of downtown and the valley,” she said. “You
can buy the whole place out for up to 400
people or do smaller groups in the dining
rooms. It’s a homerun every time.”
Starlit skies and valley views can also be
had at Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s
former home and architecture school on the
outskirts of Scottsdale. Along with night tours
of the property, the site is available for ele-
gant receptions and dinners that can include
an astronomer to interpret the night skies.
“It’s elevated and far enough removed
from the city that you can really enjoy the
night skies and desert views,” Dunaway
said. “You can arrange for a docent—
sometimes even one who knew Wright personally—to give a private tour of the property.
You can also bring in Native American
hoop dancers and artisans.”
Just outside of Mesa, the 142-passenger
Dolly Steamboat is a floating venue that
can be chartered for dinner cruises on Can-
yon Lake with sunset views of the Super-
stition Mountains. The cruises can include
astronomer and radio host Steve Kates,
also known as Dr. Sky, who interprets the
constellations in the desert skies.
Stargazing evenings in combination
with Hopi storytelling are part of the many
events available at the Wigwam Resort in
Litchfield Park, which recently added new
outdoor spaces to its over 100,000 square
feet of function space. The new spaces
range from intimate gardens to an events
lawn accommodating up to 1,000 people.
The glow of Sedona’s famous red-rock for-
mations at sunset are among the attractions
of the Agave of Sedona, a versatile event
venue in the heart of town. Its Montage
Ballroom, which accommodates up to 180
guests, offers floor-to-ceiling windows and
an adjoining terrace overlooking Steamboat
Rock, Wilson Mountain, Merry Go Round
Rock and other natural landmarks.
Another prime red-rock view spot
is 89Agave, a restaurant serving Mexi-
can-style Sonoran cuisine and specialty
margaritas in Uptown Sedona. Accom-
modating up to 172 people in a restaurant
buyout, 89Agave also offers several private
dining rooms and outdoor patios seating
from 40 to 60 guests. Mixology classes, te-
quila tastings and tequila food pairings are
among the customized options for groups.
With the Sonoran Desert as a blank canvas,
Desert Foothills and La Puesta del Sol, two
large indoor/outdoor event sites located
on the outskirts of Scottsdale, are perennial
favorites for groups seeking a true Arizona
experience, according to Dunaway.
“Both of these places are what visitors expect Scottsdale to look like—they evoke the
Old West and offer so much versatility,” she
said. “You can have a dressed-up event with
a high-end rustic feel or a Western cookout
with checked tablecloths and country line-dancing and cowboy games.”
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➜ Royal Palms Resort and Spa (www.
royalpalmshotel.com) is set to complete
a renovation this fall of all 119 guest
rooms as well as its indoor and outdoor
➜ FOUND:RE Phoenix ( www.foundreho
tels.com) opened in downtown Phoenix
in October. The 105-room art-themed
boutique hotel features a collection of
contemporary art throughout the property, a restaurant serving cuisine inspired
by global street food and several event
spaces, including a rooftop pool deck.
➜ The former Ritz-Carlton Phoenix
reopened as The Camby Hotel (www.
thecamby.com) following a major renovation. The 277-room resort property,
which is part of Marriott’s Autograph
Collection, offers four restaurants, a
full-service spa and 23,000 square
feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and
➜ The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
( www.tapatiocliffshilton.com) completed
a renovation that included the redesign
of 544 guest suites.
➜ Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa (https://
with 201 bungalow-style guest rooms, a
full-service spa and over 20,000 square
feet of meeting space.
➜ The Scottsdale Plaza Resort (www.
scottsdaleplaza.com) completed extensive renovations to its public spaces,
including the conversion of Remington’s
restaurant to a special events venue
called Camelback Vista.
➜ The former Marriott Mountain Shadows
Resort reopened earlier this year as
Mountain Shadows ( www.mountainshad
ows.com). The completely rebuilt proper-
ty features 183 guest rooms, restaurants
and 37,500 square feet of indoor and
outdoor meeting and event space. Work
also included the redesign of the adja-
cent Mountain Shadows golf club.
➜ The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley (www.
ritzcarlton.com) is under construction
and expected to open by the end of
2018. The 200-room property will
offer such amenities as 20,000 square
feet of event space, the longest pool in
North America, a garden with a citrus
orchard and a full-service spa with
indoor and outdoor treatment areas.
➜ The Saguaro Scottsdale (http://the
saguaro.com/scottsdale), a 194-room
hotel in Old Town, debuted the Agave
Complex, which offers 7,649 square
feet of indoor and outdoor meeting
space that includes wraparound terraces, fireplaces and a fire pit. The hotel
also completed a guest room renovation.
➜ The Hermosa Inn (www.hermosainn.
com) completed a guest room renovation and expansion that includes the
addition of 10 new deluxe casitas.
➜ The AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe/Downtown
( www.marriott.com) opened at Hayden
Ferry Lakeside, a mixed-use retail,
restaurant and office complex. The hotel
features 1,000 square feet of meeting
space, a rooftop pool deck and a fitness
➜ A dual-branded property consisting of
a Hilton Garden Inn and Home2Suites
by Hilton ( www3.hilton.com) is set for
completion by the end of the year.