Desert Paradise

Exquisite views, top-notch service and a profound commitment to the community are what make the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia a local treasure.

Dubbed the “soul of spain in the Heart of Paradise Valley,” the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offers an ideal locale for that long-awaited vacation, a much-deserved trip to the spa, a gorgeous wedding, a fundraiser to benefit the community, or the annual company meeting.

Nestled in the foothills of Camelback Mountain, the 35-acre paradise conjures the beauty of Spain where tiny villages are surrounded by spectacular mountain views.

As you step through the gates of the Omni Montelucia, you feel as though you’ve been transported to the piazza, or plaza, of a Spanish village. Meander through Cotillo Plaza and delight in the ivy-covered, Spanish-style buildings, trickling fountains and stunning mountain views. Enjoy a meal at any of the resort’s five critically acclaimed restaurants or unwind at one of three sparkling pools.

For total relaxation, rejuvenate at the luxurious Joya Spa, an enchanting retreat underneath a ceiling decorated to look like the Moroccan night sky, or lounge in the cabanas surrounding the Kasbah pool.

“This resort was designed to be the quintessential lifestyle resort,” says Frank Ashmore, Area Managing Director of the Omni Montelucia, who was instrumental in the resort’s inception in 2005.

“What I think we do better than others is incorporating the lifestyle elements of one’s personal life into the resort’s setting,” says Ashmore, a Valley resident for 25 years. “This resort was built with the community in mind.”

Residents often visit the resort to enjoy the fitness center and the many fitness and wellness classes offered. There are often community events showcasing the resort’s culinary offerings, and many local residents and organizations choose the Omni Montelucia as the ideal location for social and philanthropic gatherings.

“One of our core values is being central in the community,” says Ashmore. “That’s what makes us unique and different.”

Going the extra mile
At the Omni Montelucia, every event is tailored to each guest’s unique desires. The culinary team goes the extra mile to ensure a customized experience in which every detail— from the menu to the floral arrangements is given the highest level of attention.

“Everything here is custom, it’s all based on desire and preference,” says Traci Mead, Director of Catering at the Omni Montelucia. Whether that means coordinating with the culinary team to create a perfectly themed menu, or working with the pastry chef to fashion a magnificent, one-ofa-kind dessert, Mead pools her vast resources and her team’s creativity to make it all happen.

“I’ve always had the motto, ‘think big,’ because when you think big, you don’t just accept the surface value. A customer may come to me with an idea and I’ll say let’s figure out how to do it because that’s what makes an event special and different. It’s what sets us apart,” Mead says.

“What I like so much about Omni is their commitment to the local community. It’s one of the core pillars we stand for,” she said.

Beyond fine dining
Every event at the Montelucia is powered by a team of individuals who are at the top of their field. Executive Chef Michael Cairns, who oversees five unique dining venues at the Omni Montelucia—Prado, Mbar, Centro, Crave Café and Joya Terrace—has worked at top resorts throughout his extensive career in Arizona, including the Arizona Biltmore where he served as executive chef.

Merging his culinary expertise with his strong passion for building connections in the community, Cairns hosts singular events including his chef’s kitchen, showcasing visiting distilleries and winemakers, and inviting guests to enjoy the freshest seasonal and local foods. Special events take place in a spacious dining area featuring custom millwork and hammered brass finishes.

Cairns works with local farmers to bring the freshest ingredients from the farm to his table. He also harvests herbs, citrus and exotic mints from a 2,500-square-foot garden on the grounds of the resort.

“When it comes to farm to table, that’s a tough term because I’m from a farming background. As a chef, I thought that’s always what you should be doing, sourcing local ingredients, working with local farmers,” he says. “For me, here in Arizona, it’s been a great joy because being a chef here for 10-plus years, I’ve been able to see the growth, and the interest of people in local farming.”

Enlisting his blue-ribbon team, Cairns enjoys creating unique culinary experiences for organizations and individuals planning social and philanthropic events.

“It’s about the relationships with our customers and making their dreams come true,” he says. “It’s working with them, getting to know them personally, understanding what they’re really looking for and accomplishing their goals together.”

Community giving
With its rich, long-standing history of philanthropy and engagement with the community, the Omni Montelucia continues to host fundraisers supporting many local charities. The resort leadership values and supports community leaders who have demonstrated a high level of passion and commitment to improving the lives of Arizonans.

To encourage and support local philanthropists, the Omni Montelucia will soon embark on an exciting new venture to help charities attain their fundraising goals.

“In the next 12 months, we’ll be rolling out a community program for nonprofits—so that part of the money that’s spent to host the event will be given back to the organization they’re raising money for,” says Ashmore. “Philanthropic giving and being a part of the neighborhood in which we operate our hotels is very important to our company.”

Story by Leigh Farr
Photography by Mark Lipczynski

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