“Take me back to Camelback,” has been our mantra ever since cruising home to Los Angeles after a recent visit to Scottsdale, Arizona. We recently enjoyed two relaxing nights at J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, a property set on 125 acres of Sonoran Desert in the affluent Paradise Valley.Our southwestern-style casita came equipped with a private garden patio that welcomed the desert sun in every morning. Boasting one of the recently renovated guestroom bathrooms, the casita was also in close proximity to the expansive spa with private pool.
Along with the great activities offered at the hotel, golf reigns supreme. Unveiled in fall 2013, Camelback’s $10 million Ambiente Golf Course, engineered by notable golf architect Jason Straka, became Phoenix and Scottsdale’s first new course in over five years. Spanish for the word “environment,” Ambiente was designed with an eco-friendly focus, centering on water conservation, wildlife habitat creation and an overall decrease in pesticide/fertilizer and fossil fuel use. Eighteen holes with numerous water hazards, rolling fairways and towering Pine and Eucalyptus trees create a competitive challenge for avid golfers.
The completion of Ambiente culminates Camelback’s seven-year, $70 million renewal project that preserved the resort's 1930s adobe brick exterior, upgraded its guestroom, added a 20,000-square-foot hi-tech ballroom and introduced BLT Steak into the resort’s dining repertoire.
While impressed by the renovations, the full-service spa really set this desert oasis apart, boasting breathtaking view from the grand pool, and offering a co-ed lounge and outdoor Jacuzzi. The herbal steam shower, spacious sauna, penetrating deep tissue massage and a rejuvenating signature facial were the icing on top of a serene stay in Scottsdale.
Camelback Inn and the surrounding Scottsdale area is a great winter escape that is further set apart by its over 70-degree temperatures, cacti terrain, wildlife and hypnotizing desert vistas. Couple those draws with a vibrant culture brimming with food and recreation, and you have a spirited excursion that is only a short flight or six hour road trip from Los Angeles.