Last week we had a "date weekend" at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. We were LONG overdo for some down time, and a "date NIGHT" just wouldn't suffice. This property SCREAMS romance. Think: desert meets Old Hollywood. I love an environment that allows you to wear your Yoga pants OR dress to the nines! Either one will do.
The property has a great balance of casual and fine dining spots. There's a little something for all! Hemingway in particular enjoyed the very natural, but well-manicured surroundings. He just wishes we would have let him play with the bunnies and the lizards!
On night one we hired a Rover for Hemingway and had a little date at Lincoln. Lincoln is the Camelback Inn's fine dining restaurant. I recently had the opportunity to meet the chef and dine privately at Lincoln. You can see more about that dreamy experience here.
On our second day, we started the morning with delicious room service and a nice walk. The mornings here are so magical. The birds sing happy tunes and the air is fresh!
Hemingway and Kevin opted to relax in the room while myself and a friend went to the pool. It was a hot day, but the staff was on it! We were brought ice waters right away, as well as lots of complimentary fruits.
We ended up ordering lunch from the spa menu but EVERYTHING sounded delicious. I still want to go try the pizza at the pool. It looked so good! We had such a fun day sipping on fresh margaritas and enjoying the vitamin D.
That night we went to Rita's Kitchen for dinner. It was just cool enough to bring Hemingway along to the outside area there. We both had delicious fajitas (not Hem, me and Kevin, haha) and enjoyed the live music. There were so many happy people in attendance.
I was so surprised to find out that The Camelback Inn was Marriott's first resort! Yep, the Marriott's made the Camelback Inn their first resort in 1967. Early guests included many celebrities and business leaders, including Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis, and J.W. Marriott, Sr., who shared the Stewart's love for Camelback Inn. I guess those "Old Hollywood" vibes I was getting have some nature there after-all!
And the Camelback still has celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Cindy Crawford visiting. It has aged like a fine wine!
While at the pool visiting with some (other) locals who were doing a little staycay, they told me that they've visited almost every resort spa in Phoenix and The Spa at Camelback Inn is the best! The 31,000-square-foot full service facility is a world-class retreat unparalleled in service and setting of any resort spa in the Southwest. In 2000, it was ranked one of the Top 100 spas in the WORLD.
"The vision of a world-class retreat in the picturesque Sonoran Desert sprang from the mind of ambitious young hotel manager Jack Stewart."
Welcoming guests and making them feel at home is a Camelback tradition that was begun by Stewart and his wife, the former Mabel Louise Shoemaker. And we were NO exception. The service here is impeccable. Surprises are definitely around every corner. We appreciated the attention to detail so much. The cheese board that came along with my favorite Pinot and Hemingway's favorite treats was such a nice touch.
Stewart's wife, Louise was a social dynamo who organized grand costume events, such as the zany Gold Digger's Ball, instilling a spirit of camaraderie among guests that lives on to this day. Some families vacationing at Camelback Inn today remember coming here as children, just as their parents did before them. You can almost FEEL this deep history when taking in all the beautiful scenery!
The Camelback in was designed by architect Edward Loomis Bowes. At the time, the resort cost $75,000 to build and accommodated 75 guests -- too crazy! The resort immediately attracted wealthy travelers who endured long train rides to Phoenix from the East Coast and Midwest, then another 12-mile trek down bumpy dirt roads to reach their Southwestern resort adventure. Horseback riding, desert exploration and other outdoor excursions introduced vacationers to the wonders of their secluded surroundings.
I guess it's no secret that this resort has insane views of Camelback Mountain! This beautifully landscaped property has it all. Rich history, privacy, intimacy, and a lively Saturday night, IF you want to participate.
One of our favorite (but potentially silly) things that we loved about the Camelback Inn is that you could park next to your room. I really love not having to use valet every time I want to use my car. It's such a nice little treat!
The patio of our room was so quaint. There's so much privacy here that you forget you're staying at a resort. Since our stay, less than a week ago, we've already been back to Rita's Kitchen! We can't stay away from this place.
Continue scrolling to see the rest of our experience! xo
We loved everything about this beautiful place. It was so nice to bring our pup along, too! If you want to visit this beautiful resort and want to bring your furry family member, just note that there's a $250 fee.
I was hosted by the JW Marriott but all opinions are my own. Sponsored.