Tokyo has its skyscraper-hotels, London has its converted Georgian townhouses, Germany its art hotels. If there’s such a thing as a uniquely American hotel concept, it’s probably the boutique motel — a prime example being the Hotel Valley Ho, in Scottsdale, the upscale and somewhat historic Phoenix suburb.
Motels like the original Valley Ho lined the highways of the United States back when “boutique” was still a French word — what’s new here is the emphasis on style, and the introduction of the kind of amenities that were once rarely seen outside the five-star resorts. The hotel, a Fifties building in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, finds itself back in style now that mid-century modernism is all the rage. Dressed up in bold retro colors and modernist furnishings, it’s a bit of a time capsule, albeit one with contemporary glass-walled terrazzo-tiled bathrooms and anachronistic high-definition LCD TV sets.
The swimming pool, the center of any self-respecting motor inn, is still the center of the Valley Ho — it’s now surrounded by cabanas, and massages and treatments are available here or in the VH spa. Chef Charles Wiley serves Polynesian cuisine at Trader Vic’s and a 21st-century take on classic American comfort food at Café Zuzu, from mac & cheese to chicken fried steak and beyond.
Hotel Valley Ho is approximately 10 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange airport transfer shuttle service. The cost is $20 USD per person for a meet and greet at the baggage claim.