The Best Hotels in Arizona

Arizona’s best hotels are as varied as its landscapes. Everywhere from the Grand Canyon to downtown Phoenix to Camelback Mountain, you’ll find glamping retreats, dude ranches, spa-centric stays, historic hotels, and even boutique properties with design-forward guest rooms. Whether you’re seeking a kid-friendly spot for a family road trip or a secluded resort for a romantic getaway, you’ll find it all in the Grand Canyon State.

9 Village Loop Drive, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
Mere steps from the South Rim in Grand Canyon Village, Bright Angel has history in spades. Conceived by architect Mary J. Colter (who designed several other structures in the park), the rustic lodge looks from the outside as it did when it opened in 1935, though the 37 rooms have been updated and—if not exactly luxurious—are cozy and clean, with shared bathrooms and standard hotel carpeting and comforters. The 50 one-bedroom log cabins have more modern amenities, such as Keurig coffeemakers and satellite TV, and a handful of them sit right on the rim. Don’t miss the fabulous floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the main lounge, where the canyon wall’s geological layers are re-created, more or less to scale, using the same rock, from the 2-billion-year-old Zoroaster granite at the bottom of the canyon to the 250-million-year-old Kaibab Limestone at the top. Just be sure to find a spot early: The building is usually packed with visitors gawking at the jaw-dropping views or gathering for popular mule rides and guided hiking tours down the Bright Angel Trail.
AZ-67, North Rim, AZ 86052, USA
Want to avoid the crowds? At an elevation of over 8,000 feet, the remote North Rim of the Grand Canyon gets just 10 percent of annual park visits, making it a quieter experience preferred by couples and serious hikers. The only place to stay is the rustic Grand Canyon Lodge, a historic limestone-and-native-timber landmark that has been in operation since 1936. Accommodations are spare yet clean, ranging from no-frills motel rooms to more modern cabins with two queen beds plus a full bath, mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and spacious porch—some of which back up to the rim. The main building houses a dining room with expansive views of the canyon and a saloon serving cocktails and beer, but many grab something to go from the lodge’s Deli in the Pines to enjoy while soaking in the copper-hued sunset on the veranda. Owing to early snows, the lodge is only open from mid-May through mid-October; head there in September, when the changing colors of the region’s maple, birch, and oak trees put on a show that rivals the best New England foliage tours.
235 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, AZ 86046, USA
This sprawling 298-room property in Williams, Arizona, is most frequently booked by visitors taking the Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim, about an hour’s drive north. But it’s also an excellent option for those who don’t necessarily need to stay inside the park—or who simply prefer less rustic accommodations and amenities (like an indoor pool and hot tub). All the rooms here were recently refurbished and are relatively spacious, including bathrooms; even the standard rooms have two double beds, as well as free internet, air-conditioning, and microwaves and mini-fridges. The impressive lobby was designed in keeping with the nearby historic Fray Marcos Hotel and Williams Depot buildings, lending a cozy frontier vibe, and a roaring fire in the large flagstone fireplace greets guests in the winter. There’s a restaurant and pub on the premises, but you’re just steps from Historic Route 66 as it runs through downtown, with plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from.
N Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
It may look a little like your childhood summer camp, but Phantom Ranch feels like the Ritz by the time you make it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, whether by foot—a steep 10-mile hike—mule, or boat down the Colorado River. Set near a creek in the shade of a cottonwood grove, the lodge is the only property located beneath the rim of the canyon, making it an extremely popular destination. Book early; the concession uses a lottery system for reservations beginning 14 months in advance. There are two lodging options: log cabins that sleep up to 10 people and are furnished with cold water sinks and toilets (there are common shower facilities), and four dormitories—two each for men and women—that sleep 10 in five bunk beds. Linens are provided and, thankfully, all of the buildings have air-conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. Also be sure to reserve meals ahead of time. Seating in the canteen is limited, and the steak and meat-stew dinners, served family style, are surprisingly tasty.
10 Albright Ave, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
Though it doesn’t have the same rustic charm as the Bright Angel or El Tovar lodges—its neighbors on either side—the 1960s-era Thunderbird Lodge hasn’t lost that fun Mad Men vibe. Just yards away from the South Rim, it looks more like a college social sciences building from the outside, but the 55 updated rooms are comfortable and spacious, with geometric-patterned rugs and headboards, marble-topped furnishings, and stone-tiled bathrooms, plus creature comforts like satellite TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, and in-room refrigerators. Many have decent views of the canyon—a steal at only $20 more. And while there’s no restaurant on site, dining options at El Tovar, Bright Angel, and the rest of the village are only steps away. Best of all, the Rim Trail is right outside your door.
979 Airpark, Williams, AZ 86046, USA
Why we love it: A top-notch glamping resort near the Grand Canyon’s South Rim entrance

