JW Marriott at Camelback Inn Resort & Spa first gained fame as hangout for legendary movie stars Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart and Bette Davis. A mere $75,000 to build in the mid-1930s, the original hotel accommodated 75 guests, many wealthy travelers coming in from the East Coast and Midwest. J.W. Marriott, founder of the Marriott corporation, shared Hollywood’s love of cowboy culture, making the Camelback his first resort in 1967 and the first luxury resort in Scottsdale.
Today’s 453-room Camelback Inn Resort & Spa clings firm to its heyday and local roots, with Pueblo-style casitas, private swimming pools, two 18-hole golf course and a 32,000 sf spa. Guests still ride horses, bike and hike through surrounding Paradise Valley, with the added perks of free WiFi and numerous amenities.
The property’s indoor/outdoor meeting space totals more than 60,000 sf, including 20 meeting rooms, the largest being the Arizona Ballroom which accommodates up to 2,100 guests.
A popular draw for groups of 100 or more, the 1,000-pax Mummy Mountain Cookout includes an outdoor reception, buffet and authentic cowboy-style barbecue. Long picnic tables topped with red-checkered tablecloths and country music corral groups together under a canopy of stars. Decorations come courtesy of the 125-acre, cactus-studded Sonoran Desert oasis and mountain scenery, which locals say appears hand-painted in the moonlight.
The Spa at Camelback Inn is consistently ranked among the best in the West, offering 32,000 sf of tranquil space for pampering, quiet and relaxation. The spa’s heated outdoor lap pool is flanked by private cabanas, while state-of-the-art fitness facilities. A full-service salon makes for a popular draw during down time.