Sought out by those looking to buy property, often by people who have previously enjoyed a sunny vacation there, Scottsdale has no shortage of luxurious neighborhoods with upscale resorts, spas, and shops, as well as an exceptional culinary and art scene, plus unparalleled golf and world-class museums.
“When people who are not too familiar with the area think of Arizona and ‘luxury,’ they tend to think of Scottsdale,” says Walt Danley, President of Walt Danley Realty, Christie’s International Real Estate’s Affiliate in the area. “While there are many high-end communities in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley is the most affluent in the state. It is conveniently situated between Phoenix and Scottsdale, and is close to the main business centers in Phoenix, and is an easy 15-minute commute to Sky Harbor International Airport,” says Danley. Other notable communities include Silverleaf, Desert Mountain, and Estancia. “The gorgeous weather, active lifestyle, and astounding natural beauty make Scottsdale the perfect place for a seasonal residence or year-round living.”
“One of the great things about our area is the variety of types of housing we offer. We have $300,000 golf villas all the way up to $10 million desert estates… and everything in between,” explains Danley. “Almost all of our clients look for properties with great outdoor living areas. Our weather is conducive to that about 10 months out of the year. Retractable walls of glass that seamlessly meld indoor and outdoor spaces along with outdoor kitchens are very appealing to buyers looking in our market.”
The upscale resorts in the Scottsdale area are the epitome of luxury living and they cater every bit as much to the locals as visitors. Here’s a taster of what’s on offer.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
Located in Paradise Valley and resting high on the north slope of Camelback Mountain, the Sanctuary Resort enjoys a peaceful location that influences the body-mind-spirit approach of every aspect of the resort. The Sanctuary Resort Spa with its Asian-inspired menu of services, including zen shiatsu, thai massage, and reiki, is the perfect spot for indulgent relaxation. There is also a diverse variety of dining options on offer, including Elements Restaurant, where chef Beau MacMillan presents farm-fresh American cuisine with Asian influences. The elegant XII dining room is just one of the resort’s private dining options – this impressive room is an intimate space for up to 12 guests and features a wine corridor exhibiting 800 bottles, a sommelier station, and a sliding glass door view into the kitchen.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North Equally stunning but in a different area of the region, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North sits in the cool foothills of Pinnacle Peak, in the Sonoran Desert. The AAA Five Diamond property is adjacent to the Weiskopf-designed golf courses of Troon North. Enjoy a classic American brunch at Proof, which also boasts one of the best Bloody Marys around. Talavera is the resort’s modern steakhouse and also offers wine-tasting sessions, and the outdoor patio just off the bar area provides cozy, year-round comfy seating, from where you can enjoy the live music.
But Scottsdale is not just about luxury resorts, there’s also exhilarating adventure experiences, beautiful nature spots, and an excellent foodie scene to sample.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try hiking up one of Camelback Mountain’s two walking trails, or attempt to climb the red sandstone cliffs of the Praying Monk rock formation. Or perhaps opt to see the Grand Canyon the way it was meant to be seen – from both above and inside. Arizona Outback Adventures has partnered with Westwind Air Service for a one-off jaw-dropping experience. On a narrated Cessna flight over the red rocks of Sedona and the San Francisco Peaks, you’ll land just outside Grand Canyon National Park and then head out on a guided hike into the glorious, sun-saturated canyon itself.
Eating and drinking There’s no shortage of excellent dining options in Scottsdale. Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbeque is considered the best in Arizona. The usual fare of pulled pork, brisket, and ribs is far from usual in the taste department, and even vegetarians have not been overlooked. FnB restaurant is right downtown, serving local wines and dishes created by a James Beard Award-nominated chef.
Singh Farms in the Sonoran Desert is a 20-acre working farm that, come Saturday, buzzes with locals who wouldn’t go anywhere else for fresh produce, bread, and olive oil. Try the cardamom-infused honey – it’s heaven on toast.
And if beer is your thing, Scottsdale’s local micro-brew scene is impressive. Take a self-guided tour of Scottsdale’s Ale Trail to sample craft beers and local cuisine.
Scottsdale may be in the desert, but it still has lots of nature on its doorstep. The city borders the Tonto National Forest, which is the fifth largest national forest in the United States, and it is also home to the fascinating Desert Botanical Garden. With five trails that lead you to explore the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, the botanical garden is a real celebration of desert plants. The gardens also play host to art installations and exhibitions.