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“Waste of Money”

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Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Paradise Valley
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 15, 2014

Was really looking forward to our overnight visit and a dinner at the hotel restaurant. We arrived around 6pm, were checked in and taken to our "Casita". It was a bit too funky, looked a home job
basement remodel. The beds were terrible, we had two oversized singles and both beds were broken down on the sides. You had to stay in the direct center of the bed or you felt like you were going to roll in the floor. This room was more than $400.00/night and I have had far better rooms at $89./night. The restaurant was very expensive, we did have a very good meal and a terrific waiter but….we were in one of their elevated 'Banquettes' just weird seating and odd shaped table. We were just starting our dessert and coffee when a table with a party of 10 directly across from us left. The table was less than 8 ft away, the bus staff starting cleaning dishes, clanking and banging, moving the tables
around, walking around carrying chairs right in front of us, 3 times. Then, the new table cloth was put on with great flapping. Then, the spray bottle came out and he proceeded to spray the table cloth, smooth it out, sprayed it again, more straying and smoothing…all this furniture moving,
cleaning up, rattling dishes , flapping table cloths, this show comes with a dinner bill of $295.00
I asked to speak the restaurant manage, as I was explaining the situation to him, he reached into his pocket, handed me his business card and said "Be sure to give me a call next time you come for dinner, I will make sure you are taken care of." Ok, I was not looking for a free meal or a free bottle of wine, pointing out a serious problem with cleaning up and setting up that should have been done when the restaurant was clear of diners. And, we were very close to closing time. There were a couple of chairs still scattered around , the manager looked at the "project" and walked away…as he stepped around the chairs. We left about 5 minutes later and had to walk around the chairs that had been left right in front of our table. It really was surreal. Certainly not the experience we were expecting.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank pwm64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sancmanager, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2014

We apologize sincerely that your experience did not live up to your expectations. We strive to ensure that every guest has a magical experience when they stay here or visit our restaurant. We are looking into the issue that you ran into with the beds in order to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. I am glad to hear that your dinner and service at elements was very good, but we are sorry for any inconvenience that our table turnaround caused. It was certainly never our intention to disrupt or diminish your overall experience at the restaurant. We will be discussing the situation with the restaurant manager to see what we can do to prevent situations like this in the future. Thank you for taking the time to review your recent experience as it will help us to improve the experience for all of our customers. We apologize again that your visit did meet your expectations. We hope that you will give us another chance in the future to fulfill those expectations. If you would like to discuss any of this in greater detail, I invite you to email me at sleslie@sanctuaryaz.com or call me at 480.607.2347 for Guest Relations Manager Steven Leslie.

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1,010 - 1,016 of 1,719 reviews

Reviewed February 12, 2014

The Sanctuary is just that - a wonderful, peaceful resort where one can renew the body and soul. We had a small misunderstanding with housekeeping. But due to the very caring resort manager, housekeeping manager and excellent staff the problem was corrected very swiftly. Highly recommended and my personal thanks to the staff for caring about us. We can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Beautydee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sancmanager, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your stay. We apologize again for any inconvenience that resulted from your experience with housekeeping. We are glad to hear that Jeremy and Karina were able to help fix the situation. We look forward to having you back, and making sure that your next stay is even better than this one.

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Reviewed February 12, 2014

I've been to special occasion dinners at the Elements Restaurant several times - but never stayed at the resort hotel until January 2014. Simple, but comfortable accommodations with amenities; spacious rooms - each with a killer view of the surrounding valley and mountains. Courteous and responsive staff makes for a luxurious retreat without the fuss found in so many five-star locations. We love the food at Elements (the view isn't bad, either) - and the cocktail lounge off the registration area is a cozy, fireside destination. It's not a place all your friends back home have heard of - but that's the charm of the Sanctuary: close to everything in Scottsdale, but quiet enough to provide that rest and relaxation you crave.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms! But ask for an unobstructed view of Mummy Mountain for the Best of the Best...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Betsy8091
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sancmanager, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us. Glad to hear that a few dinners at elements were able to convince you to book a stay at the resort. Sounds like you enjoyed your stay, which we always like to hear. It’s nice that you got to experience elements again and to check out the new bar. Next time you will have to try out the spa. Thank you again for the review and we hope to see you back sometime soon!

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Reviewed February 10, 2014

alas we are back to this wonderful haven in the middle of winter....it's been
4-5 years since we last stayed here and the improvements are just right...
we are staying in a mountain suite with an excellent view off of our balcony of mummy mountain .... the staff is top notch in allowing us to have early occupancy so that we can unpack and immerse into the spa facility...today is suppose to be around 75 (I think Tulsa is suppose to be around 35 without sun).... I will post more w/photos as our stay unfolds....

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank debby g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sancmanager, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2014

Thank you for choosing to come back and spend another vacation with us again. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the improvements and upgrades we have made to the property since your previous visit. It is nice that you got to experience the beautiful weather we have had this year. Sounds like you have already put the spa to good use. We hope you enjoy the rest of what the resort has to offer. And thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay. You’re feedback is invaluable.

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Reviewed February 7, 2014

We try to escape the midwest cold every January with a quick efficient long weekend to Scottsdale. Fortunately, many deals abound during this time and we quickly picked up on one offered by the Sanctuary. A large suite with an adjoining room, free breakfast, and a daily spa treatment.

Outstanding service from the bellman to the restaurant to the rather smallish spa area. It seems everyone was well trained to anticipate your needs and providing a comfortable luxurious stay. Food in the restaurant was creative. Bar area was warm, inviting...a great place for a nightcap.

The rooms were awkward. The kitchenette had no cutlery or silverware. Only plastic plates and plastic knives/forks. No serving bowls. Apparently a new Scottsdale health regulation but we've never encountered that before.

