Mountain Shadows Resort is Back, and Better than Ever
Author: Lynette Carrington
Mountain Shadows Resort is Back, and Better than Ever
Refined, Classic Chic Infuses Iconic Resort at Every Turn
If you’ve lived in the Valley for 20 years or more, you undoubtedly remember the classic Mountain Shadows Resort nestled beneath Camelback Mountain. The then-swanky resort boasted all the biggest names in Arizona social circles, celebrities, golf enthusiasts and conventions.
A few years ago, the original resort was torn down and rebuilt from the ground up, revealing that truly, everything old is new again. In the case of Mountain Shadows Resort, the entire property oozes the cool and vibrant chic that it always had, with a new outlook, a fabulous restaurant and architecture and design that will impress.
Scottsdale.com recently had the opportunity to stay at the new Mountain Shadows and we loved the quiet ambiance, the laid-back style and the visual appeal that permeate the resort. One of the most visually memorable items from the former Mountain Shadows was the large wall panels of concrete circles. Some of the circle wall panels were saved and have now been strategically placed throughout the resort property, offering both a sense of nostalgia and whimsy.
Mountain Shadows Resort was the first resort open in Paradise Valley. In fact, it opened in 1959, a few years before the Town of Paradise Valley was officially incorporated. It sets against
prestigious Camelback Mountain, providing exceptional views at the resort, and boasting views of Mummy Mountain from the north side of the property.
As we entered the resort through the resort’s main entrance, we were greeted with a sleek tiled entryway and views of the majestic Camelback Mountain. We knew we were in for a treat!
The Short Course golf course is picturesque and provides breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain and multi-million dollar homes perched in its higher reaches. Meticulously maintained, the resort grounds and golf course are lush, inviting and boast beautiful desert plants with pops of color. Of note, the Short Course was designed by renowned golf course architect Forrest Richardson, features 18 par-3 holes and is a relatively quick play; approachable, yet challenging for those who are more experienced in their golf game.
The architecture is reminiscent of a Frank Lloyd Wright-esque style, which naturally lends itself to the mid-century modern vibe and furnishings throughout the resort. As you enter the resort through its main entrance, once can help but feel nostalgic for the fact that it looks like a reinvention of 1960s era chic and modern vibe. Think “Mad Men,” and you’re on the right track!
The dual pools at Mountain Shadows also set beneath the gaze of Camelback Mountain. One pool literally overlooks the other, with the higher set pool spilling down into the next. The two shallow pools offer a place to get in some laps or relax under the stars. In fact, during our stay, our family loved the relaxing pools at night, with low level lighting and gorgeous desert ambiance. The two pools are flanked by covered cabanas that include a large flat screen TV, couch seating and a mini refrigerator. Of course, poolside service is available offering cocktails and noshes from Hearth 61, the property’s signature restaurant.
Overlooking the pool area is a state-of-the-art fitness center, accessible 24-hours a day and boasting a wide variety of Precor workout machines and weight stations. Kicking it up a notch, the fitness center also offers fitness classes at a nominal fee to resort guests and locals, even some classes we didn’t expect! Regularly scheduled classes include yoga, Pilates, TRX, aerial yoga, TRX and spin and soon, the resort will add core fit for golfers and aqua fit. We particularly loved the view overlooking the pool and the easy accessibility of the fitness center.
PV Mercantile is conveniently located at the resort entrance. The premier boutique offers local products and artisenal food, high-end fashions and the soaps and lotions orchestrated in Mountain Shadows’ signature scent.
Right beyond check-in is The Gallery at Mountain Shadows, curated by local art gallery director John Reyes. “DESERT” Real and Imagined” is the collection running through June 24 and featuring renditions of the Arizona desert as seen through the eyes of photographer Mark Klett and artist Jim Waid. Upcoming exhibitions include “Established Artists” in July and August and “Young Artists” in September and October.
Mountain Shadows is perfect for business travelers, someone seeking a relaxing staycation or a couple wanting to have a relaxing getaway. For us, the stay was a staycation, and a getaway with our older kids.
Rooms available include Signature, Mountain, Garden, Cabana, Immerse and Camelback Presidential Suite. Since we were visiting as a family, we had an entrance that opened into a private alcove for our two rooms – one room with a king bed and one with two queens. We particular liked the added privacy of two rooms, yet with easy access to our kids.
The rooms boasted mid-century modern furniture with a comfortable chair and a long credenza-style “workstation,” reminiscent of what you might have seen in the 1960s. It was both functional and spacious. Both rooms also had a fun honor bar refrigerator “drawer” that boasted a wide variety of drinks and spirits. We particularly loved the petite Cruz Tequila bottle… too cute! Above the refrigerator drawer were some gourmet honor bar munchies, too. In a cool twist in that “Mad Men” style, a rolling cocktail cart conveniently tucked under the long work station provided a perfect way to move food and beverages around the room.
Completed in shades of grey, white and pops of blue, the style of the room is refined, clean and sleek. The addition of a grey and white rug orchestrated in a slightly tribal motif added a nice touch. In the “parental” room, our shower was completely clear, offering unobstructed views throughout the space. Yet, there was also a privacy curtain that separated the shower from the sleeping area, so it worked well in offering a lot of space with practical functionality. The shower itself was extremely spacious and featured a wooden shower bench, plus signature shampoo, conditioner and soaps with a signature that is unique to Mountain Shadows Resort.
