We are at Hermosa Inn Scottsdale. Hummingbirds flit around our our heads and water cascades from 16th century style fountains as we stroll along flower lined paths to our casita. Beyond there are desert cacti and red sandstone peaks. This is luxury living, Paradise Valley style.
In the Greater Phoenix Area and adjacent to attractive Scottsdale, Paradise Valley is a luxury enclave, and is also the location of an elite group of exclusive hotels. Some are of course owned by the big brand names but we think the ones to seek out are the smaller residences – these are tucked unassumingly away in sleepy residential backstreets otherwise occupied by expensive gated homes.
The Hermosa Inn Scottsdale is our favourite in the area, and we are most definitely not alone. It is currently ranked by Conde Nast Traveler as the #1 Hotel Regionally and #9 of the Top 10 Hotels in the country and has a AAA 4 diamond rating. But it has not always been a luxury hotel and started life as the adobe hideaway of Alonzo “Lon” Megargee, a native of Philadelphia.
Lon came West at the turn of the century, earning his way as a cowboy, bronco buster, stud poker dealer, and eventually a successful artist. Using blocks formed on-site from the sandy desert, Megargee added old beams and wood from an abandoned mine and created a uniquely Southwestern home he dubbed Casa Hermosa, Spanish for Beautiful House.
Sadly, by 1941 and in need of money, Megargee put the Casa on the market, still filled with his art and furnishings. The new owners welcomed guests and renamed it the Hermosa Inn Scottsdale.
Augmented and improved over the years the Hermosa Inn Scottsdale retains its charm and has kept its authentic Arizona character. One of 43 newly renovated casitas, ours was cool and wonderfully spacious featuring an impressive beamed and vaulted ceiling, rustic wooden floor, chunky hand-carved furniture, leather armchairs, painted Mexican tiles and traditional artwork. In the corner of the living area was a beehive log fire.
The king bed at the Hermosa Inn Scottsdale was fitted with a ‘four poster’ wrought iron canopy draped with white gauze linen, the rest of the room decorated in a desert palette of sienna red, with tans, muted golds and dark greens. Wood shutters framed the traditional windows in both bath and bedrooms.
All the luxury extras you would expect were there, and more including a well-stocked fridge, coffee machine and luxury toiletries. We loved soaking in the classic free standing ceramic bath in a bathroom that included a marble topped wooden washstand and a traditional rug. There are also larger and more luxurious casitas available with some linking to provide accommodation for family groups.
The culinary centrepiece of the Inn, LON’s at the Hermosa Inn Scottsdale is built around Megargee’s original adobe structure. The old walls are exposed and the indoor dining area oozes character, decorated with fireplaces, Stetson hats and Megargee’s original western-style paintings.
Given the warm desert climate its likely however that you probably dine under the stars on the expansive and lushly landscaped patio featuring a massive wood-burning fireplace, a three-tiered stone fountain and several wrought iron chimeneas.
The broad trees that shade the area by day are at night decorated with garlands of twinkling lights. It is a hugely romantic place to enjoy the very impressive locally-sourced (and, we are told, internationally inspired) cuisine.
Mornings we return to the patio for a very good, and healthy, breakfast – part modest buffet, part table service (you can also enjoy it in your room).
It is then time to move a short distance through the gardens to the palm-fringed pool. Here we relaxed with iced fresh fruit juice accompanied by the sound of bird song.
Surely this is the only way to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Southern Arizona. Just twenty minutes from PHX airport we love its convenience as a local base when flying in (or out). Locally there is plenty to do either exploring the natural environment or travelling within the city. regionally you can use the Hermosa Inn Scottsdale as a home from which to discover more of Arizona, probably the most scenically blessed state in America. Avoid the big hotels and soak up the atmosphere!
For more information visit the Hermosa Inn Scottsdale
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of the Hermosa Inn Scottsdale