Where to Stay in Phoenix: Cool Resorts for an Arizona Getaway

From luxurious desert resorts to new boutique hotels to traditional chain hotels, Phoenix AZ hotels offer a wide range of lodging options to appeal to every visitor. Consider these McCool Travel recommended Phoenix properties for your next Arizona getaway.

From brand new boutique properties to luxurious desert resorts, Phoenix AZ hotels offer a wide range of lodging options to appeal to every visitor.

We were hosted guests of Visit Phoenix but this content is carefully crafted for the McCool Travel audience.

Where to Stay in Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona

McCool Travel tip: When making reservations at Phoenix hotels or resorts, or calling them for details, mention McCool Travel sent you for possible special rates and consideration.

The Phoenician Scottsdale

If you have not visited The Phoenician before or even in the last couple of years, then you should go now. OK, soonish will suffice.

The Phoenician is a phenomenal relaxed luxury resort sitting on 250 acres in the foothills of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale Arizona. It originally opened in October 1988 and recently completed a full transformation and modernization. A magnificent new facility—The Phoenician Spa—opened in March 2018. The redesigned golf course opened November 1, 2018. The final element of comprehensive resort redesign—The Phoenician Tavern (at the golf course)—opened March 2019. A remarkable fitness center facility was built as a result of customer feedback and I am impressed that it is open 24 hours a day.

sunrise at The Phoenician resort
sunrise at The Phoenician

The oversized guest rooms are luxurious and comfortable. Basking in the Arizona sunshine on your personal lanai helps reset your internal compass—I could have spent days out there—but you will want to explore the amazing grounds and features of The Phoenician as well. See our video tour of The Phoenician resort room.

McCool Travel recommended things to do at The Phoenician include at least one spa treatment at The Phoenician Spa (a deep tissue massage there was one of my best ever), indoor and outdoor fitness (tennis and golf facilities here are wonderful), on-property dining, and a swim in one of the most lavish pools in the world. The Phoenician is a very romantic place to stay for a couple’s getaway.

The Mother-of-Pearl pool at The Phoenician resort remains the most expensive pool ever built in Arizona. The entire pool floor contains hand-laid tiles. McCool Travel note: the magnificent Mother of Pearl pool was the only part of The Phoenician not renovated in the recent overhaul.

The Phoenician pool with Camelback Mountain
Mother of Pearl pool at The Phoenician

A secret gem at The Phoenician is their cactus garden. The entrance is right across from the main lobby and it totals two acres with 250 cacti varieties. A self-guided walk is 100% advisable but an onsite horticulturist also provides guided tours. There are gently sloping paved pathways in the lower part of the cactus garden. If time allows, climb the steps up to several overlooks on the hillside that offer pretty views of Camelback Mountain and The Phoenician property.

Find more great tips in our guide 15 Fun Things to Do in Phoenix Arizona.

cactus garden in Phoenix Arizona
stroll through the amazing cactus garden at The Phoenician

Another hidden gem on The Phoenician property is the Orchid Lawn, a tropical oasis, located between the East Patio and Casita P. It is a fantastic spot to bring your lunch and enjoy the inspiring setting.

And when driving in the Camelback Road entrance, note the older building on the left of the reception gate. The historic Jokake Inn served as the Arizona family home in the movie Raising Arizona (starring Nicholas Cage).

The Phoenician is a member of The Luxury Collection, a select group of iconic and distinctive properties. McCool Travel tip: guests can earn and redeem Bonvoy points for stays at The Phoenician.

If you want to up your luxury travel game, check out the Canyon Suites at The Phoenician. The General Manager told me it is a “resort within a resort.” Of the 60 rooms in this section, 40 are luxurious suites. The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician is the only lodging property in the Phoenix area to be awarded five AAA diamonds and five Forbes stars. The casitas around the spa and pool are another upgraded Phoenician lodging option.

McCool Travel tip: the daily resort fee at The Phoenician allows guests to use bicycles from the fitness center for two hours a day. Hardly anyone does but it is a fun way to explore the 250 acres and surrounding Arcadia neighborhood.

Check here for reviews and rates at The Phoenician.

The Phoenician Restaurants include The Marketplace, J&G Steakhouse, The Phoenician Tavern (at the golf course), and Mowry & Cotton. Rebecca Tillman is the Executive Sous Chef and the Buttermilk Bun at Mowry & Cotton is her grandmother’s recipe.

donut tray with flavored sauces
desserts at Mowry & Cotton in The Phoenician

Recommended Places to Eat Near The Phoenician resort include Flower Child, Postino Arcadia, and Prep & Pastry (and other places in Fashion Square and Old Town Scottsdale). Also, all of the restaurants listed below are convenient from The Phoenician.

Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia

The Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia is located in Paradise Valley on the north side of Camelback Mountain. The Omni Scottsdale is a Mediterranean themed resort with an Andalusian village entryway and delicious cuisine.

The spacious and luxurious Joya Spa is a focal point for many resort guests. Two gorgeous pools—one is for all ages and the Oasis Pool is adults-only—highlight the gorgeous property full of citrus trees. Look for the hammock, Bocce lawn, and the fire pit with comfy chairs (nice place at night offering a view of Camelback Mountain).

desert sunset over Omni Scottsdale pool
Phoenix desert sunset over Omni Scottsdale pool

All rooms have large balconies or patios with a ceiling fan (nice!), table and chairs, and a comfortable lounge chair. We enjoyed a Camelback Mountain view from our patio but other rooms surround the Oasis Pool or overlook the resort.