Highlights:
- Spacious, cabin-style safari tents with king beds and stoves
- Adventure concierges to help make the most of your Grand Canyon visit
- An on-site restaurant that serves all three meals

The Review:
Open from early April to mid-November, this resort pitches luxurious, cabin-style tents on the striking pink-and-scarlet desert. Even the basic Safari tents feature king-size beds and wood-burning stoves, though guests who opt for these accommodations must use the communal bathhouse for hot showers and flushing toilets. Suites up the ante with en suite bathrooms and private decks, while Stargazer options include king-size beds under arched viewing windows.

While Under Canvas goes light on brick-and-mortar amenities, it delivers plenty in the way of rustic charm and modern conveniences. Expect daily housekeeping, organic bath products, and USB battery packs in your tent, plus complimentary camp activities and a fire pit with nightly s’mores. The adventure concierges can also arrange hiking, mountain-biking, horseback-riding, and white-water rafting excursions as well as canyon helicopter tours and Jeep safaris in the Kaibab National Forest, during which guests can spot elk and turkey while exploring native petroglyphs, old stagecoach trails, and the area’s spectacular geology. When hunger strikes, head to the on-site restaurant for everything from breakfast burritos and boxed lunches to pan-roasted trout and grass-fed burgers.

300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, Arizona
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 to make tires), The Wigwam opened to the public in 1929. The property has since grown into a 331-room 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. Recently, the resort tried to change that fact, undergoing a major refurbishment in 2011 and launching a marketing campaign about the benefits of staying west of Phoenix. Still, its relatively low rates include amenities frequently associated with the eastern resorts, including 54 holes of championship golf, nine tennis courts, three swimming pools (one with a 25-foot waterslide), and all the expected dining and wellness options. Thanks to its prices, The Wigwam is most popular for conventions and destination weddings—two groups more keenly attuned than most to good value for the money. That, and what bride could resist a venue that boasts 8,000 rosebushes?
15000 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, AZ 85658, USA
For guests at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, there’s no mistaking that they’re in the High Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona. There are the saguaro cacti, the cooing quail in early morning, the black-velvet skies at night, and, rising directly behind the resort, the Tortolita Mountains, whose granite boulders are inscribed with graffiti-like messages that have been there for a thousand years. Visitors so inclined can get equally lyrical about the 27-hole Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, the 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, the three swimming pools, or the dishes made visible in the open kitchen of the resort’s main restaurant, the Core Kitchen and Wine Bar. The pervading feeling is that this is a place people have been coming to for refuge, rest, and replenishment for a very long time (since before 2000 B.C., according to some experts).
2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
Marilyn Monroe once proclaimed that her favorite swimming pool was at the Arizona Biltmore. And Irving Berlin, obviously a person who didn’t know how to relax, is said to have written “White Christmas” while a guest at the hotel. Other musical guests have included Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., who were known to play on a piano in the lobby. But that’s history, and the Jewel of the Desert, as the 90-year-old hotel was once known, is now just one more sparkling gem in a treasure chest of Arizona resorts. To continue shining, the Biltmore underwent a major renovation that was completed in late 2016. Much of the update focused on restoring the hotel’s original main building, but the guest rooms, meeting spaces, ballrooms, and spa were also polished. The contemporary style that now dominates the Biltmore was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, who played a significant role in determining the hotel’s original look. In the guest rooms, Wright’s influence is most notable in the wall coverings, embossed with a design similar to that found on his “Biltmore Blocks,” used in the construction of most of the resort. Of course, for guests who didn’t come for the history, or the design lecture, there are still the eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts, and, next door at the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, 36 holes of golf.
5050 East N Castle Hot Springs Rd, Morristown, AZ 85342, USA
Why we love it: An iconic spa resort remade as a chic, eco-friendly retreat

