Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale Hotel Review

Discover why hipsters, Hollywood stars and those with discriminating tastes all love this Scottsdale resort— revealed in this Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale Hotel Review. The Mountain Shadows Paradise Valley property is near restaurants, galleries and shopping of Old Town Scottsdale, but is hidden away for those seeking a secluded escape.

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Arizona, USA

pristine pool in aqua colors is lined with palm trees-pyramid shaped mountain is centered behind-lounge chairs and umbrellas are set in the sun and shadows
Camelback Mountain from the pools at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale in Arizona.

Table of Contents

Lagoon with palm trees and Camelback Mountain rising above make Mountain Shadows Paradise Valley an oasis in the desert
The Short Course at Mountain Shadows Resort | Photo by UNSTOPPABLE Stacey

Location of Mountain Shadows Paradise Valley

In the shadows of Camelback Mountain, this deluxe desert resort is set in the quiet community of Paradise Valley, an even more prestigious address than its prominent neighbor Scottsdale. Mountain Shadows Paradise Valley is only 12-minutes to the restaurants and galleries of Old Town Scottsdale and 17 minutes to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and near to outdoor activities.

Booking.com

Atmosphere and Style

The retro vibe at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale is the success of modern-day architects that designed this new facility to replace the original Mountain Shadows Resort that opened its doors in 1959. I was so taken with the mid-century modern design of white and aqua blue glass, that I believed it was original…until I read the hotel’s history. Yes, the likes of Steve Allen, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Lucille Ball frequented this golf haven, but that was before the original buildings were demolished and then rebuilt from the ground up, like a Phoenix taking flight, so to speak. New owners reintroduced the fresh resort in 2017.

Today hipsters gather for art shows in the resort’s public spaces that feel like museum of modern art galleries. Well, that was before COVID, of course. Watch the Mountain Shadows hotel website to learn when art showings will resume. Even during the pandemic, the resort has a nice following from the local community that makes the upmarket golf and pool vibes fun for out-of-towners.

As I reported in an earlier post, the architectural design of Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale lends itself to a feeling of cleanliness and health safety. Hard surfaces of glass and concrete, which are an iconic component of mid-century modern design, are easy to clean and also give a sense of spaciousness.

Palm trees and entry portico of Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale with futuristic design
Checking in at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale, Arizona

In fact, mid-century modern design is known for its minimalistic emphasis on function with clean lines and flat planes. During the 50s and 60s, when it became popular, sliding glass doors and large plate-glass windows were something new. Architects wanted to bring the outdoors in, as well as get families to go outdoors.

Mountain Shadows Hotel Guestrooms

The near floor-to-ceiling glass in our Garden Guestroom opened onto a rather large private grounds area as we were on the first floor. The sliding glass doors did entice us to go outdoors. A chaise lounge with a functional side table (note the handle on the top of the table that makes it easy to reposition as the sun moves) was the perfect spot for morning coffee.

Bar cart with martini glasses and shaker readied to roll out onto the garden terrace for Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale Hotel Review
Ready to roll out onto the garden terrace | Photo by UNSTOPPABLE Stacey
three-legged metal table with handle sticking up out of the center of the tabletop for easy repositioning
Function meets form with mid-century modern design | Photo by UNSTOPPABLE Stacey

Futuristic (think George Jetson here) patio table and chairs furnished the patio that was framed by green vines of a honey suckle-like variety. When the sliding glass doors drew us outside, the bar cart left its parking spot under the desk area and rolled right out with us. And we could take the portable Bluetooth bedside speaker outdoors with us—such thoughtful room amenities for bringing the indoor out.

The most stunning feature of our room was the stand-alone glass shower, which sits almost in the middle of the guestroom. The glass goes from the floor to the high ceiling, except at the broad, hinged shower door. Inside, the shower is trimmed in white marble with grey flecks, and a functional teak bench sits on the tile floor inside the glass enclosure, which is large enough for a party. Because all the shower walls are glass, you can easily see that the walls are pristinely clean.

Stand alone glass shower has teak bench - can see king-sized bed through the glass enclosure
The GARDEN GUESTROOM with oversized terrace at Mountain Shadows Hotel Resort

Mid-century modern furnishings include the desk area, chaise lounge and built-in dressing table with lighted mirrors and round velvet-covered pouf. Linen-like lampshades with dimmer switches set the mood. Martini glasses and a cocktail shaker on a mirrored tray that fits nicely on the drink cart are part of the retro amenities here. Crystal wine glasses with a wine opener,
Keurig coffeemaker and creamer in the fridge are of the modern variety.

