Hotel at a Glance: Scottsdale Villa Mirage
Desert brush and saguaro cacti skirt the grounds surrounding the hacienda-style Scottsdale Villa Mirage. The hotel’s southwestern adobe aesthetic complements its setting amid the vast Sonoran desert, and puts you close to the area’s renowned golfing, mountain biking, and hiking. Onsite, you can get refreshed with morning yoga classes, or enjoy a quiet evening watching a dive-in movie from the pool.
- Private balconies are available in the tastefully decorated studios and one-bedroom villas.
- Choose a one-bedroom villa for the most room (750 square feet), as well as separate living room and kitchen.
- Stay cool as you swim beneath a cascading waterfall in the outdoor pool, where you can watch dive-in movies on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights.
- Onsite classes include salsa making (Mondays) and crock-pot cooking (Wednesdays).
- Cook out on the outdoor grills, or grab a quick snack at the poolside eatery.
- Onsite fitness center is air-conditioned.
Scottsdale, Arizona: Stucco Mansions amid Rocky Desert Landscape
Located just northeast of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale once served as ranch land where farmers grew oranges and lemons and cowboys kicked up dust in the fierce, dry heat. That era earned Scottsdale the nickname of “The West’s Most Western Town.” Today, it is an affluent city landscaped with lush green grass and lined with stucco mansions. For a glimpse of the city’s Old West roots, head to Old Town Scottsdale, where wooden boardwalks and hitching posts sit in front of a retro ice-cream parlor and rustic specialty shops.
Upon arriving in Scottsdale, you know you’re in the desert—cacti and tumbleweeds dot the landscape, and dry shrubs and gnarled trees cover the McDowell Mountains in the distance. To get a closer look at southwestern flora, head to the Desert Botanical Garden. There, themed trails wind past huge cacti and other moisture-hoarding succulents, best seen in the cooler early morning or twilight hours.