Arizona-Phoenix

Venues! Help!

Hi everyone,
Wow - I never imagined picking a venue could be so difficult!  I'm wondering if people could give me input on a few places.  I'm living in Boston right now (but grew up in Phoenix) so it's tough for me to be able to see locations in person.  We're planning our wedding for 10/9/11.  Most of our guests will be coming from out of town, so we're trying to find a wedding venue at a hotel where guests can stay so everything is in one place.  We're hoping to find a place with room rates that would be under $200.  We'd also like our ceremony and reception to be outside and, preferrably with some nice views that reflect the AZ desert and mountains.  We're thinking about the places below, any reviews or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
1. Pointe Tapatio (guests would stay at the hotel, but the ceremony and reception would be at Different Pointe of view).  I thought this was THE place for us, when I saw it but then read some reviews on the hotel and saw some pretty bad reviews.  I'm bummed because the views up at the restaurant are awesome, but I'm worried about our guests experience staying at the hotel.  Apparently the hotel is also in foreclosure, so it's unclear who will be taking it over, which is a little scary.
2. Westin Kierland - the ourdoor space is really nice for the wedding/reception, but views aren't as unique as Tapatio and are pretty much just of the golf course (which is nice, but not the desert feel i was shooting for). We were told that rooms for guests would be about $189
3. Camelback Inn - I just started to research this place and am thinking the rooms may be too expensive for guests.
4. Intercontinental Montelucia.  I also just started to research this place, I'm not sure what the outdoor venues are like or what the views are like there - I couldn't find many pictures on their website.  It seems room rates would be slightly cheaper there than at Camelback Inn.
Any adivce/reviews/recommendations for other places to check out would be greatly apperciated!
Thanks everyone (and sorry for the wordy post!)

Re: Venues! Help!

  • edited December 2011
    1. Pointe Hilton may be the most economical AND beautiful.
    2. That's a great rate at Westin Kierland. It is in an awesome location, but if it doesn't have the view you want....  don't go with it!
    3. Camelback Inn is very expensive.
    4. Montelucia is beyond gorgeous, but I have not heard good things about their event planning department and it is pretty expensive.
    You may want to look at other locations (and look into a hotel block nearby) Troon North has amazing views. It's a golf club. Sassi is a restaurant that has incredible views.
  • jemmini6jemmini6 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I would recommend maybe not getting so caught up on having your wedding at a hotel just for your guests.  There are a lot of places that do not have actual hotels, but contract with nearby hotels to give you special wedding group rates.
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  • CellesCelles member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    One of our departments at work had an employee appreciation event at Montelucia and was very disappointed with the quality of service.  I don't have any first hand experience, but it doesn't surprise me to hear that the reviews haven't been been great.

    I love Sassi as both a restaurant and a venue, but their event coordinator is a PITA.  Several brides here -- myself included -- considered and rejected Sassi because we felt condescended to; instead of being excited to show us around, answer our questions and earn our business, the event staff there acted like they were doing us a favor by letting us use their venue.  The coordinator passed me off to her assistant, and the assistant kept me waiting over 20 minutes for my second appointment.  When she finally arrived, she actually asked "So what did you want this time?"  It's a shame these ladies don't care more about what they do, because Sassi is a gorgeous venue.

    I agree with jemmini, btw.  Using hotelplanner.com, I was able to find quite a few hotels that were willing to offer complimentary shuttle service to and from our golf course venue if we reserved our block there.  We eventually went with Starfire at the Scottsdale Country Club are our venue and Homewood Suites as our hotel, which is a little more budget friendly at $109/night -- but we needed that, since many of our friends are graduate students and are spending enough on airfare as it is!

    This is a little out there -- but if this is a destination wedding for you anyway, have you considered Sedona? 
    image
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_arizona-phoenix_venus?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:71Discussion:9c7dfc07-b7e3-423c-86f5-05c74af7113aPost:5c218612-196e-4336-bfc3-39d648441646">Re: Venues! Help!</a>:
    [QUOTE]1. Pointe Hilton may be the most economical AND beautiful. 2. That's a great rate at Westin Kierland. It is in an awesome location, but if it doesn't have the view you want....  don't go with it! 3. Camelback Inn is very expensive. 4. Montelucia is beyond gorgeous, but I have not heard good things about their event planning department and it is pretty expensive. You may want to look at other locations (and look into a hotel block nearby) <strong>Troon North has amazing views.</strong> It's a golf club. Sassi is a restaurant that has incredible views.
    Posted by sarahbutchin[/QUOTE]

    I got married at Troon North and I can not say enough great things about it!!!!  Everything from the beautiful grounds, amazing views, great service and delicious food were perfect!  There were numerous hotels in the area that had a shuttle service.  A lot of my guests stayed in the Frank Lloyd Wright/Scottsdale Rd area and the hotel they stayed at had a free shuttle.  I am not remembering the name, but it was one Troon suggested, I set up a room block there and it was inexpensive. 

    I have a lot of pictures in my bio that show the views.  The main reason I picked this venue was the views.  The ceremony site has beautiful views and the ballroom has floor to ceiling windows over looking the entire valley.  There is a balcony off of the ballroom where the cocktail hour is and we timed it so the guests were out there at sunset, it was breathtaking!

