For many years, Arizona was known as a getaway spot for those retirees and snowbirds who were a little too far from Florida to make the trip. However, the southwestern state has recently been coming into its own, as it draws not only the health-inspired and outdoorsy types to its luxury spas set among the dramatic landscaping but also young families and couples looking to get away somewhere memorable for hiking, rafting, and similar activities.
Phoenix, Scottsdale, the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Sedona, Monument Valley, Flagstaff—these are no longer stops along the way. They’re the destinations. Now, Arizona resorts are responding in kind and catering to those looking for the finest things in life, whether it be an all-inclusive yoga retreat or an adventurous getaway that includes a little bit of something for everyone.
Not sure if Arizona is right for you? These amazing 15 resorts will definitely prove to you that, when it comes to a southwestern mix of adventure and relaxation, the Grand Canyon State does its best.
Let’s explore the best resorts in Arizona:
1. The Phoenician
Ask any luxury traveler about southwestern resorts, and one name pops into their head. The Phoenician is award-winning and recognized by a variety of luxury travel publications as one of the best of the best in this part of the world. With newly renovated rooms set amidst a gorgeous backdrop, you’ll never want to leave.
The resort is a world unto its own, with a first-class, 27-hole, championship golf course; an expansive, 22,000-square-foot spa; more than a handful of dining options; a tennis academy; kids club; and more! What’s more, the resort has a mini private hotel within their hotel. The Canyon Suites are a boutique, 60-room getaway located within The Phoenician, that’s rumored to offer up even a more extensive take on luxury than the full-sized version!
2. Enchantment Resort
Another luxurious, award-winning resort is Enchantment. Going strong for 30 years, the resort is celebrating particularly hard this year, and drawing attention to the more than 100 activities it offers to every single guest. One of their more unique offerings is their Indigenous selection of activities, inspired by the Native American tribes that called the surrounding area home — the Hopi, Yavapai, Apache, and Navajo.
Guests can enjoy solstice celebrations with native dancers, performers, and chefs, or they can take a Native American teachings hike within the Painted Desert. However, one could easily book a trip to the spa and never leave during their entire visit! The spa offers a cafe, sauna, pools, lounge areas, outdoor pools, an array of enjoyable classes, a library, a movement studio, and more.
3. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
Sometimes, though, you’ve got to stay a little further in town, and not get away from it all quite so much. For those trips, you can always stay at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, which offers up a nice mix of great locations close to town, and all the luxurious amenities you could want.
Set on 27 acres in the Sonoran Desert and against the McDowell Mountains, you’ll enjoy championship golf, a great spa, lots of water activities for the kids, tennis courts, and Camp Hyatt Kachina. This is a great pick for parents who want to have a little bit of luxury, but still want the kids to have a great time. Plus, you’re right where you need to be to enjoy the adventurous activities offered by other Scottsdale vendors, such as Jeep tours, hot air balloon flights, hiking, biking, and shopping.
4. JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
As synonymous with luxury as The Phoenician, the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa can certainly hold its own when it’s vying for luxury travelers’ attention. It’s situated on 125 acres in the Sonoran Desert, with views of the surrounding mountains that are simply divine.
The suites are super spacious and the location is, again, just close enough to Scottsdale to make it work in your favor. The 36-hole championship golf course is a favorite, and the spa is too. Plus, if you’re planning ahead, you’ll have access to the 15,000-square-foot ballroom that’s coming in 2018. It’s perfect for a destination wedding!
5. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Fairmont is one of the world’s top luxury hotel brands, and that’s easy to see when you step into their Scottsdale resort. Beyond the amazing scenery, decor, and atmosphere provided, you’ll also love the four excellent restaurants, the Well & Being Spa, a total of six pools, two separate golf courses, and even more.
There are 750 guest rooms to choose from, including two presidential suites and 69 Fairmont Gold Rooms. What’s a Gold Room, you might ask? Well, you get the golden treatment, of course! You’re escorted to your own special reception area, you have access to a five-star gold lounge, and you can be assured that you’ll only be rubbing elbows with those of the highest caliber.
6. The Arizona Biltmore
Looking for a resort that has a fascinating history? Look no further than the Arizona Biltmore, owned by Waldorf Astoria. It was built in the 1920s, with none other than Frank Lloyd Wright as the consulting architect.
In the ‘30s, the resort was bought by the Wrigleys (of the chewing gum empire), and they built the resort’s first pool, which became known for two reasons — it was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite swimming spot, and it was also where Irving Berlin wrote the now-famous “White Christmas.”
Presidents have vacationed there often — in fact, every president from Hoover to George W. Bush had a stay there. Now, the resort still reflects a lot of its old Hollywood glamour but has a lot of added modern features. It’s also now Arizona’s largest event space.
7. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
Switch from all that Scottsdale thinking to Tucson! There, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, is situated among the Tortolita Mountains. The perfect spot for those luxury travelers who want to get out and about among nature, you can easily hike, bike or just play a little golf before lounging about on one of the terraces.
There are more than 20 miles of trails, tennis courts, pools, waterslides, and ranger-led tours to get a cultural experience out of your hike. Guests enjoy fitness classes, unlimited use of sports equipment, and mixology classes…the recreational opportunities are endless! Want to bring your furry friend? No problem! This resort is even pet-friendly.
8. Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
This famous Scottsdale resort is set on 53 acres and offers an array of award-winning services. The chef is a Food Network celebrity (Beau MacMillan), the spa offers world-class Asian treatments and the architecture is unparalleled.
Additionally, there’s always something to be had here, whether it be the foodie’s Nirvana festival in the spring, the New Year’s Eve bashes, or the meditation retreats in the fall. Plus, there’s an infinity edge pool that’s adults-only on the weekends, great for those who just aren’t into the splashing kids that are found in the family pool on the other side of the property.
9. Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa
Miraval is a wellness destination to be sure. The southern Arizona location is sunshine all year round, the spa is favorited and the activities offered are uniquely theirs. With 400 acres off the Santa Catalina Mountains, you’ll want to move into one of the serene guestrooms, which offer amazing views of the scenery. The suites and villas are even better, with amazing patios and gourmet kitchens.
The spa takes its inspiration from the Sonoran desert, and modern, cutting-edge techniques make sure you get the best service you could ask for. The food is seasonal, fresh, and healthy, with the hotel boasting its own organic gardens and bee hives. Plus, you can pick from more than 120 complimentary wellness activities, classes, and lectures. It all makes up the total Miraval package.
10. JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
Another JW Marriott property, the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa is pure luxury and has a great location, right near Tucson. The golf club, signature spa, multi-level pool (with waterslide and lazy river), and great dining all combine for a fantastic getaway for families and couples alike.
What’s better? This resort is actually relatively affordable, with rooms starting around the upper $200s in the summer. Plus, for business travelers, it’s in a great location to drive quickly to the University of Arizona, or the Tucson Convention Center!
11. Tanque Verde Ranch
Some travelers looking to visit the American Southwest will be wanting one thing and one thing only — a full-out ranch experience, complete with cowboys. After all, isn’t that how the West was won? Thankfully, you don’t have to give up good taste and luxury to get a great “cowboy” experience, like the kind you’ll find at Tanque Verde Ranch.
Once upon a time, the ranch was actually a working cattle and guest ranch, and now it still leases about 60,000 acres for its cattle operations. Guests can explore hundreds of acres on horseback, or just enjoy caving, climbing, jeeping, fitness activities, and more. There’s something for kids and parents alike!
12. Royal Palms Resort and Spa
Royal Palms Resort and Spa is known for its romantic atmosphere, making it the perfect Arizona getaway for honeymooners or just any couple looking for a solitary getaway.
The resort caters to your every romantic whim, with their hidden candle-lit nooks around the grounds (perfect for a slip away when you can’t wait to get back to your room), rose-petal turndowns, couples’ massages, and love notes left wherever you’d like.
13. Canyon Ranch Tucson
Relax and renew at Canyon Ranch, where the solo traveler is welcome for a wonderful experience that transcends your expectations. Your time at this resort is spent totally focusing on you and getting back to your optimal state of being. Unlike most resorts that cater to couples and families, this one can be chalked up as welcoming to every kind of traveler.
With 2 on-site restaurants and a culinary class experience, you can count on the unprocessed farm-to-table foods to be 5-star. Not only is this sustainably farmed food healthy and delicious, but it is also exceedingly vibrant and beautiful.
14. The Boulders
This resort has a little bit of everything for everyone. A great spa, great golf, great adventure activities — it’s all here.
Go for a hot air balloon ride. Ride horseback through the desert. Enjoy yoga under the stars. Golf your way through an award-winning course. Then, relax after it all in an amazing, rustic, southwest-inspired suite, as you look out over the natural boulder formations.
Want something truly out of the ordinary? Book the Villa Retreat, a 5,000-square-foot, two-home getaway that’s connected by a private terrace, perfect for groups.
15. Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
For more affordable luxury at a world-class resort, try the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. The resort doesn’t just limit itself to southwestern flair, though. There are touches of Spanish and Moroccan influences everywhere you look, whether you’re out at one of the three pools, at the spa, eating at one of the several restaurants, or just walking around the tranquil gardens.
The resort is conveniently located near the Phoenix airport, and you’re within easy driving distance of Camelback Mountain and several golf courses. The resort has been named a top contender for weddings, meetings, and more.