4-star resort by Camelback Mountain with five outdoor swimming pools and a full-service spa; stays include a waived $25 daily resort fee
Hotel at a Glance: The Scottsdale Plaza Resort
A lush estate of 40 acres surrounds The Scottsdale Plaza Resort, which sits in the shadow of the stately Camelback Mountain. Within a 15-minute drive of downtown and its prized shopping districts, the resort is close to Scottsdale’s most popular attractions, including numerous golf courses and local cafes.
- Make yourself at home in rooms equipped with mini fridges and cable programming.
- Relax at the spa where services range from restorative massages and facials to haircuts and mani-pedis.
- Take a dip in one of five outdoor swimming pools after playing at nearby championship golf courses.
- Grab a bite at JDs Lounge, one of the resort’s three restaurants.
- Go shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square or Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, both within a 10-minute drive.
Scottsdale, Arizona: Stucco Mansions amid Rocky Desert Landscape
Scottsdale once served as ranch land where farmers grew oranges and lemons and cowboys kicked up dust in the fierce, dry heat of the Sonoran Desert. 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.