SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. , Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, a distinctive AAA Five-Diamond Southwest resort in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, is announcing the final phase of its full-scale, five-year $60 million property renovation plan. Designed to enhance the guest experience for both leisure and corporate travelers, the improvements coincide with the resort's 25 th anniversary in December 2012, underscoring its continued evolution and status as a vibrantly contemporary, premier entity in the hospitality market. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is owned by a joint venture between Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: BEE) and Walton Street Capital, L.L.C. The resort's renovation strategy is the innovation of Strategic Hotels, which also serves as the resort's asset manager. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121018/CG96223LOGO) Set to be complete in spring 2013, the final $25 million phase of the resort's renovation plan includes the debut of the Palomino Conference Center and remodeling of the Princess Conference Center; the introduction of the innovative Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa; the outdoor enhancement of Michael Mina's BOURBON STEAK; the addition of a "living wall" to the resort's facade; the re-concepting of the resort's three-meal restaurant, LV Bistro; and enhancing the Fragrance Garden for weddings and group events. "We are proud to unveil these exciting additions, which will highlight the resort's meetings and events, spa and culinary offerings," said Jack Miller, General Manager of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. "We are particularly eager to debut the new Palomino Conference Center and newly renovated Princess Conference Center. The expanded and upgraded facilities will further establish the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess as a preeminent meetings and events destination, and our cutting edge spa and wellness offerings will serve as great assets to planners and guests alike." The hotel's earlier phases of renovations, additions and enhancements were completed from 2007-2010. This included renovated guest rooms and lobby, the new Fairmont Gold Lounge, new fire and water features throughout the resort grounds, new Bobcat Billy's Clubhouse for kids, as well as dining and nightlife additions, including Michael Mina's BOURBON STEAK, Stone Rose Lounge and the re-opened La Hacienda with Richard Sandoval. While leisure and corporate travel to the Phoenix/ Scottsdale area continues to improve, the market has remained stable with relatively no new competitive supply. Leveraging this dynamic, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess's capital improvement plan is designed to best position the resort to capitalize on the increase of leisure travel and capture greater share of group and event business. Looking forward to 2013, the resort's group bookings are trending 45 percent higher than 2012, an indication these improvements are resonating with the resort's core guests. "The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is the definition of a true world-class resort," said Laurence Geller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. "Knowing the market was set to improve, we made the strategic decision to meaningfully invest in the property, taking it from an already magnificent resort and elevating it into a class of its own. While the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is regularly recognized as a destination of choice among leisure and corporate travelers, the extremely positive reception to the renovations is indicative of the property's long-term ability to drive memorable guest experiences, as well as improved hotel performance." Meetings & Events With the addition of the new Palomino Conference Center, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess now offers 156,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor meetings and events space, making it the largest meetings resort in the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts portfolio worldwide. This equates to 106,000-square-feet of indoor space and 50,000-square-feet of outdoor space, comprised of 21 unique and authentically local outdoor venues, two 23,000-square-feet ballrooms and 47 meeting rooms, several with their own patios.
- Palomino Conference Center – Adjacent to the existing Princess Conference Center near the resort's main entrance, the new Palomino Conference Center adds 52,331-square-feet of meeting space, anchored by the 23,000-square-foot Palomino Ballroom. The new conference space also features modern design elements, such as "nano" tech bi-folding glass doors to showcase the outdoor vistas and warm Arizona climate. The center offers larger break-out areas and additional move-in/move-out flexibility for meeting planners' production staff. The Palomino Conference Center's dedicated porte-cochere and outside veranda will feature an artistic fountain and provide seating where participants can relax between meeting sessions.
- Princess Conference Center – As part of the multi-million dollar renovation, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess refurbished its existing 23,000-square-foot ballroom and meeting space with contemporary furnishings, lighting, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired carpeting and other fresh finishes. The renewal incorporates seamless design transitions between existing and new spaces, including private walkways between the two ballrooms to ensure group privacy.
- Michael Mina's BOURBON STEAK, AAA Four Diamond contemporary steakhouse, will have its outdoor space enhanced as part of the resort's master renovation. The revamped patio area will feature inviting couches and lounge areas with seating for an additional 30-40 guests, a large fire pit as the focal point, as well as retractable sun shades, keeping guests cool during the warm summer months while still allowing them to experience the stunning desert vistas. The expanded patio is also an ideal venue for private events, such as special occasions and celebrations, or as an intimate setting for corporate groups. Future plans call for an outdoor exhibition kitchen.
- LV Bistro – LV Bistro, the resort's restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, will be renamed and rebranded, in consultation with celebrity chef Richard Sandoval (who also collaborates with La Hacienda). The new restaurant will be American wood-fired cuisine, offering an all-day menu featuring clay pot frittatas, pressed paninis, wood-oven pizzas, flatbreads and a live omelet station.
- Retail Shop & Coffee Market - Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is transforming the Princess Shop, the resort's primary retail and sundries location, by adding a coffee market. Proudly serving Starbucks, guests may grab-and-go beverages, sandwiches, snacks and gelato, or stay awhile at the workstation with iPads for browsing the Internet or relax with a cappuccino on the new patio.
- Living Wall – Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is installing a "living wall," a unique system of plants and flowers that drape the main resort building in greenery. The design will be on the front wall in Princess Plaza, and in back facing the South Pool, making it one of the largest living wall displays in the U.S. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will use reclaimed water to irrigate this vertical garden, and its full coverage of the facade will add a layer of insulation, promoting energy efficiency and reducing costs. The foliage will integrate native cactus succulents and colorful vinca.
- Fragrance Garden – An ideal setting for Southwest destination weddings, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is revitalizing its Fragrance Garden, a cherished venue for exchanging vows due to its visual beauty and unique redolence of its flowering trees and shrubs. This popular outdoor wedding site will be transformed with tall gates, trellis plantings, fire and water features and arrays of flowers, creating an intimately private space for a memorable and elegant event.
- Exterior Paint – The Scottsdale Princess, which has been wearing a sunset shade of pink since opening in 1987, is getting a fresh, updated look. The resort is being entirely repainted to be off-white, trimmed in desert sage and slate gray.