George Jetson meets Frank Sinatra at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona. This vintage property opened its doors in 1956 but today feels refreshingly modern–the perfect blend of comforting nostalgia and futuristic innovation. Back in the day, Valley Ho served as a hideaway for old Hollywood. Stars like Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood were guests, but there were more. They will only confirm guests they have photos of, but local knowledge says that Marilyn Monroe and the Rat Pack were there as well. You can easily picture Dean Martain sauntering past you while standing in the lobby or sipping a cocktail on the patio at ZuZu.
Valley Ho is hip and fun and completely unlike any other hotel I’ve ever been to. When people ask me to name my favorite hotels, Valley Ho is always on the short list–world wide. And it’s a must for a visit to Scottsdale. Mid-century-modern architecture, bold colors, and swanky style create a festive atmosphere while the Old Town location is convenient for walking to a variety of shops and restaurants. The whole neighborhood is cool, and at Valley Ho they have bikes that you can take exploring.
The Bed Room
A platform bed, giant flat screen, colorful artwork and fabrics make comfortable furnishings. If you stay in a loft suite, you can of course get a roll away bed and I think that though these rooms are super sexy for couples, or a great place for a group of friends, it’s practical for families too. My ten year old loves Valley Ho for it’s uniqueness, and I love that he is getting a little taste of old school Americana. Everything is quality. Every finish, every piece of furniture, every last detail. All that color is energizing and uplifting. What a relief from all the beige that you see way too often in hotels.
Suites have full kitchens. Look at this cheerful bright yellow kitchen! It would be impossible to be in a bad mood in this kitchen. Everything you need to cook and bake–pots, pans, dishes, etc. is stocked. All you need are groceries. Appliances are top of the line.
Locally owned and managed, Valley Ho has a family-run vibe throughout the hotel with a friendly staff that will more than likely be there the next time you visit. It’s nice to see the same people again, and happy staff makes for happy guests–you really feel the love at Valley Ho. It’s also nice when you’re traveling to feel like you are supporting local businesses.
Bathrooms are wide open with sparkling celadon green tiles and huge bathtubs and showers. Located within the walk-in closet is a washer and dryer which is great for families. But see how sexy it is? It’s sleek.
The OH Pool
The OH Pool is festive with a fire pit and a pool bar. It has circular loungers that look like they are straight out of the Jetsons. It’s an uptempo atmosphere, but if you want a more serene pool experience, you can enjoy the lap pool and fountain.
The Lap Pool
What a treat to have a dedicated lap pool! Swimming laps is my favorite way to get in a good workout and what a thrill to swim at Valley Ho with swaying palm fronds overhead. At night the lap pool and fountain are lit up in glowing purple–it’s gorgeous. There is a gym as well.
Valley Ho is dog friendly and does not charge an extra fee for dogs. Not only that, but they make dogs feel extra welcome with treats, bowls, bed, and poo-bags waiting upon arrival. The beautifully groomed grounds and pathways are a pleasure to stroll with your dog.
The VH Spa
Valley Ho’s Vitality + Health Spa is small and unassuming, but probably my favorite in Scottsdale. Treatments are fantastic and affordable. You have to try the Hammam which includes a luxurious coffee scented scrub and massage, and the Rock & Roll, a massage featuring warmed birch sticks and hot stones. Both treatments are excellent and with the specials they run at the spa (like $60 treatments), you can try them both. The atmosphere is soothing with cool blues and the glow of Himalayan salt rock lamps.
As part of the hiring process for massage therapists, one of the owners has a treatment so they can be sure they’re getting the best therapists for the spa. I think this is so important. Being a good massage therapist is an art and it’s intuitive. I think you either have that touch or you don’t. Just because you have the certification does not make you good. Some people just have that gift, and what a huge difference between those that do and don’t. From what I have seen at this spa, the therapists have “it” and you can go with confidence that you are going to get an excellent treatment. The other thing that is nice is that because it’s a small spa, it feels more personal. There are a lot of really nice mega spas in the area, but this one is special. If I lived in Scottsdale, I would want to go often.
The Food: ZuZu
Valley Ho’s restaurant, ZuZu follows the theme of the hotel–quality food and a fabulous atmosphere with a fun vibe. There is alfresco seating on the patio that, even though you are right in the heart of Old Towne with tons of wonderful restaurant options, you just want to stay put and enjoy the tiki fire pit and ambiance. Dogs are allowed on the patio, and it’s really nice to enjoy a meal or drink with your pooch snuggled at your feet.
Food is wonderful. My favorite was the Tuscan Kale Salad, and my son raved about the burger and fries. We also had the Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Casserole which is was delicious. They do a great job of matching the menu to the atmosphere.
Zuzu’s chefs aim to source their ingredients from local farms and suppliers. Food is fresh and walks the line between healthy nourishment and rich comfort food.
Valley Ho Bottom Line
Valley Ho is a one of those rare hotels you can’t forget. I’m head over heels for this hotel and when people ask me about my favorite places to stay, this is one of the first that comes to mind. The design elements are crazy fabulous and all that color and interesting design makes me giddy. It warms my heart to know places like this exist.
While I was there, I got to see one of the newly renovated rooms, and as over the top awesome as the suites are, I am eager to stay in a standard room next time just to enjoy the cool new design elements like countertops with sparkling silver flecks, bold bright fabrics and fun geometric patterns. You can’t go wrong at Valley Ho no matter what room you choose. Find out more on the website.
- Second image courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho.
- We were guests of the hotel, opinions are my own.