ATTENTION: This boutique hotel is a dream you will never want to wake up from. The dream is Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort. I fell into this resort heaven via the most glamorous bachelorette party for my friend Emily, about 7 years ago, and I’ve been obsessed ever since – I finally had to share my obsession with you. It’s a gorgeous resort, and there’s a million reasons to go. Maybe a girlfriends weekend (facials! bars! pool!) or a romantic couples weekend (hikes! restaurants! couples massages!). Sanctuary offers guests “casitas” instead of standard hotel rooms, so you have your own little “house” on the side of Camelback mountain for ultimate privacy and space. You won’t feel like you’re at a hotel at all – you’ll just feel fancy. Rumor is J-Zay and Beyonce come here regularly along with a long list of other celebs, so I’m always on the lookout…
My favorite thing to do at Sanctuary is chill at the (adults only) infinity pool literally ALL DAY. The food/drink menu is delicious – you never have to leave if you don’t want to, and I usually end up thinking “it’s 6pm already? I guess I’ll leave now…”. You certainly can’t beat that mountain view while you float quietly with drink in hand, pondering whether you’ll ever go home. The answer is always no. No, you won’t go home.
To get here, you fly into Phoenix airport, about a 30-minute drive from Camelback. You will be super close to Scottsdale, so you have downtown life a quick Uber away (the resort also offers car service to and from anywhere you’d like to go). Sanctuary itself has two restaurants, a spa and fitness center, so you can stay in and laze around or go out. If you’re in to nature, there’s beautiful opportunities to hike, bike or even stroll around the resort grounds. Here’s a few things we love to do when we go:
- Hike: There are many great hikes in the Scottsdale area. No matter your level of skill, there’s one you can handle (trust me, my level of skill is… well, let’s say… low). Just make sure you go early in the day before it’s too hot and drink PLENTY of water. We’ve seen people helicoptered off the mountain because they fall victim to dehydration! EEK!
- Old Town Scottsdale: From and old school ice cream diner (gimme that sundae), to little shops and bars, you could spend all day wandering around. At night, the bars and restaurants come alive, and it’s quite a nighttime scene. If you’re into clubs – there are some fun ones here.
- Tennis Lessons: Sanctuary offers a 60-minute private lesson with a pro for only $50 (good option if you are more experienced), or join the daily 90-minute clinic for $55 if you’re a beginner. HIGHLY recommend this if you’re trying to nail a backhand.
- The Spa at Camelback: You can’t go wrong with a treatment here. My personal favorite is the skin fit facial and my husband loves the deep tissue massage (he’s so basic). Go early to relax in their pre-treatment room with hot beverages, water and snacks. Plus a sauna and hot tub.
A typical day for us is a morning hike, followed by hours at the pool (plus lunch), and then we’ll get ready and hit the town for dinner and drinks. Did I mention they are dog friendly? Sanctuary treats Roxie like a princess, she’s so spoiled.
Speaking of food! Don’t even get me started. Places we love to eat (make a reservation):
- The Mission: Modern latin food in an actual old mission. My husband can barely speak to me when he’s eating here, he’s just so drooling over his food. Awesome service, flavors to die for.
- Citizen Public House: Gastropub style – super fun atmosphere. Get the burrata, mac n’ cheese or the short ribs. That’s all you need to know.
- Olive & Ivy: A great casual option with lots of outdoor space, get everything to share.
- Arcadia Farms: THE brunch spot in town. You won’t regret anything.
Already planning my next trip back… Sanctuary, indeed.