Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

5700 East McDonald Drive | Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 [See Map]
#2 in Best Phoenix Hotels
Hotel Class 5.0-star Critic Rating Excellent Guest Rating
TripAdvior Traveler Rating

Based on 923 reviews
Property Type Resort with 105 rooms, 2 floors
Style Rustic
Best For Couples, Solo travelers

U.S. News Review

Its name describes this resort perfectly: Sanctuary. And its location, lodged on the side of Camelback Mountain, is rife with opportunities for both rejuvenation and physical activity. No wonder this hotel has seen its fare share of Hollywood heavyweights passing through its doors. Guest rooms are bright and beautiful, with exposed brick walls, deep soaking tubs and fantastic views. But for most travelers, Sanctuary's highlights are located outside the rooms. Guests lounge in (or by) the infinity pool and watch their worries drop off the edge of the world. And for an extra dose of pampering, travelers head straight to the resort spa, which boasts a bevy of Asian-inspired treatments. And now, visitors can sip a variety of cocktails made from premium liquor and local ingredients at the new Jade Bar before enjoying a meal at Elements, the hotel's famous restaurant run by chef Beau MacMillan. And although Sanctuary does charge a $30 resort fee per night (to cover parking and Internet access) on top of the general room rate, most guests felt that was a reasonable amount to pay.

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Critic Reviews


“The surrounding red rocks, which sprawl for 53 acres around the resort, create a dramatic Southwestern atmosphere you can't find anywhere else in the world.”
Award: Frommer's Exceptional

Travel + Leisure

“Its complete refurbishment in 2001 only made it swankier; today, the 105 casitas are sleek and modern, with original paintings, oversized soaking tubs with votive candles and signature bath salts, and enormous windows framing panoramic mountain views.”
Award: Travel + Leisure 500 World's Best Hotels 2015


“An infinity-edge pool, Zen meditation garden, and Asian-inspired Sanctuary Spa make this a haven for relaxation.”
Award: Fodor's Choice

Other Awards:
  • AAA/CAA Four Diamond Lodgings 2015
  • Concierge.com Editor's Pick
  • Condé Nast Readers' Choice List 2014
  • Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Awards 2014
  • Lonely Planet Recommended

Guest Reviews

A hotel's guest rating is calculated using data provided under license by TripAdvisor. A total of 923 guests have reviewed the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, giving it a rating of 4.5, on a scale of 1-5.

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 (based on 923 reviews)

Guest Reviews: Read most recent guest reviews



  • Room Service
  • Internet Access
  • Business Center
  • Dining
  • Pets Allowed
  • Parking
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Fitness Center
  • Pool

Location & Parking

Take city chic and bring it to the middle of the desert and you have the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. The resort is perched atop Camelback Mountain and surrounded by 53 acres of land, but it's only about 5 miles northwest of downtown Scottsdale. A daily $30 resort fee includes valet parking and access to resort facilities like the spa and fitness center as well as fitness classes.

  • About 10 miles northeast of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

  • 24-hour valet parking (free)
  • 24-hour self-parking
  • Airport shuttle
  • Car service

Within walking distance of:

  • Bus stop
  • Train station
  • Subway/metro stop
  • Restaurants
  • Beach
  • Grocery store
  • Movie theater
  • Theater
  • Shopping

Guest Rooms

The 105 casitas boast views of the mountains or desert, while the interiors blend contemporary design with local touches. Accommodations feature different personal touches: spa casitas boast walk-in closets and oversized bathtubs while mountain casitas have wood block flooring and mosaic glass tile showers. Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs and luxurious bath amenities like bath salts, soaps and votive candles.