Highlights:
- A digitally disconnected philosophy that allows guests to unwind and engage
- Meals at the fantastic on-site restaurant included in the room rate
- Dark sky–friendly lighting and other sustainable design elements

The Review:
Once the preferred haunt of the American aristocracy, Castle Hot Springs, located just an hour’s drive northwest of Phoenix, attracted families like the Pews, Wrigleys, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers. In 1945, John F. Kennedy even convalesced here, hiking the high-desert trails and soaking in the hot springs that have served as a place of healing for the native Yavapai tribe for millennia. A 1976 fire set the resort on the path to decline, but as of 2019, it’s back and wowing guests with old glamour and new green elements.

The resort, now freshly renovated, comprises a main lodge, 12 contemporary bungalows, and 19 cabins (complete with telescopes for stargazing), all designed by the team behind Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Hotel Valley Ho. Following the property’s “digital detox” ethos, rooms don’t have TV or Wi-Fi, but more than make up for it with luxurious bedding and deep-soaking tubs. When not relaxing in privacy, guests can dine on fresh, local fare at on-site restaurant Harvest (which works with more than 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown on the hotel’s organic farm) or take a dip in the 125,000-gallon swimming pool fed by the surrounding hot springs. Also on property are two natural soaking pools, a rock grotto, and a serene spa right next to the spring. For those who wish to venture off-site, the staff can arrange hikes or horseback rides through the Bradshaw Mountains.

5200 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, USA
With its palm-lined entrance, oasis-like courtyards, and proximity to the Sky Harbor Airport, the Royal Palms draws both business and leisure travelers, especially business travelers who’ve managed to work a few days of leisure into their schedule. Built in the shadow of Camelback Mountain in 1929 as a Spanish Colonial–style home for Cunard Line executive Delos W. Cooke (who imported 900 palms for the grounds), and opened as a hotel in 1948, the Royal Palms remains popular in part because, with just 119 rooms, it’s one of the smaller and more intimate of Arizona’s luxury resorts. Restoration and refurbishing have kept it up to date without diminishing its original charm.
503 S Montezuma St, Prescott, AZ 86303, USA
Located a few blocks from Courthouse Square and Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott, about 100 miles north of Phoenix, the Motor Lodge is ideal for a retro road trip. The 13-room lodge began life around 1910 as summer cabins. After a century of serving as all manner of accommodation, it was purchased in 2008 by Joe Livingston and Brian Spear, who set out to prove it had at least one more life as a modern boutique hotel, complete with comfy beds, tastefully eclectic decor, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. One of the few hints that this is no longer an old-fashioned motor court is the bright yellow exterior doors and other splashes of color that suggest a more modern era. Still, there are throwbacks—some delightful (the room porches which are close enough together, and few enough in number, that chats with people who might otherwise remain strangers seem the neighborly thing to do) and some not so much (the tiny bathrooms in most of the rooms that would have passed without comment in earlier decades). Mostly, though, the two hosts seem to be striving for, and achieving, a hospitality that often becomes a guest’s strongest memory.
6114 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Why we love it: A bungalow-based resort inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and his beloved Sonoran Desert

Highlights:
- Spacious bungalows full of mid-century style
- Decor from local nonprofit Cattle Track Arts Compound
- Desert-inspired treatments at the on-site spa

The Review:
Santa Fe meets Palm Springs at this bohemian resort in Paradise Valley. Designers saved the bungalows from the previous property, but added dramatic, low-slung buildings rich in glass and deep overhangs, plus an ample central pool and four conference venues. Inspiration came via icons Frank Lloyd Wright and Alexander Girard, who both retreated to the desert for its light and space.

Guests looking to follow their lead can book one of the Andaz’s 201 mid-century-style casitas, which come complete with Eero Saarinen–esque womb chairs and marble walk-in showers. Suites include an additional full bathroom and spacious living area, while The Retreat—a cluster of accommodations perfect for weddings or corporate retreats—features 20 bungalows, including the 1,800-square-foot Albers House, surrounding a private pool. Throughout, decor draws heavily from the Cattle Track Arts Compound, a nearby nonprofit workspace for painters, sculptors, jewelers, potters, blacksmiths, and performers. (The hotel actually hosts artists-in-residence from the organization on a regular basis). Also on-site is the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary, where treatments blend desert elements with locally sourced botanicals, and the inventive Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, with dishes inspired by the surrounding Sonoran Desert. When guests wish to explore farther, they can catch a ride in the hotel Tesla anywhere within five miles, including to Chaparral Park and Old Town Scottsdale.

