Renowned for curated desert settings, stunning spas and golf courses, innovative cuisine and plentiful group space, Arizona resorts excel at hosting meetings.
Hiking, horseback riding, jeep tours and golf beckon outdoor lovers, while galleries, shopping, and entertainment are equally alluring. High season spans November to April, when the rest of the nation experiences bitter weather. Off-peak season offers a quieter vibe with many of the same experiences and amenities.
Invite your attendees to enjoy Southwest luxury and adventure at one of these Arizona resorts.
Below copper-colored spires and epic rock formations in Sedona, the Enchantment Resort is nestled within a private canyon. Each of the 218 casitas and suites features a private deck or patio. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame stunning vistas from every table at Che Ah Chi, the resort’s signature restaurant featuring regional cuisine and an award-winning wine list. Amenities include tennis and pickleball courts, two outdoor swimming pools and a robust selection of activities, from pottery and watercolor classes to stargazing. Rejuvenate with Native American herbal scrubs and Sedona clay wraps massaged off by cascading water at the world-class Mii amo Spa, which reopened in February after a $40 million renovation and expansion.
Another new addition, the Trail House designs private guided experiences from rock climbing to mountain biking and photography hikes. Guests have exclusive access to the 18-hole, Tom Weiskopf-designed championship golf course at Seven Canyons Golf Club, which borders Red Rock Mountain Wilderness. Boynton Canyon trail, behind the resort, meanders near a stream shaded by cypress and juniper trees.
Located in the property’s Meeting Village, the Juniper House can be utilized for group arrivals, an activity departure point or conference office. Spaces include three ballrooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and comprising 5,100 square feet of space for up to 540 people. Adjacent patios and courtyards showcase the landscape. Three smaller meeting rooms and a boardroom provide cutting-edge technology. Enchantment Circle, underneath the stars and surrounded by red rock walls, makes the perfect spot for dining or team building.
Boulders Resort and Spa
Surrounded by towering boulder formations and desert saguaros, the Boulders Resort and Spa in Scottsdale is ideal for groups desiring customized programs or smaller executive meetings. Located near the town of Carefree, the all-inclusive atmosphere combines tranquility with enticing diversions. The property’s 1,300 acres offer teambuilding, from mountain biking to rock climbing and ax throwing. Five restaurants range from fine dining with contemporary Southwestern fare to the spa café’s casual menu near the organic garden. Amenities include two 18-hole Jay Morrish-designed golf courses, four swimming pools, newly expanded pickleball courts and tennis courts. The 33,000-square-foot Boulders Spa curates wellness programs for guests.
“Because we’re so far out, we can arrange fireworks or hot air balloons on the golf course for a night glow program where attendees go up in stationary balloons,” said Julie Garber, director of sales. “We also offer stargazing. Other options include outdoor cooking classes and a mixology class where guests pick ingredients from our organic garden.”
Guests can choose from 160 casitas, each with private patio; 54 one-, two-, or three-bedroom villas; five luxury hacienda homes; or a 5,000-square-foot villa retreat. Meeting areas total 50,000 square feet, including the 5,600-square-foot ballroom, 15 meeting rooms and three executive suites. Outdoor spaces offer an amphitheater, a cookout area and the golf course. Secluded Promise Rock, an elevated event space, boasts a cascading waterfall, panoramic views and impressive sunsets.
Marriott Phoenix Resort Tempe at The Buttes
Spectacular vistas of the Phoenix skyline distinguish the Marriott Phoenix Resort Tempe at The Buttes. Nestled into the red rocks and within minutes of downtown Tempe and Phoenix, the resort is conveniently located three miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The property’s 353 rooms are adorned with contemporary décor.
Top of the Rock Restaurant and its hilltop patio boast one of the city’s best sunset views. The Thirsty Cactus Pool Bar and Grill serves American fare at the mountainside heated pool. The fully renovated conference center includes over 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, with the largest space at 9,000 square feet accommodating 900 attendees, plus 15 meeting rooms. Open-air spaces include patios and lawns for events and receptions.
Outdoor activities range from tennis to volleyball and walking the paths as part of the resort’s fitness programming. Complimentary poolside yoga takes place Saturday mornings. An afternoon can be spent hiking at nearby Papago Park, which contains popular Hole-In-The-Rock, or at the adjacent Phoenix Zoo. Guests can cheer during spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium, attend an event at Arizona State University or gallery hop in Old Town Scottsdale.
“Our guests get an immersive Sonoran Desert experience since the resort is nestled on a mountain and very tucked in,” said Matt Connelly, director of sales for the Tempe Tourism Office. “It feels worlds away from the city, but it’s minutes from attractions in the heart of Tempe and Phoenix.”
Crowne Plaza Phoenix Chandler Golf Resort
On the National Register of Historic Places, the Crowne Plaza Phoenix Chandler Golf Resort opened the state’s first grass golf course in 1914. Last year, the hotel underwent a $16 million renovation but kept the integrity of its Spanish Mission Revival architecture. Inside, its ambiance features mid-century modern décor with 249 rooms that each have a balcony or patio. Dining ranges from Italian to American, and a Prohibition-era speakeasy works with groups of up to 100. Next door, the 72-par San Marcos Golf Course recently received a multi-million-dollar renovation. Chandler’s many events include food festivals, pub crawls and holiday traditions.
“The hotel anchors downtown Chandler and offers great flexibly because groups don’t have to worry about transportation,” said Kimberly Janes, senior economic development program manager for tourism at Visit Chandler. “Downtown is very lively. If a group wants to break off and do something different, they have a plethora of choices with more than 30 restaurants and bars, boutique shops, a performing arts center, an art studio and more than a dozen venues that feature live entertainment every day of the week.”
Meeting space totals 32,000 square feet, with 16 breakout rooms, including one room with a tiered configuration, and a boardroom overlooking downtown. The ballroom accommodates 800 attendees while the Fountain Courtyard can host 300. La Terraza, the rooftop terrace, seats 200. The Studio, a new concept for IHG, provides a boutique experience for smaller strategy sessions or client meetings.
Tanque Verde Ranch
One of the oldest ranches in southern Arizona, Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson was established in 1868 by a family from Sonora, Mexico. Bordered by Saguaro National Park and the Catalina Mountains, the ranch’s 69 guest rooms are dispersed throughout the property. The Ranch House contains the main dining room, which serves modern American cuisine.
As the ultimate dude ranch experience, the property offers guests the opportunity to pen cattle, head out on a private guided horseback ride, hike, bike or fish. For the less outdoorsy, there’s metal- or leather-working, a paint-and-sip experience, yoga, stargazing and photography walks. The popular morning ride takes attendees into the desert for freshly cooked pancakes. A cowboy cookout at Cottonwood Grove offers ribs, steak and chicken, corn on the cob and cast-iron cobblers.
“The ranch is a different experience in that it’s all-inclusive, and the Western activities makes it unique,” said Mo Calderon, communications manager for Visit Tucson.
The ranch can accommodate up to 350 people for meetings. As the most distinctive space, an event barn totals 12,400 square feet, and attendees can spill through sliding doors onto the spacious lawn. Two additional rooms host 60 to 150 people, and the boardroom accommodates 20. Lawns and terraces are used for teambuilding activities, such as the salsa and margarita challenge, archery and ax throwing. Off-site, jeep and UTV rallies and tours take place in the national park.