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With a history steeped in old Hollywood mystique, The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, AZ is every bit as glamorous and relaxing as you might expect. It has been inspired by some of the most prominent men and women in the valley from it’s mid century charm, to the sophistication of the new millennium.

It was back in the early 1950’s when Hollywood stars John Ireland, Joanne Dru, and Sydney Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin’s son), put their heads together with some investors to create a racquet club like the one they knew in Palm Springs. They bought some land, and had architect Hiram Hudson Benedict- a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright- build a casita and clubhouse. The casita became John Ireland’s home in Arizona. The tennis facilities attracted quite a few stars throughout the decade. Names we still recognize today like Jimmy Durante, Liza Minelli, Dino Martin, Desi Arnez Jr., and more. It was known as the Paradise Valley Racquet Club.

Two real estate entrepreneurs came together in 1965 to purchase more land, acquiring the 53 acres that the resort sits on to this day. Two years later, a local civic group, headed by Senator Barry Goldwater, formed to preserve Camelback Mountain. Known as John Gardiner’s Tennis Ranch at the time, the owners joined forces and provided strong support for the preservation effort which precluded any development above the 1700 foot level of Camelback Mountain. The resort was bought out again in 1992, renamed, closed in 2000 for a complete renovation, and reopened as The Sanctuary in March 2001.

All of these changes have caused The Sanctuary to become the most refined resort in the Valley. Comparatively small, the luxury boutique resort is still home to 105 casitas, seven private estate homes, an award winning spa, four pools, five championship tennis courts, a movement studio, restaurants, bars, and meeting space. The casitas are able to be reserved for just a night, by the week, or by the month. You can choose between a spa casita or mountainside casita depending on your preference and consideration for space. The resort is pet friendly, so you can bring your best friend along- dog or cat- up to 50 pounds. If you have to be away from them during the day, there are pet sitters available to watch and care for your furry friend.

While staying at The Sanctuary, you can be sure you won’t go hungry. There are several options to choose from. There is the Jade Bar which is covered on our site, then there’s Elements. Executive Chef Beau MacMillan Food Network celebrity chef and Iron Chef America winner, is in charge of this restaurant. The food is best described as farm fresh American cuisine, but there’s nothing ordinary about it as Asian notes and unique ways to prepare the food are thought up by this creative chef. For more intimate dining, there’s the Praying Monk patio which overlooks the Praying Monk rock formation on Camelback Mountain, or XII which so aptly named, seats 12 people.

Keeping true to it’s roots, The Sanctuary is still home to five championship tennis courts. If tennis isn’t your thing, there are other ways to tone up in their fitness center or the movement studio offering personal trainers, pilates instructors, and private, personalized plans set and laid out by certified and trained instructors. Along with the infinity edge pools, there is also a 25 yard lap pool perfect for aquatic exercise. If it’s relaxation you’re after, step inside Sanctuary’s award winning Scottsdale resort spa. This indoor/ outdoor spa is Asian in feel from the reflecting pool to the outdoor zen garden. There is even a salon inside the spa to make you feel extra beautiful. Even those with the most discerning tastes will find this spa to be incredible. One of the most unique features is the outdoor treatment area called Sanctum. Sanctum is flanked by two curving stone walls to allow relaxing outdoor treatments for one or two guests at a time, and is completely private.

For the more business minded guests, the meeting facilities are incomparable. The sophisticated setting of the meeting areas will make a great impression from sales clients, to CEO’s. There are many different meeting areas to suit the occasion whether it is more formal, or casual, doing business over drinks, dinner, or just a board meeting. You can visit their site at to request a proposal and download the brochure.

Amidst all this luxury and ambiance, it might just get you in the mood for love. The Sanctuary sees many happy couples tie the knot each year and begin the rest of their lives together. Several luxury venues on the property cater to any size wedding from a mere 15 people to a grand affair of 150. There is no need to worry about wedding crashers on your special day as the staff of The Sanctuary assure you a private wedding. There are catering services, cake bakers, and top notch wedding photographers all at your disposal as well as spa treatments for the bride and her bridesmaids to get all done up before the ceremony. You and your entire party will feel like the movie stars that once and still do frequent the resort.

Come, enter The Sanctuary, and let the rest of the outside world slip away even if just for a weekend stay. Let the sophistication and comfort take you away as your every whim is catered to so that you can return refreshed, rejuvenated, relaxed, and ready to take on whatever life is handing your way. A truly transformative and spiritual experience awaits you on the mountainside.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain- A Scottsdale One Exclusive

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