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“Fantastic”

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Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Paradise Valley
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 29, 2006

I will start by saying that this was the fourth year in a row that we have stayed at the Sanctuary. Obviously, we have always been happy. But this year's stay was the best yet. I think the staff is finally getting the level of service just "right" for a top line resort.

The greatest attribute of the Sanctuary is its location. The mountainside views are stunning. Most of the mountain casita suites have fantastic views. If you don't like the view of your room, ask for another. Another strong point: the resort is very, very quiet and private. We rarely even run into other guests (one on this trip was baseball star Derek Jeter). If you are looking for seclusion and quiet, this is a great place to stay. I have stayed at the Phoenician, for example, and the Sanctuary is FAR better if peace and quiet is what you are looking for.

On my last three visits I had found the service generally good, but a little uneven for a resort charging $500+ a night. On this trip, however, there was a noticeable improvement in the quality of service. I think the management must be emphasizing service as there were no petty annoyances.

This resort is also in an excellent location. The Four Seasons--also a lovely property--is basically in the middle of nowhere, requiring a 30 minute drive go shopping, out to dinner, etc. The Sanctuary is just five to ten minutes away from all the major Scottsdale stores and restaurants.

In case you can't tell, I'm already looking forward to next year's trip to the Sanctuary!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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8  Thank BNAFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,684 - 1,690 of 1,748 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
toronto, ontario
17
Reviewed March 16, 2006

This is the best resort ever. Let me tell you. I have been visting this resort even before it was known as the Sanctuary. Please do not listen to the TripAdvisor Member from the UK, who gave the resort 1 star. I highly disagree. The sanctuary offers a perfect luxurious getaway for any type of family. I would describe the resort "state of art", "beautiful", "luxury". I have visited the four seasons, fairmont princess and almost all of the other 5 star hotels in scottsdale, but nothing beats the Sanctuary.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, IL
13
Reviewed March 14, 2006

Perfect is how I would describe my stay here. EVERYTHING and I mean everything from the bed to the service to the food was perfect. The staff is amazing. The only complaint that I had was that the pedicure I received was a bit disappointing. I shared my concern with the spa manager and they took it off of my bill.

If you want to get away from it all and be pampered by one of the best in the industry stay here!! It's pricey, but worth every penny!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
19
Reviewed February 22, 2006

We stayed for 3 days in August (hot!) and would not have changed a thing. As you will notice, there are mixed reviews on this site for the property, but my wife and I do not have one negative thing to say.

We were upgraded to a Spa Casita, which was incredible. Never have we slept in a bed like that, and we have since ordered the linens and feather bed for our home. The bathroom was gorgeous.

Service was EXCEPTIONAL. Staff went out of their way to honour every little whim--fixing my suitcase, taking us on a tour of the entire property (which includes some insane private homes), and even got us an incredible rate at Enchantment for our trip to Sedona. They were out-of-this-world friendly and accomodating, with special thanks to C.J.

The pool was always quiet and stunning. We had the whole thing to ourselves for a midnight swim under the light of a huge bowl of fire (check their website). The views are amazing, the food at Elements (esepcially breakfast) was fantastic, and the Jade bar was a great place to entertain our local Scottsdale friends!

By the way, it's really hot in Arizona in August. Like 117 degrees farenheit hot. Staff did their best to help by handing out free ice-cold bottles of water seemingly at every turn. This was in stark contrast to the Biltmore (where we also stayed) and had to pay for every bottle. This might be also part of the reason why it was so calm--I guess the resort was quiet at that time of year, but the great price we got was worth every penny.

We will absolutely return here. We cannot say enough great things about this hotel and the people that work there. We have also stayed at, or eaten at, a number of other area properties, but this is the clear jewel. Everything is calm, relaxing, and beautiful. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: August 2005
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2006

Wasn't expecting much, but was overwhelmed by my Mountain Vista Casita, the friendly service and relaxing surroundings. Luxe, but still very comfortable. Definitely check out the resort's walk/run suggestions - really gorgeous scenery and sumptious homes on the routes. One suggestion: Book spa treatments at least 2 weeks in advance and make sure to confirm them before you get to the spa. I had a scheduling snafu with one of my appointments - but to make up for the problem they comp-ed me for it. Still, better to have everything locked down before you arrive.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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4  Thank VVBklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2005

