We Visit Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa ~ Paradise Valley, Arizona – The Phoenix Valley is blessed with a fair number of remarkable resort properties.  The award-winning boutique luxury hideaway Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa is certainly a member of that elite group.

The legendary history of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain began in the early 1950s when Charlie Chaplin’s son (Sydney) and a group of prominent Hollywood investors and stars envisioned a prestigious racket club modeled after the elite Racquet Club in Palm Springs.

They hired Frank Lloyd Wright protégée Hiram Hudson Benedict to design the clubhouse, a prototype casita and the Paradise Valley Racquet Club was born.

The racquet club enjoyed great notoriety over the years and attracted the world’s rich and famous.

In 1992, the ownership of the resort changed hands and a hospitality management company was hired to consider the direction of this beautiful 53 acre property located on the north slope of Camelback Mountain overlooking Paradise Valley.

In May 2000, the property closed its doors for a complete renovation and transformation of the property and in March 2001 the highly lauded Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain rose like a phoenix from these historic roots.

Today the property features 81 luxury mountain casitas, 24 spa casitas, and 7 distinctive mountainside estates for their guests to enjoy.  All enjoy remarkable views from their perch on the slope of Camelback mountain, offer world-class amenities, and have a very special designer’s “funk” added to the 1950s Frank Lloyd Wright style architecture.

Not to be overlooked is celebrity executive Chef Beau MacMillan in the Kitchen.  Chef MacMillan is an “Iron Chef” winner, has cooked in the famous James Beard House, and is a frequent visitor to national shows like NBC’s Today Show.

Our Favorite Memories and Impressions

  • From our very first interaction with the valet staff we could tell that this was a hospitality team resolved to offer a world-class experience.  And … they did!
  • Our mountainside Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired casita offered beautiful views of Paradise Valley.  The interior décor was a complete blast and added great fun to the 1950s architecture.
  • Our casita offered all of the amenities that a discriminating luxury traveler would expect.
  • Our dining experience in the resort’s elements restaurant was sublime.  The cuisine was remarkable, the service impeccable, and the valley’s city lights shimmering below added a distinctly romantic setting to the experience.  Wow!
  • Although our schedule didn’t allow any time in the spa, our brief tour revealed a remarkable space all centered around views of the valley’s famous “praying monk” rock formation.
  • Drinks at edge, watching the sun set, and drinking concoctions from an award-winning mixologist was a special memory.

We absolutely loved our Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa experience.  We look forward to becoming friends with the resort’s team, enjoying many more samplings of Chef Beau MacMillan’s cuisine, and have absolutely no hesitation in giving this resort four thumbs up and stretched to the sky!

Disclosure:  this wonderful experience was provided by the really cool people at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.  Thanks!  A bunch!
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  1. [...] its way into our hearts when we were invited to spend a night at the resort nearly a year ago.  Here’s the video from our [...]



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