Get us in your inbox

Boulders Resort & Spa
Booking.comBoulders Resort & Spa

The 10 best hotels in Arizona

We've trawled the Copper State to bring you the best hotels in Hawaii, complete with hikes, spas and cactus gardens.

Written by
Jackie Dishner
Advertising

Arizona, the sixth largest state in the US, known for its famous geologic wonder, the Grand Canyon, caters to tourists who come here for a myriad of activities. Some want to experience the Sonoran Desert and see the distinctive candelabra shape of a 50ft-high saguaro for the first time. More than five million a year come just to visit Grand Canyon National Park. Others head for a spiritual stop in Sedona. Millions more fly into Sky Harbor International Airport to visit the Greater Phoenix area and bask in the luxury of a resort stay. They golf, go to the spa, hang out poolside and dine on southwestern cuisine. Birders and cyclists might head south to Tucson and border towns for a more laidback kind of fun.

For all comers, there’s the right hotel. Lodges where you can take part in a duck-feeding or hillside hike perhaps, or classic hotels with arresting cactus gardens or curated art exhibitions. Here’s a snapshot of some of the best places to stay while visiting or traveling through Arizona.

Best hotels in Arizona

It’s all about service at this adobe-style property that caters to both families and couples who want that remote, high-end desert experience. Find fun things like Mai Tai cocktails built inside pineapples at the pool bar, guided hikes to the top of Pinnacle Peak next door, house-made ice cream at the old-fashioned soda fountain, and desert-focused spa treatments with prickly pear, jojoba or locally-harvested honey. Golf carts at the 5-star resort wind through carefully manicured landscape, unloading guests at desert casitas with arresting views of the landscape surrounding them.

Located on the banks of Oak Creek in Sedona, this lodge-like luxury destination, popular for weddings and romantic weekends, gives guests a relaxed feel but with extra special attention throughout its lush green grounds. A cottage that faces the creek is the ultimate choice here, and worth the splurge just for its private deck, where to sit and just listen to the babble of water over Red Rocks is as restorative as any spa treatment (though there are plenty of those on offer too). Welcome touches such as fresh-baked goods at check-in to creekside duck feedings add to the overall experience.

Advertising

A new modern lobby and room design await guests at this upscale property now in its 30th year at the base of iconic Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. Also new is a three-story spa and separate fitness center with game room. Additionally, a new water slide and tree-house serve kids in the pool area. The new look includes more floor-to-ceiling window views of the property, lighter colors and a lovely mix of textures to rest the eyes. Luckily, one very special treat remains: private tours of the Cactus Garden.

Originally an all-girls boarding school when it opened in 1929, today the Hacienda Del Sol is a boutique resort in the Foothills neighborhood of Tucson, complete with spa treatments, two pools, fitness center and horseback-riding. Chef Bruce Yim, who trained with Wolfgang Puck, is in charge of The Grill restaurant, specializing in farm-to-table cuisine. Some ingredients are picked from the on-site garden and fruit trees on the property. Mesquite chocolate chip cookies are a unique find here, as is the sculpture, some hand-crafted by co-owner Jeff Timan. New luxury guest rooms offer the best views.

Advertising

In its first year, this new modern luxury resort in Paradise Valley is already setting a high bar, from its fab location on the northern base of Camelback Mountain to the magnificent room views afforded by such a spot. The pastel color palette has that Palm Springs feel, which is enhanced in the lounge, where blue suede chairs at the bar are the perfect place to order martinis. An on-site gallery exhibits the work of local artists, and every room includes a snack tray of goodies made by local purveyors. Zak’s chocolate, anyone?

This 1930s Harvey House hotel in Winslow, designed by renowned architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and revived by a pair of cultural arts advocates (one the painter of the macabre art dotted around), is a rare find. Individually styled and furnished rooms feature colorful touches like Mexican tin and Talavera tile mirrors and Navajo rugs on walls and floors, and some retain their 1930s monochrome tiled bathrooms with 6ft cast-iron tubs. They’re named after celebrity guests – pick the Bob Hope room for its balcony, but the Amelia Earhart one to find a spirit of adventure. The award-winning Turquoise Room restaurant serves regional favorites.

Advertising

Hugging a series of 12-million-year-old rock formations that give the property its name, the Boulders in Carefree is known for its location as well as its luxury spa, which has its own labyrinth and tipi. Both can be used by hotel guests. Rock-climb the boulders in front of the spa or take a nature walk through them for a truly unique Arizona experience. And for a sensory memory of their stay, guests are encouraged to take home a boulder-shaped soap, inspired by the property’s on-site garden.

Feel like part of the family at this third-generation, all-inclusive guest ranch, where repeat visitors stay up to 10 days at a time to play cowboy or cowgirl. Personal touches in the ‘bunkhouse’ casitas include stamped copper light fixtures, painted tiles and southwestern-themed blankets. Dinners include a hearty mix of barbecue, wood-fire baked pizza and Mexican-style cuisine. Aside from horseback riding, activities include guided hikes, art classes, critter talks, spa visits and stargazing.

Advertising

Near the border and below the Santa Rita Mountains, Tubac was Arizona’s first European settlement. Now it’s a colorful arts region. The resort was once part of a Spanish land grant for the cattle-ranching Otero family, but is now a collection of hacienda-style casitas, popular with golfers and art lovers. Guests enjoy comfortable Southwest-style accommodations with cowhide pillows on leather couches, Saltillo tile floors and spa tubs fit for two. For a fun time, visit during the Dia de Muertos.

At the time of writing, this funky motel was undergoing expansion from 10 to 32 rooms, but don’t let that put you off – especially if you’re a fan of retro chic; a stay here feels more like Historic Route 66 than downtown Tucson. Individual rooms are a fun mix of bright pastels, exposed brick walls, 1940s bathroom tiles, art and crafts by local makers, and eye-popping saddle blankets. We love the record player and vinyl records too. Twinkly lights, cacti-focused landscaping and retro seating in the central courtyard further set the mood. No restaurant, but room keys come with discounts at cool restaurants and bars.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising