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“The best place in the world to relax” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Camelback Mountain

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Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   5700 E McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, AZ 85253   |  
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Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Paradise Valley
Houston, Texas
1 review
“The best place in the world to relax”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2007

This is the most wonderful place in the world. After our first visit three years ago, it became an annual trip. It's our chance to learn how to b-r-e-a-t-h-e all over again. From the time you drive through the gate, every person at this very special place focuses on how they can make your experience better. And, you get the feeling they love working there! The spa services are absolutely incredible. Elements and Chef Beau always deliver a memorable meal and experience. I can't say enough about this magical place. If you haven't been, you MUST go. Absolutely divine!

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917 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (271)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, AZ
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2007

This is a nice place that certainly has quite a posh air to it. We stayed here for a wedding with several family members, so we had a chance to see the various room layouts and compare. The mountain casitas are what we stayed in and while they are nice, they are not as great as the spa casitas and spa casita suites. They are much smaller and have fewer things that make you feel that you are staying in luxury. All rooms have separate shower and tub and the bathrooms have plenty of space. The only room I was terribly wowed by was the suite - it had an outdoor tub which was an appealing feature.

The grounds are very spread out, so you can walk or hitch a ride on one of the golf carts that the employees zoom around in. Going to the infinity pool is a must... Drinks can be enjoyed while lounging by the pool; and if I remember correctly, there is a small bar just off the pool area. Jade Bar has good drinks with lots of pretty people. The wedding was catered by their kitchen, and the food was absolutely DELICIOUS. I didn't try the spa, but some people in our party did and experienced some mix-ups - the bridesmaid received the bride's treatment by accident. Apologies were abundant, but this was her wedding day. At any rate, Sanctuary is a very tranquil, luxurious resort that I would recommend staying at.

  • Liked — Beautiful location, tranquil feel
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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West Linn, Oregon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2007

I booked a 3-night spa package for my husband's birthday. The staff was exceptional from my first contact with them by phone until the minute we left. They checked us in early and asked if we needed a late check out and were very accommodating. The property is well maintained. Although it is mainly a cell-phone-free area, they maintain the grounds with noisy leaf blowers!
The room was a mountain casita. It had no balcony. I wish I had realized this because I would have chosen a different type of room. While the room was well appointed and spacious, it felt a little confining.
The spa was wonderful with staff that were very attentive to your every need. Room service was prompt. The free breakfast that came with the package was ordered directly off the menu and was excellent!
The property is tranquil, spread out and you park right by your room.
The only things that keep me from giving this a perfect score are the ground maintenance noise (it seemed to go on forever!), the lack of on-demand movies (they had DVD's available on request), the cabinets in the bathroom seemed in need of updating and we could hear the noisy neighbors.
I would stay at this property again but I would get a room with a patio.

  • Liked — The customer service
  • Disliked — The noise from the groundskeepers
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Payson, Arizona
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2006

I was looking forward to spending Christmas at Sanctuary. I had heard good things about the location and service level. Their spa offered some unique treatments and their restaurant, Elements, was supposed to have great food and views. My 26-year old daughter joined me for a few treatments. We both had wraps and facials. The women's area was smaller than I expected. There was a small jacuzzi and a eucalyptus steam room. There were plenty of showers and restrooms. They only had one private dressing room which I would be using because I am a modest person and don't typically walk around naked in public with strangers. Anyway, the facial (the Vie age concept) was one of the best I ever had (not cheap, though). My daughter and I wanted to eat at Elements but were told not to shower for a while after our two treatments so we had lunch brought to us in the women's lounge area. The food was only so-so and not exactly what was ordered. Either they need to fix the menu or stick to it.
Then it was time to get ready for afternoon Christmas festivities with the rest of the family. I tried using the single dressing room but was rudely infringed upon by a local spa member who moved my things out of her way and barged in when I was dressing with the door closed. Apparently the staff tells me that they cannot fix the lock because there is a storage closet in there that they must have access to. When I pointed out to the lady that this was a private dressing room, she told me that was tough and that she was in there too. It descended from there into her insulting me and calling me a freak. Needless to say, this ruined my relaxing morning in the spa. What a waste of money for the treatments. There was an employee in the lounge but she did nothing. When I checked out, I told the lady at the front desk what had happened and they discounted my services. I am aware that a spa cannot be held responsible for the conduct of the persons using their facilities, but some simple changes would have avoided the entire encounter. They need to either move their storage closet and put a lock on that door, provide more private dressing rooms or put a sign on that door that says please knock when closed or do not disturb, etc. The overt meanness and lack of consideration of that spa member still haunts me two days later (probably because I have never experienced such a things in my 40+ years of my life). Perhaps the other answer is to not go to a spa that can have local members. This probably changes the atmosphere of the place and makes them think they "own" it and can be rude to guests. Unfortunately I will not be back which is sad because while the treatment was great, I don't want to risk another stressful experience.

  • Liked — View
  • Disliked — Cost
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't go to the spa if you are modest.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattpe
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2006

As opposed to some reviewers we went to Sanctuary to relax. It was exactly right for that. There were rules about cellphone etiquette and I liked the lack of computer usage/attachments to work. This is not a business hotel but one to Relax at.

The spa and gym were very nice. There was a wide assortment of classes to partake in, so if you're looking for a work out/fitness vacation, this hotel surely fits the bill.

In terms of service, it was wonderful. While the weather was a bit chilly, we were the only people at the hot tub and there was still service staff who brought us water and were ready to wait on on us. The restaurant Elements also had very god service but clearly the highlight was the food - excellent for the 3 breakfasts and 2 dinners we ate there. We're from Seattle and even the coffee exceeded our high standards.

My wife and I look forward to our next stay in AZ, and we will most certainly be staying here for our Relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2006

Had a 3 night stay for our 10 year wedding anniversary in October. We found the rooms to be an odd mixture of old 1960's or 1970's architecture with very modern decor. They were nice overall and the service was good, but there were some disappointments for a $500-$600 night room.

The Jade Bar is so packed full of young Scottsdale bar rats that it is unusable on the weekends for guest. Very disappointing at these prices that you can't enjoy the hotel's ammenities like this.

We had to make our own toast for breakfast delivered by room service. Kind of weird.

No in room movie service. They have a DVD player with a beautiful flat panel LCD, but we had to borrow movies from the front desk (many were already checked out) and we had to get the DVD player replaced 2 times because of malfunctions.

No in room internet. Even Motels have internet.

At these prices, you shouldn't want for a single thing.

  • Liked — Location, great staff
  • Disliked — Way overpriced
  • Tips/Secrets — Look elsewhere. The Scottsdale area has tons of better priced choices with better ammenties
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2006

Lovely and luxurious-have stayed before at Phoenician in Scottsdale and much prefer this smaller resort with beautiful rooms, grounds, excellent food and service. Spa treatments top notch, good workout facitlity. I had Mountain Casita Suite and it had small kitchen, lovely living room with big screen tv, fireplace, sofa and dinner table, lovely patio and nice bedroom. Bath had separate tub, shower combo and opened in to bedroom. Decor chic and comfortable-beds also comfy.
Food very good....restful quiet resort perfect for luxury rejuvenate. Heard staff talk today that in next issue of Conde Naste traveler they will be rated number one in U.S.

  • Liked — rooms
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Camelback Mountain

Address: 5700 E McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Paradise Valley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Spa Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Business Hotel in Paradise Valley
#2 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Valley
#3 Family Hotel in Paradise Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Camelback Mountain 5*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover your sanctuary at the best Arizona resort...a luxury boutique hideaway on Camelback Mountain. Overlooking the spectacular views of Paradise Valley, relax in a mountainside or spa casita. Retreat to Sanctuary Spa for Asian-inspired treatments and exhilarating classes. Taste the award-winning cuisine of elements' by Food Network star Chef Beau MacMillan. Savor the sunset at jade bar or on edge, raising the bar for happy hour. Play tennis or hike in a fabulous setting, lounge by the infinity-edge pool, or indulge in Scottsdale's hottest shopping, cultural attractions and championship golf just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Hotel Paradise Valley
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Paradise Valley

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