The Best Resorts to Book in Arizona
Visit Arizona for endless sunshine amid majestic mountains and enjoy it all from the comfort of your stunning hotel grounds | © Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows / Expedia
Itching for some fun in the sun, but don’t need the ocean? Arizona’s desert landscapes are just the ticket, putting you amid rugged mountains dotted with cacti, where each day ends with an epic sunset in one of these resorts – bookable on Culture Trip.
These top-notch resorts near Phoenix and Tucson are a cinch to fly to and a welcome respite for jaded, city-slicker travelers. The spacious grounds offer a range of outdoor activities in the form of multiple pools, tennis courts, golf courses and spas – not to mention nearby hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. The best part? Constant sunshine is practically guaranteed here. Maybe you’re a romantic, a multi-generational family, or simply attending a corporate event. Whatever your reason, there’s a resort on this list that’ll sort you out.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
Courtesy of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa / Expedia
Paradise Valley is the home of this upscale and massive resort, close to area attractions and golf courses in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. There are three outdoor pools – including an adults-only option – five tennis courts, a fitness center, and a spa with Asian-inspired treatments. 109 contemporary casitas and suites come in a variety of options from one to two bedrooms – some with fireplaces and terraces. Eight larger villas offer more space and luxury amenities. After a day in the sun, dine at the sleek restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the desert views – start with the wagyu beef and ginger dumplings while sipping a craft cocktail, as the sun dips into the horizon.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North / Expedia
This sophisticated desert escape is located at the foot of Pinnacle Peak and has views in every direction. Elegant accommodations come in adobe-style buildings — with up to three bedrooms — and gas fireplaces, patios and daily newspapers. Some units have garden showers and private pools. Amenities include access to two golf courses, an art gallery, tennis courts, a spa with 14 treatment rooms and a bi-level pool with an area for kids. Order a kale salad and ice cream sandwich in the shade for lunch – in the evening dress up and head to the upscale small plates bar or the Latin-inspired steakhouse.
Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale
© Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale / Expedia
This resort on the edge of Camelback Mountain exudes midcentury modernism – it first opened in 1959 and recently re-emerged in 2017 to offer a new stylish look, while retaining some of its original charm. Rooms have chic decor and huge windows to let in the views and depending on the room type, amenities may include private patios and standalone tubs, while spacious condominiums have fully equipped kitchens. Taking center stage is the elongated pool area with plenty of sun loungers, though guests spread out at the fitness center offering yoga and pilates classes and the 18-hole golf course, suitable for beginners. Casual dining is offered during the day, while a more sophisticated restaurant serves specialties like short rib agnolotti with summer succotash. Write home on one of the vintage postcards provided in the rooms.
Rancho Manana Resort by Diamond Resorts
© Rancho Manana Resort / Expedia
This family-friendly retreat is less than an hour’s drive north of Phoenix in the desert foothills of Cave Creek, a charming town with flea markets and art galleries. Low-maintenance travelers will appreciate the traditional two-bedroom, two-bathroom units with fully equipped kitchens, beehive fireplaces, and soaking tubs – with shared laundry facilities also available. Spacious grounds offer winding trails to enjoy the rugged landscape, plus an outdoor pool and championship golf club surrounded by cacti and palm trees. Cook dinner at one of the BBQ areas or dine at the all-day restaurant serving Southwestern-inspired cuisine, including grass-fed Arizona beef. Free WiFi is available in the lobby, but there’s a fee for other areas.
Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows
Part of the Hyatt brand, this trendy resort overlooks Camelback Mountain with spacious rooms and even bigger bungalows decorated in contemporary mid-century furnishings and colorful accents. Spend a day relaxing around the three outdoor pools, or head to the contemporary fitness center and spa. Food and drink can be ordered poolside, while a chic restaurant offers an open kitchen and chef’s table. Enjoy breakfast items like chilaquiles verdes with bottomless mimosas – while evening options include marinated shrimp with blood orange sauce. A shuttle service is available for more dining options in and around Scottsdale.
Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa
© Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Guests get their first dose of in-the-moment balance as soon as they find a cell phone sleeping bag reminding them to tuck away the smartphone. Arizona’s second largest city of Tucson is the base for this stunning and vast luxury resort in the Saguaro Desert that draws celeb guests like Oprah Winfrey. Posh rooms come in a range of sizes, some with patios, soaking tubs and garden showers – while suites and villas have more living space as well as hot tubs or private pools. As this is a tips-free, all-inclusive resort, the nightly rate covers all meals and activities. Stay busy with three pools, an equestrian center, a fitness center and spa, yoga and meditation classes and lectures and workshops. Two restaurants serve healthy fare – some being Mexican-inspired, while alcoholic beverages are an additional cost. Free airport transfers are available to and from Tucson airport, less than an hour away.