Of note, the rooms are spacious, the beds are so comfortable they are like sleeping on a cloud, and the rooms are incredibly quiet. We had a peaceful and relaxing stay. All the staff we encountered during our weekend was incredibly warm and cordial. We also loved that anytime we went by the front desk, the attending staff would address us by name.
Hearth 61 is the center of the food and beverage program at Mountain Shadows Resort, and what an incredible treat it was to enjoy the hearth cooking and creative menu items. Since we were dining as a family, we took a collaborative approach to the Hearth 61 menu so that we could taste as many of the fantastic entrees, salads and sides as possible. The menu is ingredient-driven and no matter your individual taste, you’ll find something engaging on the Hearth 61 menu.
Hearth baked bread for the table was the first to arrive along with a bowl of house made pesto. The hearty and tasty bread is baked in Hearth 61’s own hearth and is outstanding. Next, we had three salads – organic greens, creamy burrata and the heirloom tomato. All three of the salads were top notch, bursting with fresh greens and outstanding produce. However, the creamy burrata salad was my personal favorite as the decadent burrata and a smattering of crushed pistachios, smoked beets and grapefruit was a decadent flavor and texture combination.
We enjoyed several side dishes including an entirely sinful risotto, “smashed” fingerling potatoes, polenta and cauliflower. The side dishes were all big enough share, and so we did. But, I don’t think the risotto dish could have possibly been deep enough as everyone at the table declared it as their favorite. I also personally loved the polenta – flavorful and just ever-so-slightly crisped on the outside.
Next, our entrees included George’s Bank scallops, pan-roasted salmon, short rib agnolotti and tenderloin of beef. We ordered four entrees, and each was exceptional. The scallops were slightly firm and fresh, and the salmon was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The short rib agnolotti boasted a horseradish crème fraiche that gave the exceptional meat a little kick, and the beef tenderloin might be the superstar of the Hearth 61 menu. With such an outstanding cut of beef, not much is needed. But the smattering of red wine demi and bleu cheese fondue were a beautifully understated taste compliment. Each day features a “Roast of the Day” at Hearth 61. I would personally recommend lemon and herb rubbed leg of lamb served on Fridays. Executive Chef, Chuck Wiley has chosen to incorporate the finest cuts and quality of meats and freshest of produce and fruits in the Hearth 61 menu. Each dish is one to be savored, appreciated and enjoyed thoroughly. The staff at the restaurant is also more than happy to thoroughly explain any of the Hearth 61 dishes, and perhaps that’s just all a part of discovering the engaging menu.
The next morning of our stay, we ventured to Hearth 61 again for an outstanding brunch. Our server brought a Belgian waffle with fresh berries, fresh whipped cream and real maple syrup. Hearth 61 wins brunch because they use real maple syrup! Other great dishes we had were the H ‘61 burger featuring Tillamook cheddar and bacon onion jam, the eggs Benedict and the H ’61 omelet with herbs and brie béchamel. My son declared the H’61 burger the best he’d ever had, but I have to side with the eggs Benedict as simply superb. Of course, the fact that the Hearth 61 dining room features direct views of the dual resort pools and Camelback Mountain makes that just another reason to go enjoy this fantastic dining room.
If you are in the mood for a cocktail or just want to nosh with friends, there is a large cocktail bar with an adjoining social space with lots of seating. Think of the front room from The Brady Bunch, toss in cocktails, nicer furniture and great friends and you’ll enjoy the space and its unique vibe. It’s very fun!
With 12,500 square feet of bright indoor space and 25,000 square feet of scenic outdoor space, Mountain Shadows is a perfect destination for group events, from luxurious corporate retreats to intimate weddings and other celebrations. Venues include fully appointed boardrooms and grand ballrooms with geometric lighting, pristine lawns, and the 4,000-square foot Camelback Overlook rooftop deck with unparalleled mountain views.
About Mountain Shadows
Mountain Shadows is the new boutique resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona, between Phoenix and Scottsdale. Set in the shadow of iconic Camelback Mountain, it features desert modern design, 183 guest rooms, a luxury wing with 42 condominiums and suites, a restaurant with an exhibition kitchen, two pools, a high-tech fitness facility, a fully revamped 18-hole short course with a golf grill and lounge, and 37,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Mountain Shadows is located at 5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley. www.mountainshadows.com
About Westroc Hospitality
Since 1998, Westroc has acquired, renovated and managed unique properties that exude a timeless allure. Extraordinary settings, creative design, and high service standards create the ultimate boutique hospitality experience. www.westroc.com
About Woodbine Development Corporation
Woodbine Development Corporation is a full-service real estate company with over 40 years of development, investment, acquisition and asset management experience. With offices in Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, Woodbine specializes in hotels, resorts and mixed-use developments throughout the United States. The company’s hospitality portfolio features major brands, independent hotels, full-service destinations and select-service stays alike. Since 1973, Woodbine has been involved in more than $7 billion in commercial real estate projects, including the development, ownership, asset management, repositioning and renovation of over 7,000 hotel rooms. To learn more, visit www.woodbinedevelopment.com.