Boutique Accommodations in Arizona & New Mexico
In the search for ‘unique’ or ’boutique’ places to stay in the southwest, we covered the entire accommodation spectrum: hotels within yards of the Grand Canyon, cheap and cheerful motels in which we literally spent 8 hours sleeping, rustic creekside cabins and luxurious B&Bs. (Sidenote: I have to confess that I do prefer B&Bs that provide a more private experience for their guests, versus sleeping in the owner’s refurbished sewing room down the hall.) Below are some of our ‘hotel’ highlights.
SPLURGE in Sedona
BOOTS AND SADDLES B&B, Sedona, Arizona
This truly is a 5 star boutique hotel experience, but with the added bonus of a gourmet breakfast and personal touches from hosts who truly want you to enjoy your stay with them. Irith and Sam represent the absolute best in B&B hosts. Not only is the accommodation private and stunning in its elegant and elevated design (thanks to Irith), but the food is a work of art on the plate and to the palate (thanks to Sam).
The rooms are gorgeous with attention paid to every detail, whether it means mirroring the shape of the mountains in the etched glass privacy window in the walk in shower, or the amenities stowed in the vanity drawers that allow for any forgotten necessity.
If you’re spending a little time in Sedona and you want to really feel like you’ve been on a vacation, treat yourself to several nights at Boots&Saddles. An added bonus is that there’s a fabulous store next door that sells native art and artefacts.
STAY at the Grand Canyon
THUNDERBIRD LODGE, Grand Canyon South Rim
If you only have a short time to visit the Canyon, you might as well stay on the rim of it. Thunderbird Lodge is about as close as you can get, given its location not 50 feet from the rim, really handy if you are planning on doing any hiking (since it gives you a place where you can shower afterwards!) Its not cheap, it’s not particularly luxurious, but the fact that you can walk outside of your room at midnight and see the moonlit canyon practically on your doorstep, is well worth the price. An added bonus? there’s often elk grazing on the hotel grounds at night, so stay alert on your stroll and you’ll be able to catch a view of more than just the canyon.
SPLURGE in Scottsdale
THE PHOENICIAN LUXURY RESORT, Scottsdale, Arizona
The Phoenician is one of the jewels of the Phoenix area, and not just because of its stellar desert location at the foot of Camelback Mountain. Whether you are looking for a golf getaway, a relaxed desert retreat surrounded by nature, or a place to pamper yourself with the latest spa treatments and fabulous food and drink, the Phoenician offers it all. Plus the property has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation that completely rejuvenated the resort, just like the visitors to its a brand new Spa. For a comprehensive review of this property, check out this post. (Not that you’ll need much convincing – this hotel has it all.
SPLURGE in Scottsdale
THE FAIRMONT SCOTTSDALE PRINCESS, Scottsdale, Arizona
The Fairmont brand knows how to take full advantage of the geography where their properties are situated, and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is no exception. This expansive Scottsdale resort gives guests access to two golf courses, one literally steps from the rooms, with gorgeous desert landscaping and water features throughout the property. There are multiple pools where guests can relax and enjoy a cocktail between swims, several excellent restaurants and a lively courtyard bar surrounded by candles, fiery water fountains and palm trees. Read our more detailed review of this property here.
SCORE! in Scottsdale
ROYAL PALMS RESORT & SPA, Scottsdale, Arizona
This hotel exceeded expectations in every way. The hotel was a true oasis in the desert, with its location practically backing onto Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale’s iconic landmark and favourite spot for morning hikes. The architecture of the Royal Palms is inspired by traditional, old-world Spanish-colonial design, but the rooms and amenities are modern and luxurious. Definitely look at booking their casita-style rooms as they offer privacy and luxury with individual patios as well. Service here was impeccable but unpretentious, and the staff were helpful and very friendly. And when it comes to dining, there’s no need to leave the property as the food in their restaurant was delicious and the happy hour in the lounge was excellent, with gourmet appetizers that were to die for. Our only complaint was that we hadn’t booked a longer stay, as this was luxury at its finest.
STAY in Downtown Phoenix
THE FOUND:RE, Phoenix, Arizona
“Reverie” dominates the main lounge area
The FOUND:RE is a boutique art hotel in downtown Phoenix that definitely puts design at the forefront of the guest experience. From the Instagram-worthy installations in the common areas to the retro cool pool, the FOUND:RE delivers downtown cool right in the heart of the city. The industrial chic decor is trendy and creative, just like the arts district where it is located, but not at the expense of creature comforts. When a hotel has a cultural curator on staff to manage the artwork, and see to every design detail, you know it’s going to be beautiful. But don’t take our word for it: the FOUND:RE is also a huge favourite with flight crews – and they’ve seen it all. Read more about our stay in this post.
NEW MEXICO PROPERTIES
LA CASITA ROSADA, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Scouring the internet has its payoffs, and this beautiful little apartment was certainly one of them. Built as a completely separate, self-contained ‘villa’ this studio comes with a kitchen, spa-like bathroom and beautifully appointed bedsitting room. Its proximity (read walking distance) to Old Town, the historic square of Albuquerque, combined with its included internet and parking, make it a must-do, and all for such a ridiculously low price, I almost hate to share this!
NEW MEXICO PROPERTIES
STAY in Pinos Altos
BEAR CREEK MOTEL & CABINS, Pinos Altos, New Mexico
Enroute from New Mexico to Arizona, we were looking for a place to spend one night to break up the drive, and found these rustic 2-story cabins in the middle of a ponderosa pine forest. If you’re a fan of cozy log cabins with fireplaces, wood everywhere, and don’t mind a little wear and tear around the edges, Bear Creek provides the perfect break from the highway. Sit on the upstairs porch, breathe in the scent of pine, and watch bluejays and woodpeckers fly by at eye level while you enjoy a glass of wine. You’ll feel like a Cartwright!
Want to read more about our experiences in Arizona? Click here.
New Mexico? Click here.