Sanctuary on Camelback Resort in a Nutshell:
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain felt familiar to us even though we hadn’t been here before. Then we realized that it felt like many African lodges, which we know well. Buildings are integrated harmoniously into the landscape, with the casitas, spa, and the restaurant appealing organic to the terrain, and the pale green buildings resembling desert-friendly palo brea trees.
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Guest Rooms at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort:
Each of us had a different preference among the four styles at the 100-room resort. One liked the higher-up casitas smelling of mesquite from the fireplace; the other preferred the lower, newer casitas with their near-total privacy. Mountain vista casitas are the simplest, while suites have kitchen alcoves and private balconies with views of Paradise Valley. Spa casitas have private balconies; spa suites have outdoor soaking tubs. Bathrooms in the spa suite at are so large that there is a hassock in the middle of the room. The shower is enormous.
Dining at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort:
Elements restaurant is situated mid-way on the mountainside between the upper and lower rooms. The terrace is a place for homemade potato chips as well as a variety of tasty snacks. Indoors, Elements has six alcoves with banquettes where romantics can sit side-by-side, order from an extensive wine list, taste award-winning food, and look out over Paradise Valley. The view from every table inside Elements is glorious, as virtually every wall is floor-to-ceiling glass. There is also a private dining room where guests can watch the kitchen at work.
Weddings and Honeymoons at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort:
Only one wedding per day is performed at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain and there are a few venues, depending upon the size of the party. Paradise Views is their most popular location, providing just what the name implies—a backdrop view of Paradise Valley. Receptions generally take place in The View ballrooms, but they can also be held on The Views Terrace and at Praying Monk, a beautiful private space that faces Camelback Mountain. There’s tremendous indoor/outdoor flexibility. Couples who marry here receive a complimentary suite on the wedding night and a rose petal turndown and champagne with chocolate-covered strawberries at midnight.
Honeymoons and Romance at Sanctuary on Cameback Mountain Resort:
While there are no specific romance packages, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is ready to provide what a couple desires for a romantic stay. Popular is the rose petal turndown and champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Dinner can be served in the room. Many proposals have taken place on the rooftop of one of the buildings, where a couple can look up at the star-filled sky or down into Paradise Valley.
Activities at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort:
Sanctuary began as a racquet club, and tennis remains a major activity, with five courts next to Arizona’s largest infinity pool, which is heated. Guests at the spa awaiting massages relax in a comfortable robe and recline on a zero-gravity chair. Our couples’ message was in a room with a fireplace, which added to the romance and relaxation. A steam room with a Jacuzzi was steps away. Complimentary classes, including yoga, pilates, and a tennis clinic, are offered through the week at the movement studio. The concierge can arrange off-premise horseback riding and hot-air balloon excursions.
Nearby Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort:
It is less than five miles to Old Town Scottsdale. A highlight for us was participating in A Taste of Scottsdale food and historical walking tour. It begins in front of the old school house and stops at a half dozen restaurants, sampling, for example, Thai soup, pulled pork tortillas, homemade root beer, and beignets. Our favorite restaurant, The Mission, features new Latin American cuisine. Next door, on Saturdays, is a vibrant farmers’ market. Scottsdale is home to approximately 100 art galleries; Thursday is Artwalk Night, when many galleries are open late.
Drawbacks at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort:
Steps from the footpath to the spa casitas and suites need better lighting. Also, privacy at the spa casitas is compromised in a few places where there are small gaps in the garden wall and shrubs not full enough to completely hide the view of the soaking tub. And we would have appreciated the bath salts being replaced the next day after a bath. Also, there are no hooks for hand towels in the sumptuous bathroom. Piped music in Elements restaurant occasionally spoiled the tranquil spell cast by the rest of the property.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort Vibe:
Privacy and understated beauty, a resort that fits organically into its surroundings, serenity and great food, clear views of Camelback Mountain that is red by day, glowing gold in the sunset, a good gym, excellent tennis courts, and the spa are our favorite reasons to stay at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. If you like mountain hiking and biking, scores of golf courses to choose from, art galleries and museums that are nearby, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain is a place for you.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort Info and Reservations:
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
5700 East McDonald Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.