What: Escape to the Sonoran Desert for a stay at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, a haven chock-full of exclusive amenities and a setting unlike any other. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort near Scottsdale, Ariz., exudes a soothing ambiance, from the water fountains and fire pits dotting the outdoor spaces to the bamboo garden next to the tranquil Four-Star spa. Grab a bite at the resort’s signature restaurant, Elements, to enjoy a meal crafted by executive chef Beau MacMillan who uses seasonal ingredients and simple concepts to create farm-fresh cuisine with an Asian flare. Practice your tennis game at one of the five championship courts, or opt for the unique “Zennis” class that incorporates yoga techniques into your motions. But don’t forget a refreshing dip in the resort’s main pool, which Sanctuary touts as the largest infinity pool in Arizona.
Where: The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort is located less than 10 minutes from downtown Scottsdale (including Scottsdale Quarter with its variety of restaurants) and 20 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Sanctuary’s position on the north face of Camelback Mountain affords unbeatable vistas of Paradise Valley. Casitas and suites are tiered on the mountain, meaning the higher up you go, the better the views. When it comes to nearby activities, the resort makes the most of its mountainside location with guided hikes and bike rides led by the property’s fitness instructors. Sanctuary’s grounds are also teeming with small wildlife, so don’t be surprised if you spot hummingbirds, rabbits and quail, and the resort’s own horticulturist made sure to include plants indigenous to the area.
When: This Arizona hotel holds a long and storied past—beginning as an exclusive racquet club in the 1950s, eventually turning into a privately owned 53-acre resort in 1992 before its final iteration of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in 2001. During its tennis-focused years, the property was known for its celebrity tournaments featuring the likes of Elton John, Johnny Carson and a breadth of U.S. politicians. Today, the Four-Star resort boasts 105 casitas and suites (in addition to seven private homes) with mountain views or close proximity to the Four-Star spa. A major renovation for Sanctuary’s popular Jade Bar is slated to begin in June, which will be expanded to accommodate the large crowds that flock to the hot spot on the weekends.
Why: Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa truly epitomizes a zen desert oasis, and the theme remains consistent throughout the entire resort, from the casitas to the restaurant to the spa. Extra special offerings such as lavender spray at turndown, full-size liquor bottles in the wet bar and Olympic gold medalist swim instructors (Misty Hyman) on hand convey a strong sense of attention-to-detail found only at a luxury hotel. Anyone who enjoys getting pampered will love unwinding with The Spa at Sanctuary’s Asian-inspired treatment menu, offering services such as Tok Sen (Thai yoga-like stretching with vibration therapy) and shiatsu and reiki massages. And architecture aficionados will appreciate the resort’s Frank Lloyd Wright design, a style that’s featured prominently in the Scottsdale area.
Photos Courtesy of Sanctuary On Camelback Mountain