Royal Palms, Camelback AZ

OVERVIEW of The Royal Palms

Located at the base of the Camelback Mountains, The Royal Palms Resort & Spa is truly an oasis in every sense of the word. There is a sense of tranquility here that you will find in few other places. The sprawling hacienda style estate is meticulously manicured and has wonderful meandering pathways between buildings and around courtyards and fountains. Throughout the property there are intimate little nooks, some with fountains, some with fireplaces that are perfect for reading or quiet conversation. The lush gardens release intoxicating scents of citrus, eucalyptus and sage.

Built originally in the late 1920’s as a private retreat for a couple from New York, it first became an inn in 1948 and after passing through many hands over the years, it was purchased by an Arizona businessman in 1995 who set about restoring the property to its original glory.

THE ROOMS at The Royal Palms

Guests are housed in 119 casitas, guestrooms and villas. My estate guestroom was charming and decorated in a subtle Southwestern theme. Soft gold painted walls were offset with neutral wall-to-wall carpeting covered with a Southwestern area rug. A hand painted green armoire had a pressed tin inlaid design and colorful Southwestern patterns on the headboard and throw pillows provided a nice accent. The pillow top bed was covered in luxury linens and had a Southwestern throw on it. There was a comfortable reading chair with foot rest and a balcony with table and chairs overlooking a fountain below. The large bath had an oversized soaking tub with shutters that opened into the bedroom. Flat screen TV, DVD, mini bar and all the other normal amenities were included. In-room coffee was a French Press which was a nice touch.

DINING at The Royal Palms

The cozy Mix Up Bar with its dark woods, hand carved and painted wooden shelves and horseshoe bar is a great place for a drink before dinner. Try one of the signature martinis. Sit around a fireplace in the bar or in the rear salon with its leather couches, antique lamps and fireplace. After dinner, someone “tickles the ivories” at the Baby Grand on the weekends.

An open kitchen, vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, ceiling to floor draperies, gold colored brick walls and tile floors with area rugs set the stage for the wonderful and rustic Mediterranean menu at T. Cook’s. Dine inside around a fireplace, on the back outdoor patio or on the front veranda where tiny lights twinkle in the trees and set a romantic mood.

This is a terrific menu oozing creativity and innovation. We shared an amazing escargot with caramelized onion ravioli, bacon lardoons and roasted garlic as an appetizer. Imagine though, these other choices; a roasted red onion and rosemary soup garnished with grilled sourdough and Harvarti cheese or seared foie gras with a puff pastry box filled with sweetbreads, apples and Madiera cream sauce. Our entrees were a perfectly pink and moist duck breast with duck confit, sage gnocchi and butternut squash and a pan roasted bronzini with onion marmalade, prosciutto, fingerling potatoes and heirloom tomatoes. The marriage of flavors and textures was just unbelievable. Dessert was an assortment of six decadent house made chocolates and a caramel cheesecake and vanilla crème brulee served with fresh berries and guava sauce. Good wine list earning Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Not particularly lengthy, but good choices and reasonably priced.

THE SERVICE at The Royal Palms

There were at least three people outside in the courtyard at all times to greet guests and help with directions. In fact, at one point they went to Mapquest and printed me out directions to my next stop. When I initially arrived, the bellmen noted I had no luggage (delayed at the airport) and offered to get me a set of toiletries. Throughout my stay, I was greeted by name by the staff wherever I was on the property. My room had fresh fruit and a dish of candies when I arrived and chocolates, a weather forecast and the next day’s activities were on my pillow at turndown. There were candles in the room for the romantically inclined, my newspaper arrived at my door early in a canvas bag and our restaurant server was pleasant, knowledgeable and enjoyable. I wanted for nothing!

THE RATES The Royal Palms

From $259 Peak Season Weekend

WHAT OTHERS SAY About The Royal Palms

AAA Four Diamond Award –  Lodging
AAA Four Diamond Award – Dining
Forbes Four Star- Lodging

Hotel
“What Phoenix living is all about” declare devotees who frequent this “absolutely beautiful” “old hacienda” “hideout” in a “central location” on “stunning”, “serene” grounds; a “helpful, informative” staff, an “amazing” spa with “great special touches” and “outstanding” fare at T. Cook’s Mediterranean restaurant help create a “luxurious experience”; but watch out for “some undesirable rooms” – “if you have a casita, you’re in business.” ZAGAT

Restaurant
A “must for romantics and foodies”, this “beautiful” hangout at Arcadia resort delivers “elegant dining in a lovely setting” (at the Royal Palms), where you can dine on “cleverly prepared” Mediterranean cuisine, “sip champagne” or “great” wines and finish with “spectacular” desserts; “hospitable” and “unobtrusive” service further explains why it’s both “expensive” and “worth it.” ZAGAT

 

PROMOTIONS at The Royal Palms

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