By Lauren Wong
This story was original posted on Escape With Vagary.
I’d have to say the panoramic views of the mountains was my favorite part about this desert retreat. Every which way you look you’re enveloped in all the beauty that Paradise Valley has to offer.
I could have spent weeks just lounging at the pool alone and been completely content. Each cabana had its own couch, mini fridge, and tv. There are two 75-foot pools that are connected by a modern waterfall feature/walkway, and a separate hot tub, all with breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain.
“When you stay at Mountain Shadows you get to feel like you’re in the middle of the desert and tucked away from everything,” Kristin Heggli, Director of PR + Communications of Hotel Valley Ho and Mountain Shadows, says. “You’ve got Camelback Mountain on one side and Mummy Mountain on the other, so especially when you’re visiting from out of state you get that real Sonoran desert experience.”
Usually you have to drive out far into rural Arizona to get that feeling, but with Mountain Shadows, you’re pretty much centered in the Phoenix area. You’re 5 minutes from Scottsdale and Phoenix, 10 minutes from Old Town, etc.
The original Mountain Shadows resort opened in 1959 and was a hideaway from Hollywood over the years. In 2004 it had closed down until a local developer ended up purchasing the property, demolishing it, and splitting it up into three parcels. The owners of what is now Mountain Shadows had ended up purchasing one of those three parcels to build this brand new resort in 2017. By 2018 they had finished the wing of residencies and suites and everything was up and running.
Throughout the property you’ll notice these white, concrete breeze blocks. These are the only physical elements left from the original resort and were actually designed by Ralph Haver, a prolific mid-century modern architect in the valley during the 1900s.
“Mountain Shadows is extremely modern, it has some mid-century influences like the residences have butterfly roofs, obviously lots of floor to ceiling glass, overhangs,” Heggli says. “Definitely some of the furniture in the interiors have some sort of mid-century influences as well. But overall, it’s very contemporary.”
You’re close to downtown if you want to get out and explore, or you can really spend your whole vacation at the resort and still find plenty to do. There’s the Short Course, which is a par-3, 18-hole golf course that you can play in less than three hours. It’s a perfect course for golfers of all levels and Rusty’s patio and lounge is right there on the side of the course so after your afternoon golfing, order yourself a drink and some food to replenish your energy.
You have access to the fitness center, a 4,000 square-foot facility, and all classes offered there are complementary during your stay. Choose between pilates, classic and aerial yoga, baree, or even book yourself a personal trainer. The gym and pool together are considered the Citizen’s Club. There is always some event going on at the resort and you can find their whole calendar online to see everything that’s coming up. Some events include the Sunday Supper Club, Library Coffee Cart, Free Flow Nights, Spirited Sipping Seminars, and more. In their own art gallery, The Gallery, they feature museum quality exhibitions with new artwork that gets debuted every two months.
Currently, their main restaurant is Hearth ‘61 which features Modern American Cuisine. My absolute favorite thing off their menu was the spaghetti squash. A new restaurant is in the early planning stages so there’s no date available to share, but you can expect to hear about a brand new restaurant soon. Additionally, a new pool bar is slated to open this spring, and later this year they’re going to begin working on building a whole other pool.
“We’re an independent property which is pretty unusual for properties in Phoenix, you see more of the Hilton’s, Marriott’s, that sort of thing, so you really do get a boutique resort experience when you stay here,” Heggli says. “It’s definitely inspired by the desert, and as the architect for the property said, it’s more designed to be looked from, than to be looked at. Everything about the property is about framing the views of the mountains and the scenery and it’s really more about seeing out and making sure you can explore all that.”
Standard rooms start at $299 during low season, and $499 during high season. To make a reservation visit Mountain Shadow’s website.
Historic Photos: Photo credit: Mountain Shadows