The Wigwam, Litchfield Park
Although the Wigwam is a historic Arizona resort, with an Old Southwest look and feel, the history here has nothing to do with cowboys and Indians, but cotton and car tires. Originating in 1918 as company lodging for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which owned thousands of acres near Phoenix (where it grew cotton used in making tires), the Wigwam opened to the public in 1929. The property has grown into a 331-room Arizona luxury resort, but its location to the west of Phoenix (instead of around Scottsdale to the east, where much of the area's tourism development lies) means that it largely flies under the tourist radar. The resort has been trying to change that perception, with a major refurbishing completed in 2011 and a promotion of the benefits of staying west of Phoenix. Yet with its 54 holes of championship golf, nine tennis courts, three swimming pools (including one with a 25-foot waterslide), and all the expected dining options and health and fitness amenities, the Wigwam's relatively low rates still reflect the greater visibility of the resorts to the east. Which is no doubt why it's popular with meeting and convention travelers and destination weddings, two groups more keenly attuned than most to good value for money. That, and what bride could resist a venue that boasts 8,000 rose bushes?
By Bob Payne, AFAR Contributor
300 East Wigwam Boulevard, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340, USA