3701 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
As its name suggests, the Bespoke Inn is one of the more eccentric accommodations in downtown Scottsdale. This compact bed-and-breakfast, opened in 2013, has just 10 rooms. Each is decorated with homey, eclectic details that reflect the creativity of the hotel’s previous owners, who designed and built most of the inn’s furnishings themselves. The current owners, Jeremy Ferris and Robert Marchetti, brought in elements of Marchetti’s Italian heritage, which are evident in the updated courtyard and six new rooms. The result is a surprising blend of style and comfort, reinforced by the hotel’s ability to make guests feel they have all become friends. There are other surprises, too. In 2013 Esquire magazine called the café—which has its own odd appellation, Virtù Honest Craft—one of the 20 best new restaurants in America. And the hotel provides Pashley bicycles for guests to use during their stays.
6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
A 10-minute walk from downtown Scottsdale, the Hotel Valley Ho, its name most likely inspired by the long-ago repurposed Westward Ho (once the area’s premier hotel), has the kind of riches-to-rags-to-riches story that makes the crowd hanging around the pool on weekends not just hip but part of history. Opened in 1956, it featured a futuristic design of red-tinted concrete, stone, and glass—and a well-connected owner—that quickly made it a magnet for movie stars like Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, who held their wedding reception here. But as the Hollywood crowd knows best, fame wanes, and the hotel eventually reached such a low point that it was nearly torn down. It was saved due to its historic significance, and after a massive renovation that preserved many original elements, it re-emerged in 2006 not only with its trendy reputation revived, but also as one of the country’s best examples of mid-century hotel architecture. (The seven-story tower block was part of the original design but not built until the renovation.) Guest rooms are bright with colors that wouldn’t be out of place on South Beach. And the pool is still the place to be.
7500 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, USA
It is not unusual to find an Arizona resort that looks like a water park with rooms attached, and this big Scottsdale luxury property certainly fits the description: 10 pools, 20 fountains, 45 waterfalls, and a three-story, high-speed waterslide. But what makes the Hyatt Regency unique is that guests can glide along its desert waterways aboard authentic Italian gondolas while being serenaded by professional gondoliers, who are classically trained singers. Beyond the water’s edge, there are the expected activities, such as the 27 holes of golf at the Gainey Ranch Golf Club, open only to club members and resort guests. And there are the unexpected, such as the Native American Learning Center, created to give guests insight into native Southwest culture through art, food, entertainment, and personal interaction with some of the resort’s staff. For hikers, the 24-hour Canyon Market serves up not only performance foods and gear, but also directions to the best trails.
34631 N Tom Darlington Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
Nature may have spent 12 million years creating the rock formation that is the centerpiece of this 1,300-acre Hilton Curio Collection resort in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert, but late-coming humans have done a commendable job of adding the finishing touches. Although the Boulders, with its casita accommodations blending into the landscape, its championship golf courses, and its upscale shops, is as luxurious as any resort in the Scottsdale area, it’s also where guests are most likely to feel they are truly in the desert. An early-morning walk along groomed paths, when the first rays of light are turning the landscape golden, is as likely to produce the sounds of woodpeckers or owls calling from their nests in saguaro cacti as it is the whack of a ball against club or racket.
7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
Opened in 1987, the relatively youthful Fairmont Scottsdale Princess may not have the history of some of its neighboring resorts, but the North Scottsdale spot—with its fountained plazas, Mexican colonial–style architecture, and 65 scenic acres—has everything needed for a vacation in the sun. It’s big and it’s busy, and there is always something for everybody to do—just one of the reasons it’s popular for family events such as reunions, school holidays, and weddings. Drive a ball down a fairway on the two 18-hole championship golf courses (one of which hosts an annual PGA tournament), relax by one of the six pools (the newest, Sunset Beach pool, is surrounded by 9,000 square feet of white sand), or give yourself over to the innovative therapies and unique fitness offerings at the Well & Being Spa.