    Also, you should check at The Sanctuary Resort.  The rooms will probably be a bit more than $200, but when I looked there they had good wedding block rates.  We ended up staying there the night of our wedding, it was amazing.
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree about Sassi. She was very cold and curt. They also did not move on price the way that many other (just as exclusive and well thought of) venues did, but man.. if you're looking for the views.. they have it!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the info so far!  Good to know that I should stay away from Sassi and that the Montelucia is difficult as well.  I've been struggling with the whole having the wedding at a hotel thing.  I wouldn't really mind if our guests took transportation to and from their own hotel and the wedding venue.  However, my fiance would really prefer for everything to be in one place.  Most of our guests will be from out of town, so I agree it would be preferable to have everything in one location, but it's been hard to find the perfect fit.  We heard back from Camelback Inn and they said the rooms for guests would be $200, which is better than I expected.  I'm wondering if there are cheaper hotels near there for guests who really can't afford the $200 rate.  Feel free to pass along any more suggestions!
  • edited December 2011
    There a ton of hotels in old town scottsdale which isn't too far from Camelback Inn. For example the Courtyard Marriott has suites that are pretty affordable that can sleep 5... and the Chapparel Suites are pretty economical as well.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_arizona-phoenix_venus?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:71Discussion:9c7dfc07-b7e3-423c-86f5-05c74af7113aPost:69941b7c-1d25-43e7-ab5f-e53401083994">Re: Venues! Help!</a>:
    [QUOTE]One of our departments at work had an employee appreciation event at Montelucia and was very disappointed with the quality of service.  I don't have any first hand experience, but it doesn't surprise me to hear that the reviews haven't been been great. I love Sassi as both a restaurant and a venue, but their event coordinator is a PITA.  Several brides here -- myself included -- considered and rejected Sassi because we felt condescended to; instead of being excited to show us around, answer our questions and earn our business, the event staff there acted like they were doing us a favor by letting us use their venue.  The coordinator passed me off to her assistant, and the assistant kept me waiting over 20 minutes for my second appointment.  When she finally arrived, she actually asked "So what did you want this time?"  It's a shame these ladies don't care more about what they do, because Sassi is a gorgeous venue. I agree with jemmini, btw.  Using hotelplanner.com, I was able to find quite a few hotels that were willing to offer complimentary shuttle service to and from our golf course venue if we reserved our block there.  We eventually went with Starfire at the Scottsdale Country Club are our venue and Homewood Suites as our hotel, which is a little more budget friendly at $109/night -- but we needed that, since many of our friends are graduate students and are spending enough on airfare as it is! This is a little out there -- but if this is a destination wedding for you anyway, have you considered Sedona? 
    Posted by Celles[/QUOTE]

    Haha, I was going to say Sedona too!  I might be biased though considering I got married there on 10/9/10.  We did the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, and the whole thing outside and it was perfect weather.  In Phoenix it had just finally dropped below 100 that week, so the weather was definitely more desirable there.

    We really liked Scottsdale Starfire as well, if you are having a smallish wedding.  Also, you could look into the Arizona Grand Resort or the Buttes hotel (I think it's a marriott), they have really nice views. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Check out Regale! at DC Ranch in Scottsdale. Tony & Linda are awesome to work with, and since they're a newer venue, the price is very reasonable. Even though they're a new venue, they'\ve been in the wedding business for a long time, and the vendors are great! They also work with two nearby hotel (Hilton & Marriott), and both will shuttle your guests. Here's their website: www.regaleaz.com The pics don't really do the place justice, and the Market Street in DC Ranch has really cool photo ops. We're doing our wedding package (all-inclusive) for under $11K. And you also have views of the McDowell Mountains. I can't say enough good stuff about them. I booked it on this past Sunday, and by Wednesday, all of the vendors had contacted me to set up consultations. All of the vendors they use have awesome reviews too!
  • Dallas222Dallas222 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    I am getting married at the Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale in March and have absolutely enjoyed the experience. I live in San Francsico and have been planning my wedding solely over the phone and email. Leanna (catering manager) at the Hyatt is wonderful and very attentive. We are so excited and can't wait to see all of the hard work and long distance planning pay off!  Good luck!

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  • edited December 2011
    We are getting married at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club near Gold Canyon. My recommendation would be to get out of Scottsdale, the price dramatically drops! I don't know why more people haven't heard of our venue. It is on the base of the Superstition Mountains and is absolutely gorgeous! I am extremely picky and I fell in love with this place immediately! We have a block of rooms setup at Gold Canyon resort (prices are $99-$120) and they will do a shuttle for our guests to the venue which is about 5 minutes away. I can't say enough amazing things about our venue!
  • drphotodrphoto member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    The views at the Pointe Tapatio Cliffs are off the chart amazing.  The rooms are somewhat dated and being in foreclosure could be good or bad for the property.  I'd probably look elsewhere just because of the uncertainty.  The Westin Kierland is a nice property, but, IMO more suited to corporate events than weddings.  The feel of the hotel is more industrial.  If you do use the Westin, there are some great photo ops at Kierland Commons.  Camelback Inn is a beautiful property and the Spa is one of the best in the city.  Getting from room to room can be challenging for older guests as the property is spread across a large mountainous area.   The Intercontinental Montelucia is just across from the Camelback Inn and is one of the most stunning hotels in the area.  I've shot there twice and the photo ops are just amazing.  I've found the marketing staff to be extraordinarily flexible and accomodating.  The event and spa personel went out of their way to make sure we were well taken care of.   If this property is within you budget and available, I'd grab it.  I have done 3 events at Sassi and though the property is beautiful, I didn't find them very accomodating, I think you could do better.  For a more urban/retro feel you could look at the Valley Ho.  I'd also look at the Sanctuary in Scottsdale.  Considering that most of your guests are traveling anyhow, I would get too hung up on Scottsdale.  I've done events at Gold Canyon tha were very affordable and the location is gorgeous.

    All the best,
    Corey Schwartz
    www.desertridgephotography.com
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