For movies, Sette frequents Camelview 5. "I would have to leave Arizona if that theater didn't exist," she says. "They show films with substance." And occasionally, she and Peter treat themselves to a spa day. "I like everything about any spa," she says, "but [the Princess] is extra nice. It smells good."
Roka Akor Sushi and Robatat Grill Restaurant
7299 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Grazie Pizzeria and Wine Bar
6952 E. Main St.
Harkins Camelview 5
7001 E. Highland Ave.
Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale
7575 E. Princess Dr.
The Valley Ho
The resurrection of the Valley Ho (and the adjacent Trader Vic's) did much to buoy the spirits of Scottsdale's stylish. Instead of getting bulldozed and paved over, in the ignominious Western tradition, this "ho" (the work of Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Edward Varney) got a 21st century makeover that translates 1956 Hollywood cool into 2009 Arizona hip, complete with clean lines and sleek furnishings that pay homage to the original. The airy, high-ceilinged lobby alone, with its cozy-cool fireplace set into a rock wall, will knock your socks off — and make you wish you'd worn slightly better shoes. It's not difficult to imagine the young Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, who held their 1957 wedding reception at the Valley Ho, sitting at the sweeping bar sipping cocktails. The spacious, well-appointed rooms are retro-cool and comfortable, with state-of-the-art updates such as flat-screen televisions, Bose Wave stereos, and Philippe Starck designed bathtubs. And if you really like it here, you can move in for good — to one of the condos in the seven-story Residential Tower, with a choice of two-story lofts, one- and two-bedroom condominiums and, of course, penthouses. (Extended rentals are also possible.) Twice a week, the hotel offers an architectural walking tour of the buildings and the grounds, led by experts from Scottsdale's Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours.
6850 E. Main Street, 480-248-2000, hotelvalleyho.com
"Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth"
Nominees for this year's Scottsdale Designer of the Year award had some pretty impressive judges, including Phoenix's own Denita Sewell and visiting artist Nick Cave (not that Nick Cave), whose mind-expanding "sound suits" are on view at SMoCA through November 29. No doubt the reason why there are so many "Please do not touch" signs in the gallery with the suits is because the first thing you want to do when you see them is put your hands all over them. It would be so much fun to pet the shaggy Play-doh-colored Yeti hair with which Cave has covered some of the costumes, or to run your hands over the multiple buttons and pieces of vintage trim that Cave uses for others. You can't touch, but you can watch: The adjacent gallery features videos of Cave wearing his creations, and you can watch the fur fly and hear the buttons clickety clack together as he twists and twirls.
For unique, stylish gifts, it's tough to top the shop at SMoCA. The unusual jewelry selection is fairly priced and runs the gamut from bright plastic rings to dramatic sculptural necklaces that wouldn't look out of place at one of the museum's opening nights. There's a wide range of coffee table books to choose from — photography, sculpture, painting, comics, and crafts — as well catalogs for the museum's exhibits for sale. (Alas, the Nick Cave catalog sold out early, but it's still available online). Children (and adults who have trouble finding gifts for children) will appreciate the fun-but-vaguely-educational selection geared toward the younger set, including cute little Japanese figurines and paper cups with different noses drawn on them — so kids can pick their noses. There's also a small but interesting sampling of CDs for sale, as well as a listening station, so you can vet them first.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art • 7374 E. 2nd St., 480-874-4666, smoca.org
Louise Nevelson's "Windows to the West"
Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture isn't the only first-class piece of public art in this part of town, although you'll have to look a little harder to find Scottsdale's very own Louise Nevelson, which is behind the Scottsdale Public Library. "Windows to the West" (officially titled Atmosphere and Environment XIII, but nobody calls it that) was dedicated in 1973. Commissioned by the Scottsdale Fine Arts Council, the piece was the world-renowned sculptor's first large-scale work in the Southwest. It had to be removed from its watery home in 2002 for restoration because of environmental damage, but it returned to Scottsdale in 2004, and today it looks pretty damn good for 36 and counting.