The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale
Courtesy of the Phoenician / Booking.com
This place demands that you go big or go home. A 10-minute drive from Old Town Scottsdale is this palatial mega resort – now owned by Marriott – at the foot of Camelback Mountain. Come prepared to walk a lot, as lush grounds stretch across 250 acres (101ha) and host a range of activities – from a three-level outdoor pool with a kiddy area and waterslide to an 18-hole golf course, a tennis complex and a massive two-story athletic center offering unusual classes like aerial yoga. There are more than 600 rooms, casitas and suites here, all with Southwestern touches, marble bathrooms and soaking tubs – plus eight restaurants and bars and some with live music, for all ages and dress codes. Start the evening with drinks at the Thirsty Camel, featuring spectacular panoramic views of the resort and valley beyond – order a Fiery Mandarin for a spicy take on the cosmopolitan.
Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
© Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort / Expedia
This relaxed, approachable option near Tucson is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Film buffs can relish in the fact that Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn once stayed here. Rooms, suites and casitas offer old-world Southwestern decor in a range of sizes. Some have fireplaces, private patios and/or outdoor showers, while the biggest suite – named for the aforementioned movie stars – comes with a full kitchen. One of two restaurants includes an all-day option with a beautiful view of the mountains, especially at sunset. Start with the salt spring mussels with chorizo while perusing a wine list of more than 800 bottles. Stay active with nearby horseback riding, hiking and golf – or relax at the pool and spa. Don’t miss the on-site art, photography and sculpture collection, too.
Tubac Golf Resort and Spa
© Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
This authentic resort is also rooted in history – yet this one lies an hour south of Tucson in the art colony town of Tubac, known for its many eclectic shops and galleries. You’ll have access to a 27-hole golf course, full-service spa, outdoor pool, tennis court and hiking and biking trails. Spanish-colonial rooms come with bright bathroom tiles and terracotta floors, while suites add fireplaces, patios and soaking tubs. Snag a saddle at the bar and observe the sombrero hat display – meanwhile, all-day dining comes in the form of hearty meals like pancakes for breakfast and pan-fried stuffed trout for dinner.
Courtesy of Scottsdale Plaza Resort
Corporate groups and wedding parties are a common sight at this huge 40-acre (16ha) resort in the heart of Scottsdale. You’ve got five outdoor pools to choose from here, along with a salon, spa and fitness center, plus tennis courts and a putting green. Accommodations have traditional decor with 404 rooms, suites and lodges that come with mini-fridges and Keurig coffee makers – while higher categories offer a range of extras that may include kitchens, fireplaces and private pools. Various dining outlets provide items like churro French toast, wood-fired pizzas, and chicken asada tacos. The resort fee includes valet service and a local shuttle for exploration further afield.
Royal Palms Resort and Spa, for a Spanish-style retreat in Phoenix
Courtesy of Royal Palms Resort and Spa, part of Hyatt / Expedia
A former winter residence, this 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival estate has been converted into a luxury spa resort, surrounded by a living picket fence of palm trees and fringed with riotous bougainvillea. The rooms, decked out in cool creams and blues, have fireplaces, dark-wood furniture and balconies with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. The villas are the pinnacle of luxury, with free-standing claw-footed tubs that will make you feel like a film star. The dining options are eclectic tapas at T. Cook’s, prepared with locally sourced ingredients, while the Mix Up Bar offers farm-to-table cuisine and craft cocktails.
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, for Andalusian-inspired luxury
Courtesy of Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia / Booking.com
Inspired by the Moorish architecture of Andalusia, this luxury hotel is dedicated to the three Rs: romance, relaxation and recreation. Custom-designed Devine beds with sky-high Egyptian cotton thread counts are accentuated by the desert shades of the room decor, and the views of Camelback Mountain are nothing short of spectacular. There are many activities to be enjoyed, from hiking and biking around the peaks and valleys, to golf, healing treatments at the Joy of Intention room at the spa and poolside relaxation. Wood-fired tapas at Mbar and Prado’s refined dishes are all inspired by the tastes of Andalusia.
Arizona Biltmore, for desert chic in Phoenix
Luxurious and channeling desert chic, the Arizona Biltmore blends African and American desert motifs in its decor, resulting in sand-colored, expansive spaces, rich with patterns. Opt for a Paradise Poolside room or Patio Firepit room to get your own private firepit. There are two on-site restaurants: Renata’s Hearth specializes in modern Latin cuisine paired with mezcal cocktails and served in a beautifully designed space that feels like a decadent bazaar, while Frank & Albert’s, named after the hotel’s architects, is all about American classics in an airy bistro. Finish up with drinks at the Spire Bar, where the wine and cocktail list will make you see double.
Amara Resort and Spa, for seasonal, locavore cuisine in Sedona
Courtesy of Amara Resort and Spa / Expedia
This Sedona resort is defined by its stylish decor: a combination of warm tones, dark blue statement walls and welcome pops of color in the suites, along with abstract art and fantastic views of the surrounding red rock formations. The SaltRock Southwest Kitchen is where traditional Southwestern dishes are conjured from seasonal and local ingredients. When your hunger is sated, have a Smokin’ Old Fashioned or signature margarita. The spa entices with its signature Rain Dance Massage, among other tempting offerings.