All the 750 rooms and suites are fresh and comfortable, with terraces, wet bars, and oversize bathrooms. Some, especially the casitas, are located about a five- to 10-minute walk from the main building, but golf carts are always just a call away. The wealth of top-rated foodie options—which include the Mexican-accented La Hacienda and the pan-Latin Toro, both by chef Richard Sandoval, and Bourbon Steak from chef Michael Mina—help make this one of the best destination-dining resorts in town.
5532 N Palo Cristi Rd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
The Hermosa Inn, first opened in 1936, has the kind of history that a cowboy keeps under his hat. With 43 rooms and casitas spread across six acres of Arizona desert in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, the inn was originally the home and studio of cowboy artist Lon Megargee. A $5.5 million renovation completed in March 2017 updated the hotel for the modern era. It still retains a historic feel, but without the possibility of escape it had when Megargee, a welcoming host clearly uninterested in background checks, built a tunnel from the main building to the stable in case a visit by the sheriff made it necessary for less law-abiding guests to execute a quick getaway. But then, with Camelback Mountain as a backdrop, few guests nowadays are in a hurry to leave.
6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
This Scottsdale megaresort opened in 1988 as an Americanized vision of European style, which explains the white marble in the lobby, the mother-of-pearl tiles lining one of the pools, and the 11 Steinway pianos (including one in each of the four presidential suites). Over the years, though, the Phoenician has melded with its surroundings to become one of the classic Arizona desert hotel experiences. The 27-hole golf course, the 11 tennis courts, the eight pools (one with a 165-foot waterslide), the spa, the hiking, and the alfresco dining all make it the kind of place people contemplate when they find themselves looking at a closet full of winter coats and scarves. The rooms are spacious, with large Italian marble bathrooms, and have a private terrace or balcony. The service is tip-top, and the kids’ club even features a Bunny Hoppy Hour. Recent renovations updated the hotel’s public spaces, including the lobby, restaurants, pool area, and spa.
4000 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
The Saguaro Scottsdale is among the handful of downtown Scottsdale hotels that embrace the urban Southwest vibe. Although it began life as a 1970s chain motel—evident in its blocky structure and the compactness of most rooms—this now-hip address has blossomed into the visual equivalent of desert wildflowers at the height of a wet spring. Especially striking against the desert tan that coats just about every other structure in Scottsdale, both outside and in, are a riot of colors that go beyond orange and purple and pink and yellow to such wildflower shades as California Poppy and Red Desert Globemallow. Just as vibrant is the Saguaro’s pool-party scene, aided, no doubt, by water temps chilled or heated as the season dictates. A complete redo of the Saguaro’s rooms in January 2017 gave them a modern Southwest vibe (think pastel-colored prints of cacti and desert-hued furnishings), but not so much that guests will be asking the concierge where to shop for cowboy boots (which would be Saba’s, just down the street, in Old Town).
5700 E McDonald Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
As obvious as it may sound, what sets 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 Sanctuary opened in 2002, the combination has especially appealed to publicity-shy celebs (Beyoncé and Jay-Z even stayed here while on their honeymoon). 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, glass-tiled showers, and, in many of them, oversize tubs with romantic votive candles.
7277 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona
Business travelers might help keep it quiet enough during the week, but when the weekend rolls around, the W Scottsdale earns its rep as a party hotel. By day, a young, trendy, and sometimes noisy crowd hangs at Wet, the rooftop pool, keeping well oiled with sunscreen and bar drinks. By night, the scene remains trendy, and noisy, at the lobby’s Living Room Lounge, or at Shade Lounge upstairs by the pool, often to a background of live music or a DJ, until the revelers are off to bed, or off to some of the many bars and clubs within walking distance. Rooms have all the tech gadgets, and the use of color and frosted glass makes them feel light and playful without going overboard.
95 Portal Ln, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
Why we love it: An Arts and Crafts–style masterpiece with a friendly vibe and charm in spades

Highlights:
- Sedona’s only Arts and Crafts hotel, with real adobe walls
- Social spaces like a campfire and living room hearth
- A pet-friendly policy with no extra fees

The Review:
Within a block of Sedona’s art district, this luxury inn stands behind a veil of trees and grapevine trellises. Its pink adobe exterior complements the greenery so elegantly that the inn once appeared on the cover of The American Home magazine. Inside the Arts and Crafts–style hacienda, arches and reclaimed beams of juniper or burl wood soar overhead, while period doorknobs, light fixtures, and heater grilles transport guests back in time. Each of the 12 suites has a custom-made door and unique design, with decor ranging from early California to the Cowboy High Style made famous by Western furniture designer Thomas Molesworth. Pet-friendly rooms also include grace notes like corner fireplaces, stencil designs, French doors, and stained-glass ceiling panels.

