Versed in vintages from around the globe and down the block, Vino 100's aficionados personally curate the shop’s collection of more than 150 wines. Blond wood shelves display bottles stacked into tidy pyramids and sporting labels from wineries such as Oberon, Coppola, and Toad Hollow. In addition to gracing home wine cabinets with new vintages, the shop rewards oenophiles with membership to the grapenutz Wine Club, which unlocks perks including discounts and complimentary bottles. In addition to special events such as live music, wine-pairing dinners, and Bartles and Jaymes look-alike contests, Vino 100 invites patrons to informative wine classes covering topics ranging from tasting tips to wine-production secrets. In the spirit of Dionysian goodwill, the shop helps support a roster of community partners such as schools and animal rescues.
An elegant chandelier sparkles above Amaro Italiano Ristorante open kitchen, but it’s rarely the first thing that guests notice. They are too engrossed by Pizza Chef's delicate dance as he flings discs of pizza dough high into the air, careful not to get them caught in the chandelier’s net of crystal beads. The culinary team pull their own mozzarella and top their Neapolitan pizzas with such creative ingredients as shoestring onions, oven-roasted artichoke hearts, and shaved ham. Pizza is hardly their only specialty, however. Their dishes run the gamut from house-made pastas to a bone-in pork chop with a Dijon and mustard glaze. 70 wines complement the complex Italian flavors, as do the artworks on the dining room’s walls and live musicians who have strung their guitars with resonant spaghetti al dente.
Successfully polishing off one of Blu Burger's signature creations isn't always an easy feat. These meaty towers and onion buns teeter under the weight of generous portions of applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and melted cheeses dripping with housemade sauces. Though some diners try to tackle the five signature selections, others extend their culinary creativity to design their own burgers, choosing from an eclectic variety of bases—including Black Angus or Kobe beef, bison, and portobello mushrooms. Customers further customize patties with their choices of buns, cheeses, specialty toppings, and more than 10 types of sauces, which join the selection of 12 craft beers on tap.
In the bustling dining room, tinted windows cast a blue hue on funky artwork and colorful hanging lights. Outside, blue umbrellas speckle the courtyard, protecting diners from both the elements and the notice of paragliding Hamburglars.
With pages full of flavors traditional to Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Cozumel, the menu at Haciendas Mexican Grill is like an atlas of Mexican cuisine. Guests can taste the classic Mayan influence on the nation’s dishes with the cochinita pibil, a cut of pork that slowly marinates in a stew of achiote, orange juice, and banana leaves, or revel in the country's knack for sauces with the dark-brown dressing of the pollo con mole. The chefs also take slight liberties with the dishes, infusing the chocolate fondue with ancho chiles and transforming the humble hamburger with oaxaca cheese and chipotle mayo. To honor Mexico's extensive coastlines, the chefs drench jumbo prawns, stuffed salmon filets, and lobster ravioli in spicy cream sauces.
Outside the dining room, guests can experience Mexican culture with specialty margaritas, tap and bottled beers, and other libations in the restaurant’s three bars. Like an interstellar pub crawl, each bar features a different atmosphere: one sports a scenic view of the mountains, another buzzes with a row of LED TVs, and an outside patio grants fresh air and warm sun ideal for a round of icy beverages.
There's something timeless about MacDonald's Ranch. Maybe it's that visitors can take a guided horseback ride through the desert, pose for an old-time photo, or ride a stagecoach—which in certain cases, might be held up by actors dressed as outlaws. But whatever the reason guests dock their zeppelin at MacDonald's Ranch, the staff hopes to treat them to a fun ranch experience. They surround them with music, cowboy shows, and seasonal attractions such as the annual pumpkin festival.
MacDonald's Ranch covers 1,300 acres of the scenic Sonoran Desert. Whether on horseback or a hayride, guests can explore the area and view its desert flora, hawks, petrified spurs, and coyotes.
It's nothing new for a spa to claim to be an "oasis," but Revive Spa means it literally. Set in the midst of the Sonoran Desert, the crown jewel of the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort is truly a sight for sore eyes—or sore backs, shoulders, and legs, for that matter.
Water symbolizes restoration, healing, and relaxation, so Revive Spa weaves it throughout its decor. Water flows directly beneath the lobby's skylit rotunda. It forms the centerpiece of the Spa Sanctuary Pool's ring of palm trees and billowing cabanas. It mingles with the fresh desert air in the second story's Zen Loft. Even so, Revive Spa doesn't shy away from incorporating Sonoran influences in its treatments. Flora indigenous to the desert are used to make the deep-cleansing masks for facials, the lotions used during massages are made with ingredients from the spa's own herb garden, and a baby mule deer might walk on your back if you leave a shrub there.
While the award-winning treatments attract visitors from far and wide, fireplaces and private patios in the relaxation rooms make it easy to linger in a zone of almost unmatched serenity. The same can be said of the spa's bistro, which crafts sophisticated dishes using organic ingredients and herbs from the garden.