Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Jocelyn Murray September 1, 2017 No Comments

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Upon passing through the main entrance to the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, one is greeted by tall palms flanking the drive like sentinels at attention. I couldn’t help whispering aloud, Ah… the avenue of palm trees, for I was reminded of the Avenue of Sphinxes leading to a grand temple in the desert of ancient Egypt. Only this lush avenue leads to a desert oasis in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Everything about this resort is beautiful and blends perfectly into the lovely Scottsdale landscape, from the pools and manicured gardens, to the restaurants and countless amenities.

But my personal favorite is strolling on the golf course at sunset, after the westering sun has swept its majestic way across a dazzling sapphire sky, and the last of the golfers has long since departed. That is when a lone bagpiper in full Scottish Highland regalia takes up a haunting tune that echoes over Dreamweavers Canyon through the sloping green fairways. He moves along the edge of green, a lonely silhouette cut against a painted sky ablaze in crimson and gold. Deepening shadows spread over the canyon and the sound of a screeching bird seems to transcend the boundaries of time.

It is a little mesmerizing. Is he the Pied Piper? I find myself transfixed.

There is a glorious stillness to the hour, a splendor that saturates the very depths of my soul. It is made more acute by the bagpiper’s keen and poignant melodies. I close my eyes, half expecting to open them again and see a clan of men galloping on horseback toward me.

But none appear. It is only my imagination carrying me away to a long forgotten time.

If the palm-flanked entrance of the resort reminded me of ancient Egypt, Dreamweavers Canyon took me straight to Scotland. Traditional tunes like Scotland the Brave/Rowan Tree, Highland Cathedral, Loch Lomond, and Caledonia seem to transport listeners to another place and time. A time of chivalry and honor.

The experience was rather sublime.

The beauty of the setting, my own intensely romantic imagination, and the bagpiper’s haunting tune made me ache with a kind of longing. There was a serenity of the moment, made more poignant by the breathtaking surroundings. This is one truly special feature that sets this resort apart from others.

There are plenty of activities to keep families happily busy here all day long: from three heated outdoor pools, a 110-foot waterslide, 900-foot lazy river and an adult lap pool, to a FlowRider, two lighted tennis courts, a fitness studio, family kids club, a full-service spa, and more. There is the golf course too, naturally, though I prefer strolling along there at sunset when the bagpiper arrives.

Dining at the resort is excellent, and a free shuttle service is also available to drop off guests at the restaurants and shops located just across the boulevard.

Despite all the wonderful amenities this resort has to offer, it was the Scottish bagpipes at sunset that won me over. Even now, if I close my eyes and recall his beautiful playing, I find myself swept away to the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Perhaps someday I will.

But for now, I would visit the Westin Kierland again if only for this enchanting experience.

For more information on the resort, visit kierlandresort.com.

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avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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