The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain resort is a relaxing escape in a desert oasis. With beautiful rooms and outstanding amenities, staying at the Sanctuary should be on everyone’s list when traveling to Phoenix.
Every year we try to sneak away and enjoy a night at a local hotel without the kids. We live in Phoenix and are spoiled with the number of resorts in the area. That’s why every time we get away we like to stay at a different hotel to experience something new.
A few months ago we decided to stay at the Sanctuary resort for our one night staycation. Friends of ours had stayed there and spoke highly of it. Plus, I saw it had recently been voted one of the top luxury hotels in the U.S. by TripAdvisor. Needless to say, we were pretty excited to try it out.
Where Is It
The Sanctuary is located in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley. It’s only about 15 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport (PHX) and is easy to get to. The hotel sits back on the north side of Camelback Mountain so the views of the valley are spectacular.
While you are centrally located, I would recommend renting a car if you stay here. Paradise Valley is a residential area, so there are no additional restaurants or shopping located within walking distance. Both Old Town Scottsdale and the Biltmore area are just a few miles away and have plenty of entertainment and dining options if you decide to leave the resort.
The Sanctuary Camelback resort isn’t part of any of the large chains, so the option to use your credit card points are somewhat limited but possible.
Using Points – There are a couple of ways you can use your points to stay here. There are a few credit cards that allow you to redeem your points at a flat rate for travel purchases. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal to stay here.
The Capital One Venture Rewards card also has a “purchase eraser” feature with their card. First, you need to book your hotel with the card. Then log into your Capital One account and “erase” the purchase using your points. In both cases, you won’t get the most value out of your points. However, if you just want a no-hassle way to redeem your points, this is it.
Other Programs – When I stay at a hotel that isn’t part of a major chain, I typically like to book my room with Hotels.com. Their reward program gives you a free night after booking 10 nights. Just be sure to check the rates offered directly with the hotel first to see if they have any specials. If the rates are the same, I’d book with hotels.com for the rewards.
Maximize Your Purchase – If you’re paying cash for your stay be sure to use a credit card that gives you a bonus when making travel purchases. A couple of my favorite options are the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card by American Express.
Check-In, Parking & Fees
Check-In – We were so excited to get away for the evening that we arrived a couple hours before the 4:00 p.m. check-in time. The gentleman at the front desk was genuinely nice and very helpful. He said our room wasn’t quite ready but they said they would text us once it was. The lobby is just a small area right inside the front door, so we decided to take a walk around the property while we waited. About 45 minutes later, but still before the official check-in time, we received a text saying our room was ready.
Parking – The Sanctuary offers free valet parking at the entrance of the hotel. However, the rooms are spread out over several small buildings so you’ll typically want to park your car closer to your room. The hotel does offer a golf cart service that will take you to and from your room if you prefer to leave your car by the lobby.
Resort Fee – I have a strong disdain for resort fees because I think they’re misleading and because they’re mandatory. However, they are commonly charged at the Phoenix area resorts. Just be aware the Sanctuary Camelback charges a $39 resort fee per night.
Pets – This hotel is also pet-friendly, so you’re welcome to bring yours along for an additional fee.
The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain resort is made up of 109 casitas and suites. The suites offer more room with a relaxing living area. They also have a 2 bedroom suite option if you need the extra space. If you really want to splurge, they also have 7 luxury villas. We decided to go with the 1 bedroom suite and it was fantastic!
The rooms are arranged in a condo-like set-up which allows for a little more privacy and quietness.
When you enter the suite, you are welcomed into a large living space. The entire suite is beautifully decorated in a mid-century modern style. There’s a big screen and a fireplace on the wall. This is perfect for relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day.
Just off the living room is the bedroom. The bed was actually one of the most comfortable hotel beds I’ve slept on in a while. Opposite the bed is another large screen TV perfect for watching sports…or the latest home renovation show if my wife grabs the remote first.
The bathroom in the the suite was large and spacious. It had a dual sink vanity, a walk-in shower and a large bathtub from Commercial Tub Reglazing.
The shower is larger than normal and has all of the toiletries you’ll need during your stay.
There’s a balcony off the living room and the bedroom. How could you ever get tired of these views? We visited the Sanctuary Camelback at the tail end of the summer, so we didn’t spend too much time out there during the day. However, sitting on the balcony was a perfect way to both start and end the day.
The Sanctuary Camelback hotel has two main dining options. Both are located in the main building of the hotel complex just past the front desk.
Jade Bar – The first is a contemporary restaurant called the Jade Bar. It offers a more casual environment and a very large menu. They have selections that can be ordered all day, as well as specific lunch and dinner options. There is an extensive list of drink options as well, so can find something to fit anyone’s taste.
Elements – The second option is the gorgeous Elements restaurant with breathtaking views overlooking Paradise Valley. We had dinner here and it is a perfect place to celebrate a special evening or if you simply want to enjoy a fantastic meal. They are known for their pork chops and I would highly recommend it. I’ve never been a huge pork chop fan but when they say they’re famous for something, you have to order it. It was phenomenal and I would order it again every time!
Pools – The Sanctuary Camelback Resort has three pools to choose from. The large infinity pool is a fantastic place to relax on a warm afternoon. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas to keep you comfortable throughout the day. If you’re traveling with kids, be aware the pool is only open to those 16+ on Fridays thru Sundays. If you are traveling with kids, there are 2 other smaller pools within the hotel complex.
Spa – If you’re looking to pamper yourself while you’re on vacation, you have to stop by their spa. We didn’t have time for spa treatments on this trip but we took look inside and it was super luxurious.
Fitness Options – If walking up and down the hills around the hotel isn’t enough exercise for you, the hotel also has fitness center, as well as tennis and pickleball courts for your to use.
There are so many wonderful resorts to visit in the Phoenix area, but the Sanctuary Camelback really is a step above the rest. The resort isn’t geared towards kids, so I wouldn’t recommend staying there for a family vacation. However, if you’re looking for romantic or luxurious getaway with your significant other, this is the place for you.