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This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.

The best resorts in Arizona reflect the dramatic landscapes and provide an oasis from visitors' day-to-day lives. Some are near picturesque Camelback Mountain, nestled near Phoenix and Scottsdale, while others are farther from the action, immersing travelers into the spirit of the Sonoran desert.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Castle Hot Springs resort in Arizona at dusk
Credit: Mark Boisclair / Courtesy of Castle Hot Springs

There is no lack of indulgence in this year's winners. No. 3 Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa offers "pure luxury," according to one reader, who raved that "the casitas are spectacular, with gorgeous tubs, linens, and evening cookie service." Nearby property No. 2 Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale earned praise for its "timeless design, exceptional pool, attentive and courteous staff." The same reader elaborated, calling it "the perfect spot for a romantic weekend, a trip with friends, or downtime with family." 

But this year's No. 1 winner, Castle Hot Springs, brings a different type of luxury to the table. Read on to discover why T+L readers named it the best resort in Arizona.

1. Castle Hot Springs, Morristown

Interior of Sky View Cabin bedroom at Castle Hot Springs
Credit: Courtesy of Castle Hot Springs

Before it shuttered in 1976, this classic resort saw the likes of Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts. After a multimillion-dollar renovation, it reopened in early 2019 as a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The new look added to the allure of the hot springs near the property. Readers voted for this resort for many reasons — the farm-to-fork dining, Sonoran desert adventures, and naturally socially distant accommodations — but mostly because they found a real sense of escape there. "A true desert oasis in the heart of Arizona that embraces the great outdoors in every way, shape and form," one reader wrote. "Truly restorative. Those hot springs are a miracle."

Score: 95.00
More information: castlehotsprings.com

2. Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale, Paradise Valley

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale exterior
Credit: Mark Boisclair / Courtesy of Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale

Score: 93.75
More information: mountainshadows.com

3. Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa Villa Ventana
Credit: Scott Sandler

Score: 93.67
More information: sanctuaryoncamelback.com

4. Hermosa Inn, Paradise Valley

Guest room at The Hermosa Inn
Credit: Courtesy of The Hermosa Inn

Score: 91.83
More information: hermosainn.com

5. Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, Scottsdale

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia exterior entrance
Credit: Courtesy of Omni Hotels

Score: 91.31
More information: omnihotels.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.