Returned to the Camelback Inn after many years and found that this storied hotel has been eclipsed by many other hotels/resorts in Arizona. That's why this hotel isn't even on the 5 or 4-start Forbes (the successor to Mobil Travel Guide) list. I'm frankly surprised they've managed to keep their 5 Diamonds from AAA, since it really isn't in the same league with other properties.
Let's start with the good: (1) still a truly magnificant setting, fabulous landscape and centrallly located in Scottsdale; (2) good dining options on the property (a branch of BLT Steak and Rita's hotel restaurant is quite good); and (3) a very friendly and well-trained staff and management.
The bad: The entire place has a tired and dated decor - our casita must have looked fresh in 1980. The bathrooms in most casitas are tiny and not even close to what you'd find in a modern Courtyard hotel! Noisy, inefficient heating/AC in each room. The amenities (soaps, etc.) are fine but indistinguishable from a nice Hyatt -- not really important but indicative of management's approach. The whole place needs a massive capital infusion and extensive remodeling if they want to even begin to compete with the nearby Santuary or other top hotels. (Don't get me wrong, they can still keep some of the 1930's original charm....but a lot needs major updating.)
The spa is beautiful but lacks an indoor pool and there's an extra $35/day spa charge ON TOP OF THE MANDATORY $25/day "resort fee". The resort fee is just plain irritating and I think they'd be better off increasing their stated rates than having so many guests be annoyed by a fee payable regardless of whether you rent a bike or use the internet.....really makes them look cheap.
So in short, if you get a great deal on rates, this is an OK place to stay in Scottsdale and you can have a lovely time. But if you are looking for a real luxury experience and want to feel like you are in world-class place, you have a lot better other resort options close by, which don't cost all that much more and are a much better value.