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BEST NOT-SO-CHEAP THRILL Phoenix 2005 - The Phoenician

The Phoenician

The Phoenician

5950 N. Echo Canyon Parkway

Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

602-261-8318

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The palm trees that stand dramatically at attention along the entrance to this posh resort should give you some clue: Nothing about this place is going to be subtle. Or even quietly luxurious (except perhaps in the meditation room of the spa). The Phoenician is shiny and rich, a paean to the joys of having money. Its premier restaurant, the elegant Mary Elaine's, even boasts murals hand-painted in 24K gold.

You can't deny that the place is striking, the food is good, and the service is excellent. And even if you just stop by for a $12 cocktail (we recommend the Phoenix -- Grey Goose L'Orange, grenadine and lime juice), we can guarantee that you'll find flaunting it is much more fun than saving it for a rainy day.

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