Always a getaway that leaves you inspired, relaxed and only wanting to find more time to enjoy such an awe-inspiring destination, the combined destination of Scottsdale and Phoenix is simply one-of-a-kind. With a hint of the old southwest still existent in the architecture and historical areas such as Old Town Scottsdale, this area has seen an overall "boom" the past decade. Not just a sleepy desert town anymore, this area is filled with fashionable luxury and simply busting at the seams with fantastic hotels and resorts, amazing food scene and shopping to rival any other city in the country. All of this growth allows for resort and hotel options to now exist that can meet any budget for this luxury destination.
$$$ 1. The Ultimate In Luxury:
Montelucia Resort & Spa has revolutionized the hospitality industry for this area since it was opened in 2008. Beyond imagination, this resort will leave you breathless from the moment you arrive. Inspired by the whitewashed villages and sun-drenched hills of Spain's Andalusia region, the arching entryways, glorious fountains and floral walkways connect the luxurious amenities and amazing hideaways behind the walls of this glorious resort. When it comes to the most sought-after presidential suites in the area, which have hosted numerous celebrities, and even President Obama himself, the offerings here at Montelucia are unbeatable. However, this resort also offers a number of affordable luxury room options, incredible deals and discounted packages; providing many lucky guests the distinct opportunity to have the ultimate Montelucia experience. The staff here is amazing, and with the over-the-top spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, refreshing pools and delicious dining options, you'll find yourself never wanting to leave the resort.
Royal Palms Resort & Spa has a very rich history in the Phoenix and Scottsdale communities, having remained as one of the premier resorts for the ultimate in seclusion and relaxation. A special treat, you enter this amazing resort through the over-sized mahogany and iron double doors, which feel more like you're entering an exclusive mansion. This old world charm is experienced throughout the entire property, from the lavish grounds, the posh Alvadora Spa, the nationally acclaimed T.Cook's Restaurant, to the personable salon, fitness center and swimming pool. With the exception of the large meeting facilities, here you still feel like you're among family in this supper luxurious boutique facility, complete with all the amenities and services you expect from a resort of this caliber. A few personal favorites at this property are the poolside morning yoga classes and the poolside cooling treatments available from the spa therapists.
$$ 2. Middle of the Road Luxury:
Hermosa Inn is a great find and a true boutique hideaway. Complete with a rich history dating back to 1930, after several renovations, including a recent update to the casitas, this property is truly a tranquil getaway in the desert. Located in Paradise Valley, and close proximity to Phoenix, Scottsdale and the airport, you'll fall in love with the Inn and the six-acres of lush desert landscaping. To provide a unique desert experience, I recommend the Casita option to stay within budget while being able to stretch out and enjoy the private patio and remodeled bathrooms. I really like this property for their poolside yoga, and if it's possible to splurge on a meal while you're staying at the Hermosa Inn, the special 5-course meal at their restaurant, LON, is an amazing culinary treat not to be missed.
Hotel Valley Ho is a playful mix, with the retro design expected of a hotel from the 1950's, while also having the rejuvenated rooms, services and overall hip atmosphere we want today. Since the complete transformation in 2005, the hotel is now very "green-friendly" and is a sincere youthful escape placed in the center of all the action in downtown Scottsdale. A very large variety of room types here designed to fit any budget, standard rooms are certainly adequate, while the larger rooms with extra amenities and services in the Tower Suites allow you to spoil yourself with their retro luxury. Also offering fantastic wellness, fitness and dining options, the real relaxation begins at the Hotel Valley Ho's pool. I highly recommend the private cabana rental for the day to soak in all this hotel has to offer, complete with extra drinks and snacks included in the rental. If you're entertaining, the double cabanas can accommodate up to twelve people, and they even feature a private bar, when requested.
$ 3. Budget-Friendly Luxury:
Smoketree Resort & Bungalows provides for an authentic Arizona hospitality experience. It's also the longest running independent hotel property in Scottsdale, and the family is still very hands-on with the renovations, up-keep and management. With five-acres of manicured desert landscapes, you'll find that you almost lose yourself in the beauty of the property and the surrounding desert mountains. The staff takes pride in their concierge services to help the guests in their 26 cottages and bungalows on the property find the best activities and dining in the area. Here, the one-bedroom bungalows offer plenty of space to relax, and the pool area provides complete serenity with 50-year old Aleppo Pine trees and even a babbling brook leading to the Japanese Koi pond.
Thunderbird Suites prides themselves on the level of services they provide their guests, while keeping the prices very fair. Also a great choice if you're traveling with your pets, as they cater to your furry friends almost as much as they cater to their human guests. I'm a fan of this property because it's within walking distance of Kierland Commons; a modern, yet quintessentially Scottsdale outdoor center that provides a perfect location for shopping, dining, or simply just an evening stroll. Thunderbird Suites has a very unique historical significance in the role it played during World War II, as well features free Wi-Fi for guests, and includes microwaves and refrigerators in every suite. If it's available, and if your budget allows, be sure to ask about the King VIP suite, as it will make your stay with this integral piece of Scottsdale's history that much sweeter.