Hiking by day, outdoor soaking tubs by night.
Arizona is home to the incomparable Grand Canyon, plus more than half a dozen other national forests, parks, and monuments. Travelers could spend months zig-zagging across the state without getting bored, finding variety within the dramatic landscapes, big cities, and small towns.
Though the state has major pull for those who love camping and hiking, there’s plenty to see and do for travelers who would rather not bed down in a tent at the bottom of a canyon, a full day’s trek from the nearest cocktail.
Enjoy the scenery without forgoing luxury at one of these lavish properties — seven of the best resorts in Arizona.
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
One of the newer resorts in Arizona, this Andaz property opened in December 2016 with a distinct, contemporary design. Instead of Navajo prints and adobe, guests stay in minimalist concrete casitas with smoked gray-beamed wooden ceilings, Mid-century furniture, and spacious bathrooms with marble showers.
Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Further south, in Phoenix, is the Arizona Biltmore. The hotel was built in the late 1920s by one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s former students, with Wright coming on as a consulting architect. It has since survived a fire and been renovated, refurbished, and remodeled multiple times, but still showcases its history. The Biltmore is a Waldorf Astoria resort and offers visitors stylish, unfussy rooms, villas, and suites with a wide variety of activities ranging from golf to children’s programs and upscale shopping.
Boulders Resort & Spa
Considered by some to be the best hotel in the entire state, Boulders Resort & Spa (in the aptly-named village of Carefree, in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert) saw a multi-million dollar renovation in 2015. Guests at the 1,300-acre resort can stay in a refined casita or suite with stone floors, wood-beamed ceilings, and stucco fireplaces. Days are best spent on the property's hiking trails, playing tennis at one of eight courts, or cooling in off in one of the four swimming pools.
Canyon Ranch Resort & Spa
Canyon Ranch, now a collection of resorts and spas across the world (and even on major cruise ships) originated in Tuscon in 1979. At the debut property, visitors can enjoy a wellness-focused retreat on 150-acres of desert with an 80,000-square-foot spa complex.
Sedona, in central Arizona, is famous for the red rock formations surrounding the town and for its flourishing arts scene. Enchantment Resort has breathtaking views of Boynton Canyon as well as rooms so well-decorated that it might be hard to pull yourself outside. Luckily, they all have decks so guests can watch the sunrises or sunsets without going too far. For even more luxury, book one of the pool suites, which have private patios with spas and fireplaces.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Just east of Phoenix, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is a popular place to stay. The resort is in the Sonoran Desert, tucked amongst the foothills of Pinnacle Peak. Around the property are the famous saguaro cacti, while inside, rooms are distinctly Southwestern, with beehive fireplaces and natural wood elements. In addition to a teal blue pool with views of the dramatic rocky outcrops around the resort, there’s also a spa. Though temperatures in Scottsdale can be intense, make sure to take advantage of the stunning desert by booking a hot air balloon ride or, if daytime is just too hot, a picnic under the stars with the option of a stargazing lesson with an astronomer.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
This 105-room resort is terraced into Camelback Mountain, offering spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Guests can watch the sun set over the red rocks from their balcony, terrace, or outdoor soaking tub. Opt for a warm wood suite or a graphic white-brick casita with metallic-tiled bathrooms. Active travelers will love filling their days with tennis, yoga, or a mix of the two (Zennis classes mix yoga stretches with tennis moves). Unwind in the infinity-edge pool or the on-site spa, or keep the energy up during a Saturday cocktail tasting with live music.