Charming Staycay | Featuring The Royal Palms Resort & Spa


The Royals Palms Resort and Spa is located on Camelback road and is literally a hop, skip, or jump from my home. But, ya know, we drove, because that's what you do in AZ. I couldn't help notice that The Royal Palms felt a lot like I imagine Tuscany. Very cozy, lots of greenery, fresh fruits and lots of privacy. 

I usually lean more towards the modern hotels, which is why this was such a treat for me. I tried to see and do everything in my 24 hours on the property, but of course, there's lots I didn't get to. 

While checking in we were offered a glass of champagne, and even though Kevin doesn't drink, he knows the drill... he gets the extra one for me. We were escorted to our rooms by a bellmen who carried our bags. He described the property well but also made note of the fact that the sun was slipping behind the mountains and we needed to take advantage of the sunset. 

The hotel is Hemingway-friendly, but we left him back at home for a few hours to get our work done. Once we finished up with photos and dinner, we picked him up. He did his usual scent-check, and seemed to approve of the room. We ended the night eating fresh fruits that were brought to our room. 


Royal Palms offers guests the rare opportunity to enjoy rich amenities of a Resort all within the walls of a storied estate.  The Estate's rich history dates back to 1929 as the winter home of Delos Willard Cooke, a New York industrialist and financier, his wife Florence, and son, Chauncey. 


Royal Palms is nestled at the base of Arizona's Camelback Mountain, between downtown Scottsdale, and the Biltmore corridor and is only 7 miles from Phoenix International airport.
Regal boardrooms, intimate salons, a stately library and lushly landscaped outdoor function areas are each distinctly decorated to provide a comfortable, estate-like ambiance.
The resort provides three employees for every guest and a Conference Services Manager for each group. The staff is highly trained in gracious service, attention to detail and flexibility.


Enjoy special amenities including ALVADORA SPA, a full-service salon, Fitness centre, whirlpool spa, swimming pool, private cabana services, poolside cafe offering a variety of your favorite poolside fare, and world class dining at T. COOK'S AND THE MIX UP BAR.


The main restaurant, T. Cook's was the highlight of our stay. Every single dish was perfect, and even though we were on the younger end of the scene, we felt so comfortable. As you know, it gets pretty warm in AZ and I made a rookie mistake of wearing my shoulders out dining. That's a big No No... because every restaurant is pumping the air conditioner. But the hostess brought by a wrap without me even asking. 


At the heart of the resort, T. Cook's culinary philosophy of magnifying the purity of fresh, seasonal ingredients is a celebration of its treasured legacy. For nearly two decades, T. Cook's has garnered both local and national acclaim for delivering a stellar fine dining experience. This time-honored tradition lives through the vision of the T.Cook's culinary team. 

Full Look Here

Full Look Here


Royal Palms offers guests the rare opportunity to enjoy rich amenities of a Resort all within the walls of a storied estate.  The Estate's rich history dates back to 1929 as the winter home of Delos Willard Cooke, a New York industrialist and financier, his wife Florence, and son, Chauncey. 


I love reading about the history of this place. . . (source)

It was 1926 and despite the full, heady swing of the “Jazz Age,” Delos Willard Cooke at age sixty-two was tired. His career as a railroad and steamship executive in New York was coming to a close. He, a nephew of banking mogul J.P. Morgan, could now look back with pride at his long career in transportation, which included being a top executive at the Cunard Steamship Line, vice president of the Erie Railroad, and federal fuel administrator for the state of New York.


The winter of 1924-25 must have felt colder than most. It made Cooke think it was time to savor some of life’s quieter pursuits, and to do it in a warmer climate such as Phoenix. His wife, Florence, was in ill health and the bitter New York cold set her back to the point where Cooke knew it was time for a real change. He would retire officially on May 1, 1925, his letter stated, so he could “devote most of my time to the welfare and happiness of my wife from now on. She has first claim on me.” This deep love for his wife and family went into the building of their grande estate.  


Cooke and Florence chose a 65-acre parcel near the base of the southern slope of Camelback Mountain. Against this dramatic backdrop, they built El Vernadero, their winter haven.  The Cooke's wanted to model their home architecture after their beloved grand European adventures. They reached out to the respected Phoenix architectural firm of Lescher & Mahoney to design the home, a 3,500-square-foot Spanish Revival villa. With its white plaster over brick, Granada-tiled roofs, elaborately grilled windows and doorways, and elegant archways, the mansion made a lasting impression on all who were fortunate enough to receive invitations to visit. 


By June of 1926, Lescher & Mahoney completed the plans of the Cooke residence. It was a true Andalusia- inspired mansion, with flourishes of Mexico’s hacienda and Spanish Colonial styles. At 3500 square feet, the home was one of the largest in Phoenix. The Cookes made sure it was sited at the end of a long, grand driveway flanked on both sides by towering palms.  At a cost of one million dollars when finished, including the sixty-five acres of prime land, the Cooke’s “El Vernadero” moved rapidly fromdreamto reality.


The Cooke mansion was finally completed three years later, in 1929, and was well worth the wait.  In fact, much of the romantic charm found today throughout the property comes as much from the original detail work the Cooke's incorporated into the main buildings as any other elements added later.  A true Spanish Colonial-inspired design with Mediterranean and hacienda flourishes, the Cooke home stood apart from the other homes hidden in the shadow of Camelback Mountain.


For two years Delos and Florence Cooke enjoyed their new home in Arcadia until Delos passed away in 1931 at the age of 66.  Shaken by the sudden death of her husband Florence Cooke continued wintering at the estate, working on her gardens, and maintaining their dream.  But six years later and falling ill, Florence Cooke sold the property to W.E. Travis, then president of Greyhound Bus Lines.


The wealthy Travis family settled into their new Arizona home with great appreciation for what the Cooke's had accomplished.  Travis and his wife made great efforts to keep the home true to the original dream, but they did make several major improvements.  It was during his tenure that the second story was added to the west wing of the mansion. The family enjoyed their home for more than five years.  Following the death of his wife, Travis sold the home to John Ross, president of the Aviola Radio Company, who shortly thereafter sold it to former well known band leader of The Biggest Little Band in America, Al Stovall.


A visionary who predicted a boom in tourism to the Southwest following World War II, Stovall and his partners guided the estate’s transition from private residence to inn. They built 15 casitas to the west of the original Cooke home, and converted the main house into several more guest rooms, a reception area and dining room. In the winter of 1948, the first room reservations were recorded for the newly named Royal Palms Inn.


Over the years Royal Palms has transitioned into the timeless classic we all love today. Royal Palms Resort and Spa reflects its proud history, offering new and unique experiences for guests who treasure this living Arizona landmark.