Tim Street-Porter
Jeff Ficker
December 22, 2014

There is no shortage of luxury hotels in Scottsdale, from boutique hideaways to sprawling, mountainside resorts. They’re all designed to take full advantage of Arizona’s year-round beautiful sunshine: Enjoy early mornings on the tee, relaxing afternoons by the pool, and sunset dinners on the terrace. Options abound near downtown Scottsdale’s restaurants, shops and galleries. However, if you’re looking to escape to a desert playground, consider one of the resorts in less-developed North Scottsdale, like the Four Seasons or The Boulders. On a budget? Not to fear. Even the most expensive resorts become affordable in the summer, when temperatures soar into the triple digits and many visitors avoid the Valley of the Sun. I, like a lot of locals, check into these hometown oases during the hotter months, spending a weekend “staycation” at the four- and five-star resorts, which often offer amazing deals including dining, spa, and golf vouchers. 

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North

The Four Seasons overlooks Scottsdale from its perch at Pinnacle Peak, a 20-minute drive north of Old Town. The adobe-inspired architecture and desert landscape blend to create a sophisticated hideaway, complete with panoramic views, a spa and the best-in-class Troon North Golf Club. Take advantage of unique programs, like desert stargazing and tequila tastings. 

The Phoenician

The Phoenician is the grande dame of Scottsdale resorts, and its “boutique hotel within a hotel,” The Canyon Suites, is Arizona’s only five-star, five-diamond property. The 250-acre property spreads across the base of Camelback Mountain, with a 27-hole championship golf course, renowned spa and nine swimming pools, including one inlaid with mother of pearl tiles. 

Arizona Biltmore

The 1929 resort is an art deco landmark that elegantly combines geometric forms and Southwest touches, a credit to its architect, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Lounge by one of the resort’s eight pools, hit the links at the two adjacent PGA golf courses, or enjoy yoga and a massage at the spa. 

The Boulders

The Boulders resort sits at the foot of its namesake, a massive 12-million-year-old rock formation. Pathways wind through the 1,300-acre desert property in North Scottsdale, where you’ll find quail, jackrabbits, lizards, and javelina. The resort offers all the usual lux amenities: pools, golf courses, tennis courts, and one the finest spas in the world. 

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