The surge in remote employment opportunities over the last three years has meant greater daytime flexibility for the average American—but it also means we’re not always working nine to five. Earlier mornings and later nights online are part of the reason Americans left a whopping 768 million vacation days unused in 2020, with just about a third of those permanently forfeited. With so many working from home, remembering to unplug and unwind is one of the best ways to avoid professional burnout. And there’s few better places to start your vacation than Arizona, which promises about 50% more sunshine than the rest of the continental U.S.
Nearly 80% of leisure travelers are planning a trip in the next six months. What better time than now to explore the vast natural beauty—and some incredible accommodations—of Arizona for yourself? Just don’t forget your sunscreen.
Rise (Uptown) and shine in Phoenix.
A mid-century modern beauty, Rise Uptown was designed to flatter the Arizona landscape. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench your room in natural light, and the bright wallpaper and eclectic furnishings complement the hotel’s palm trees and pool views. Looking for something to sip while you sightsee? Two of Arizona’s best cocktail bars are conveniently attached to the main hotel. The Lylo Swim Club offers poolside service, or you can step it up (literally) with a visit to the rooftop bar, Don Woods’ Say When. A full taste of the Southwest is all within 10 miles or less: bars like the Highball and Bar 1912 promise local flavor with a twist (or an olive). Venture a little outside city limits to take in the fresh air and the famed views from the tops of Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, and Piestewa Peak. The Rise Uptown is your little bit of home with a lot of adventure.
Old town charm in Old Town Scottsdale: Hotel Valley Ho
Famed architect Edward L. Varney was commissioned to design the Hotel Valley Ho in the 1950s. Over the last 70 years, it’s kept that mid-century charm—while adding a slew of modern amenities. Nestled in the heart of Scottsdale’s historic district, it’s been called “one of the best-preserved mid-century hotels in the country.” See its appeal for yourself with a stay in its boutique rooms: either the modern luxury of The Tower or the old-school allure of the main hotel. All rooms come with access to the OHasis pool and its accompanying cabanas, daybeds, and poolside dining service. The hotel is just two blocks from the Arizona Canal and its upscale shopping district. And if you venture a few blocks east, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Old Town: a contemporary neighborhood with an old west twist. Stop at the Rusty Spur Saloon, Scottsdale’s oldest bar, for a drink and a live country music show, or explore the Old Adobe Mission and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Stay cool in the Mountain Shadows of Paradise Valley.
Paradise Valley—the city name almost sells itself. Mountain Shadows, sitting at the base of Phoenix’s Camelback Mountain, underwent a complete renovation in 2017. Guests are given the choice between poolside or mountain-view rooms—and longer-term residence suites with multiple bedrooms and full kitchens are available for those who just aren’t ready to leave. The property boasts an 18-hole golf course, a full-service restaurant and bar, and a special homage to town’s founders—The Citizens Club, an association focused on fitness and wellbeing that’s named for the Citizens Committee that incorporated Paradise Valley in 1961. And the resort offers a rotating list of events: from bachelorette packages to wine tasting classes, meditative sound baths, and art exhibit receptions, there’s something for every guest.
Sonoran Desert and Southwestern style: The Wigwam in Litchfield Park.
A fusion of Southwestern style and contemporary charm: The Wigwam’s 440-acre property has three professional golf courses, an onsite luxury spa, and adobe and timber casitas and suites. The local influences that inspired The Wigwam’s creation nearly a century ago extend beyond the accommodations, with the resort’s three restaurants creating their own farm-to-table menus that complement the region’s best-known dishes. Take in the stark beauty of the Sonoran Desert from the nearby Desert Botanical Garden and the Estrella Mountains hiking path or make the short drive to nearby Glendale for a day at the Westgate Entertainment District. And if you’d like to spend your time on the property instead (we don’t blame you) enjoy a stress-free day sitting poolside at the Oasis.
300 days of summer: Nautical Beachfront Resort in Lake Havasu City.
The Nautical Beachfront Resort is Lake Havasu’s only beachside property—making it a must-see in a city that gets about 300 days of sunshine a year. The resort’s private boat dock makes for easy access to the lake itself, open year-round for boating, paddle-boarding, and fishing. But if resort life is more your speed, you’ll find a pool and water park on the grounds, too. If you’d like your experience to be a little more reflective, they can offer that, too: the newly discovered Lake Havasu Vortex is already well-regarded as a place for wellness to practice meditation and mindfulness. And if all that isn’t enough—just a glimpse of where you could be should be all the convincing you need.