Modern Southwestern Design in the Heart of Scottsdale
The forked-arm silhouette of the saguaro cactus is an unmistakable symbol of the southwest. Since The Saguaro Scottsdale blends into the Sonoran Desert, it makes sense that the hotel takes its name from this iconic cactus. The interior welcomes visitors with splashes of magenta, violet, and tangerine—hues taken from the desert wildflowers that blanket the dunes after a rainstorm.
It's all part of the hotel's recent aesthetic overhaul, which helped earn it a spot on the cover of Condé Nast Traveler as 1 of the 121 Best New Hotels in the World in 2012. The hotel’s ultrachic restaurant was conceived by Chef Jose Garces, who appeared on Iron Chef America and received a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award. Distrito specializes in housemade sangrias and barbacoa-based tapas inspired by Mexican street fare.
Up on the second and third floors, Stetson city-view rooms overlook the Civic Center Mall or Scottsdale's Old Town from private balconies. Striped mexican blankets and black-and-white prints of cacti further the southwestern theme. For a relaxing reprieve, head to the Saguaro Spa, where scrubs polish skin with desert plants such as prickly pear and aloe. Or visit the outdoor pools, which regularly host water aerobics, live DJ sets, and other events.
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's 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. Themed trails wind past huge cacti and other moisture-hoarding succulents, best seen in the cooler early morning or twilight hours.