Scottsdale’s changed quite a bit in recent years, in a sort of Dorian Gray manner; as Phoenix’s cookie-cutter strip malls and unsightly cement surfaces sprawl farther into the desert, Scottsdale just gets younger, hipper, better looking. A prime example is Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain’s transformation, from fading racquet club to plush hipster getaway and ultra-discreet celebrity haunt.
It’s all quiet spaces and smooth surfaces, set against the dramatic sandstone cliffs of Camelback Mountain. Clusters of contemporary “mountain casitas” serve as the resort’s most basic accommodation — of course with marble bath fixtures, wood-block flooring, Mascioni linens, and high-speed internet access, these spacious quarters hardly qualify as roughing it. Sleek spa casita suites are a step up, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the valley, private terraces complete with soaking tubs, lava rock fireplaces, and plush modern furnishings in colors that pop.
The resort is spread out over tranquil, carefully manicured grounds, meaning that the neighbors’ stereo won’t bother you — but you’ll have to take a hike or catch a ride on a Sanctuary golf cart if you want to have your cantaloupe martini by the fireside at Jade Bar. Healthful Asian-influenced cuisine is served with panoramic views at Elements, the resort’s well-appointed restaurant. The Sanctuary’s as stylish as it is comfortable, to be sure, though peace and quiet likely rates higher than design among guests’ priorities.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is located 8 miles north of Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport and less than 5 minutes from downtown Scottsdale.
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