Wonderful Pesach with PKH in Scottsdale
My family and I spent Pesach with the PKH program at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The program was top notch: – amazing resort – beautifully kept, spacious and loads of swimming pools (all magnificent – 3 big ones for all the family, 1 small one near the suite we stayed in that was a lot quieter, and 2 for adults only). Amazing spa also for those wanting to escape from their kids. – top class speakers – on all manner of topics, including Dov Zakheim, Roger Zakheim, David Makovsky, Eli Groner and last but definitely not least Raizi Chechik. All brilliant and interesting presentations, stimulating a lot of discussion and debate. – excellent shiurim and shul arrangements (incl hashkama and main minyan on Shabbat and Yomtov). Rabbis Etshalom and Bulka gave excellent shiurim on a range of topics, both relating to Pesach and more generally. Plus daf Yomi for those so studying. Shul expertly run by Mark Goldenberg from LA. And amazing kiddush every day after shul on Shabbat and yomtov. – super food. The question on the electronic board outside the main dining room was: “when do we eat?” I think that was a joke. A better question would have been “when don’t we eat?” I think there was food available pretty much non-stop from 6:30 am to midnight in one form or other. Loads of choice (incl 2 buffet lunches to choose from, incl BBQ lunch by pool, over yomtov and chol hamoed when it wasn’t Shabbat. Also plenty of healthy options – fruit and vegetable, salads, readily available esp. breakfast and lunch. Food for sedarim was best I have had at a hotel programme anywhere. Plenty of dessert options too, incl ice cream at pretty much all the buffets. Amazing Western BBQ evening. Top top steaks served up! If I had a couple of minor quibbles: the main course at the served dinners on second day yomtov weren’t quite up to the absolute top standard of the first days and a better job could have been made of labelling for nut allergies at the start of the program (this was fixed soon afterwards). But big picture: outstanding effort on food side. – incredible service – really the best I’ve seen anywhere bar none. The hotel staff and the PKH host and staff could not have been more pleasant or helpful. A special shout out to Lynda, Stuart and Harold who were all terrific. – loads of different activities for kids and all the families day and night (kids club; outings; even special filmings late at night on various interesting themes – incl one on the Oneg Shabbos – produced by Nancy Spielberg who hosted a Q&A on the film). There was so much to do on the program the biggest problem was fitting it all in and still having a holiday! Plus loads of things to do chol hamoed: we managed a trip to the Grand Canyon as well as Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright school of architecture). We didn’t make it to Sedona. Hopefully next time around. – amazing tea room – and also special shout out for Elan Gold – another brilliant evening! The PKH program is expensive. But you get what you pay for. It is absolutely top notch, and I would happily return if I could.