When feeling social, guests can gather around the campfire in the courtyard or by the large hearth in the living room. El Portal also has a private garden, a fish pond, two swimming pools, and a full gym, and offers access to Sedona Spa, next door. While the inn only serves breakfast (pancakes, breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros), guests can snack on fruit, cheese, and chips and salsa during happy hour each day while also pouring themselves a glass of wine on the honor system.

525 Boynton Canyon Rd., Sedona, Arizona
Sitting at the entrance to a secluded red-rock canyon eight miles outside Sedona, Enchantment Resort may be the Southwest’s most visually stunning accommodation. And while the indigenous people who originally inhabited the canyon had more elevated views—their cliffside dwellings are visible to anyone who can tilt their head far enough back—it’s doubtful that even they appreciated the scenery more than travelers arriving from worlds of gray skies and cacophonous congestion. There are numerous guest rooms and configurations, all done in a pueblo style and red-rock hue that blends so well with the surrounding canyon that guests who’ve given into the lunchtime temptation of a second prickly pear margarita at Tii Gavo would do well to carry a resort map (which is handy anyway for the many surrounding hiking options).
100 Amara Ln, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
Why we love it: A boutique resort that perfectly merges relaxation with exploration

Highlights:
- Amenities like an infinity pool, spa, and outdoor fire pits to help you unwind
- Unique offerings like daily yoga classes and nightly social hours with wine
- Weekly stargazing sessions with local astronomy experts

The Review:
This eclectic 100-room property attracts adventurous extroverts ready to explore the surrounding red rocks, then swap tales over morning coffee or happy hour wine. Inside, decor honors the area’s Native American heritage, incorporating elements like grass-woven baskets, headboards crafted from local fallen trees, and desert flower hues against soothing neutrals. Pet-friendly rooms also feature luxurious touches like Italian linens, modern art, and Atelier Bloem toiletries, while suites up the ante with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the desert.

Outdoors, guests can gather around the heated pool and hot tub or several crackling fire pits and admire views of Sedona’s iconic Snoopy Rock. There’s also an award-winning spa for when you need respite from all the hiking, plus a signature restaurant, SaltRock, which serves Southwest favorites alongside creative mezcal cocktails. On Monday nights, local astronomy experts lead stargazing sessions to take in Sedona’s dark skies, and daily yoga classes are included in the resort fee. Other amenities include access to top-rated golf courses, a full-service fitness center, complimentary bikes, and a shuttle that ferries guests within a one-mile radius of the property.

301 Little Ln, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
A few minutes from the shops, galleries, and restaurants of Sedona, but tucked away along the banks of quiet-flowing Oak Creek, L’Auberge de Sedona is one of the Southwest’s most romantic hideaways. It has red-rock views, as every accommodation in Sedona must, but its French-country-inn style, in the land of adobe architecture, and its leafy, creekside location, are what define it. Through a series of chefs, its restaurant, Cress on Oak Creek, has maintained a stellar reputation, in no small part because of the romance of dining at a table that in some cases is practically in Oak Creek. And the spa, L’Apothecary, with at least one seasonally offered treatment requiring guests to wade in up to their ankles, draws much of its essence from the creek, too. Extensive renovations done in 2011 included the redesign of the 58 rooms and cottages, and the addition of 29 more, many with fireplaces, private decks, and—because romance matters—outdoor cedar-lined showers. Still there, and still popular, are the early morning duck feedings and the nighttime telescope sessions with a professional astronomer.
Old West Ranchettes, AZ 85743, USA
Why we love it: A photogenic inn that draws design aficionados to Saguaro National Park

Highlights:
- Design-forward suites with fireplaces and private patios
- A scenic location right on Saguaro National Park
- Unique amenities like a chef’s kitchen and yoga room

The Review:
This five-suite inn, set on 40 acres bordering the western side of Saguaro National Park, comes courtesy of Sara and Rich Combs, known for their popular Joshua Tree House rental. Just 30 minutes from Tucson, the whitewashed adobe property draws the desert sunshine indoors, where it dances with rough-hewn beams and terra-cotta-hued textiles. A variety of potted plants help connect the chic, design-forward interiors with the surrounding desert, while a 5,000-square-foot patio blurs the lines between indoors and out. Available to rent through Airbnb, all rooms feature fireplaces and refrigerators, and most have private patios or balconies.

