Mountain Shadows is the newest upscale boutique resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which is about a 10 minute drive from our home. Aaron and I had the pleasure of coming to the restaurant’s grand opening in April 2017 at Heath ’61 (read about our experience here.) The official resort’s grand opening took place on November 1st, 2017, a month or so after our stay.
If you read the Travel portion of TFK blog (under the Lifestyle drop down at the menu bar) then you already know about the Fox family’s love for staycations, especially the resorts that are dog-friendly! During summertime in Arizona, it’s so nice to feel like you’re getting away even if it’s actually just down the street. There’s always a beautiful pool to lay next to, powerful A/C, and delicious food and drinks.
If you’re not familiar with the iconic Mountain Shadows resort, this might refresh your memory. The resort was originally built in the 1950’s and was the destination of several celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball and Bob Hope. A few TV shows were filmed there. The original property closed in 2004, then demolished in 2014, and rebuilt by the same developers of the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.
Knowing this history makes me love the richly historic yet modern take on the resort’s interior design. The entire resort is very open, with clean lines, geometric shapes, and includes a grey and white backdrop with subtle pops of colors throughout. Aaron and I live in a house that was originally built in the 1950’s, so we love the modern design mixed with a vintage vibe. However, my absolute favorite thing about the decor of this resort is nature’s backdrop, which are the views of Camelback Mountain in the background. I love how Mountain Shadows uses nature and their surroundings to enhance the overall look of the hotel. They have floor to ceiling windows throughout the resort that gives you the best views.
During our stay, we arrived to complimentary valet and a dog bed, bowl and bone in the room. We stayed in the Immerse Premium Guestroom (photo at the bottom), which has a king bed, see through shower in the middle of the room and a bathtub with views of the mountain backdrop. There is a curtain to separate the bathroom to the bedroom if you need privacy, otherwise the room is completely open, which I prefer. I loved the big shower and the deep bathtub (I made sure to test out both!) The staff was incredibly friendly and very quick to bring up room service for Aaron while I was getting ready for our photo shoot. The overall vibe of the hotel was very friendly and welcoming. There have been times when Aaron and I have stayed in a very nice resort, maybe we’ve splurged for the weekend or scored an amazing deal, but the vibe can sometimes be a little stuffy. Well, Mountain Shadows wasn’t like that at all. It is one of the nicest resorts we’ve been to, but you’re not reminded that with every step you take, which is a good thing in my opinion.
During our staycation, I explored the resort with Alyssa Ryan Photography. I have multiple blog posts to share with you around the gorgeous grounds. (Click here to read one so far.) The lobby connects to the living room and bar, which then connects to the restaurant Hearth ’61. On the opposite side there are conference rooms and while I was taking photos I realized that I was right outside a room filled with men wearing football jerseys and computers – I’m guessing it was a fantasy football draft party? Lol! Which makes sense, because outside from there is the Short Course, Mountain Shadows’ 18-hole par 3 golf course. If you were to walk the grounds back to the other side, you would pass a well landscaped lawn, a 2nd story roof deck (which is perfect for wedding receptions) that overlooks Camelback Mountain, two pools and an exercise facility.
Once the photo shoot was over, Aaron and I spent some time at the pool. There is a great two level pool set up. When you walk up, there is one pool, then you continue up a few steps and there is a separate pool right next to it. That particular day it seemed like one pool was the party pool and the other was a little calmer with kids, which is always nice to keep those separate. The cabanas also looked really nice. It didn’t seem like there were a ton of seats at the pool. There is one or maybe two rows of chairs lining the rectangular pool as opposed to rows and rows of chairs farther out from the pool, which I’ve encountered at some resorts.
At the top of the pools is the exercise facility and it’s definitely the nicest exercise facility I’ve ever seen at a resort before that didn’t require a membership or additional fee. There is a huge room with mats for you to do yoga or ab work. Also, another area with free weights and cardio machines.
After we layed out by the pool and enjoyed some appetizers and cocktails, we went back to the room to freshen up before our dinner reservation at Hearth ’61. Sally, our waitress, explained that the hearth, similar to an oven, is the heart of the restaurant where they cook the food and 1961 is when Paradise Valley was incorporated. Hence the name Hearth ’61. Our dinner was so lovely and relaxed. We were able to reflect on our stay and I took some mental notes on our favorite things about our new favorite local resort.
That night we slept so well on the comfy bed (see photos of Simon for proof! He never ever stops moving, so clearly he was comfortable.) The next morning we went back down to Hearth ’61 for a delicious breakfast and a gorgeous view of the pool and mountains. After that we took off and headed back home and back to real life.
If you’re looking for an excuse to enjoy your hometown, I highly recommend getting away for at least a relaxing evening and maybe a poolside afternoon too. If you’re looking for the spot to stay while you visit Arizona for the Phoenix Open, Spring Training, golf, shopping, etc. definitely look into Mountain Shadows. Unless you’re wanting the all out party scene, then maybe take a look at it’s sister property, Valley Ho, which is also a great place to stay, but seems like a younger and a little bit more rowdy crowd — who knows, maybe that’s because we were in that mindset when we stayed there with our friends. 😉 Both are great options, but it depends on what you’re looking for!