We stayed at the Sanctuary on our way up to Sedona and to Grand Canyons. And did we ever make a great choice. Our room was one of the Spa casita suites which had a great view as well as an outdoor bath tub. I'm not sure about the other mountain casita rooms but they did look a little old on the outside and I'm thinking some negative reviews could have been because of this. I guess your experience may change drastically depending what type of room you get. Room service was prompt and food (from elements restaurant) was exquisite to say the least. Staff was courteous to us and my 7-year old son, even he did not want to leave. Our experience was 5 star all the way but if there were any improvements they can make, it could be training the staff to be smiling more. Otherwise, almost perfect. We'll definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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5  Thank ttangbee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2005

We were looking for a Christmas get-a-way at a resort with a fireplace and warm weather....Sanctuary was a good fit so we booked a Mountain Casita Suite that we just renovated. We stayed three days and enjoyed our stay but not without some hiccups. From a service standpoint, I would give an an A however I must give it only a B rating due to several problems we had. The DVD player didn't work and it took several calls to get it fixed as the staff was "sent to the wrong room" and then when someone did come, they said this rooms was brand new and wasn't sure how to fix it. So in the end they moved the DVD player to the bedroom and it wasn't the best place as it kept falling off the TV. We had to call several times for some repairs on other items as well. We also received a call early on our second morning with a request to have the "contractor" come in and do some "measurements" on the room. Over the three day period, we had staff coming into the rooms several times a day which really interruped the "peace" we were in search of. The resort is very quiet which was nice. It's a few miles from any commercial business so be ready to order room service often or else you need to get dressed for the restaurant or a trip into town. The food was excellent and room service was generally fast. We had made reservations in the spa for several treatments, and on our arrival at the spa we discovered that our booked treatments were none like we we requested, nor at the times we requested, and the staff only said "we don't understand what happened but we see there is a problem". They did the best they could to resolve but still would have preferred no hassle. We rented the "Sanctum", which is a private couples area in the spa but didn't feel it was worth it. There was no fireplace there as they advertised, only a heater. The jacuzzi was so hot we couldn't go into it. The spa treatments were good except for the pedicures we received which I would give it an "F" as it was near lousy. Back in our room, we couldn't use the fireplace as the smoke was so thick in the room it was unbearable. Maintenance advised we could open the windows and it would help....but we would rather have a functional fireplace that worked. The bed was incredibly comfortable, even better than Westin's "Heavenly Bed". The shower leaked water into the floor due to faulty door seal, and created large puddles in the small bathroom.

It was Christmas however we didn't feel it was right to provide limits on houskeeping service while staying there to accomodate staff schedule. We didn't receive a discount for this and felt limits on service should not be imposed, even though it wasn't too inconvenient.

The Christmas morning breakfast was served in a banquet room and was $25/person plus taxes and automatic gratuity. There were only three hotel items on the buffet, and the eggs that were cooked to order we never did get them as the chef kept breaking the eggs and finally we said to forget the eggs as we were already finished eating the few items on the buffet wihout any eggs yet to be delivered. And we were the ONLY table in the entire room...service was very poor if not awful, and to auto-gratuity the check was not a good option but we had no choice.

Perhaps due to the holidays, our service was not as good as during other times. But some of the problems we experienced we didn't feel was worth the over $2k we paid for three days inclusive of our food/beverage/spa service. We were "slightly" dissapointed.

On a good note, we would consider returning but not during a holiday with unexpected and mutitudes of problems we experienced. Views were awesome. Room cleanliness was ok. Functionality of the rooms was poor due to all the problems (some I have not mentioned). Very quiet and peaceful. Spa was dissapointing. Our billing for the spa was a disaster as it was all incorrect and ended up being charged much more for fewer services than we originally booked. Comfort of the room I would give a big thumbs up due to the bed. Location was great except a little off the beaten path.

All in all, we would recommend this resort, but would catuion room conditions on the other "non-renovated" rooms. Considering our rate was over $400/night, we might choose an alternate nearby resort that is newer with similar rates.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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5  Thank Yoshizomi
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 85253-5218
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 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Business Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Spa Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Family Hotel in Paradise Valley
Price Range: $460 - $2,458 (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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