Book a single suite or buy out the whole property for an event, workshop, or reunion, then take advantage of amenities like a pool, rooftop lounge, chef’s kitchen, dining patio, fire pit, yoga room, and projector for movie nights. While Posada intends to add a chef-in-residence program, it doesn’t currently offer food service, so plan to pack groceries and grill outside, cook in one of the kitchens, or head out to a local restaurant like the Ocotillo Café at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, just 10 minutes away.

14301 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85748, USA
Why we love it: An all-American dude ranch where guests can play cowboy in luxury

Highlights:
- A superb riding program that brings over 150 horses to the mesquite corral each morning
- Luxury amenities like an outdoor pool and spa to balance out the adventure
- Regular dining events like private-chef dinners and barbecues

The Review:
Founded in 1868, this Tucson guest ranch sits below the Rincon Mountains, overlooking the rolling foothills of Saguaro National Park. It’s often ranked among America’s top resorts and wedding destinations—and for good reason. Not only does it deliver Southwestern charm in the form of pink adobe architecture, but it runs one of the nation’s top horseback-riding programs, with everything from team penning and mountain adventure rides to the signature “Harmony with Horses,” which teaches interspecies communication. The ranch also offers a host of other activities, including yoga, hikes, mountain biking, photography courses, and naturalist-led walks to explore the desert’s edible and medicinal plants. There’s even a kids’ day camp for ages four to 12 with tennis, arts and crafts, swimming, and more.

Rooms here feature exposed beams and brick, punctuated with dark wood furniture and pops of Southwestern fabrics. Each has a desk, coffeemaker, and small refrigerator, while the biggest suite also includes a fireplace and sleeps up to six. When guests start feeling saddle sore, they can rejuvenate with a full-body massage in the spa, or grab a prickly pear margarita at the Dog House Saloon. For a full meal, head to the on-site restaurant, which serves Southwestern cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or attend one of the specialty dining events held each week, including private-chef dinners and cowboy cookouts.

485 S Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Why we love it: A quirky stay full of historic details, local art, and top-notch cocktails

Highlights:
- A collection of local art that’s all for sale
- An on-site lounge with creative cocktails by Donald Murray
- Fun amenities like record players for checkout and a curated vinyl library

The Review:
No property captures Tucson’s funky, laid-back vibe better than this hotel on historic Stone Avenue, right on the edge of the Barrio Viejo in the artsy Armory Park neighborhood. Set around a central courtyard strung with Edison bulbs, the Downtown Clifton keeps it real with local art, vintage furnishings, and mid-century modern curios. The hotel was built in 1948 but found new life in 2014 after undergoing a $4.5 million upgrade. The 10 bunkhouse rooms now include original wood-beam ceilings, saddle blanket bedspreads, polished concrete floors, and 1940s tilework in the bathrooms, all paired with modern touches like 42-inch smart TVs. For a little something extra, book one of the señorita rooms, which up the ante with exposed brick walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, hand-painted bedframes and vanities, spacious seating areas, and, in numbers 29 and 30, spectacular views of the mountains.

The hotel’s expansion also added the Red Light Lounge, where mixologist Donald Murray, formerly of Tuscon favorite the Dusty Monk, holds sway. Expect unusual offerings like a margarita made from Bacanora (agave-derived liquor) and The Inglaterra, featuring tequila and Pimm’s. The bar also serves innovative Tucson cuisine like chorizo fry bread topped with queso asadero, spicy greens, pickled hibiscus onions, cilantro-lime aioli, and a sunny-side-up egg. Should you wish to cook your own grub, make use of the on-site grills and then dine in the outdoor seating areas.

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