A boutique desert oasis in Scottsdale

20 Rooms / 40 Suites

Your heart beats a little faster as you approach The Phoenician — a palatial resort commanding 250 acres at the foot of Camelback Mountain. But step inside its inner sanctum, The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort, and the opposite occurs: The pulse slows. The mind quiets. The muscles unwind.

Tucked away from the main resort, this exclusive enclave is a hotel within a hotel. Following a complete remodel in mid-2016, the 60-room Canyon Suites now emphasizes the “desert” part of its identity.

Earth-toned rooms feature Western accents, and adventures showcase the Sonoran surrounds. However, the “oasis” aspect remains unchanged. A waterfall cascades through a cactus garden, providing a soothing soundtrack of splashes.

The private, palm-fringed pool is so serene you can hear the turning of paperback pages. The Canyon Lounge is a cocoon of comfort complete with a roaring fire — perfect for when temperatures dip at night.

Sufficiently relaxed, you’ll also be ready to take on the heart-pumping onsite activities. Helicopter flight, anyone?

The Exclusive Perks

As first-time guest at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel, you may wonder if the staff has somehow mistaken you for a celebrity. How else to explain the arrival gift, the priority reservations at all Phoenician restaurants, and the fact that every resort ambassador knows your name?

But that’s de rigueur at the luxury hotel, where everyone enjoys personalized service and enhanced amenities. A chauffeur whisks you around The Phoenician and to nearby attractions, such as Old Town Scottsdale’s art and shopping district.

Eager to explore the neighborhood? Borrow a complimentary bicycle. Hiking the mountain? Bring a free, provision-stocked backpack. Fancy a game of tennis? The court and equipment rentals come at no charge. Want to serenade a loved one? Strum one of the Martin guitars. Need help packing your suitcase or shipping a prized purchase? Just say the word.

The Rooms

Thanks to the remodel, the rooms embrace the Sonoran Desert and contemporary sensibilities. The Southwest is reflected in the color palette: sand, buckskin, sumac maroon, blue agave.

Locally sourced art pays homage to horses and evokes abstract sunsets. Textiles recall Native American rugs. Curtains are crisscrossed with what could be cactus spines.

You’ll have a choice of accommodations ranging from the 600-square-foot guest rooms, one- to three-bedroom suites (1,200 to 3,000 square feet) or the presidential suite (2,400 square feet). All open up to comfortable patios overlooking the pool and mountain or the 27-hole golf course.

The Activities

Even in this oasis, the desert takes center stage in many of the resort’s activities. At sunrise, ride a turbo golf cart on a Golf Course Safari. Your guide will teach you about indigenous plants while you scan the fairways for loping coyotes, vamoosing roadrunners and chuckwallas performing pushups on boulders.

Come evening, take off in a helicopter from the driving range and zoom around Camelback Mountain as the sunset paints the terra-cotta-rocks red.

October through April, learn to soar through the air on a trapeze with the mountain as your dramatic backdrop. And there’s always the power of your own two feet to tackle the trails on a guided hike or to stroll the two-acre Cactus Garden.

The Food

Communal and casual are the watchwords of the culinary scene at the Scottsdale hotel. At breakfast, you’ll gather in the living-room-like lounge and select from a complimentary array of artisan treats.

In the evenings, you’ll return to mingle over unique small plates and drinks, like caviar parfait and a smoked cocktail sweetened with mesquite honey.

The poolside Canyon Grill will be key when you want to soak up some rays and some calories simultaneously.
For more traditional dining digs, head to the main resort. There, you’ll find Relish Burger Bistro — a favorite of golfers — and J&G Steakhouse, which dazzles with its surf-meets-turf menu and spectacular city views.