Tower Suite Room and Pool Photos by Hotel Valley Ho
Article by Lynette Carrington
Since the day it first opened in 1956, Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale has attracted the rich, the famous, and those craving a relaxing and fun desert getaway. The mid-century modern property was completely remodeled and celebrated its grand reopening in 2007, with the tower being completed in 2008. Nearly 10 years later, the tower rooms have been refreshed and renewed, and Scottsdale.com was on the scene to rediscover what makes this property a perfect spot for a destination vacation.
During our stay, we took up residence for the weekend in a spacious Tower Two-Bedroom Suite. The room boasts 900-square feet and nearly every amenity you can imagine. This particular room features a full, mid-century modern kitchen with a large sink, cleverly disguised sub-zero refrigerator and freezer, dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave, coffeemaker, and fully stocked drawers and cupboards. We surely felt right at home with a variety of snacks, drinks and cocktails staged throughout the kitchen area. The secondary bedroom boasts 450-square feet and the Tower Two-Bedroom Suite is a perfect place for a family to spread out and relax.
The spacious suite also features a huge bathroom that includes a walk-in shower, a closet-enclosed stacked washer/dryer and a walk-in closet with lots of space for luggage, shoes, accessories and all the goodies we brought back to our suite after shopping. The bathroom’s large opaque sliding glass doors let in a fair amount of light without surrendering privacy. The clever stacked circular shelving unit between the dual sinks swivel horizontally to accommodate lotion, drinking glasses, towels and everything else we utilized sink-side. Signature Red Flower toiletries at Hotel Valley Ho include bar soap, shampoo, hair conditioner and hand lotion in the resort’s own signature scene, Icelandic Moonflower.
The spacious living room has a large European couch and round ottoman perfect for use for a fun night indoors, or a place to set cocktails while overlooking the city lights and bustling streets in the distance. The TV is on a lazy Susan, and swivels between the living room and bedroom, depending on who might be watching. There is also a remote-controlled sunshade that blocks out the lion’s share of direct sun while still providing filtered light during the brightest part of the day. The floor-to-ceiling windows in our room boasted views of Camelback Mountain, Papago Mountains and Downtown Scottsdale. Yes, Arizona sunsets are the best and the Tower Signature Suite balcony is the best place to catch the sinking sun.
The eixting furniture was updated with new fabric in rich jewel tones. This new look follows the hotel’s signature style, which blends contemporary modern with mid-century influences. Every room and suite in The Tower features floor-to-ceiling glass and views of Downtown Scottsdale or Camelback Mountain, making each stay that much more memorable.
The master bedroom of the suite also features a cool “pop-out” area next to the bed that provides some extra space and includes a comfortable chaise lounge chair placed next to the window. The ceilings are exposed concrete, with most panels having been painted white with the exception of the portions closest to the patio. Due to the way The Tower was constructed, each room is incredibly quiet. In fact, although the hotel was nearly full during our visit, the only time we heard other guests were down in the lobby, bar, restaurant and front reception areas.
Both the bedroom area and living area include sliding glass doors that open onto a large patio that runs the full length of the room, providing for gorgeous views and those outstanding sunsets for which Arizona is known.
The mid-century modern style proliferates the room in the most fun, funky and functional of ways. The upscale décor will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back into time, but with all the comforts of home and tech upgrades. The alarm clock includes USB ports for charging electronics. The lighting throughout the suite is thoughtful, well-placed and primarily understated.
The second adjoining bedroom, also serves as a 450-square foot standalone guest room with two double beds and a sliding glass door that leads to a walk-out patio. The bathroom in this secondary bathroom also includes an incredibly roomy soaking bathtub complete with a packet of Icelandic Moonflower bath soak. Hey, after hoofing around Old Town Scottsdale, you might want a nice relaxing soak and this is the perfect place to do it!
Part of the fun of staying at Hotel Valley Ho is enjoying the whimsical and well-thought out décor. Some of the fun pieces we loved in our suite were the large clear acrylic chair, all the low-profile furniture pieces including the TV credenza and nightstands, the artistically “scribbled” dishes, suspended lighting fixture with dangling bead strands, checkered tilework on the outdoor patio and ultra-shiny lemon meringue-colored cabinet fronts in the kitchen that cleverly disguise all the appliances and drawers.
The “mirror wall” in the master suite bedroom is a particular design touch that is as fun as it is functional. The wall includes 18 differently sized white framed mirrors that subtly divide the living space from the bedroom area in the most beautiful way. There is also a variety of coffee table style books that provide an in-depth exploration of everything from baseball and classic 1950s pin-ups, to architecture and Arizona tourism.
Do You Zuzu?
If you don’t, then you should! Zuzu is the on-site restaurant that serves brunch, lunch and dinner and provides room service selections to Hotel Valley Ho. The menu reflects modern twists on American food classics sourcing local fresh ingredients. The restaurant reflects the same mid-century modern design, rock walls, whimsical light fixtures and high-backed rounded booths that all face out to the outdoor patio next to the OH Pool Bar + Cabanas.
