Spacious Suites on Historic WWII Air Base in the Heart of Scottsdale
Between 1942 and 1945, young WWII pilots took off and landed more than 600,000 times on the runways of the Thunderbird II Air Base, situated in the desert outside of Phoenix. Today, jetsetters of a different kind frequent the historic base, which has been repurposed as the Scottsdale Municipal Airport. The base also contains the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites, a four-story, tawny stucco hotel. Soaring ceilings and thick oriental rugs welcome visitors at the grand entrance area, and there are nods to the property's aviation history throughout the hotel.
Considering its proximity to the runway, each of the hotel's standard suites is rather quiet. That's because each room has been soundproofed with thick concrete walls to reduce the sound of engines and the cries of babies that want their pilot's license 16 years ahead of schedule. All of the spacious suites include a living room and separate bedroom, as well as new, cushy couches and chairs to lend the room homey feel.
Before heading off to bed, stop by the lounge next to the Silver Wings Restaurant to grab a nightcap and browse the hotel’s WWII aviation memorabilia. Among the relics are photographs of pilots and a table crafted from an aircraft rotary-cylinder-engine top. In the morning, guests can fill up on eggs, bacon, pastries, and steaming coffee at the complimentary hot breakfast buffet.
Scottsdale, Arizona: High-End Shopping in the “The West’s Most Western Town”
Situated slightly northeast of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale was once a vast ranch lands lined with citrus farms and cowboy settlements, earning it the nickname of “The West’s Most Western Town.” Today, the lush desert oasis is studded with glittering outdoor fountains, emerald-green golf courses, and an active nightlife scene.
For many vacationers, "sightseeing" in Scottsdale translates to "window-shopping." A few steps from the hotel, wander past palm trees to find designer stores such as Cartier and Anthropologie. A few minutes away is the charming and quaint Old Town Scottsdale, where brick buildings offer a glimpse into how the town earned its “Most Western” moniker. Stroll down its winding streets to find art galleries, a mammoth used bookstore, and public sculptures on nearly every corner.