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 Montelucia 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 the 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 lower their rates on weekends to entice leisure travelers, so ask about weekend specials when making reservations. 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 the 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.
Don't be surprised if you see a "Resort Fee" on your checkout statement. Most Valley hotels charge these fees, which range from $20 to $30 and cover such amenities as parking, in-room Wi-Fi, daily newspapers, in-room coffee/tea, fitness centers, pools, and more. Ask your hotel for a complete description of what the resort fee covers.
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