The dark and light tones of gray that are so popular today deck the walls. The only splash of color comes from an unframed painting on the wall, which shows modernist rectangles of color fading to a mountainous horizon. The concrete on the floor is polished and covered with a Kilim wool rug in light grey and beige. The one design disconnect was the unfinished concrete ceiling that may be hip in today’s world, but the sensibilities of my mother in the 50s-60s would have found it, well, unfinished.

Although fresh towels, trash removal and coffee supplies were available for the asking, we were disappointed that the hotel did not provide housekeeping service during our COVID-era stay.

Service and Facilities

Night view of hotel exterior showing clean white lines
Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale at night

I was impressed with the service provided by the well-trained staff. Especially during this era of coronavirus, it was comforting to observe their attention to detail, and health and safety. For more of my comments about that, read Hotel Stays During COVID-19: What to Expect.

Green golf course in front of red rock mountain with blue skies
Hole 14 on The Short Course at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale | Courtesy photo

Mountain Shadows golf course

“The Short Course” golf course, which is what those in the know call the Mountain Shadows golf course, was named one of the best Par-3 courses in America by Golf.com. Golfers were enjoying the Arizona sun while social distancing on the 18-hole course when I visited. Plenty of golf carts were available and even the young woman on the Wine Car waved a friendly greeting to us who observed. Originally designed by architect Arthur Jack Snyder in 1961, it was recently redesigned by his mentee Forrest Richardson.

This historic course was a favorite of Hollywood stars because of the resorts seclusion and astonishing desert setting. The iconic course is remembered my many as I can attest to the stories I’ve heard from Arizona golfers since my stay. One recollection was of the time the golfer landed his ball on one of the rabbits that frequent the desert course along with families of quail and lizards. His golf buddy bet him he couldn’t bean the rabbit on the long green ahead. “It’s the only time in history that my ball went where I wanted it to,” said my friend sheepishly.

All the facilities, including pools, gardens, “The Short Course” golf course and buildings are well-kept and create the feeling of comfort and relaxation and state of mind that so many of us hope to find at upmarket resorts.

Golf cart on concrete path that weaves past a long green toward the reddish, pyramid-shape mountain in the background of the green golf course at Mountain Shadows golf course
Can you see the head of the camel on the right and its back going up towards the left on Camelback Mountain in Arizona

Food

Poke bowl with ahi tuna, cucumber, radish sprouts and ginger in foreground - pool in background
The Poke Bowl at "The Citizens Club" poolside | Photo by UNSTOPPABLE Stacey

Three restaurant venues can be found inside the Mountain Shadows Resort: The Citizen’s Club poolside, Rusty’s patio and lounge at the Mountain Shadows golf course and Hearth’61 with an award-winning wine selection. Room service is also available as you would expect.

I recommend taking lunch poolside. I savored the contrasting textures and flavors of my Poke Bowl while less-adventurous Dan, (food-wise only) had the Caesar Chicken wrap. The attentive service by the pool staff made us feel special and the food was perfect. And speaking of food at the resort, our dinner at Hearth’61 was superb.

martini glass filled with red drink and high ball glass filled with vodka cranberry and straw
Vodka Cranberry and Palm Gin Punch: Pre-dinner cocktail at Hearth’61 at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale

Hearth’61

Emma, the sommelier, presented the new summer cocktail menu that the resort had just rolled out. She guided me towards the Palm Gin Punch with Hendrick’s Gin, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup and orange bitters. The unpredicted combination was so delicious I thought I might try to craft it at home.

Dinner started with the chard-charred summer squash salad made with fennel and organic greens and dressed with romesco and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Dan raved about his beef tenderloin (I revealed his less-adventurous side earlier, right?)

Shrimp and grits in small cast iron serving pan with two handles
Shrimp and grits with asparagus, okra and giardiniera at Hearth'61 | Photo by UNSTOPPABLE Stacey

The shrimp and grits with asparagus, okra and giardiniera was my entrée of choice. The tastes brought me right back to Louisiana, although I’ve never had giardiniera with my grits in New Orleans. The refreshing biscuits and cream dessert was served with strawberries, lemon and mint. Our service throughout the meal couldn’t have been better, and our server’s enthusiasm was contagious—oh no, maybe I shouldn’t use that analogy during the time of coronavirus.

All-in-all we felt safe and well-served with the one-time use menus, tables adequately spaced out to allow guests and servers to keep their distance and servers wearing masks and gloves.

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale Hotel Review Conclusion

Patio seating near Rusty’s golf grill and lounge at Mountain Shadows golf course

I highly recommend this outstanding hotel for its
• sanitation standards
• high level of personal service
• excellent restaurants and
• relaxing comfort.

You can see for yourself: from now through September 3, 2020, Arizona residents can enjoy a fee-free stay, with waived resort fees and complimentary parking. Check out rates for your dates.

Mountain Shadows Resort
5445 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley
855-485-1417

As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with accommodations, and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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