Travelling like a grownup means living it up a little – or a lot – when it comes to accommodation. While sometimes the unique experience of sleeping in a spherical treehouse makes up for the lack of certain amenities, there are other occasions when you really want to indulge yourself. A trip to the southwest U.S. is always a good excuse to spoil yourself, and if you are looking for where to stay in Phoenix, Arizona specifically, here are 3 outstanding luxury hotels in Phoenix where you can really luxe it up.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Anyone who has stayed at a Fairmont property already knows that when it comes to indulgence, this hotel knows how to deliver, and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is no exception.
Lush Property with 2 Golf Courses
Set on a gorgeous landscaped property with not one but two 18-hole championship golf courses, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is what you might expect when you think of a luxury hotel in Phoenix: a low-rise, southwest-styled series of stucco buildings with tiled roofs connected by open, arched walkways. Palm trees dot the hacienda-like property, fountains bubble in the lagoons with fire features at night, and there is even a pretty rose garden on the shady north side of the property.
6 Pools to Enjoy
Pools are an important feature at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, since this is Arizona, after all, and even in October when we visited, the temperatures can hit 30+ degrees easily. Even so, it is impressive that there are 6 pools on the property including the large main Princess pool that can accommodate plenty of hotel guests and offers a large shaded bar (for people like Henk who are not sun-worshippers).
There’s also The Ironwood American Restaurant with a patio close to the pool as well, which is the perfect place to have an al fresco breakfast before the day heats up.
Better still, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has a ‘grownup pool’ exclusively for adults, with luxurious canopied beds and loungers, and fun hammock chairs to swing in right next to the bar that put a little more ‘happy’ into happy hour. ( Sorry kids, those chairs are strictly 18+!)
Huge Rooms with Great Views
Our king room at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess was huge, with a large living space in addition to the king-sized bed, and an equally spacious ensuite.
We were lucky to have a corner balcony with a view that overlooked the golf greens, beautiful gardens, and palm-tree-lined pathways winding around pretty lagoons. We even spotted a red-tailed hawk who liked to perch in the palm tree a few meters away from our balcony. (although I can’t guarantee one comes with every room!)
Magical at Night
At night the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess becomes even more beautiful: fountains bubble with water and fire, and the main courtyard is lit up with real candles that add a little magic and romance to this laid-back luxury hotel vibe. If you imagine desert luxury in the southwest, this is what it looks like.
Urbanites, art lovers and design mavens will love the FOUND:RE boutique art hotel right in downtown Phoenix. The hotel is one of the funkiest re-models of a traditional hotel property that I’ve ever seen and boasts a modern, artsy aesthetic that I loved in both the common spaces and the individual guest rooms.
Trendy, Funky Rooms
Rooms at the FOUND:RE could not be more on trend, and feature reclaimed wood pillars supporting a ‘floating bed’ centred in the room. There is a desk area behind the headboard and floor-to-ceiling windows opposite the bed with downtown views. The bathroom is a frosted glass ‘box’ extending into the room that features matte black fixtures and a unique feature: a sink that extends inside and outside the shower enclosure so that both guests can use it at the same time. Very cool.
FOUND:RE is a True Concept Hotel
Don’t let the exposed ceilings and pillars fool you, though: the name FOUND:RE has nothing to do with the building’s connection to a metalworking past, despite the industrial-chic interior design. Rather, ‘FOUND:RE’ reflects the concept that inspired the hotel’s reinvention: to encourage guests to discover everything that they find inspiring here: art, community, themselves.
There is plenty to ‘find’ as it turns out, starting with the impressive collection of contemporary art that is visible throughout the hotel; in fact, the FOUND:RE functions as a local art gallery almost as much as it does as a hotel. Art is featured everywhere and everything is available for sale, including the pieces in the guest rooms.
A Cultural Curator, Too
Mike Oleskow is the ‘Cultural Curator’ of FOUND:RE and is responsible for selecting and updating the artwork throughout the hotel. We met Mike for a short tour of the art currently on display and soon learned that he is very passionate about what he does, choosing both the pieces and the artists who fit with the youthful, easy vibe of the hotel. Eighty percent of the art is sourced locally and the artworks are exhibited in an unpretentious setting.
