Hotel Valley Ho was the coolest little motor lodge when it first opened in 1956. This was only five years after Scottsdale became a city itself and the temperate year round climate was starting to attract all kinds of visitors. Started by husband and wife team Robert and Evelyn Foehl, they made their home there in a private apartment with an enclosed garden. Having previously owned a resort in Southern California, they came here partly to escape the paparazzi, and brought many of their clients with them such as Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
The hotel was very modern for it’s time. The 99 rooms had televisions with rabbit ears, rollaway beds, and central air conditioning making it the first hotel in Scottsdale able to be open year round. The architect, Edward L. Varney, known for his minimalist, modern style designed the hotel. He was truly ahead of his time as he buried all of the electrical wiring, plumbing, and mechanical fixtures for the Valley Ho in underground tunnels as is customary today. At the time, many places used above ground utility poles. He also made a portion of the hotel to support a seven-story tower at some time in the future.
Over the years, the Hotel Valley Ho went through numerous changes both in it’s structure and design. In 2002, it went up for auction and was rumored it might be torn down all together. However, MSR Properties won, and chose Westroc to manage it. Westroc also manages The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. Nothing was too good for the $80 million restoration, and it reopened 49 years to-the-date of its original opening on December 20, 2005. This time it included Cafe ZuZu, OH Pool, and VH Spa for Vitality + Health. As Varney had originally planned, the seven-story Tower was built and completed in January of 2008.
When you walk into the luxury boutique hotel today, you’re liable to feel like you’ve stepped into an episode of The Jetson’s. Ultra modern amenities like flat screen plasma TV’s, premium wifi, and iPod players are available. The furniture and style of the rooms is mid-century charm meets modernism. Each room is uniquely designed with the Tower suites each having their own personality. Some of them even include full size washer/ dryers, and a kitchen that you can have your personal shopper (provided by concierge) stock with your favorite foods and snacks. Feel free to bring along your dog as well as the hotel is pet friendly. Dogs also get to enjoy the luxurious hotel with amenities all their own like doggie treats, grassy areas to run, and their own food and water bowl.
During your stay, you’ll want to have a bite at Cafe ZuZu. Open breakfast through dinner, anytime is right to come try this unique and fun restaurant. You can choose to dine inside or out on the patio. The food is described on their website as “a modern twist on classic American fare.” It’s comfort food like your mother used to make, but with a few delicious twists she never thought of. If you’re not in the mood for a full meal, stop by the lounge for a handcrafted cocktail and burger. Make sure you save room for dessert! With selections like lemon meringue tarts and cranberry cheesecake, you’ll be glad you did. The chefs have poured their hearts and soul into this delicious menu.
During the warmer months, you might choose to have that bite or cocktail at the OH Pool Bar + Cabanas. The award winning hotel has also won numerous awards just for this pool. There is a bar to eat and drink poolside, chaise lounges to work on that tan, and cabanas are available to rent. The cabanas are for six guests, or you can combine two for up to twelve guests. Amenities are included in the price, and allow you to choose from such items as Fiji water, hummus and pita, fresh fruit smoothies, and more.
The VH In Room dining here is so much more than just room service. Besides food from Cafe ZuZu, there is an array of items you can choose from to have waiting in your room when you arrive, or delivered during your stay. Luxurious items from a half or full bottle of Veuve Clicquot “yellow label” to strawberries with whipped cream, or a market basket filled with everything from cookies and almonds to wine is sure to delight you.
Last, but not least, the VH Spa for Vitality + Health waits to restore and refresh you. A “results driven spa,” VH will make sure you get whatever you are seeking. From relaxing and renewing massages and facials, to the fitness center, to the boutique. Anything you need is here. You may even purchase a membership to the spa and enjoy the fitness equipment, personal trainers, pilates and yoga year round. All treatments include access to the OH Pool, and if you’d just like to get away, trained guides will take you on a hike on Camelback Mountain. Bikes are also available to rent so you can explore Old Town Scottsdale.
The Valley Ho is also available for meetings or weddings. The beautiful grassy areas, and posh meeting spaces are top notch. The ballroom was also famously the site of teen idols Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood ‘s 1957 wedding reception. All spaces are updated with modern conveniences and AV equipment. The ballroom is big enough to park show cars in. The Sky Line Roof Top area gives stunning views of Camelback Mountain and Old Town. Then there’s Sands. Perhaps the most unique space of all, featuring a bar, kitchen and patio, this indoor/ outdoor meeting space will leave you saying wow. A fire pit, tiki inspired décor, and a landscaped patio complete with sandy lounging areas are just par for the course at Sands.
This is one Scottsdale experience not to be missed, but don’t take our word for it. Make a reservation, and see for yourself. The hotel boasts “an omg in every room” on their Facebook page, and we think you’ll agree. Different, spectacular, and historical come together in this one of a kind luxury boutique experience.