A Weekend of Romance in Scottsdale

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Curated By

A'Rielle Thomas

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  • Domestic Travel

  • USA

  • Arizona

  • Scottsdale

  • Couples Travel

  • Mountains

  • Relaxation

  • Romantic

Paradise Valley, Arizona at sunset.
Curator’s statement

Whenever my husband and I need a quick recharge from the cold and grey of the Midwest, we head for the clear desert skies of Arizona. Scottsdale is a fantastic destination to disconnect from technology and reconnect with your partner in a natural setting. With opportunities for hiking, star-gazing and admiring the local desert fauna, it's easy to forget that the city of Phoenix is just 15 minutes away. The inconspicuous stucco exteriors of Scottsdale's resorts conceal relaxing retreats, mountain views and dreamy pools for the ultimate romantic weekend.

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Where to stay

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale

Chic high-end resort surrounded by desert hills with modern rooms and a trendy restaurant.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows

Modern luxury in Scottsdale with contemporary bungalows and suites in the shadows of Camelback Mountain.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney's Resort & Spa

Luxury property in Scottsdale set on 53 acres of desert with manicured grounds, pools and award-winning facilities.

Fora Perks
  • $125 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting A'Rielle to book your trip.

Day 1: Arrival & Old Town Scottsdale

A view of Camelback Mountain and a golf course in Scottsdale.

Land in Phoenix on early Thursday afternoon and head straight to your luxurious mountain-view resort in Scottsdale. While there are many hotels and homes to rent in the Scottsdale area, the resorts in Paradise Valley stand out for their seemingly endless amenities and on-property experiences. Most properties have award-winning spas, complimentary classes like yoga and pilates, butler services and outdoor sports courts and courses.

We love the Mountain Shadows Resort because it’s just the right amount of luxury without feeling pretentious. Everyone’s here to unwind and have a good time. This vibrant mid-century modern resort is quiet during the day, but the restaurant and living room come alive in the evening. My favorite amenities include the sunset champagne sabering, the on-site sound healer (life-changing,) BYO-cocktails in the mini-bar and the bath butler.

Once you check-in, cool off pronto with a drink on the patio of your expertly-designed digs with a pool-side or Camelback Mountain view for the weekend.

Tonight, head to Old Town Scottsdale for dinner at Diego Pops, a lively Mexican cantina with amazing margaritas and brussel sprout nachos (trust me on this!) Walk off those tortillas and see some art on the Scottsdale ArtWalk! This weekly event is held from 7PM to 9PM and features local artists, galleries and public installations along Main Street.

Day 2: Hiking & Relaxation

A desert landscape with cacti and mountains in Arizona.

I know you’re supposed to sleep in on vacation, but you don’t want to miss an Arizona sunrise. Watch from your balcony or drive a few miles to Hole-in-the-Rock, a short hiking ascent in Papago Park which offers an amazing view of Phoenix.

After a little physical activity, it's time for some serious R and R! Start with a well-balanced breakfast at Hearth ’61, which serves up organic eggs and fresh-squeezed, pressed and blended juices.

For relaxation, head down to the resort spa for a couples' massage. If you’re willing to explore beyond the hotel, check out the Inspire Day Spa and book their Romance by The Lake package, which includes couples' massages in a private suite with lake-front terrace, champagne and light bites.

After loosening up those muscles, grab a lounger or reserve a shaded cabana by the resort pool.

You'll finally put on some real clothes for dinner tonight! You’re in for a treat at Maple and Ash, known for their hot and cold seafood towers, wine pairings and their famous ricotta agnolotti (rightfully nicknamed pillows of love.)

Day 3: Brunchin' & Exploring

The bar at The Scott in Scottsdale.

On Saturday’s we brunch! Hash Kitchen brings it with a Build-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary bar, glittery cocktails and a pumping DJ! After building charcuterie in a glass, have your pick from a vast selection of pancakes, hashes, frittatas and more.

Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring some sites:

Taliesin West: For the architecture aficionados, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home (now National Landmark) was purposely built to blend in with its mountain surroundings.

Desert Botanical Garden: Enjoy the true beauty of the desert across 140 acres with over 50,000 plants and 4,000 different species.

Historic Old Town: If you’re looking for the wild, wild, west, you’ll find it here! Western-wear boutiques, saloons and live music transport you back to the 1800s, but in a fun way.

Scottsdale Fashion Square: Shop til you drop with all the luxury fashion brands from Balenciaga to Versace!

Cosanti Originals: Known for their gorgeous bronze wind bells made by local artisans in Arizona, you can tour their facilities and watch their weekly bronze pour.

Scottsdale Wine Trail: Try one (or all) of the seven wineries within walking distance of downtown. Get the passport and enjoy $2.00 off your tastings at each location.

Finish with dinner at The Canal Club at the Scott Resort. This Cuban-inspired restaurant has amazing tostones, guacho steak and ceviches. Bonus: After dinner, grab a martini from the bar and/or cigars from the humidor to enjoy on the patio.

Day 4: Sedona

A woman standing on a red rock formation in Sedona, Arizona.

For your last full day, take a 2-hour road trip to the magical little town of Sedona, with so much nature to see and do.


There are so many trails for all levels, and they all offer amazing views of the buttes.

Rock Crawl

If you’re not a hiker, but still want the views, the Pink Jeep Tour is a must! Their Jeeps are able to climb the rock formations (so you don't have to) and get you up close and personal with the buttes and mountain rocks.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

This small chapel is an architectural wonder built right into the side of the mountain rock.

On the way back to Scottsdale, take the scenic route through Jerome, a former mining town at the top of a mountain and have a delicious lunch or dinner at the Jerome Grand Hotel.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide The Solo Traveler's Guide to Italy: Sorrento, Rome & Venice.

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Travel Advisor

A'Rielle Thomas

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