Craft cocktails are just the beginning of the engaging ZuZu menu. The house made barrel-aged limoncello is divine and a perfect summertime sip. It features lemongrass and tart Japanese yuzu juice. Another exceptional cocktail (and perhaps my all-time favorite libation) is the Hibinya Colada. The adorable lilac colored drink includes DonQ coconut rum, pineapple, sweetened milk, hibiscus and triple sec topped with a purple orchid. If you are looking for something more like a traditional style cocktail, the New Fashion includes Mitcher’s rye, orange bitters, turbinado simple syrup and orange and lemon peel.
The dinner menu includes a large variety of small and shared plates, salads, sides, entrees and decadent desserts. For starters to our dinner, we ordered Maine lobster rolls, rosemary and citrus-cured pork belly, Hokkaido scallops and the grilled radicchio and arugula salad. Of note, the scallops were simply outstanding, with shellfish butter, fried Meyer lemon, toasted cous cous and pine nuts with an accompaniment of asparagus. The salad was also fabulous and in addition to the radicchio and arugula, it included fennel, dried strawberries, beets, citrus sections, walnuts and grand noir blue cheese topped with a wedge of soft grand noir blue cheese.
Entrees are just as impressive. The filet of beef is a perfectly sized medallion with a large slice of potato topped with bone marrow, accompanied by i’itoi onions a smattering of grilled herbs that served as a slightly tangy spread on the filet. The prime New York strip entrée was generously sized and included seasonal wild mushrooms (we substituted for mashed potatoes), and two huge white cheddar popovers with a black garlic casino butter. The sea bass entrée was also outstanding and served ever-so-slightly charred, with beets and a cauliflower puree.
For dessert, we were treated to two very different selections. The first was a lemon meringue posset with Meyer lemon curd, chamomile shortbread chunks and toasted meringue. This dessert had the consistency of a light pudding and had just the right amount of tang and crunch.
Finally, our meal wrapped up with a “show stopper” shake, which rotates monthly. This month was the s’mores shake with massive house made marshmallows (one of which was dunked in dark chocolate), house made grahams, a slab of pure chocolate, house made vanilla ice cream and more drizzles and dunks of chocolate than we could even fathom! It took a table of four people working on this dessert, and we still couldn’t finish it! A previous month’s show stopper shake included a massive strawberry shortcake version. Ask the server about the current show stopper shake selection.
Brunch at ZuZu is a throwback experience that you won’t want to miss. Go for the classic mimosa, or try the strawberry or peach variety for something a bit different. The bloody Mary bar is also a lot of fun and you can order it with well or Ketel One Vodka and a variety of vegetables, pickled vegetables, olives, bacon and even beef jerky “straws.” During brunch, each table also receives a generous basket of house made cranberry-chocolate chip scones that impart just a hint of sweet.
The experience of brunching at ZuZu is just like stepping back in time. You’ll hear a playlist of hits from the 1950s and 60s while noshing in the dining room orchestrated with mid-century modern chairs, tables, lighting and high-back round booths. You can almost imagine Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner stepping in from the nearby pool to greet fans and sign autographs. The Hollywood couple famously honeymooned on the property back during the property’s original heyday.
Brunch is served 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You can choose the traditional breakfast route, or pick a burger, chicken sandwich or side dishes. The brunch menu is expansive, and everyone in our family found exactly what they wanted. We picked the breakfast burrito (definitely big enough to share) with eggs, chorizo, green chile pork, sour cream, pepper jack cheese and roasted Yukon potatoes. We also enjoyed the healthy breakfast parfait that featured layers of yogurt, mango, berries and house made granola. Other dishes include Irish steel cut oats, the famous ZuZu burger, cinnamon roll donut bombs, red velvet waffles, biscuits and gravy, a smoked salmon plate and much more.
Oh so Cool by the Pool
Remarkably, Hotel Valley Ho’s original pool is still in place and has become the place to hang out any night of the week, but especially on the weekends. This distinctive pool area is called the OH Pool Bar + Cabanas. Guests can order up creative craft cocktails and cuisine while they lounge poolside and enjoy a shaded bar, chaise lounge chairs, DJ entertainment and live music on the weekends, a fire pit and two hot tubs. Back in the 1950s and 60s, the pool was often the focal point of fun activity, even boasting special events and fashion shows. Today, the entertainment has shifted slightly, but it is just as much fun, and certainly just as social! If you are traveling with the kids or want to get some laps in, visit the adjacent OHasis Pool, located across the lawn for a relaxing experience under the palm trees.
If you are looking for some nearby fun off-property, there are several restaurants within walking distance including the award-winning gastropub, Craft 64 and Old Town Tortilla Factory. Old Town Scottsdale also has dozens and dozens of boutique shops, art galleries jewelry stores and specialty shops. Scottsdale Fashion Square and additional upscale shopping is a little less than a mile away from the property.
For a small fee, Hotel Valley Ho also offers a guided tour of the iconic property. The concierge-led experience includes vintage photographs, information about the architecture and the colorful history of the Scottsdale property. Inquire at the front desk or concierge for additional information.
Hotel Valley Ho is located at 6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale. Visit www.hotelvalleyho.com or call (480) 376-2600 for additional information.