Inspired by history, steeped in luxury, what’s old is new again at two reimagined resorts

Modern Luxury 

Inspired by history, steeped in luxury, what’s old is new again at two reimagined resorts.

By Becky Antioco

With approximately 450 hotels and resorts in the greater Phoenix area, totaling more than 62,000 available rooms, there’s no shortage of places to stay for visitors and stay-cationers alike, no matter your style or budget. Many have storied histories, playing host to presidents and celebrities, stretching from the golden days of Hollywood to present day. Two reimagined resorts —Mountain Shadows and The Scott—draw on that history, while creating new icon status with their modern luxury.

An Arizona Icon Reimagined

The original Mountain Shadows resort opened in 1959, earning its name from the shadows cast by nearby Camelback and Mummy mountains in the town of Paradise Valley. It was an instant hit with international visitors, and Hollywood notables like Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis, and their contemporaries. It earned further renown as the backdrop for the detective drama The Brothers Brannagan and an episode of The Monkees. After expansion and redevelopment in the 1960s, the resort eventually became Marriott’s Mountain Shadows in 1981, and closed for good in 2004.

The property remained vacant for about a decade, changing hands multiple times until the developers of Sanctuary on Camelback and Hotel Valley Ho invested $100 million into rebuilding Mountain Shadows in its original location. Newly opened in April 2017, the new Mountain Shadows has an upscale boutique resort vibe, tinged with 1950s style and sensibility. The guestrooms combine mid-century modernism and clean, contemporary style, most with floor-to-ceiling windows and private patios. Special “Immerse” rooms have a freestanding tub so guests can soak and savor the view of Camelback Mountain. Retro touches include in-room cocktail carts and authentic vintage postcard artwork.

As it was in its heyday, the new Mountain Shadows is the perfect place to rejuvenate— with two pools and a state-of-the-art fitness center called The Citizens Club—and to socializ —over Hearth ‘61’s fresh, local, American cuisine, or on Arizona’s only 18-hole par-three golf course. The vibe is also Arizona-centric, with PV Mercantile offering design-focused local products, and The Gallery which will feature artwork by artists with ties to the state, rotating every two months.

Old Town Charm at The Scott      

The Scott has a more recent history on the resort scene. Once known as Sunburst Resort, it was most recently Firesky Resort & Spa, a Kimpton Hotel. The Mission-style architecture recalls the area’s heritage, while Bauhaus fixtures and decor, infused with bright colors create a 1930s Havana aesthetic. Why Cuba, you may ask.

The Scott takes its name for Scottsdale’s founding father, Winfield Scott. But the hotel’s design is inspired by Julian Duarte, a Cuban ex-pat who befriended Scott and helped turn Scottsdale into the oasis we know today. When he left Cuba as a boy, Duarte dreamed of building a home like the one he lost. With new outdoor public spaces collectively named The Canal Club, The Scott belatedly realizes Duarte’s vision. The lobby bar, pool, cabanas, and outdoor spaces are inviting, vibrant and lush. Chef de Cuisine Chris Castro’s menus are described as American cuisine with a Cuban twist.

The inspiration, the origin story, of The Scott is “a story of travel, ingenuity, and the desire to belong.” Indeed, despite a location in the heart of Old Town, walking through The Scott’s lobby and Canal Club area feels like a genuine escape. And you can completely lose yourself in the serenity of La Vidorra spa, with a signature Vichy Nirvana massage or another treatment in one of six treatment rooms. The Scott’s next phase of renovations will upgrade the decor in all the rooms and suites, while a third wave will add a presidential suite and 12 one-bedroom suites.

While visitors flock here to escape harsher climates, or to enjoy our signature seasonal events, Arizonans are blessed with year-round proximity to world-class resorts and stunning scenery. Scottsdale’s newest resorts capitalize on the area’s greatest assets. Inspired by history, steeped in luxury, what’s old is new again.


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