The weekend would have received a 5 star but the front desk operations is a mess. Staffed by apparently failed medical receptionists from my family doctors practice, they are young, apathetic, and often rude. A phone call to reception will not be answered. Ever. A message will not be returned. Ever. But fortunately, the bellman or restaurant will.

At our checkin at 4:30pm, our rooms were not ready but the uninterested front desk girl suggested we 2 couples sit in our single room until it is ready. An invitation to wait at the bar, a phone call to housekeeping to check the status, or even an apology would have been adequate but we began our stay with this welcome.

A long weekend in Scottsdale is always good. The location of the Sanctuary is excellent. If you can find a good deal here and can withstand the onslaught of their front desk operations, their other services may well be worth it.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Thomasleemd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sancmanager, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2014

Thank you for the wonderful comments on your stay regarding some of our staff and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed many parts of your stay. In regards to our front desk staff I apologize you had challenges with our team and you left the property with such a low perception of them. I know conversations were had with your party on options and steps we were taking to expedite your room that was unfortunately not available by 4pm. Perhaps that information didn't reach you directly but if would seem we could have done a better job of communicating it to you and have addressed this review directly with our staff. Our front desk team is comprised of many passionate hospitality driven individuals who genuinely care about our guests experience. That's why we hired them and what we look for in new team members. However, it would seem based on your experience we missed the mark on this service level we both expected and it has been addressed with the whole team. I'm confident our team moving forward is up to the task of providing excellent service from the front office and hope you'll give us another opportunity in the future to have you experience it.

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Reviewed February 2, 2014

A bit challenging to review this resort, as I encountered a few problems over my six night stay, and at $500+/night I wasn't too happy...but, I must say the staff here went way out of their way to fix the issues, accommodate me (two of the pools were out of service for multiple days and they made arrangements for me to do my laps at a nearby resort), and seemed genuinely interested in making me happy. How many times have you had a conversation with a manager/staff member and they promise to call you back with updated info and they never follow through? EVERY time, I was told I'd get an update, I received one. Kudos to Jeremy and Alex. Thanks.

The mountain casita suite was indeed spacious, offered great views, and was immaculately clean and well furnished. Kitchenette was useful. Negatives: you can hear noise, even light volume, in the adjoining room (though only our living room connected). And I don't know what was under our bedroom (utility room?), but the entire stay were heard a constant buzzing sound (like a sander or vacuum or other mechanical noise) that in the middle of the night was more annoying. Also, note that if you're up in one of the mountain casitas, the incline down to the main facilities is steep, so if you have any walking issues, you might be using your car...

The spa is first class. Treatments were excellent and the space is clean and serene.

If you do laps, the lap pool is truly a lap pool, and when it was available, I enjoyed it. The infinity pool was impressive, as well.

Restaurant: our [pricey] dinner here was a letdown. Waiter served us a bottle of champagne not chilled (yes, easily remedied by 10 min. in an ice bucket), the thick pork chop was unevenly cooked with half of it near rare and the other dishes we tried didn't impress. The view is spectacular, but if I return, I'll stick with the cocktail lounge to enjoy the vistas.

The bar area is great. Comfortable seating, friendly service, very creative cocktails--the tequila manhattan garnished with salami (!) and a cherry sounds weird, but was awesome. And that view is the perfect backdrop for a cocktail.

As resorts go, this is one of the better ones, despite the hiccups we experienced.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CapeSwimmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sancmanager, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay with us. We apologize for any inconvenience that our recent pool work caused. Glad to hear that Jeremy and Alex were able to arrange for you to use one of the neighboring resort’s pools. We sincerely apologize for any distraction or disruption from to outside noise during your stay. We are working on soundproofing the rooms to reduce any outside noise, including neighbors. Please don’t hesitate to call the bell stand for a ride down or up the mountain on your next visit. Glad to hear you got to enjoy the spa during your visit. Sorry to hear that elements did not live up to expectations. We all hope you will give us another chance to impress. It’s good to hear you enjoyed the new bar and cocktails as much as we do. Hopefully we will see you again sometime soon for another Anejo Manhattan! Thank you again for the review, it will help us to ensure that your next visit exceeds expectation.

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Reviewed February 1, 2014

I've stayed in resorts around the world and it's in my top 5. It is one of the few resorts I’ve stayed at that I have returned to and would definitely return to again. It’s a gorgeous resort that sits close to the mountains and looks down on the city. That makes for some amazing views, and a feeling of seclusion. The resort has beautifully manicured grounds which incorporates the surrounding desert landscape. Both times I have stayed in the Spa Suite. The room is contemporarily furnished with a sunken living room complete with a switch-controlled fireplace. You can plug in your ipod, and the sound system will play music throughout the suite. The Spa Suite also has a covered outdoor bathtub.
The spa is a bit pricey, but very relaxing and probably worth it.
The other great thing about this resort is the Elements Restaurant. It is easily one of my favorite restaurants as well. I believe the chef is an Iron Chef winner. I had the two bone pork chop. It was so amazing! I can’t say enough about the food. I would recommend going at sunset. The view is spectacular.
Overall I feel extremely relaxed and like I am truly on holiday when I stay at Sanctuary.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank Ron M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sancmanager, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a TripAdvisor review about your recent stay. We’re always honored when our past guests, especially those who have stayed with us several times, write such a nice review of our property. We’re glad to hear you had a wonderful meal at elements, and we agree, sunset is definitely the best time to experience the restaurant. Thank you again for the review and hopefully we will see you back soon!

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Additional Information about Sanctuary Camelback Mountain

Address: 5700 E McDonald Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253-5218
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 Spa Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Business Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Family Hotel in Paradise Valley
Price Range: $376 - $825 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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