly tucked away at the Omni Resort, “Montelucia” in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Inspired by the white-washed villages and sun-drenched hills of Andalusia in southern Spain, the resort was built in the lush Sonoran Desert to take advantage of the area’s more than 300 days of sunshine a year. There are amazing views of the nearby Camelback mountains, so close that you can take a quick hike in the morning or just before sunset.
The resort has a generous, rambling layout and never feels crowded. Just like you’d find in a small town in southern Spain on a lazy sunny afternoon. There are a variety of restaurants to suit different tastes and dining styles. We particularly liked the Prado restaurant with a menu focusing on Mediterranean cuisine and using all fresh seasonal ingredients. Of course, there is a great selection of Tapas on offer if you rather share some smaller dishes; many of which are cooked on Prado’s large wood-burning stove, adding to the Spanish flavor. Eating on the patio overlooking the “Alhambra Walkway” might just be the perfect spot for dinner while watching the sun go down.
Throughout the resort, there are many antique touches that really bring the feeling of Spain to your stay. Large historic rough-hewn terra-cotta “tinjas” (oil jars) that were found on a Cortijo (farm) in the region North East of Andalusia. The enormous Castillo Lucena doors prominent in the entry plaza are handcrafted in solid teak and feature a total of 72 framed, panels, as well as a small “zaguan” (door within a door), complete with traditional bronze ”clavos” (nails) typical of protective doors in southern Spain, meant to keep those inside safe from marauders coming across the plains of Andalusia.
Also featured in the plaza is an original Spanish bell that was once installed along the route of the El Camino Real, the original roadway that linked California’s Spanish missions. The bells substituted for road signs and of the original 450, over time most have been vandalized or stolen, the number has dwindled to a mere 80. Fortunate that one has been preserved here providing a link between The Omni and Spain’s great influence on our culture through their conquest of the Americas.
The Spanish call it “Puente” literally meaning bridge, but used to describe a long weekend. Make the Omni Resort at Montelucia your Puente to sun, relaxation and a taste of Spain.
There are often great specials at the Omni Resort at Montelucia, so keep an eye out and plan your trip for when they are on offer. For details, directions and some special offers: www.omnihotels.com
Photography and story by Daniela Stallinger
Planning a Spain themed trip to Scottsdale, Arizona? Here is the current weather and what to expect for the next few days.82°sunny17% humiditywind: 11mph ESEH 100 • L 69102°Mon100°Tue99°Wed96°Thu98°FriWeather from Yahoo!