Whether your wish is to escape in order to enjoy some outdoor activities in cooler temperatures, to be massaged and pampered within an inch of your life, or hey, just to simply get out of town, it’s good to know the area around the Valley offers a limitless number and variety of retreats. Here we’ve laid out for you our Haute 5 choices for weekend excursions this summer, with the accommodations naturally matched to perfectly fit the theme of your potential activities. Happy exploring!
Charming, Small-Town Getaway: The Hassayampa Inn in Prescott
Roughly two hours from central Phoenix, Prescott has been drawing visitors from all over Arizona for ages. Known for its dramatic landscapes and charming old West history, the town offers quaint shops, antique dealers, restaurants, museums, spas, lodges, a horse racetrack and more. Prescott is also home to the Hassayampa Inn, voted the “Best Historical Hotel in Arizona” by readers of “The Arizona Republic” and open since 1927. The perfect hub from which to experience all that Prescott has to offer, the remodeled inn and its 67 unique rooms offer guests Old World class combined with modern amenities, and the establishment’s famous dining hall, the “Peacock Room” is renowned statewide. Pets are very welcome at the inn – in fact, walking services can even be arranged with the front desk. No doubt, when visiting the town Abraham Lincoln once named the capital of the Arizona Territory in 1864, the Hassayampa is the place to stay. Former guests include Will Rogers, Greta Garbo, and Clark Cable.
The Hassayampa Inn is located at 122 E. Gurley Street in Prescott (928) 778-9434
Southwest Luxury Getaway: Boulders Resort & Spa in Carefree
For a weekend of fun activities and pampering, venture to Boulders Resort & Spa just outside of Phoenix. Here you can choose to do as much or as little as you like and still have a fabulous time. Enjoy two golf courses, eight tennis courts, four crystal-clear pools, and a number of adventures tailored to your interests, such as jeep tours, photo tours, rock climbing, hot air balloon excursions, and horseback riding. Of course, also not to be missed is El Pedregal, the Moroccan-inspired, canopied marketplace featuring world-class shops, venues and restaurants, as well as the resort’s Golden Door Spa, an incredible 33,000-square-foot nirvana of pure relaxation. Bliss out in one of their steam rooms, saunas, or Japanese baths called O’furos. There are 24 treatment spaces, a beauty salon, and a movement studio offering instruction in yoga, pilates, and tai chi.
The Boulders Resort & Spa is located at North Scottsdale Road and North Boulder Pass in Carefree (888) 579-2631
Back-to-Nature Getaway: The Briar Patch Inn Cabins in Oak Creek Canyon
Those looking for a more secluded retreat and an excuse to power down the BlackBerry for a few straight days will instantly fall in love with the idea of a retreat to the cabins at Briar Patch Inn. In the 1930s, a German carpenter settled the land and soon after began building extra lodging for those passing through town. Today these structures comprise the Briar Patch Inn, offering guests a varied selection of 19 ultra-cozy “cottages,” some situated just yards from a a trickling creek and located high on the property. Enjoy serene views of the canyon area landscape, private entrances and patios, wood-burning and Franklin fireplaces, coffee makers with teas and coffees, kitchens, and stereos. Although two cabins do have TVs, amenities such as televisions, phones and internet access are available in the lodge, forcing you to get the rest and relaxation you deserve. Wake up to a healthy, homemade breakfast, then indulge in a day of massage, yoga, swimming, fishing, hiking, or just a good book under a shade tree aside the creek.
Briar Patch Inn is located at 3190 N. Highway 89A in Sedona (928) 282-2342
Contemporary Culture Getaway: Amara Hotel, Restaurant and Spa in Sedona
If your idea of getting out of the city is purely geographical and you’d never take a vacation where you had to leave manolos and martinis behind, consider Amara in Sedona. Designed and decorated to have a very contemporary, almost city, vibe, the hotel treats guests like kings and queens, ensuring they don’t miss a single convenience from their homes in Phoenix. During your stay, take in some of the best art galleries and cultural venues in Arizona, such as the Hozho Distinctive Shops and Galleries, Sedona Arts Center, the Old Word-style Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, and the Old Market Place. If you’re a shutterbug, sign up for one of the photo shooting tours, or if you can never do enough shopping, check out the Oak Creek Factory Outlets. In the evening, retire to the four-diamond Hundred Rox restaurant at Amara to nosh on black mussels in chardonnay thyme broth and sip cocktails into the night.
Amara Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is located at 100 Amara Lane in Sedona (928) 282-4828
Discovery Getaway: The Historic Hotel Congress in Tucson
For curious travelers with an interest in science or history, Tucson is a veritable hotspot of fascinating sites. Home to the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Pima Air and Space Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Biosphere 2 (pictured above), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, the OK Corral, Native American archaeological sites, the Anza Trail, and far too many more to name. And what better place to stay while uncovering so much information about the past, present, and future, than the Historic Hotel Congress, where notorious bank robber and outlaw John Dillinger and his gang were hiding out just before Dillinger’s death. The hotel has managed to update its decor and amenities without sacrificing any of the former century’s look and feel, and guests will certainly feel as though they are stepping back in time.
The Historic Hotel Congress is located at 311 E. Congress Street in Tucson (520) 622-8848