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Hotel Travel Experiences in Scottsdale

My first stay in Arizona was at the Camelback Inn when I attended a conference.  Let us say that I was not disappointed with my accommodations. Today’s blog will talk about the Camelback as well as an old timer that has been renovated, the Valley Ho.

Camelback Inn

A five-diamond AAA property, the impeccable landscaping – desert-acclimated, of course – the warm greeting by the valet service (even if you are not leaving a car) and the casitas spread out over the landscape signal that you have arrived.  Since I stayed at the Camelback, the Marriott property has undergone a renovation, but the property still looks like a true depiction of the southwest.


Camelback Inn

Camelback Inn

Be aware, even with recession-reduced rates, a one-night stay is not “cheap.”  But, what you receive is a first-rate experience. The amenities have been upgraded since I stayed at the Camelback in the early 2000s. There are many room options with pricing beginning at approximately $200 per night and continuing upward.  (And I recall rates being in the $300-500 range when we stayed in 2001, so these are bargains.)

Internet is available in every room (fee), but the kitchen amenities are upgraded.  A microwave is included, but sometimes there is a full refrigerator and regular oven.  

The photos online show vibrant décor – ours was more muted when we stayed – but with the same hacienda-style accommodations that made us feel at home. The rooms are spacious.  We stayed in a “casita,” which is almost like having your own little home.  Ours was attached to only one other guest casita, so privacy was enhanced.


Casita at Camelback Inn

Casita at Camelback Inn

So, put aside your concerns about rates and revel in the experience.  You could literally stay here and never go anywhere else until ready to leave on your airplane.  Golf, spas, six restaurants, and trails are on the property with additional amenities within a few miles.  The expanded conference center ensures that there will be many people, but the property is spread out over many acres, so you don’t feel crowded.

When I visited, my conference held an event at “Mummy Mountain,” an old west location onsite with old west storefronts and other evocative western props.  It’s a fun place to hang out and is used for everything from convention events to weddings. 

Mummy Mountain  - the Wild West at Camelback Inn

Mummy Mountain - the "Wild West" at Camelback Inn

One of the restaurants is an upscale steak restaurant, BLT Steak, located in almost a dozen major US cities.

Arizona has an abundance of upscale resorts.  Camelback is one I know of and can recommend.

Hotel Valley Ho

A venerable hotel that has also undergone a renovation, the Valley Ho is located nearer to the heart of Scottsdale.  First opened in the 1950s, Valley Ho was the place to stay back then with celebrities making it their resort of choice.   

Hotel Valley Ho with trolley

Hotel Valley Ho with trolley

After seeing hard times, the hotel was renovated in 2005.  Décor is now very modern crossed with some of its ‘50s vibes.  The modernized bathrooms are worthy of a modern art museum, and some tubs are, surprisingly, planted in the middle of rooms!

Trader Vic’s and Café Zuzu provide upscale dining experiences.  Trader Vic’s offers a Polynesian/Asian aesthetic with wood-fired oven dishes, wok offerings, curries, and other exotic menu items plus upscale variation of wonton soup and the like.

Café Zuzu is a more “comfort food” style restaurant with special touches serving everything from meatloaf to filet mignon, plus burgers, mac and cheese, vegetarian offerings and seafood.  The vibe is for a younger crowd.

Hotel amenities include a spa, pool, and the nearness to Scottsdale shopping. Rated four-diamond by AAA, it is a fun, convenient place to stay.

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