/ The Phoenix Traveler
Phoenix — By Heather Wright Schlichting on December 27, 2009 at 6:13 am
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Party Like It’s 1959 at Hotel Valley Ho

How many places can claim that they’ve hosted Natalie Woods and Robert Wagner’s 1957 wedding reception, had Jimmy Durante play their lobby bar piano or accommodated Zsa Zsa Gabor as she rode horses around their property?  Today, Hotel Valley Ho is still a playground for the Hollywood elite but also a funky, trendy spot in Old Town Scottsdale that has something for everyone.

View from Sky Line Rooftop

View from Sky Line Rooftop

I’ve been to Valley Ho several times since its renovation in 2005, but during the holidays I had the opportunity to visit the property on two separate occasions prompting me to share my experiences about this hip landmark.

hotelvalleyho_lobbyAs I enter the lobby I’m always struck by the flashes of bright, bold colors, clean lines and sleek design of the furniture in the lobby and bar.  No muted earth tones here.  Nothing in the décor is safe, everything makes a statement.

Described as a mid-century modern design originally built in 1956, the hotel’s architect Edward Varney was a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright which makes perfect sense.  Compared to the many other resorts in town that are either the traditionally designed mega hotel or Southwestern inspired, Hotel Valley Ho is refreshingly unique and the epitome of cool.

Million Dollar Views

View of Camelback Mountain

View of Camelback Mountain

For a holiday party, I was fortunate enough to experience the view from the balcony of an executive suite.  The balcony was the length of the suite and offered exquisite views of Camelback mountain.  Equally as chic, I’ve heard rave reviews of the panoramic views from their Sky Line rooftop.  A fantastic venue to host a wedding or private party, I’m told that I need to add it to my list of best places to watch an Arizona sunset.

I heard an interesting tidbit about the Sky Line rooftop that only from this vantage point are you able to see that the hotel pool is shaped like a martini glass with an olive.  A chaise lounge makes up the toothpick and the olive and is considered the most coveted spot poolside.  Very Rat Pack!

Eat, Drink and Be Healthy
Café ZuZu open for breakfast, lunch and dinner makes Mac and cheese just like Mom, but with a little more zest.  Their specialty is comfort food like meatloaf with mashed potatoes and beef stroganoff with a twist.  Their happy hour offers small plates and signature drinks with names like hot ‘n’dirty, bourbon smash and basil showbiz – I have no idea what’s in them, but they sound fun.  They also have a great happy hour and a Sunday brunch that I’ve heard is wonderful.

hotelvalleyho_traderTrader Vic’s which I’ve written about before (Happy Hour at Trader Vic’s) is the classic Polynesian-inspired restaurant that’s been a trademark in different cities since the 60’s.  But this ain’t your mom and dads’ Trader Vic’s.  I’ve only been there for happy hour, but if the moo shu pork, yummy Maui burger, tasty sweet potato fries and crab rangoons are any indication then I’m sure that the dinner menu in the main dining room is just as delicious.  Every night they’ve got something going on with their ‘1950s pricing’ appetizers during Happy Hour every day from 4-6pm and reverse from 9-11pm.  Thursday night is Ladies’ night with food and drink specials and hear a live band or DJ during Rio Crazy Friday Nights.  Their outdoor patio is my favorite with open fireplace, lush garden and comfortable furniture.

VH Spa stands for vitality and health with the purpose of each treatment not just focusing on what feels good, but what will improve your health.  Couples massages either done in your room or at a poolside cabana, which I’ve always wanted to do seems to be a more decadent way to experience this type of body treatment.  If you really want a unique experience ask about the massage treatment done by a Tibetan Buddhist monk.  By appointment only, this treatment is guaranteed to bring you enlightenment.

With a reputation as a hip hangout, I asked Kristin Heggli, Public Relations manager of Hotel Valley Ho, what she thinks makes the hotel so posh.  “It’s the way we mix old and new styles.  The property looks much like it did when it was built.  We respect the original design, but the furniture and other touches are their own style which seems to appeal to people.”

I’d have to agree.  This hotel is centrally located in downtown Scottsdale, near art galleries and boutiques.  It’s the evolution of cool with a playful demeanor and one I look forward to frequenting as much as I can.

**Please note that if you still don’t have any New Year’s Eve plans, Trader Vic’s is throwing a party, “Party like it’s 1959.” Contact the hotel for more details.

Hotel Valley Ho
6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale (map)
480-248-2000

Photos from personal collection and courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho

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