Saguaro cacti dot the landscape, as do towering and awe-inspiring mountains. The Arizona air seems a bit clearer, the sun a bit brighter, and you can almost hear the state humming as new meeting facilities and hotels come on the scene.
The most popular meeting and incentive destinations in the state include the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson areas. Home to 21 Native American tribes, the Grand Canyon, and the Colorado River, Arizona contains a slew of memorable activities.
A group doesn't have to venture far for a taste of Native American culture. Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale has a cultural center in its hotel lobby showcasing Native American pottery and a talking stick from which the property gets its name.
When it comes to lodging, Arizona has a multitude of different lodges, hotels, and inns -- many of which are in the midst of upgrades. The Hermosa Inn, a boutique property nestled in the heart of Paradise Valley and just minutes from Scottsdale, recently completed the second phase of a $5.5 million renovation and expansion.
Situated on six acres of Sonoran Desert landscape with panoramic mountain views, the project included the addition of 10 deluxe hideaway casitas, the complete renovation of 12 historic rancho casitas, increasing the hotel's number of hacienda-style accommodations and casitas to 43, and an expansion of LON's Last Drop bar and patio.
In other hotel news, the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, also in Paradise Valley, completed its multiyear enhancement project with the unveiling of the $2 million renovation of its 12 Spa Casitas and 12 Spa Suites. The refresh follows other renovations to the property that began in October 2015, including the redesign of the resort's Mountain Casitas and the introduction of the Camelback Casitas and Camelback Suites.
The 204-room Firesky Resort & Spa, in Scottsdale is being renamed The Scott Resort & Spa and will undergo a $15 million enhancement of all guest rooms, suites, and public spaces, including the resort's 14,000 square feet of meeting space, two pools, lobby bar, and restaurant.
FOUND:RE is a new 105-room lifestyle hotel in Phoenix inspired by contemporary art, culture, fashion, and music. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails, and 8,185 square feet of meeting space.
Mountain Shadows is a new $100 million boutique resort opening in Paradise Valley this month. With 12,500 square feet of indoor space and 25,000 square feet of scenic outdoor space, Mountain Shadows accommodates events for up to 500 people. Completely rebuilt from the ground up, Mountain Shadows has 183 guest rooms, including a presidential suite facing Camelback Mountain, a full-service restaurant, two pools, a juice bar, and an 18-hole golf course and lounge.
The 194-room Saguaro Scottsdale recently unveiled over 12,000 square feet of fresh indoor and outdoor event space and extensively renovated rooms.
The Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Phoenix, recently completed $35 million in renovations that include a new lobby design, as well as significant redesign to the majority of its 740 rooms and its more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa opened in December 2016 in Paradise Valley with 201 bungalow-style guest rooms and suites, and more than 46,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor meeting and event space.
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This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Successful Meetings.