Photo courtesy of The Sanctuary: Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
The Sanctuary: Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
As obvious as it may sound, what sets the Sanctuary apart from any other Scottsdale resort is location. Sitting on the north side of Camelback Mountain, yet minutes from downtown Scottsdale, it has a balance of desert mountain isolation and easy access that no other Scottsdale resort can match. Since the Sanctuary opened in 2001, the combination has especially appealed to publicity-shy celebs. The views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the adobe casitas look out at the mountain and across Paradise Valley. The casitas have wood-block floors, mosaic glass tiled showers, and, in most of them, oversize tubs with romantic votive candles.
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For all those little items available only in stores like Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York, Scottsdale Fashion Square, the largest mall in the Southwest, is a 15-minute drive away. For a noisier counterpoint to the serenity of the Sanctuary, Culinary Dropout is a gastropub at the Scottsdale Waterfront, with decadent and irresistible fondue pretzels. Calling its decor Border Baroque, Cowboy Ciao in downtown Scottsdale has a more sophisticated menu than its name and ambience might suggest. The mushroom stir-fry, for example, contains nine varieties of mushroom.
Need to Know
Rooms: 105 casitas; from $289 low season, $529 high season. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Elements is another resort restaurant with a celebrity chef, this one Food Network star and Iron Chef America winner Beau MacMillan, known for his belief in simple food prepared well, and for producing Asian-influenced American fare. As with just about everywhere on the property, views from Elements are spectacular. Spa and gym details:With 12 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, the spa offers Asian-inspired services such as tok sen, a healing treatment from Thailand. The fitness center’s staff includes Olympic swimming gold-medalist Misty Hyman.
Who’s it for:Stylish seekers of serenity. Our favorite rooms:The mountain casitas at the top level have the best views.For maximum luxury, the spa suites come with a lava rock fireplace and outdoor soaking tub. Getting around:Don’t be put off by the slopes and the stairs. That’s what calling a golf cart is for.