Roughly 20 miles from downtown Phoenix, on the banks of a Gila River replica, Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass strikes the right balance of luxury and rugged, natural beauty. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended resort pays homage to the Gila River Indian Community (the property resides on its land), specifically Maricopa and Pima tribal culture, in décor and amenities. Interiors, both public spaces and all newly renovated 500 rooms, showcase tribal artwork, such as basket weavings, pottery and paintings.
With many outdoor attractions (including a 36-hole Troon-managed golf course and the 2,400-acre KOLI Equestrian Center) and restorative activities (such as Aji Spa’s Native American-inspired treatments), the resort is great for family vacations, weddings and retreats.
Because the property is so flush with perks, it’s hard to choose just five things we love about this Phoenix resort. But here are the ones that will have us booking a return visit:
A Nature Lover’s Retreat in the City
In a metropolis of more than a million residents, Phoenix’s Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass offers a unique respite from the urban grind. With bountiful nature, from the river to hiking trails, the resort allows you to unwind in the serenity of the Sonoran Desert. But it also is close enough to enjoy the excitement of the city (it’s within a 20-minute drive).
Indigenous-Inspired Spa Treatments
Utilizing the healing traditions of the Pima and Maricopa tribes, Five-Star Aji Spa spotlights services vetted by tribal elders for authenticity. Fan favorites include the Sacred Prickly Pear treatment, a prickly pear red clay body wrap and full-body massage, and the Ancient Shegoi Wrap & Massage featuring Shegoi, the world’s oldest living plant revered for its healing properties. The spa’s gated pool is an oasis when you want a dip, sans the crowds (or kids) of the other resort pools.
Four pools — one with a heart-racing 111-foot slide — an equestrian center, a tennis court and river activities, like paddleboarding and hydro-biking, will keep kids of all ages busy at this luxury Phoenix resort.
Arizona’s Only Five-Star Restaurant
The state’s only Five-Star award-winning restaurant, Kai is an epicurean destination. The resort’s fine-dining spot uses Gila River Indian Community produce prepared in an innovative (and delicious) fashion using Native American techniques. The menu has a story arc, just like your latest favorite fiction read — and the meal is just as enthralling.
Reserve one of Kai’s outdoor tables for stunning golf course and river views; time dinner during sunset for an even more spectacular sight.
An Event Haven
For a convention, Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass has a one-of-a-kind offering. There’s an abundance of meeting rooms and event space — nearly 100,000 square feet, in fact. But with the property’s restorative naturescapes, including babbling brooks and friendly frogs, it still feels like a special getaway. The backdrop will make your next convention or conference much more memorable.