Rated in 2013 as one of the 100 best meeting hotels in the U.S. by Cvent, the 732-room Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, entices groups with an “Essence of Arizona” resort theme steeped in Scottish traditions. The theme pays homage to Scottish immigrants who helped to develop Arizona’s railroads, mines and towns in the state’s early years.
Daily sunset concerts performed by Master Bagpiper Michael McClanathan at the resort’s Dreamweaver’s Canyon honor the clan of Scottish settlers who gave the city its name. Golfers can don rented kilts on one of three courses and heed the bagpiper’s “call in” in the Scottish way, giving cheers with a little Johnny Walker scotch tasting and a hand-rolled cigar.
A museum-quality collection of paintings, rare photographs and commissioned artworks are strewn throughout the resort. Marked with descriptive plaques written by the state’s official historian, Marshall Trimble, it offers up a free, self-guided tour through Arizona’s rich history.
The addition of the Kierland FlowRider, a simulated wave machine producing 30 mph waves, gives planners yet another reason to book the resort. The FlowRider adds to the on-site Adventure Water Park’s Lazy River and 110-foot-high waterslide, offering groups boardsport options in the desert via jets pumping nearly 30,000 gallons of water per minute. Custom teambuilding programs under the tutelage of “Wave Master” Steve Richardson, dazzling demonstrations often provide impromptu entertainment from a terrace bar and poolside patio.