Camelback Mountain view from Omni Scottsdale balcony
Our peaceful, relaxing, and comfortable balcony at Omni Scottsdale

The bathroom scale was unfortunately easy to use and accurate—note to self, more exercise and fewer snacks. See our video tour of an Omni Scottsdale suite.

luxury bathtub and shower at Phoenix resort
luxurious bathroom at Omni Scottsdale

For a splurge or special celebration, inquire about the Andalusian Presidential Suite or the Camelback Presidential Villa. In fact, mention McCool Travel sent you and perhaps they will give you a better rate.

Check out the Special packages at Omni Scottsdale Resort Montelucia, including Babymoon, Girls Getaway, Spring Training, and Romance. Omni Scottsdale is definitely one of the cool places to stay in Phoenix for couples.

Look here for reviews and rates at Omni Scottsdale Montelucia.

Omni Scottsdale Restaurants include Prado, Taqueria Centro, Crave Cafe, and Mbar. Healthy and fresh snacks are available to spa guests on the Joya Terrace.

chefs preparing tapas at Omni Scottsdale
Prado chefs at Omni Scottsdale

Recommended Places to Eat Near Omni Scottsdale include The Mission Kierland, Gertrude’s (at Desert Botanical Garden), Sicilian Butcher, and most of the other places listed above and below.

Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak (formerly Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort)

Of these three Phoenix Arizona area resorts (and perhaps all Phoenix resorts), Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak scores highest for location. Uptown Phoenix (an up and coming “hot” area) is less than a five-minute drive and Scottsdale and downtown Phoenix are 20 minutes away. Pointe Hilton is only 10 miles from Phoenix Airport.

desert mountain View from Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak
balcony view from Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak

All Pointe Hilton rooms are suites and 224 of them—Agave Suites in the North Pointe complex—were recently refreshed. Many Agave suites connect but groups and families can also consider booking the casitas (one and two-bedroom units, two levels, two bathrooms). A four-acre, kid-friendly waterpark makes Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak one of the best places to stay in Phoenix for families.

See our video of a Pointe Hilton king Agave suite room.

McCool Travel note: The 208 South Pointe complex rooms will be refreshed next. Rates for newer rooms will be higher but ask if you want one or the other. The water park is also being refreshed.

pool area at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak
River Ranch pool area at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak

The onsite Coyote Camp Kids Club is popular for guests and non-guests (McCool Travel tip: check it out even if staying at other Phoenix hotels). The entire property is pet-friendly and bring-your-dog to Sunday brunch is popular and fun. There is even a dog menu!

dog friendly patio at Rico's American Grill
A dog-friendly patio at Rico’s American Grill at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak

McCool Travel tip: Dreamy Draw Recreation Area is a five-minute drive from Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak and is an exceptional place for desert hiking.

Look here for reviews and rates at Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak.

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Restaurants include Rico’s American Grill, Hole in the Wall BBQ Joint, and Slim Pickens Cafe. North Pointe pool has a swim-up bar. Hole in the Wall BBQ is in a historic building and was formerly a roadside inn shack.

Recommended Places to Eat Near Pointe Hilton include Ocotillo Restaurant, The Churchill, and Hash Kitchen. The other places mentioned above are also convenient from Pointe Hilton.

Other Places to Stay in Phoenix

Some other fun Phoenix hotels and resorts suggested to me by friends and colleagues include The Found:re, Arizona Biltmore, Fairmont Princess, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, Arizona Grand, JW Marriott, Embassy Suites Biltmore, Hotel San Carlos, and Residence Inn Downtown. Close to Phoenix airport, there are plenty of places along N 44th Street. I stayed at Residence Inn last time but would suggest trying the Holiday Inn & Suites across the street.

Recommended Fun Places to Drink in Phoenix

Merkin VineyardsCentury GrandLittle Rituals, and Bitter & Twisted are wonderful Phoenix places for craft cocktails and local wine. Please use caution if driving after visiting these or any places after you drink adult beverages. McCool Travel tip: Uber and Lyft services are available and convenient. Also, ask if your Phoenix lodging property offers a shuttle service.

Where is your favorite place to stay in Phoenix?

From brand new boutique properties to luxurious desert resorts, Phoenix AZ hotels offer a wide range of lodging options to appeal to every visitor.

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14 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Phoenix: Cool Resorts for an Arizona Getaway”

  1. I’ve been to Arizona once, to Surprise, for a tennis tournament. I would have like to stay longer and explore. I’ll save this guide for future reference!

  2. Great choices for Phoenix area visitors. I should take a staycation at one of these resorts sometime soon since I live in Scottsdale.

  3. The photos alone make me want to go to ALL of these places! The most interesting thing I read is the one place gives you bikes as part of its resort fee. I don’t like resort fees but that’s a nice add-on so I would not mind paying it there.

    • One day I will be able to get by with only posting photos. Ha! Glad you stopped by and read the text. Yes, the bike loaner impressed me also. I did do a desert mountain bike ride with REI but would also love to just ride around the resort property.

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