Experience the Best of Phoenix at Royal Palms Resort and Spa: A Mediterranean Oasis in the Desert

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David Z. Xiah

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Experience the Best of Phoenix at Royal Palms Resort and Spa: A Mediterranean Oasis in the Desert
Curator’s statement

If you are looking for a luxury resort in Phoenix, Arizona, that offers more than just a place to stay, you will love Royal Palms Resort and Spa. This resort is a destination in itself, with a rich history, stunning setting and world-class service. I had the pleasure of staying there with my mom to celebrate my acceptance into medical school, and it was one of the best trips of my life. Here are some of the reasons why I love this resort and why I think you will too.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay

Royal Palms Resort and Spa

This upgraded historic Spanish villa serves as the perfect enclave from the Arizona desert, boasting proximity to city comforts and sweeping views of nature.

Fora Perks
  • $100 resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out based upon availability at check-in.

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I chose this resort because I wanted to make the best memories for both me and my mom, who has been my biggest supporter over the years. I was impressed by the beautiful pictures on the website, but I was even more amazed when I arrived at the resort. It felt like stepping into a Mediterranean oasis in the desert, with lush gardens, elegant architecture and cozy bonfires.

Location and Features

Royal Palms Resort and Spa is located in the heart of Paradise Valley, surrounded by the majestic Camelback Mountain and the Sonoran Desert. It is only 15 minutes away from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and the downtown area, making it convenient for travelers who want to explore the city and its attractions. The resort has 119 rooms and suites, each with its own unique style and charm. It also has a heated outdoor pool, a fitness center, a spa, a restaurant, a bar and a gift shop. The resort is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and the Hyatt family, offering a unique blend of charm and luxury.

History and Architecture

The resort has a long and fascinating history, dating back to 1929, when it was built as a private mansion for a wealthy couple. Over the years, it has hosted celebrities, dignitaries and even a former president. Today, it preserves its original Mediterranean style that originated in the 1920s, drawing inspiration from various countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The resort features low-pitched, red clay roof tiles, which are typical of Spanish homes; arched doorways, which are influenced by Italian Renaissance and Moroccan styles; and stucco walls that contrast with the red roofs and the green gardens. The wrought-iron balconies and window grilles add a touch of elegance and sophistication.

The resort is not massive, but it has a lot of character and surprises. As I walked around the property, I felt like I was exploring a beautiful maze, with so many turns and hidden corners. There were small fountains, lawns and bonfires throughout the property, creating a romantic and relaxing atmosphere. At night, when the lights were on, the resort transformed into a magical place, with a serene and enchanting vibe. The resort blends perfectly with the nature of Paradise Valley, offering a unique and memorable stay.

Gardening and landscaping

Another thing that I admired about the resort was its gardening and landscaping, which was a feast for the eyes and the nose. There were so many flowers at the entrance and around the property, in vibrant colors and fragrant scents. The gardens and landscaping complemented the architecture of the resort and enhanced its beauty. I was worried that the pictures on the website were too good to be true, but the resort exceeded my expectations and made me feel like I was in a fairy tale.

Room

I was lucky enough to be upgraded to a Camelback View Spa Suite, which was spacious and luxurious. The suite had an in-room spa and a remote-controlled fireplace, which made it perfect for a couple’s getaway (I was with my mom, so I slept in the sofa bed). It was very romantic and cozy, with a king-sized bed, a plush sofa and a large bathroom. The suite also had a private patio, where I could enjoy the stunning view of the Camelback Mountain and the resort’s gardens. The suite had everything a traveler needs, from a mini-fridge and a coffee maker to a flat-screen TV and a safe. The front desk was very responsive and helpful. When I asked for an extra set of bedding, they delivered it to my room in under 10 minutes.

Spa

I was given a $200 spa credit to use, so I decided to treat myself to a massage and some other amenities. The Alvadora Spa was located next to the pool, not too far from my suite. It had a gift shop at its entrance, where I bought a swimming trunk, as I had forgotten to bring mine. The gift shop also had a variety of spa products, such as candles, oils, and lotions, that I could purchase and take home. The massage service was great, and the therapist was very professional and attentive. After the massage, I enjoyed the hot tub, the sauna, and the steam room, which were all very relaxing and soothing. There was also a small and quiet lounge with snacks and drinks, where I could take a break and unwind.

Food

I had all my meals at the resort’s T. Cooks, thanks to the hotel credit and the convenience. The food was delicious, fine dining style with amazing presentation. The restaurant’s menu featured seasonal and local ingredients, such as Arizona beef, citrus, and herbs. The dishes were inspired by Mediterranean and American cuisines, with a creative and flavorful twist. Some of the dishes that I tried and loved were the grilled octopus, the lamb chops, and the lemon tart. The restaurant’s décor also had a nice ambiance to it, with warm colors, wood accents, and cozy fireplaces. As an amateur chef, I was curious about some of the culinary techniques and ingredients used for the dishes, especially the microgreens. The servers were very patient and knowledgeable, and they answered all my questions. They even went to the kitchen to ask the chefs for more information. My mom and I were very pleased with the quality of the food and the service at the restaurant.

Service

The service at the resort was impeccable. The front desk upgraded me to a premium suite, even though I was not a Hyatt Globalist. They also gave me a welcome drink and a personalized note. After checking in, the staff took my luggage and escorted me all the way to my room. Along the way, they also introduced me to the property and its history. They were very friendly and informative, and they made me feel at home. All my requests were handled in a timely and courteous manner, and they never said no to anything. They always greeted me with a smile and asked me how I was doing. Even after I checked out, I received emails from the manager and the owner of the resort, thanking me for my stay and inviting me to come back. I felt like a VIP at the resort, and I have never been treated better anywhere else.

Need to Know

Royal Palms Resort and Spa is my all-time favorite hotel, and I would recommend it to anyone who travels to Phoenix. It is a hotel that is worth its own trip, as it offers so much more than just a place to sleep. It is a place where you can experience the best of Phoenix, with a Mediterranean flair and a desert charm. It is a place where you can create unforgettable memories with your loved ones and enjoy the finest service and amenities. I look forward to visiting it again, and I hope that you can enjoy the magical experience that I had there. Go check it out, and you won’t regret it!

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Phoenix. In need of further inspiration? Check out Allen Bartimioli’s guide, Phoenix, AZ: Not What You May Think.

David Xiah in a striped shirt

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David Z. Xiah

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