The Hotel Valley Ho – A Fun Luxurious Throwback to the 60s
The Hotel Valley Ho, in Scottsdale, Arizona, just might hold the record for taking this baby boomer traveler completely off guard.
You see, when we first caught a glimpse of the Hotel Valley Ho, I made a pissy remark to Carol that the place looked from afar like an older Holiday Inn, and that I was afraid that the property wouldn’t be a great fit for our predominantly luxury baby boomer audience.
Boy…was I wrong!
First of all, the minute I stepped out of the car, the bellman said, “Mr. Porter, welcome to the Hotel Valley Ho”. Now, how in the heck did he know who we are? It’s not like we have paparazzi chasing us around. It made a great first impression.
But the greatest of first impressions happened when we first walked into the lobby. It was like we walked through a time portal and were suddenly snapped back into the 1960s.
The interior design brilliantly used the lime greens, oranges, and teals prominent in the 60s, and the lobby furnishings evoked the modern feeling we felt as we watched the Jetsons on the television as children.
In fact, I fully expected to see Rosie the Robot, George Jetson, and even his boy Elroy buzzing around the property in their glass-domed space craft.
The Hotel Valley Ho, sister hotel to the famed Westward Ho hotel in downtown Phoenix, was built in 1956. Scottsdale was transforming from mainly a farming community to a vacation destination that lured travelers with recreation, relaxation, and a stunning setting in the Sonoran desert.
Guests could book one of the 99 rooms for $7.50 a night in 1956; they offered luxuries like rollaway sofa beds, televisions with rabbit ears, and central-air conditioning. Some came with kitchenettes. A diving pool at the center of the property was the hub of activity, playing host to banquets, fashion shows, and lazy afternoons.
Note: if you can’t see the video, click here.
Hollywood celebrities started making their way to the Valley Ho as well. They relished the fact that none of the paparazzi would follow them to Scottsdale, affording them more privacy than, say, Palm Springs.
A few of the celebrities who visited Hotel Valley Ho included Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh. Zsa Zsa Gabor and her daughter rode horses around the property during their visits, and perhaps most famously, teen idols Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood had their 1957 wedding reception in the hotel ballroom.
Over the years, the buildings lost their luster, and the property lost it original pizazz. In 2002, the property was again sold and scheduled for demolition. Fortunately, that deal fell through and the property was purchased by local owners with a strong vision to restore the resort to its former mid-century splendor.
Well, after a complete $80 million restoration, the property now sparkles and has been hailed as one of the best-preserved mid-century hotels in the country. In fact, the Hollywood crowd now again makes their way to the Valley Ho and on the weekends you’ll find the OH Pool packed with the area’s hip, cool, and vogue.
Note: Baby boomer travelers might want to consider weekday visits to the Valley Ho during the summer months. On summer weekends the pool becomes a very popular destination for a younger crowd and you’ll find a DJ spinning hip tunes around the pool to hundreds of young pleasure seekers. In October, once the busy travel season picks back up, the pool once again gives way to a kinder, gentler, more relaxing modus operandi. 🙂
Our Favorite Memories of Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho
- I just have to say it again, our first impression was a HUGE wow!
- The mid-century designed rooms are great fun. If your wallet can swing it, make sure to request one of the suites in the Tower. If not, you still won’t be disappointed. We toured a number of the rooms and they’re all really groovy baby!
Carol say’s that her Myofacial Release treatment in the VH Spa was easily one of her favorite spa treatments ever. That say’s a lot. She’s had spa treatments in luxury hotels all over the world.
- While you’re lounging around the pool, make certain to get the Valley Ho’s famous Bramble cocktail.
- Our meal at Cafe Zuzu was a complete blast, and the mid-century style offerings were fantastic. I don’t think I’ve had beef stroganoff since my mom made it for me as a child. However, my mom didn’t make it like Grandma ZuZu. YUM!
- If you happen to be at the Valley Ho on Sunday, you’ve got to have their Sunday Brunch. Here’s a link from a previous feature we did on their Sunday Brunch.
Well, as we look back on the hundreds of resort properties we’ve visited over the years, the Hotel Valley Ho will go down as one of our favorite experiences. It’s not that it was more luxurious than other award-winning properties we’ve visited, it was just the whole ambiance of the place. It exudes fun! We want to go back!
Disclosure: our wonderful experience was provided by the kind folks at Hotel Valley Ho. Thanks! It was groovy baby!