As a travel advisor specializing in family and couples travel, I’ve sent many couples to Sanctuary. I had researched the resort so extensively that I felt like I truly knew the place backwards and forwards. The luxury sales manager Trish is a delight and every client I’ve sent there has loved it. So when I had the chance to visit it myself, I jumped on it!
The resort was originally built in the 1950s and still retains that mod, martini drinking feel. In 2001, it got a facelift and reopened as Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa. It’s been a true sanctuary for couples ever since. Although children are welcome, they are few and far between and the pool is adults only during certain hours.
I arrived in late morning to the main lobby area. Smack dab against Camelback Mountain. The resort has a simply amazing location. Red mountains (and the “Camelback”) on one side and a sweeping view of the valley below on the other side. When dropped off, you’re immediately greeted by valets who take your luggage while you walk down a large staircase to the check-in area. A small desk with just two people, near the concierge, check-in is an efficient process and done within minutes. I arrived early and they already had my room available for me. I could immediately understand why Travel and Leisure ranked it the Top Resort in Arizona. As a side note, all concierge at Sanctuary have earned the Les Clefs d’Or designation – a very highly respected level of service for concierge.
After check in I was swept way in a golf cart to my suite. When I walked in I was filled with calm. White walls, cool floors and amazing views of the valley immediately greeted me. A huge living rooms with modern furnishings invited me to sit down and the bedroom boasted a huge bed and plush pillows and duvet. Both the bedroom and the living room had large porches with chaises and tables. And the bathroom? Bathrooms are really important to me in resorts. They should exude a zen-like calm and be simple, with clean lines. This bathroom had it all. And an amazing tub and absolutely gigantic shower. I wanted to live in this bathroom.
I started my time at the resort by relaxing in the outdoor area of The Jade Bar. Gorging on chips and salsa, because….chips and salsa. I really loved the vibe of the bar. The indoor area had huge picture windows overlooking some of the grounds and the valley and the outdoor area was pretty private and peaceful. It was nice to just sit and read and revel in a kid free zone. Disclaimer: I love my kids 🙂
After having a snack, I headed to the pool for some outdoor time. As big as the pool was, it definitely wasn’t over crowded. And I was there on Easter weekend. I detest pool layouts that are line after line of lounge chairs, loud music and crazy blow up pool toys. There’s nothing like that at Sanctuary. Chairs are dispersed in a way so people aren’t on top of each other. Bar service is discreet. And, as I mentioned before, kids aren’t allowed at the main pool during certain times – mainly Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This pool is an an adults only, couple’s oasis.
What’s the obvious next choice for time at a gorgeous resort? Spa. And Sanctuary’s spa is off the charts. 12 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. A zen meditation garden. Sanctuary Spa is has been listed as a Four-Star spa for four consecutive years in the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide. I had a facial and it was glorious. And don’t think I didn’t spend plenty of time in the zen garden reading 🙂
As much as I would have loved to spend days at this resort, I only had one day and night so I made the most of it and dined at Elements on my only evening there. Chef Beau MacMillan is Executive Chef (Food Network fame) and, quite frankly, a master. I had a light dinner of dumplings and a salad and it was delightful. And the atmosphere was quiet and romantic. Like Jade bar, the restaurant has beautiful views of the valley and an outdoor patio.
I told Keith the morning I was leaving that we MUST come back. I feel like I barely touched the tip of the iceberg for what this resort can offer a couple. This is the perfect place for an anniversary or a parent’s getaway trip. I’ve talked often about how much we love Scottsdale. Its such a great place and so easy to get to from Denver. Sanctuary is definitely worth a long weekend, combined with some of the amazing things Scottsdale has to offer, I can’t recommend it enough.
Planning a friend’s trip of a couple’s trip? Sanctuary is perfect! Contact me here!