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Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

Posted on: March 16th, 2012 by Amy Martin 1 Comment

Continuing my recap of a Valley staycation while my cousin visited last month, we booked a room for a one night stay hoping for some quiet time away. Where did we go? Camelback Inn.

Did you know this resort was Marriott’s first resort and launched the corporation’s ‘resort network’, which now includes over 20 resorts?  Yep. Back in 1967, J. Willard Marriott Sr. and his wife bought the property after vacationing here for several years and had completely fallen in love with the resort. Bill Marriott Jr., now chairman of the board and president of Marriott Corporation, and his family still vacation here each year and claim the Inn as their favorite Marriott property. Celebrities including Robert Young, Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart all have visited the resort. Until our visit, I had only been up here for BLT Steak and cocktails from mixologist Trudy Thomas and had never really experienced the property.

The southwestern-themed resort (originally opened in 1936) is set on 125 acres of desert landscape at the base of Mummy Mountain. In fact, there’s a faux western town hidden at the back of the resort that you can stroll through. The property offers 453 guest casitas and each has its own private patio or balcony. Some suites even have a private swimming pool.

We stayed in one of the resort’s “standard” casitas, though there’s not much ‘standard’ about it. Our room was spacious and offered a private patio with a picturesque view of Camelback Mountain… breathtaking at sunset. We were grateful for the kitchenette to keep our beverages cold and warm up leftovers from earlier adventures. The room also included a mini-bar with drinks and snacks to satisfy any impulsive craving. Our robes were especially comfy and came in handy while we trekked to one of the property’s whirlpools after dark on a chilly night. Of course, other standard amenities were included too like its hair dryer, iron and ironing board, coffee maker, and a complimentary in-room safe. We had everything we needed.

Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

Our casita’s private patio

Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

A look inside the casita

Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

French doors looking out onto the patio

Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

Sitting area

Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

Dressing area

I particularly loved the fact that the resort offers 24 hour room service (I’m such a sucker for ordering in). Each time we called guest services with a quick question or request, the staff was more than accommodating and friendly. We eyed the Hot Oaxacan Cookies with house-made Cajeta ice cream on the late-night room service menu, but eventually passed up dessert after remembering the feasts we’d had earlier in the day. You can even have a glass (or bottle) of wine or various cocktails brought up to your room.

If you prefer to dine out, the property offers several dining options including:

  • BLT Steak – Chef Laurent Tourondel’s adaptation of the modern American steakhouse. The restaurant offers Certified Black Angus and prime steaks, American and Japanese Kobe beef, lamb, chicken, fresh seafood and raw bar selections.
  • Rita’s Kitchen – Offering homestyle cuisine utilizing fresh, regional flavors.
  • R bar – The perfect spot to catch up with friends over a margarita or specialty cocktail.
  • Sprouts – Good-for-you food located in their gorgeous spa.
  • Hoppin’ Jacks – Poolside dining for the family.
  • Golf Grill – Popular American fare in a casual environment, complete with open-air lounge and televisions.
  • Starbucks – For your morning caffeine fix.
Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

Looking out at our view of Camelback Mountain at dusk

As the night when on and we grew sleepy-eyed, it was time to rest. I can’t express just how comfortable the beds were… Oh. My. Gosh. Usually, I don’t sleep well away from home. At home, I have all my things a certain way – surrounded by a mountain of pillows and my thunderstorm soundtrack blaring. But, not tonight. Something about those magical beds surprisingly gave me a night of uninterrupted sleep. Ridiculously comfortable.

When morning came, our lazy bones wanted to stay in bed and have breakfast delivered. Keeping it light, we chose to share the Seasonal Fresh Fruit Plate ($14) and two Inn-baked pastries off of the a la carte menu ($6). The fruit platter was even better than anticipated, served with a sweet, honey yogurt for dunking and a side of warm, fresh banana bread with butter and various jellies.

Recap: A staycation at Camelback Inn

Morning Room Service

The resort offers three outdoor heating swimming pools and whirlpools, and six tennis courts (five lit for nighttime play and one screen for privacy). Along with several other outdoor activities offered, the resort also boasts the Camelback Golf Club featuring 36 holes of Championship golf and its popular Spa at Camelback Inn, a 32,000-square-foot, full-service spa and salon.

If you’re looking to plan a staycation or will be visiting the Valley soon, I highly recommended staying at the Camelback Inn. Fit for some grown up time or the entire family!

To learn more about the resort, visit camelbackinn.com.

Camelback Inn Resort & Spa | 5402 East Lincoln Drive | Scottsdale, AZ 85253 | 480-948-1700

Disclaimer: Special rates were offered to PhoenixBites for review purposes. However, this has no effect on our opinions and comments regarding our experience. View our Disclosure Policy for further explanation.

About the Author - Amy Martin

Author of Her Plate, Amy's love of food, cooking and all things culinary keeps her endlessly plotting what her next meal will be. Her pastimes include creating in (i.e. demolishing) her own kitchen and baking far more sweets than her tiny family could ever eat.

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