5 of the best luxury hotels in Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale is a sunny destination with luxurious accommodations, over 100 art galleries, plentiful outdoor activities and more than 600 restaurants. It offers something for everyone – outdoors enthusiasts, shoppers, golfers, families, foodies, and those looking to lounge by the pool and hit the spa.

The Valley of the Sun was once a popular hideaway for the old Hollywood crowd, and remains a hotspot for visitors looking for down time in a unique and convenient location. Situated in central Arizona in the Sonoran desert with Phoenix to the West and the McDowell Mountains to the east, Scottsdale offers easy access to the state’s biggest attractions. The city continually ranks as a top community for business and leisure.

Here are five luxury resorts, each offering their own special magic. During the summer, prices are drastically reduced, often to half the normal rate or more, so you can get a lot of bang for you buck if you’re willing to brave the heat.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

The wonderful thing about the Four Seasons is that the answer to everything is: Yes. May I have this? Yes. Can I do that? Yes. The other wonderful things are the atmosphere and the food, which are both fantastic.

Four Seasons Scottsdale dusk

Proof, an American Canteen, is a family friendly restaurant with a fun menu that offers both home-style comfort food and healthy fare made with quality local and organic ingredients. It’s worth getting on a plane to eat Chef Jesse’s breakfast of huevos rancheros, blueberry buttermilk pancakes that melt in your mouth and freshly pressed green juice. Lunch and dinner are also fabulous–the Arizona Salad is a must.

The ambiance at the Four Seasons Scottsdale is tranquil and elegant and very southwestern with beautiful views of the Sonoran Desert from a small village of casitas. You can access numerous trails from the hotel or nearby, including Pinnacle Peak, The Marcus Landslide Interpretive Trail, and Brown’s Ranch Trailhead at McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Get a Healing Hiker’s massage at the spa post-hike, or relax by the pool in a complimentary cabana while the kids are at the (also complimentary) kids club.

For those who enjoy golf, the resort is adjacent to the renowned Weiskopf-designed golf courses of Troon North. Two 18-hole courses offer one of Scottsdale’s top golfing experiences.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

Sanctuary is an appropriate name because Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is a desert oasis that feels like a soothing hideaway. Located in Paradise Valley on the north slope of Camelback Mountain, it’s a 53-acre resort that feels intimate and quiet.

Sanctuary Camelback

Modern with gorgeous views and pops of bright green throughout the property, cozy casitas blend rustic charm with comfortable contemporary decor. Hummingbirds are all over this property and you can spot them fluttering around the beautifully groomed grounds filled with colorful flowers. In the morning, you can sit on your private patio and enjoy a coffee and take in the scenery. Life seems to move slower at this resort and it’s a welcome respite.

Sanctuary’s Asian inspired spa is one of the best in town and the Wild Lime Blossom Massage is divine. Relax poolside after a spa visit and enjoy a cold glass of signature basil-cucumber lemonade. The infinity pool is especially beautiful at night with views of twinkling city lights mixed with mountain and palm tree silhouettes. The Praying Monk, a rock formation visible from all over the property, is an appropriate landmark for such a tranquil and soul-feeding place.

Hotel Valley Ho

For a hip, retro chic and wholly unique hotel experience check out Valley Ho where you almost expect the Rat Pack to saunter through the doors at any moment. Mid-century-modern architecture and bright colors create a festive atmosphere, and its convenient location in historic Old Town is perfect for walking to a variety of shops and restaurants.

Valley Ho Loft Suite

This vintage property, which opened in 1956, feels ultra fresh and modern. It’s like stepping simultaneously into the past and future blending Frank Sinatra with the Jetsons. It was an old Hollywood hangout back in the day, hosting stars like Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood.

You see a lot of brown and beige in Scottsdale and Valley Ho’s turquoise blue, orange and yellow are fabulously refreshing. Book a Tower Loft Suite for swanky luxury that makes you feel like a rock star.  A quiet lap pool that lights up in glowing purple at night is a welcome surprise for swimmers while the more up-tempo round OH Pool is a fun place to grab a cocktail and socialize.

The food at ZuZu is excellent and all the more enjoyable sitting outside by the tiki style lava fire pit. They use fresh local ingredients and the taste comes through. The other thing that shines is the exceptionally cheerful staff. It’s a locally owned and managed hotel and you get a family-run vibe throughout the hotel.

A visit to VH Spa for Vitality + Health is a must. It’s small, not like the mega spas, and this makes for a more personalized experience. The decor is colorful with soothing blues. If you’re not staying here, it’s worth stopping by for a meal at ZuZu and signature Hammam spa treatment, but once you see this property, you might want to book a room.

The Phoenician

You walk into this hotel to a grand Italian marble entrance with sweeping views of Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Papago Mountain. This is an SPG Luxury Collection hotel, so it will feel familiar to the Starwood crowd. President Obama, JLo, and other celebrities have stayed at the Phonecian and it has a palatial regal ambiance that you’d imagine would appeal to dignitaries and movie stars.

Phonecian Mother of Pearl pool

This is a family friendly hotel and really shines in accommodating children. The Funician Kids Club is a bright, colorful kids club that features a big aquarium and fun Mathew Lew artwork on the walls–we’re talking hip raccoons with headphones. This particular kids club goes over the top, giving each kiddo their own quality Funician backpack with goodies inside. Children are offered meals, and a variety of activities inside and outdoors so adults can enjoy the pool, spa, or afternoon tea.

For relaxing poolside, a sunny yellow cabana at the more secluded million-dollar Mother of Pearl serenity pool is the way to go.

Fairmont Gold at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Another family oriented luxury hotel, the Fairmont Princess offers five swimming pools, two waterslides, marshmallow roasting, on site fishing and the Trailblazer Kids Club. This is a mega resort and staying in Fairmont Gold, essentially a hotel within a hotel, offers a more luxurious and intimate experience.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Two restaurants on site offer good dinner options. Dine at celebrity Chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak for a sexy southwestern atmosphere, excellent food and outdoor dining in a cactus-adorned terrace. It’s a place to linger. The chef sends out random tastes of food and the ambiance invites conversation. La Hacienda offers a more home-style atmosphere and is famous for their tequila and flaming coffee drinks. The Organic Margarita made with agave and lime might spoil you for all future margaritas.

Guests and locals love the spa at this hotel. Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa is a grandiose 44,000 square foot spa with a waterfall grotto and rooftop pool. Their patented Novo Glow facial is a great refresher after spending time in the desert and you can unwind with some prickly pear lemonade by the secluded pool post-treatment.

Leah DeAngelis is Editor of Best Travel Gear.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (5)

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  1. N. Stone says:

    Wow! Sound glorious! Sign me up now. Lots of adventure and great food. Who could ask for more.The nest time I plan to be in Arizona I will to refer back to this complete information. Thank you.

  2. tracy says:

    I have stayed at the Valley Ho and the Phoenician. While they are both lovely, I prefer the Phoenician.However, the Valley Ho is definitely better for those who want to be near restaurants, etc.

  3. I would like to recommend the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess to anyone visiting the area. I’ve not stayed at the resort but picked up clients that have nothing but good things to say. The Bellhops were very friendly and professional when arriving. Being familiar with the area, I recommend going south to the Kierland Commons Shopping Center for some luxury shopping and great restaurants. If you’re in the mood for some unique Mexican food definitely try Sol. If you are in the mood to grab dinner and a movie, I recommend the iPic Theater; Guaranteed good time and great food!

    Enjoy your next trip to Arizona!

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks Anthony (and Tracy!)… lots of useful feedback there.

    And I’m glad the post was helpful to you, N. Stone! :)

  5. Nathan Hearns says:

    I would definitely recommend The Boulders, a Waldorf Astoria resort to this list. Though not officially in Scottsdale (it’s in Carefree about 15 mins north), The Boulders is a beautiful luxury resort to experience. It’s a desert oasis buit around (and into) huge rock formations that are just incredible. This place should not be missed!

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