By { Beth Weitzman

Hotel Valley Ho

A Modernist Icon in Downtown Scottsdale

Hotel Valley Ho originally opened in 1956, when Robert and Evelyn Foehl sought to bring their gracious hospitality back to their hometown of Scottsdale. As many native Arizonians do, the Foehls had been escaping sweltering Scottsdale summers by heading to SoCal, where they  managed the Lake Arrowhead Resort and hobnobbed with celebs. As a result, Hotel Valley Ho had a ready-made connection to Hollywood. Icons such as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis and Bing Crosby were all hotel regulars. Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner chose the Hotel Valley Ho ballroom as the venue for their private wedding reception. The celebs loved the fact that paparazzi did not follow them to this then under the radar  hideaway gem. 

The years passed and, unfortunately, after the hotel was acquired by a large hotel chain in 1973, the quality and allure of this exclusive retreat declined. That was until WestRoc Hospitality took over the property in 2005 and invested $80 million in a full renovation. As part of the Scottsdale developer‘s investment, The Tower—a modern, luxury hotel-within-a-hotel—as well as ZuZu restaurant and lounge, VH Spa and the OH Pool were opened. The mid-century resort, originally designed by architect Edward Varney, stays true to his cool, minimalist style and glamorous roots.  

Guest Accommodations 

Generously sized guest rooms with glass walls that open onto airy patios or balconies in Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature style allow guests to enjoy beautiful fresh air and epic views. All 241 guest rooms and suites in the main hotel flaunt midcentury-meets-modern design. Each shines with floor-to-ceiling glass, unique Arizona artwork and modern decor. Bathrooms with terrazzo flooring, luxe bathtubs and separate showers provide for a spa-like experience. A wide array of accommodation styles and sizes are on offer, including 105 modern signature guest rooms, 11 cabana guest rooms with double-size patios overlooking the OH Pool, 21 spacious studio guest rooms, 40 pool-view guest rooms that overlook the OH Pool or OHasis Pool, four terrace suites with spacious balconies and two executive suites with bold design and wraparound balconies. 

The newer seven-story Tower, designed by Allen+Philp Partners Architects, features 50 sleek and sophisticated rooms and super-sized suites—all with modern amenities and private balconies with views of downtown Scottsdale or  iconic Camelback Mountain. The seriously spacious, smartly designed suites make living away from home easy (think full kitchen, large living room and washer/dryer, along with perks like twice daily housekeeping and luxury auto rentals). Live like a rockstar by booking the two-story  presidential loft suite, which is spectacular.

Add an additional touch of luxury to any room by booking the Bathtub Bottle Service ($100), which includes the choice of a Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé, Joel Gott Cabernet, Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay or Mumm Napa Brut, paired with chocolate-dipped strawberries. Enjoy them while soaking in the beautifully designed Philippe Starck bathtub, topped off with a LUSH technicolor bath bomb and tealight candles. Yes, this makes for a perfect night in.

Cool Perks

Guests of the hotel can take advantage of the STAY.ZEN Package ($40), which includes a variety of yoga classes on the in-room TV, a complimentary yoga mat, two water bottles and a six-month membership to The Yoga Collective with hundreds of online classes. Bonus perks: Access to VH Spa Lounges + Saunas with high-tech fitness center and movement studio, and men’s and women’s saunas, complete with chromotherapy. 

Dining and Drinking

Locals and guests alike are can be found indulging at the resort’s signature restaurant and lounge, ZuZu. Channeling the classic all-American restaurant of the 1950s with a modern take, seasonal American fare and craft cocktails are served up inside the dining room and lounge, as well as outside on the shaded patio. Summer 2019 brings a face-lift for ZuZu, including a reimagined midcentury modern-style interior complemented by fully  redesigned  menus from executive chef Russell LaCasce. When at Zuzu, pastry chef Lisa Graf’s mouthwatering milkshakes are not to be missed. Each month, a new “Show Stopper Shake”—loaded with toppings and homemade desserts piled on top—is featured. They are really something special and worth the splurge. 

Sun and Fun

Named by Travel + Leisure as one of only 15 of the World’s Coolest Pools, OH Pool Bar + Cabanas is the hot spot at Hotel Valley Ho. A full-service bar and kitchen, eight private cabanas, a fire  pit, water  feature and two hot tubs all add to its allure. Live entertainment on summer weekends only add to its already energetic vibe. Meanwhile, the OHasis Pool is ideal for leisurely laps and serene lounging amid two water features, towering palms and lush landscaping. With the soon-to-open 700-square-foot bookable VIP cabana, boasting custom furniture and daybed, a refrigerator with VIP amenities, ceiling fans, charging stations, a private safe, 65-inch TVs and a private hot tub, there will be no reason to leave.

Spa Time

Find your zen at the VH Spa for Vitality + Health, which features eight private treatment rooms, including one double treatment room; a 24-hour, high-tech fitness center with glass wall that opens onto the deck with a view overlooking the OH Pool; a spa deck for pre-treatment relaxation; and a movement studio offering yoga classes. New to the spa menu is the Ito shiatsu experience ($200), a 90-minute treatment featuring traditional Japanese acupressure, body work and stretching.

