A hotel boom is happening in the Grand Canyon State with a slew of openings in recent months — from upscale retreats to funky retro motels. Some are brand-new properties while others have reopened after major renovations. Keep these new Arizona hotels in mind for your next trip to the U.S. Southwest.
1. Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel
Lodging at the adults-only Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel, which opened its doors in February, is simultaneously unusual and divine. Forty cube-shaped “Atriums” set on steel piers and constructed of matte-charcoal and rusted metal rise above the natural desert landscape adjacent to the Coconino National Forest.
I had a chance to visit the brand-new property on a hosted media visit in early spring and I thoroughly enjoyed the views of juniper and pine trees just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of my Forest Reflections Atrium. For the best views, book a Landscape Reflections Atrium facing the massive red-rock formations that make Sedona such a popular place to visit.
Each Atrium is a spacious 576 square feet and features a king-size bed, Japanese-style soaking tub, dual showerheads, and cozy seating. I took full advantage of all of the complimentary snacks and drinks in the Atrium’s wet bar, ranging from coconut water and fizzy iced tea to salty chips and sweet popcorn. Each Atrium also has its own rooftop terrace with daybeds for sunbathing or stargazing. Two Atriums are wheelchair-accessible and have a ground-level patio with lounge chairs and a firepit next to a creek, in addition to the rooftop deck that’s accessed via a spiral staircase.
Breakfast at the onsite restaurant Forty1 is included in the room rate. I also enjoyed an excellent dinner at Forty1, when the intimate open-air venue by day was transformed into a cozy candlelit space by night. Modern American fare is on the menu — which features vegetarian, meat, and seafood entrées.
The pond-shaped pool with a hot tub is a great place to relax after spending the day adventuring in nature. The property is located next to hiking trails that offer stellar views of the area’s rugged monoliths and mesas. If you go, don’t miss a sublime spa treatment at Ambiente’s Velvet Spa.
2. Egyptian Motor Hotel
Do not book a room at the Egyptian Motor Hotel in Phoenix if you take yourself too seriously. Also, this spot may not be for you if you’d be bothered by late-night concert music right outside your door. But if you’d welcome a blast from the past, are willing to wear earplugs if you’re an early-to-bed type, and appreciate irreverent, colorful, retro-modern motels, check out this historic spot just west of Phoenix’s downtown core.
The Egyptian Motor Hotel, part of the BW Signature Collection by Best Western, was originally built in 1956 and operated as a motel through the 1980s. It reopened in January with 48 totally renovated and reimagined guest rooms (plus one bookable Airstream) featuring throwback decor — from formica-topped metal tables to groovy sphere-shaped chairs to red Playmate coolers that function as ice buckets. Each room also has Southwest-style fleece ponchos that guests can use on cool nights when they’re outside at the 250-seat cocktail bar and entertainment venue, Egyptian Live.
This upbeat area not only regularly hosts live music, comedians, and drag shows, but has fun communal games like cornhole, foosball, and Jenga. Book a second-floor room if you want a bird’s eye view of all the action. If you need easy accessibility, book a first-floor room; there are no elevators here.
Another hot tip: Absolutely make reservations at the onsite restaurant, Chilte. You don’t want to miss a meal at this busy spot beloved for its “new-wave Mexican” meals. On my visit, I couldn’t get enough of the chorizo bolognese with locally produced pineapple pasta, pineapple jam, spicy chorizo, and a hunk of some of the best burrata I’ve ever eaten. By day, this restaurant is a café serving local coffee and pastries. If the lavender homemade pop tarts are available, buy one — or two!
3. Hilton North Scottsdale At Cavasson
The six-story, 237-room Hilton North Scottsdale at Cavasson opened at the beginning of 2023, welcoming both business and leisure travelers to the mixed-use development about 15 miles north of downtown Scottsdale. The full-service property has resort-style amenities, including a pool surrounded by lounge chairs and palm trees, as well as a fitness center and coffee shop.
I didn’t stay here on my recent jaunt to Arizona, but past guests rave about the views of the stunning McDowell Mountains, and they appreciated sitting around community firepits, praising helpful staff that offered blankets on a cool night. Past visitors also recommend making time for a meal at the hotel’s Desert Pony Tavern, a Southwest-inspired gastropub with indoor and outdoor seating.
4. Omni Tucson National Resort
The 130-room Omni Tucson National Resort recently debuted its multi-month, multi-million-dollar transformation that included a total overhaul of the lobby and guest rooms. The Deluxe and Premium rooms now have a bright and modern southwestern residential feel. Folks looking for more space and privacy can book the redesigned Casitas and Hacienda Suites with their own secluded patios offering views of the adjacent golf course.
The Mokara Spa is brand new as well. It is a 9,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility with 12 treatment rooms. Services and amenities include a sauna, Vichy shower room, and fitness center. Meanwhile, new food and beverage venues include The Peak, a lounge with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the pool; Terra Cotta Cafe, a casual coffee market; Desert Farmer, which welcomes guests for breakfast with its modern southwestern vibe; and Legends Bar & Grill, featuring memorabilia that pays homage to the great game of golf.
5. Mii Amo
Sedona’s beloved destination spa, Mii amo, closed for 2 years to undergo a $40 million renovation. It reopened in February with a full renovation of the existing 16 Casita guest rooms and suites. Plus, three new Casita buildings have been added offering seven new accommodations, for a total of 23 renovated rooms. All accommodations include fireplaces, private outdoor spaces, and heated bathroom floors arranged within a quiet courtyard compound. The new suites include their own private patios with fireplaces and outdoor seating, and most offer soaking tubs with views of Sedona’s Boynton Canyon.
The property, which originally opened in 2001, has also introduced a sensory garden, a signature restaurant called Hummingbird, a two-story movement and fitness studio, and a reflexology path. Mii amo guests can sign up for a “Journey,” which refers to the multi-day visitor experience that includes accommodations, meals, daily treatments, access to all facilities, and more than 50 weekly activities such as hikes, fitness classes, lectures, and workshops. The luxury spa resort offers a new minimum treatment length of 75 minutes as well as Journeys for three, four, seven, and now 10 nights.
Still More New Arizona Hotels
The Eddy Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton opened in Tucson this March, and The Leo Kent Hotel, Tucson, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel is now scheduled to open in May. Read about them in this article I wrote last year: 11 New U.S. Hotels Opening In 2023 You’ll Want To Book Now.
I love what’s coming to Route 66 in Flagstaff: a funky and fun remodel of the Americana Motor Hotel. Originally built in 1962 and set to reopen in late spring, this “retro-futuristic” lodge will have 89 brightly decorated rooms inspired by a nostalgic era.
A much-anticipated Arizona hotel opening is The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley, The Palmeraie, scheduled to debut in the fall of 2023. This upscale resort on 20 acres in Scottsdale will feature lushly landscaped grounds, oxygen-enriched guest rooms, and a 400-foot swimming pool.
For more on places to stay in Arizona, consider these articles: