We recently hit the road for a COVID-safe trip to Arizona so that Ava could start looking at colleges. With the pressure on high school juniors to begin creating a list of colleges for the application process, we needed to start now. Careful planning on safe road trips landed us at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, and we were so glad we did! This fun Phoenix-area hotel is a great resort spot for both families and visitors without kids. Our clan voted the Hotel Valley Ho one of the best hotels in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Built in 1956, the Hotel Valley Ho has always been a place to see and be seen. It’s been a gathering place for the stars, attracting celebrities from across the globe. Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner had their wedding reception here. Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh have all stayed and played here too. It was quite the gathering spot in the 1950s and 60s, and still is for celebrities, dignitaries and sports figures too many to name. And regular Joes like us, of course.
However, we felt like celebrities here too. The laid-back vibe of Hotel Valley Ho is the perfect setting for a getaway, and let us tell you why.
Hotel Valley Ho Among Best Hotels in Scottsdale
We’d say it’s one of the best hotels in Scottsdale – even the entire Phoenix area – because it has so much character! (Why is it called the Hotel Valley Ho, you ask? Because it’s located in the “Old West” and it’s a play on the old wagon train phrase Westward Ho.)
Mid-Century Modern Design
The design aesthetic of the Hotel Valley Ho is impeccable. The resort has embraced its mid-century modern roots and vibe through and through, from its logo to the moment guests arrive at the front drive. Harkening back to its original design from the 1950s, the resort was reimagined over the years but always true to its mod roots. The angles in the building architecture, the colors and decor are all part of this cool-cat vibe. We totally loved it.
As guests enter the lobby, we get an immediate rush of color, mood and mid-century chic. To the right is a social gathering area with fireplace and comfy seating for couple and groups. Ahead is Zuzu, the all-day restaurant and bar which carries the design them through to the tiniest details. And to the left is the reception desk, concierge and elevators for the Tower rooms. All in all, the resort offers 241 rooms in various layouts from cabanas to pool view rooms to Tower suites. We learned we would be ensconced in Tower Suite, and wait until you hear about how cool that was!
Luxurious Rooms and Suites
If you can, splurge on one of the Tower Suites when you stay at the Hotel Valley Ho because they are pretty spectacular. With the kids along, we had an enormous suite and adjoining room combination. The girls’ room was large by hotel standards, with two queen beds, a sitting area and large bathroom with walk-in shower. But for us parents? Wow. Our suite was ginormous and so, so cool. No wonder this resort ranks among the best hotels in Scottsdale!
The design of our suite at Hotel Valley Ho was like downstairs, created in the mid-century modern style. However, this suite took that to a hip and cool extreme by using modern design elements that kept the unique style of the resort intact. In the living room area, a sweeping couch could easily seat 6, with a round coffee table-slash-ottomon in the room’s center. Other seating rounded out the look, and there was still plenty of room to move about easily.
Enormous Accommodations Abound
The bedroom area was equally spacious and cool. Fun frames and mirrors on the walls, interesting placement of art, super chic lighting fixtures and other elements offered plenty of visual stimulation. The king bed was super comfortable and flanked by low side tables with plenty of outlets for our myriad electronics. (Thank you designers for thinking that through!)
The bathroom was practically as large as a guest room, with walk-in glass shower, double sinks and walk-in closet large enough for a full wardrobe. Again, all very impressive.
But wait, there’s more! The suite contained a full working kitchen – in sunny bright yellow enamel cabinets. And by full kitchen, I mean a full size refrigerator, range, oven and dishwasher. The cabinets were stocked with everything a family of four would need if they never wanted to leave the hotel. All meals could be prepared here for those wanting extra privacy. Or there is always room service!
Also worth mentioning is the large balcony and floor-to-ceiling glass wall facing west. We watched the sun set over those famous red rocky mountains popping out of the Arizona desert floor. Breathtaking.
World-Class Pool and Spa
During our visit it was a bit chilly for the pool and we were not sure about COVID protocols anyway. The main pool looked lovely and inviting, with comfortable lounge chairs and colorful umbrellas.
We did have a chance to use the fitness facility one morning while the girls slept in (and in and in.) Man, those teens can sleep. We, on the other hand, cannot sleep past 6 am anymore. So off the the fitness center we went, and we were so pleased to see they had a Peloton bike – open and ready to ride. I logged in, geared up, and was able to join one of my fav classes for a quick sweat before breakfast.
The fitness center is located within VH Spa, which is now open every Thursday through Sunday from 8am to 6pm. You better believe we will be back here in a heartbeat for some delicious massages and maybe a facial or two. Or three.
Nicest Staff Ever
You don’t get to being one of the best hotels in Scottsdale by looks alone. Service ranks up there as equally important, and the Hotel Valley Ho has that wired too. Honestly, this team is among the nicest resort staff we have ever encountered. Anywhere.
From the moment we pulled up to valet, the way we were greeted was so genuine. Three guys met our car, helped us get situated, grabbed the bags and walked us in. Another took my keys and drove off to park the car. When we reached the reception desk, the nice bellman waited for us while the nice front desk attendant welcomed us and checked us in. They joked with us, wanted to know about our long drive from San Diego, and helped us orient ourselves on the hotel map.
Every interaction with the team here – from housekeeping to fitness center to restaurant to valet – were all just so darn nice If the Hotel Valley Ho wasn’t such a looker, we’d still consider coming back just because everyone here made us feel so welcome. And that kind of service is just not easy to fake.
LOVE. THIS. PLACE.
How to Get Here
Like I mentioned, we were on a COVID-safe road trip from San Diego. Our drive took about 5 1/2 hours and was easy peasy, especially in our fab loaner from GMC. We were driving a luxury SUV – the GMC Yukon AT4 – which was so plush with all the extras but tough as nails on that road. Arriving in comfort to the Hotel Valley Ho was a breeze in this sweet ride, but more on that soon.
The resort is a short distance on surface streets from the highway, and very easy to find at the edge of super cool and historic Old Town Scottsdale.
Via air travel, the Hotel Valley Ho is just 6 miles and a 15 minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. If you fly here, we suggest you grab a rental car so you can explore the surrounding area. There’s so much to do here!
Arizona Road Trips
If you love Arizona and the thought of the Old West gets your heart pumping, read about our other ideas for best road trips in Arizona here.