  • The $30 daily resort fee includes in-room Internet access, complimentary coffee and tea and nightly turndown service

Standard room size:

500 square feet
  • Internet (free)
  • Premium channels
  • Workspace/desk
  • Minifridge
  • Bathrobes/slippers
  • Minibar
  • Shower/tub combo
  • Separate shower
  • Separate tub
  • Wireless Internet
  • Guest rooms with patios and balconies
  • Adjoining rooms available


Elements restaurant is a sophisticated creation from Beau MacMillan, a Food Network celebrity chef. The restaurant is guided by farm-to-table principles and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Elements also includes an outdoor patio that can seat up to 30 people. Lighter spa cuisine and in-room dining both come from this restaurant as well. Jade Bar dishes out small and larger plates as well as creative cocktails.

  • Lunch and Learn event series introduces guests to celebrity chefs and wine makers

Number of restaurants:


Cuisine types:



  • Fine dining
  • Casual dining
  • Quick service cafe/coffee shop/marketplace
  • Bar/lounge
  • Room service
  • 24-hour room service
  • Free breakfast


There are three outdoor pools for relaxation, as well as a lap pool at the spa for exercise.

  • The main infinity-edge pool is limited to adult guests only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of major holidays
  • Ample seating options surround the pools, from lounge chairs to cabanas

Number of pools:


Pool types:

  • Lap pool
  • Wading pool
  • Lazy river
  • Family pool
  • Infinity pool
  • Whirlpool/hot tub
  • Adults-only pool
  • Seasonal
  • Indoor
  • Outdoor
  • Indoor/outdoor combo

Pool amenities:

  • Lifeguard on duty
  • Poolside service
  • Waterslide
  • Deck chairs or cabanas
  • Pool bar


Travel + Leisure named the resort's spa as one of the top in the world, and one of the top five spas in the United States. There are 12 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, all sharing a definitive Asian zen decor and menu of services. The spa also has a zen meditation garden, a reflecting pond, and a Watsu pool.

  • Spa offers more unusual treatments, including astrology services and hypnotherapy
  • Body scrubs and massages are available as in-room treatments
  • Nail services and hair care are available at the salon
  • Spa hours are 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily

Services offered:

  • Massage
  • Facial
  • Body treatments (i.e. scrubs, wraps)
  • Salon services
  • Outdoor treatment area
  • Steam room
  • Sauna


There are no specific amenities or features designed for families. The main pool is adults-only on weekends, with two other pool options for families with children 15 and younger. Exceptions to the policy are made on major holiday weekends.

  • Kids club
  • Cribs
  • High chairs


The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort's fitness center has cardio and weight-training equipment, and offers group fitness classes and personal training by full-time staff. The hotel also offers swim instruction from Olympic gold medalist, Misty Hyman. Guests can play tennis at one of the five championship courts or take part in clinics and private lessons.

  • Nutrition and fitness assessments are available for an additional fee

  • Weight equipment
  • Cardio equipment
  • Yoga mats
  • Free fitness classes
  • Premium fitness classes (with fee)
  • Bicycles (free)
  • Tennis (with fee)
  • Guided runs
  • Paddle boats
  • Motor boats


The resort can accommodate meetings both indoors and out. There is a full-service business center, three boardrooms, and a ballroom that can be split into smaller rooms. Patios, lawns and the pool deck can also host meetings and events outside.

  • Elements restaurant has private event space

Number of meeting rooms:

  • Business center
  • Meeting rooms
  • Meeting and event planners available


Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort welcomes both cats and dogs up to 50 pounds for a $100 nonrefundable deposit.

  • Pets are welcomed at check-in with a letter and a gift

  • Pets allowed (with fee)
  • Dog walking
  • Pet-sitting


There is a course nearby.

  • Golf carts
  • Golf packages
  • Club rentals
  • Club house
  • Refreshment stand or restaurant
  • Caddy service
  • Pro shop


Weddings from 15 to 150 people can be held in the resort's mountain setting. Ceremonies and receptions are hosted both indoors and out.

  • There is no wedding planner on staff, but the resort contracts with outside wedding providers

Maximum wedding guest capacity:

  • Hotel hosts weddings
  • Outdoor space for weddings
  • Wedding planners available

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Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

5700 East McDonald Drive | Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 [See Full Map]