Scottsdale, Arizona is the proverbial hop, skip and jump from California. Dozens of daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco or Sacramento will get to you the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in two hours or less. From there, it’s a quick 8 miles from the airport to downtown Scottsdale and a scenic drive to the surrounding areas.
With more than 70 hotels and resorts, 40-plus event and meeting venues, 800 restaurants citywide and over 50 golf courses, there’s an enormous variety of places to gather for a multiday meeting. Here’s a trio of properties that offer three types of Scottsdale experiences.
1. Hotel Valley Ho. This midcentury gem, a Preferred Hotel Group member and a Historic Hotel of America, is located in Scottsdale’s historic district. A onetime Hollywood hideaway for the likes of Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and Zsa Zsa Gabor, it went through an extensive $80 million restoration a decade ago, and it maintains its chic polish and reputation as one of the best-preserved midcentury hotels in the country. The 241-room property has 13,000 square feet of indoor event space and 20,000 square feet of outdoor space, including a rooftop terrace with 360-degree views. Within easy walking distance is the innovative and interactive Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which opened in 2015. The well-appointed indoor and outdoor event spaces there can accommodate groups from 25 to 1,000. hotelvalleyho.com;
2. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. With 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, 27 holes of championship golf, a world-class tennis center, expansive spa and fitness center, a 2.5-acre water playground and activities like gondola boat rides, there’s enough here to keep groups busy for days. Nor will small groups get lost in this 27-acre, 493-room property; among the new offerings is the “Wine Me, Dine Me” dinner—up to six guests are seated at the bar overlooking the demonstration kitchen while chef Juan Solario and his team custom prepare a four-course menu complemented by tequila and wine pairings.
3. Boulder Resort & Spa. Known as “The Boulders,” this desert retreat sits on 1,300 acres in the Sonoran Desert foothills. Mother Nature is owed thanks for the spectacular topography: boulder formations that are 12 million years old dot the landscape. That means there are stunning settings for group dinners and gatherings. Guests will be awestruck the moment they arrive here and enter the main lodge through massive entry doors. The 220 guest accommodations include 160 newly renovated casitas, each 550 square feet, and 61 villas and haciendas, including a 5,000-square-foot villa retreat. Relaxation and renewal are on the menu, with two award-winning golf courses, eight tennis courts and four swimming pools. Team-building activities include waterfall rappelling, desert fly fishing, hikes, horseback ride, hot air ballooning, nighttime yoga and moonlight bike tours.