Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe Hotels

The Valley of the Sun now offers locals and visitors some of the country's best choices when it comes to funky, high-fashion accommodations. Developers and hoteliers have taken advantage of the Valley's wide-open spaces to introduce super-size, luxury resorts like the Westin Kierland and the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, offering everything from their own golf courses and water parks to four-star

restaurants and shopping villages. Places like the retro-hip Hotel Valley Ho and the sleek, mountainside Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain have brought Arizona to the forefront of luxury-hotel style. Regal resorts like The Phoenician, the Four Seasons, the romantic Royal Palms Resort, and the Moroccan-inspired Omni Scottsdale keep lodging grounded in traditional, unsurpassed elegance, while plenty of boutique and business hotels keep it grounded in price.

Downtown Phoenix properties tend to be business hotels, close to the heart of the city and the convention centers—and often closer to the average vacationer's budget. Many properties here cater to corporate travelers during the week, but the lively weekend events downtown are more than enough to entice leisure travelers. With more than 60,000 hotel rooms in the metro area, you can take your pick of anything from a luxurious resort to a guest ranch to an extended-stay hotel. For a true Western experience, guest-ranch territory is 70 miles northwest in the town of Wickenburg.

Many people flee snow and ice to bask in the warmth of the Valley, so winter is high season, peaking from January through March. Summer season—mid-May through the end of September—is giveaway time, when a night at a resort often goes for half the winter price, but be forewarned: in the height of summer it can be too hot to do anything outside your air-conditioned room.

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