Do and See

Hotel Valley Ho is centrally located at the west end of historic Old Town Scottsdale, just blocks away from the neighborhood’s buzzy restaurants, shops, galleries and wine tasting rooms. The free Downtown Scottsdale Trolley makes getting around a breeze; it stops right at the end of the hotel’s main driveway. The trolley also goes to Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, a shopper’s paradise with all the major luxury brands, located about one mile north of the hotel. Complementary luggage and shopping bag check are offered at the Crystal Court concierge desk. There’s also a Scottsdale Tourist Information desk located in the Food Court, should you need additional area information while there. 

Get yourself glam at the nearby, locally owned Sparkle Bar, where friendly and talented makeup artists offer full-service makeup services  and lessons with zero pressure to buy products. Follow that with a blowout at one of the areas Drybar locations. 

The beloved Tiki Oasis event that’s held every summer in San Diego is scheduled to grace Arizona for the first time, April 12-14, 2019, with a unique Hotel Valley Ho twist. The island-lifestyle party in the middle of the desert will feature an artist marketplace, seminars, rooftop parties, cocktail dinners, dancing and invitation-only suite events. 

Meanwhile, the new Insider Mid-Century Tour of Scottsdale allows guests to get a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the Valley’s best architecture. Led by local expert Ace Bailey, the tour includes midcentury modern gems by Frank Lloyd Wright and other notable Valley architects. The highlight of the day is a tour of the Price House, the largest home Frank Lloyd Wright built in Arizona. Half-day ($700) and  full-day ($1,400) tours are available  by appointment, and both can accommodate groups of up to 10 people.

Foodies will want to head to the neighborhood farmers’ market at Hotel Valley Ho. The Chefs + Farmers Market Series, which debuted in 2018, takes place on select Saturdays in June and July, indoors at the hotel’s Sands venue. Guests can enjoy the best of the season with chef-crafted small plates and cocktail tastings from local chefs and purveyors. There’s also a full cash bar and live music, along with fresh produce, pies, scones and other homemade goodies from ZuZu. 6850 E. Main St., 480.376.2600,

Mountain Shadows 

Modernity in Paradise Valley

Recently rebuilt from the ground up, Mountain Shadows originally opened in 1959. Located just four miles from Downtown Scottsdale, Mountain Shadows immediately became an icon of the area prior to the 1961 incorporation of the town of Paradise Valley. After many successful years and then a decade of vacancy, the property was demolished in 2014. Westroc Hospitality and Woodbine Development then spearheaded the $100 million redevelopment of the site. The original golf course has been fully revamped by golf course architect Forrest Richardson. Known as The Short Course, it is Arizona’s only 18-hole, par-3 golf course. 

Mountain Shadows reopened its doors in April 2017, and the property was fully complete when the luxury wing with 42 resort condominiums and suites opened in March 2018. In total, Mountain Shadows features 183 guest rooms, a restaurant with an exhibition kitchen, two 75-foot pools connected by a modern waterfall feature, a high-tech fitness facility, a fully revamped short course with a golf grill and lounge, an art gallery, 37,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and dramatic views of Camelback Mountain and the surrounding desert. Part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, LVX Collection, Mountain Shadows just marked the completion of fully furnished luxury resort condominiums, which offer full access to the resort, its amenities and golf course. 


Mountain Shadows offers 183 modern rooms that ease guests into relaxation mode. Most feature floor-to-ceiling glass allowing the outside in and plenty of natural light. Private patios or balconies make for a perfect place in which to perch to take in the stunning desert scenery. Set within a midcentury modern and contemporary design are beds with plush bedding, custom furnishings and a cocktail cart with inspired recipes. The jaw-dropping Immerse rooms boast a freestanding bathtub looking out at Camelback Mountain. And the ultimate indulgence, the Presidential Suite, also faces Camelback Mountain.

Cool Perks

Complimentary Wi-Fi and Tesla Model X Courtesy Car to nearby spots are included with each stay. With a $35 nightly resort fee, plus tax, guests also receive valet parking, fitness classes, events and much more. Pets are welcome, and a complimentary pet amenity package is available upon request with pet bed, food and water bowls, bottled water, doggie bags and a pet gift.


Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Hearth ’61 is helmed by noteworthy executive chef Charles Wiley. Named for the year the town was incorporated and the hearth oven that imparts smoky flavor to many signature dishes, the restaurant impresses with its exhibition kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the scenic patio and pool. Seasonal ingredients are the stars of the creative American-centric menu. Dishes incorporate local and organic ingredients and flavors from Two Wash Ranch, McClendon’s Select, Duncan’s Trading Company, Sweet Republic and Niman Ranch, to name a handful. Each day, don’t miss the featured roast served from the hearth of the stone oven. And weekend brunch with a Bloody Mary is an absolute must. The bar and sunken living room lounge in which to enjoy drinks and bites are open all day and evening. Non-hotel guests are also welcome to dine here.

Sun, Fitness and Golf

The Citizens Club is the place to chill beside a  75-foot swimming pool. Cabanas come with a TV and plenty of space for lounging in both the sun or shade. Full bar and menu service is available, including organic fruit and vegetable juices from the juice bar. Fitness enthusiasts can select from an array of 60-minute classes, including aerial yoga, Pilates and TRX, or use state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment in the fitness center. Guided hikes of Camelback Mountain also are available. Golf lovers will enjoy hitting the The Short Course, which offers a fun and relatively quick play. It’s all new design is meant to challenge experienced golfers while also offering options for the novice. After a day on the links, stop by Rusty’s (aka the 19th hole) to relish your best shots and try to forget your worst. 5445 E. Lincoln Drive, 480.624.5400,