Scottsdale is known for its gorgeous desert landscapes; top-notch golfing, shopping, and dining; and luxurious resorts. Check out the six top luxury resorts in the Sonoran Desert destination.
One of the most impressive spa resorts in the Southwest, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain is a holistic retreat truly worthy of the word "Sanctuary." With its polished interiors, pampering service, and extravagant features, Sanctuary has always been a haven for celebrities, most notably when Beyoncé and Jay-Z spent their honeymoon here. That said, while the property can attract a bit of buzz -- particularly at the on-site restaurant and bar -- it remains serene. Its 109 gorgeous suites showcase elegant, minimalist decor and private outdoor spaces, and some even offer outdoor tubs.
Four Seasons Resort is located northeast of Scottsdale in the Sonoran Desert at the foot of the Pinnacle Peak Park. The resort's gorgeous bi-level pool and beautiful grounds blend with the surrounding landscape (expect tall cacti, flowering shrubs, and natural stone formations). The property comprises a cluster of low adobe-style buildings; the 210 rooms and suites are housed in 25 casitas, giving the Four Seasons the feel of a small village. Solid dining options, a wonderful spa, a huge fitness center, and an on-site art gallery round out the experience.
Full of waterfalls, koi ponds, and palms, this 250-acre resort oasis is on the edge of Camelback Mountain, close to Old Town Scottsdale. Communal interiors have Old World luxury appeal with marble floors and chandeliers. For activities, there is a USGA 27-hole golf course and pro shop, 11 tennis courts, and a winding cactus garden for beautiful sunrise walks. The nine pools have attendants who will regularly deliver towels and pitchers of ice water, and there is a spa with 24 treatment rooms. Comfortable accommodations include 645 rooms in the hotel, casitas near Necklace Lake, and a number of residential-style suites. Guests have their choice among seven restaurants and lounges, as well as easy access to both Scottsdale and Phoenix.
The 62-room Canyon Suites at the Phoenician is an intimate resort within the larger Phoenician Resort. The drive into this property takes guests across expertly manicured grounds with lawns, flowers, and fountains, past a golf course, and to the elegant entrance with its view of Camelback Mountain. The Canyon Suites has its own lobby, pool, and rooms overseen by its own staff. This exclusive hotel is higher in price than the already-steep parent resort, but it comes with plenty of extras and is particularly popular among couples. The overall atmosphere is upscale and polished.
JW Marriott is located in the upscale Paradise Valley section of Scottsdale, surrounded by tall desert palms, cacti, and rolling mountains. Southwest style is evident throughout the resort -- starting in the lobby, which has warm leather chairs, dark wood floors, and a big fireplace. The casita-style rooms feature log-beamed ceilings, French doors that open onto a private balcony or patio, and decor inspired by the desert surroundings. Guests will find all the features of a large resort here, including eight restaurants and bars, two 18-hole golf courses, a spa, and a freeform pool with a hot tub.
Designed like a posh Spanish village, the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia is one of Scottsdale's most luxurious desert retreats. The grounds feature pretty floral-lined walkways and arched entrances, and it has great views of Camelback Mountain from its pools and lovely outdoor terraces. Its 293 Old World-style guest rooms might bore some, but the decor matches the property, and their private balconies make the most of the beautiful setting. There's a Spanish restaurant and a tapas bar, plus an impressive spaand a spacious fitness center. The downside: there's a resort fee, and extra fees add up.