Oleskow has been instrumental in establishing the design aesthetic of the hotel as well, including the common areas. It was his suggestion that the artist who created the 5 faces titled ‘Reverie’ enlarge the images from the original 8 1/2 by 11 inch size to the impactful 5-foot panels that now dominate the main lounge.
Instagrammable Moments Everywhere
Being a boutique art hotel, there are the several ‘instagrammable’ installations around FOUND:RE that encourage guests to have some fun with their cameras, whether it is in the lobby, the bar or at the pool.
I have to admit, it’s impossible to resist hopping onto the hotel’s defacto mascot, T-Rex, to pose for a shot!
Downtown Location is a Bonus
If FOUND:RE’s modern design isn’t enough to tempt you here, the hotel’s downtown location is right in the heart of the Arts District and Roosevelt Row, known for its trendy restaurants and art studios. The hotel is also close to more traditional attractions like the Opera, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Heard Museum (that houses an impressive collection of American Indian Art).
If you want it all in a downtown hotel, you’ll be glad you FOUND:RE. We certainly were.
When it comes to luxury hotels in Phoenix, there is probably no other property more iconic than The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort that is part of the Marriot Bonvoy hospitality group. This is partly due to the fact that the hotel is situated at the base of the city’s most iconic landmark and recognizable location in the Sonoran Desert, Camelback Mountain. But it is also due to the standard of amenities you’ll find at this 250-acre resort which just underwent an extensive, multi-million dollar renovation.
The Phoenician Rises Higher
Over the past few years, every part of The Phoenician was upgraded, renovated or built from scratch, a rebirth that is synonymous with the bird – and the city – after which the hotel is named. From the Phoenician main hotel, to the Phoenician Residences, to the Canyon Suites (a boutique resort-within-the-resort), to the newly built Phoenician Spa, everything is what you would want in a 5-diamond luxury resort.
Not a Knot Overlooked at The Phoenician Spa
I was lucky enough to experience the luxurious Phoenician Spa for myself, indulging in a signature Phoenician Scrub and Massage in the beautiful new facility.
Dinora, my therapist, has been with the spa for 23 years and was recently named Employee of the Year, an honour she definitely deserved as she worked magic on the knots in my back. She worked all my kinks out and I left feeling as relaxed and zen as the Spa itself.
3 Pool Terraces With a Falconer to Boot
The Phoenician property is arranged in a semi-circular layout with its back to Camelback Mountain, and its main reception building overlooks the hotel’s 3 terraced pool areas and expansive valley.
Each pool area is on its own stepped-down terrace in front of the main hotel building, and the middle pool is reserved for adults only. Of course bar and snack service is available at all of the pools, and there is a poolside eatery called Kalio Kabobery where you can grab casual lunch fare. And to ensure that you can enjoy your meal without being annoyed by birds looking to mooch something off your plate, the Phoenician even has a falconer on-site to deter any would-be scavengers.
Talk about service that goes above and beyond.
Cocktails With a View
The Phoenician’s main reception building includes an elegant bar, the Thirsty Camel, which actually won Forbes’ World’s Best Hotel Bar in 2019! Only 44 bars can claim that honour around the world and it’s easy to see why: a wall of glass flanks the chic bar, offering sunset views of the valley every evening.
Behind the glass walls, the bar extends onto a huge terrace that features romantic fireplaces and absolutely gorgeous views at night. It was one of Henk’s and my favourite places in the hotel to enjoy a drink, and the perfect way to end a day after exploring the Phoenix area.
Room to Relax
Henk and I stayed in a large, elegantly understated room with a huge ensuite and a quiet balcony overlooking a pretty cactus garden at the base of Camelback Mountain. Being at the back of the Phoenician, our section of the property felt very private and secluded and we always chose to walk through the cactus garden to get to our room instead of through the hotel, as it gave us a chance to admire the garden sculptures, and even spot the occasional desert hare or lizard.
Luxury Hotels in Phoenix that Deliver
When you want to live it up a little at a luxury hotel, you want one that lives up to your expectations. Better yet, one that over-delivers. We can honestly say The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, The FOUND:RE and The Phoenician did that and more.
For more recommended properties in Phoenix and Arizona, check out our Accommodations page.
Special thanks to Visit Phoenix, who hosted Henk and I on our visit to Phoenix and gave us the opportunity to experience these hotels.