The Saguaro Scottsdale hotel is a desert mirage of neon-bright rooms, a playful pool area, and eyecatching artwork. Aptly named after Arizona’s state wildflower, the hotel is blooming marvellous, with a desert-inspired spa, buzzy diner, and Mexican furnishings from across the border. The hotel has two palm-ringed pools, with banks of cushioned loungers from which to soak in the sun; bikini-clad guests float on blow-up flamingos, play with giant bouncing balls, or party the night away at one of the monthly swim-meets. After a night of tequila tastings and dancing to live DJ sets, treat yourself to a massage or one of the hotel's seasonal packages at the spa. Then refuel for the next evening with a dinner of ceviche, chicken tinga-topped nachos and pork carnitas.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 4pm: both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £96.21 ($124), including tax at 14.02 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $33.07 per room per night on check-out.
Rates usually exclude the hotel's American or Continental breakfast. The menu has plentiful options, with eggs any-way, banana pancakes, French toast, Belgian waffles, salmon bagels and smoked Applewood bacon (dishes from $3).
The hotel hosts events all week long. Try paddle-boarding at sunset, join a weekend swim-meet party, and feast on tacos and tequila every Tuesday night.
At the hotel
A state-of-the-art gym and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: 42” HD TV, radio, iPod dock, minibar, black-out curtains, and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Our favourite rooms
Party people should stay in one of the Pool-View Rooms, where they can check out the scene from a private balcony.
Two heated outdoor pools – you can guess the atmosphere of each from the name: Picante is livelier, with paddle-board yoga at sundown every Thursday ($45 a person), and live DJ sets and entertainment on weekends. For more sedate sun worship, settle into a cabana beside palm-lined Calma, which has a quirky little waterfall tumbling into it.
Visit the three-room Saguaro Spa for seasonal treatment packages, and wraps, facials and massages which use desert ingredients: sage, juniper, prickly pear and aloe. The beautiful lounge area is decorated with traditional Mexican folk art and serapes.
There are no bland earth tones here: bring your brightest colours to match the interiors. Pack plenty of reading material for your pool time.
The hotel has lifts and ramps, so all areas are wheelchair-accessible, as are the Signature King and City-View Suite Double rooms. Roll-away beds ($25 a night) can be added to all rooms with king-size beds and all suites.
Kids of all ages are welcome, though frequent pool parties mean the hotel's better suited to older kids. A baby cot (free) can be added to all rooms. There are inflatables at both pools, and the shallower Calma is more child-friendly.
There’s plenty of patio seating, though it can get very hot in the day, so save your alfresco meal for the evening when the outdoors is aglow with twinkling lights. Sit by the hotel's hot-pink fireplace on a cooler night.
Cool and casual at lunch, then dapper desert chic at dinner.
Like the rest of the hotel, Saguaro's easy-going La Señora restaurant combines old Arizonan charm with pops of contemporary cool. Brightly coloured alcoves break up the rustically wood-panelled walls and cacti stand in hot-pink, terracotta plant pots along communal wooden tables. Take a seat in one of the leather tub-chairs, and peruse the menu at your own speed – no need to rush a good thing. Take your pick of shishito peppers, melty queso fundido, pork carnitas and cactus quesadillas. The restaurant hosts weekday happy hours (3-6pm) and Taco Tuesdays (6-9pm).
There's no separate bar, but the Saguaro Restaurant has wines from around the world, a serious cocktail menu and an impressive tequila list – don't miss the weekly tasting every Tuesday. The day's specials are listed on a cinema-style board above the bar; the blood-orange-infused Margarita Roja and spicy ginger Mezcal Mule are always a good choice.
The Saguaro Restaurant is open from 7am until 10pm, daily. Dine by the pool from 11am to 6pm. The Vault Coffee and Juice bar is open for drinks from 6.30am to 4pm.
The full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are available from 6.30am until 10pm in low season and till 11pm in high season.
The Saguaro Scottsdale is located just outside of the desert city's Old Town.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is about a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Airlines fly here direct from London, or guests can catch a connecting flight at LAX, a journey of 90 minutes. Call our Smith24 team to arrange flights and private transfers to the hotel (US$45 each way).
You can easily walk around Scottsdale, but if you want to venture any further afield a hiring a car is advisable. Our Smith24 team can arrange a set of wheels for you to pick up at the airport. There's free parking at the hotel.
The Scottsdale Trolley is free and stops at many points of interest around the city, including Old Town, the Main Street Arts District and the waterfront. It picks up at the intersection next to the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
After a night of partying to live music at a vivacious swim-meet in and around the Picante pool, treat yourself to a prickly-pear sugar scrub at the spa and some relaxing paddle-board yoga at sunset. Head out to experience the wild, western charm of Scottsdale. Hit Old Town to pick up authentic cowboy boots from Saba’s. On Saturday mornings, the neighbourhood hosts a farmers’ market with fresh produce, local cider and flowers bright enough to match Saguaro's decor. Head for Main Street in the Arts District to see fantastic contemporary collections at the galleries; or join one of the hotel's ArtWalks for a guided tour of local galleries – if you don't fancy pavement-pounding, there's free transport by trolley and horse-drawn carriage. SMOCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art) is right next door to the hotel and has an ever-evolving collection and immersive exhibitions. For more traditional paintings and scultpures, head to American Fine Art Editions, which is famous for its collection of Norman Rockwells, and Modern American which has works by Picasso, Dali, Miró and Warhol – to name but a few.
Food takes centre stage at Bandera with its central kitchen. You'll catch the scent of their Carolina-style barbecued ribs and their heavily-seasoned chicken, cooked on a wood-fired rotisserie, from down the street. Half a mile from Saguaro, the 40-seat FnBon East Stetson Drive serves farm-centric food, such as braised leeks with fried egg, and pours exclusively Arizonan wines. If the weather's good, head to Carlsbad Tavern and sit outside sipping margaritas and dining on hearty portions of southwestern food, including chilli-simmered pork and an extra-spicy habanero burger.
A few blocks from the hotel, Arcadia Farms started as a gourmet market and is now a local favourite for breakfast and lunch. Expect vegetable-packed crêpes, leafy salads, sandwiches and fantastic pastries. Since the late 1950s, Sugar Bowl has dished out house-made ice cream, elaborate sundaes and cooling sodas. The retro menu also includes sandwiches, soups and side servings of jello or cottage-cheese. Automobile fans can't miss Four Till Four, which combines a love of coffee, cars and adventure in a small intimate spot.
Want proof of Rusty Spur Saloon’s cowboy cred? John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are among the western heroes who’ve sidled up to Scottsdale’s oldest bar. These days, the saloon hosts country music and serves spicy wings. Sip wines from unexpected places at Kazimierz World Wine Bar, where the 2,000-bottle-strong list includes Lebanese blends, Arizonan dessert wine and sparkling wine from Brazil. Pair your picks with fondue or flatbreads. Call into gastropub Citizen Public Housefor acraft beers or cocktails, before heading to their restaurant for some delicious upscale comfort food, such as chicken and waffles, pork-belly pastrami, a grilled cheese made with halloumi, and meatloaf punched up with amaro liqueur.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this bright and bold boutique hotel in Arizona and unpacked their cacti and cowboy boots, a full account of their wild western break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Saguaro in Scottsdale…
Bold and beautiful, the Saguaro Scottsdale hotel is a pop-art paradise with a large pinch California-cool. This is a hotel that’s totally in touch with its surroundings, right down to its name: Saguaro, the desert cactus.The riot of primary colours is inspired by the hues of desert flowers and tempered by flourishes of Mexicana. On weekends, the lively Picante pool hosts DJs, water dancers and parties; those who want in on the action can rent a bright yellow cabana, or stake out a sunbed. Across the way, the Calma pool has perfectly placed palms to create a quiet, shaded swimming spot, where the only noise is a babbling waterfall that pours out of a pink and orange aquaduct. The bright spots aren’t contained to the grounds: in the rooms, beds are decorated with popping-patterned pillows blankets and walls adorned with brightly-coloured photographs. The action doesn't stop poolside, head to the restaurant for tequila and tacos on Tuesdays and wine-tasting Wednesdays, and explore the local area on an art tour or a hotel-trip to the Scottsdale Centre of Performing Arts - after happy hour at the bar of course. Wherever it takes you, the Saguaro Scottsdale knows how to stand out.