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“Beautiful Resort on Camelback Mountain”

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Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Paradise Valley
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 20, 2007

We stayed in a 1 room casita and it was great. High Def plasma TV was very nice. Large bathtub next to a sliding window that opens into the living room for a perfect view of the TV. Beautiful view at night and day of the city since the resort is up the mountain. Very comfortable bed. The balcony has couches to relax on if the weather is right. My only complaint was a bit of a weird smell when you first walked in but I got used to it really quick. I thought the price for this type of place was very reasonable. It's a good place for a romantic getaway given the tub, the clear shower doors and the candle lighting they supplied.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank JSCANE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,675 - 1,681 of 1,783 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2007

We just returned from our stay at Sanctuary Camelback. The hotel is beautiful with great service as well.

The spa is definitely more of a "granola" type healthy spa, and I am definitely more used to a spa geared towards pampering versus promoting a healthy lifestyle, that serves wine and complimentary cheese/chocolates, etc. I had a 30 min. massage which was excellent, accupuncture, and a facial that was to be an hour long treatment that ended up being 45 minutes. The spa does automatically charge a 20% gratuity which is annoying, but when I advised of the shortened facial they immediately changed the gratuity as I requested and later called to advise they would cut price in half.

The pool is very nice, with excellent service provided. You are immediately provided ice water with lemon that is constantly refilled. You are also able to order lunch to enjoy by the pool.

Elements, the restaurant at the hotel, has great service and mediocre food that is overpriced for the quality you get. I would definitely stick to cocktails only at their bar, Jade, and taxi out for meals. Note: We were advised no outside food allowed at the pool area.

Overall, this hotel is excellent for a short romantic getaway. If you're looking for a place to go heavy on the spa treatments for the sake of being pampered, you may want to go to another spa hotel. But to have a few treatments and sit by the pool for a weekend, it's perfect.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cleolily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2007

Spent two nights here in a Mountain Vista Suite after two nights at The Boulders up in Carefree. All in all, I would say The Boulders is more restful, but Sanctuary has its own charms too. The rooms are in casitas that are terraced up the north slope of Camelback Mountain; each building has only one to three rooms, so it's like staying in a little neighborhood of duplexes. The vegetation is thick and the resort is staggered up a hillside, so you don't really get the feeling of being in a spread-out resort, which is nice. You also get to park your car near your room, as there are parking spaces in each section, which adds to the residential feel--and there's no parking charge!

The suite was distinctive in its style--very mid-century modern, in keeping with the exteriors. It was like an apartment, with a full kitchen at the entry, then a large living room with a huge L-shaped sofa; long, narrow stone dining table; leather armchair; huge square ottoman; flat-screen TV; and nice decorative touches like unusual lamps and wooden carvings. Very comfortable for groups. The bedroom was sort of standard, but nice mattresses and linens. The bathroom is smallish, but well-appointed and still with separate tub and shower and retro blue-and-yellow tilework. There was also a patio with a chaise lounge, side table, dining table, and two chairs. I wouldn't say the view was a mountain "vista" as claimed by the room category, but there was the top of a mountain in the distance. One nice feature of this resort is their suites have choice of one king or two double beds, which is unusual and handy for larger groups or friends traveling together.

Elements had a somewhat standard menu, but everything was well-prepared and the service was solid. Every table does have a good view of the valley. The jade bar is smaller than I expected, but also has a good view, with plenty of tables outside, good for when it's not 110 degrees. The whole restaurant/bar space seemed to have lots of non-hotel guests, which says good things about its reputation.

There's no lobby to speak of; registration and concierge are in an alcove in the main building that houses the restaurant and bar. Valet service was very good--they will have you follow them in your car to your room. They also arranged a private town car to the airport for a late-departing guest in our party for $45--a bargain when you consider a cab is about $30.

The infinity pool is nice--usually kind of crowded, but drink/food/set-up service is terrific. There's a quiet lap pool outside the fitness center--no service, but good for when you want some peace. There were rarely more than two or three people there.

The smallish spa has great treatments in a Zen setting [bamboo garden, gongs, etc.]. One great offering of Sanctuary is that there's no day-use fee for spa facilities and workout room for guests. This plus the free parking means added value.

Overall, the stay was very enjoyable. You would expect, with a name like Sanctuary, that it would be calm and peaceful, but that's not really the case. It's actually kind of scene-y, especially the pool area and restaurant, and the pathways among the casitas are busy as well. But it's enough of a special environment that it's well worth a stay, especially if you don't mind being a bit of a drive from other Phoenix attractions.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with friends
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2  Thank adamunc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2007

My husband and I took a 10 day road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico to celebrate a belated 1 year anniversary. We stayed here on our first night, and felt that we had gotten off to a very good start.

Upon check-in, our anniversary was warmly acknowledged and we were immediately upgraded from a mountain vista casita to a spa casita room. We were then escorted by a young man who navigated us to our casita and assisted us with our luggage. Even though we were only enjoying one evening at the resort, my husband had a collection of valuable professional photography equipment that needed to be taken out of the car and into our room. The bell boy made a snide remark about the amount of luggage that needed to be taken in, but that was soon forgotten as we walked in to the casita. The spa casita was nothing short of a palace with more amenities that one could imagine. There was a flatscreen TV, a furnished patio, a plush bed, a bar set, a leather couch, a huge tub, and a refrigerator with what appeared to stocked with a full bar.

We called for some ice and made a couple martinis. We never made it to the pool, but it is gorgeous and the hot weather was perfect for a dip.

After enjoying our room for a few hours, we had a reunion with friends from Phoenix (another couple). We had previously made a dinner reservation at the resort’s restaurant, Element’s. Even though Element’s got mixed reviews and had to settle for a 9:15 reservation, we decided to give it a chance. We showed up promptly, but weren’t seated until 40 minutes later. This was embarrassing and unfortunate being that our reservation was already so late in the evening. We were starved so I attempted to order an appetizer in the bar, and the bartender said “let me send a waitress over.” No one ever showed up, but a couple tasty appetizers did show up at the table as we were seated. The manager apologized for the late seating and was nice enough to comp the appetizers. The softshell crab entree was disappointing, and the ribeye was decent at best. We turned dessert down, but were given complimentary chocolate dipped strawberries. Overall, we received very attentive service and mediocre food for a convenient walk from our casita.

For breakfast, we ordered room service. Not only was it served in a timely manner, but the filet mignon and stuffed french toast were superb.

The staff at this resort are sincerely friendly and work diligently to please their guests. The grounds are spectacular and the accommodations have all the luxurious, modern details. I regret our short stay and wouldn't hesitate to return. I would give this place a 5, if it hadn’t been for the shortcomings of the restaurant experience and the bellboy’s unnecessary comment.

-Penelope and Dave

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Penelope B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2007

Sanctuary is amazing! I reserved a Spa Casita for our stay, but we were upgraded to a Spa Casita Suite (I think this was because the hotel found out that my fiancee and I were just engaged). The room was beautiful and spacious. The hotel grounds were quiet and beautiful as well. We spent a lot of time at the pool, used the fitness center, and I even went to a Pilates Reformer class. The instructor, Kara, was great!

The hotel itself was in a great location, not too far from the places we travelled to during our stay. We also went to the restaurant, Elements, while we were there. We had a table with a beautiful view and the food was delicious.

I cannot say enough good things about Sanctuary and I truly hope to return in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank relliebelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2007

After reading reviews about The Boulders I changed our plans for my husband and 13 yr old niece to book the Sanctuary. What a great move....starting with the serene feel as you enter the property, greeted by friendly valet guys who immediately unloaded our luggage and escorted us to the front desk. My husband and I were celebrating birthdays and we were greeted with birthday cards as we checked on our room. We were early so our room was not ready and we ate in the elements restaurant complete with a view. You felt like you were the only one in this resort...never crowded, noisy, just serene. Our room was a mountain casita suite complete with grapefruit trees, honeysuckle and cactus landscaping. Our view was direct and beautiful as we watched sunsets from the balconies. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast in our room the final morning and as my husband packed our rental car one of the golf cart guys jumped off and preceded to help him (unsolicited). I have been to the Ritz and other chains and my choice in Scottsdale will be the Sanctuary...you will not be disappointed. The concierge gave us great advice on shopping and sites complete with directions....Thank you Sanctuary...I miss you already.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank blurobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2007

Unfortunately we only had 2 nights at the Sanctuary at Camelback. It would have been nice to have a couple more days to immerse ourselves completely in the Sanctuary experience, which includes Spa, Fitness and Lifestyle classes (some of which are admittedly a little crunchy-granola, e.g. Guided Labyrinth Meditation - but, hey, that's probably what you came here for).
As it was, we had just enough time to enjoy our large Spa Casita suite, which amenities included 2 big plasma tv's, wetbar, patio, japanese tub (never used) in the tiny back garden area, and ample bathroom (with very pleasant smelling shampoo, conditioner and shower gel).
As we walked in we were hit with a 50's movie-star crash pad vibe. the room really looks impressive. Upon closer inspection, it should be noted that the condition of the furniture, floors and fixtures is a bit worn, and the bathroom toilet and shower aren't at the level of what you would expect in a "spa suite." But, we really liked the relaxing layout and the warm color palette.
The rooms pluses were the cloudlike bed, oversized armchair, extremely fast internet connection and the large patio (which, in our case faced the lap pool).
Each casita has an entrance shared with only one other guest and they are arranged along a convenient walking path which winds up from the parking lot through the various guest casitas and to the pool and restaurant (where we ate on our first night, and were shown to a romantic table with a beautiful view of the desert).
Although it was overcast during our stay, it was definitely hot enough to enjoy the pool, which was heated just enough to be comfortable and offered amazing little mesh-bottomed floats whch allow you to remain soaking in the water while floating around.
Staff was excellent - kind and efficient.They escort you around in golf carts, which is neat.
Overall, a very nice experience. Recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank goodcop
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 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Spa Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Valley
#1 Business Hotel in Paradise Valley
Price Range: $419 - $977 (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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