Luxury Escapes Guide to Arizona

Look beyond the ochre landscapes to discover wine regions, storied desert towns and ancient culinary traditions – there’s so much more to the Grand Canyon State than its namesake.  

Known for its soul-stirring red rocks, Arizona conjures up images of a planet neighbouring Earth. And there’s no better place to be alone with your thoughts than the desert, especially when its rocky terrain is deliciously awash in sunrise and sunset hues. Finding solitude is easy at the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, where nature serves up a feast of spectacular sights, from epic canyons to subterranean wonderlands. 

But it’s not all pure wilderness – start in the gateway of Phoenix, Tuscon or Flagstaff and travel through quaint towns and thriving cities with a distinct frontier flavour. Old-school charm and soul resonate through the dusty roads, once the backdrop for gold rush fever and thrilling games of quick draw. Today, you can revel in this bygone era by wandering through fascinating museums or mom-and-pop stores selling southwestern and Native American art and jewellery.

As the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the USA, Tucson’s food legacy is unlike any other in the country. The vibrant culinary scene draws on the inspiring natural environment of the Sonoran Desert. The result? A melting pot of multicultural influences from Native American, European and Mexican traditions. This food for thought also extends past plates – the temperate climate of Arizona makes for exquisite terroir. Set off down the Verde Valley wine trail in central Arizona, where volcanic soils and mild winters create wines with big flavours. Or, embark on the Flagstaff Brewery Trail, sipping exceptional craft beers and soaking in the spirited essence of this Arizona gem.

Brand USA x Arizona

Featured escapes in Arizona

Things to see and do

Hike through the Grand Canyon

One of the world’s seven natural wonders, the breathtaking Grand Canyon was sculpted by the Colorado River over millions of years, creating the deeply layered gorges and towering vistas that draw crowds to its rim year after year. Hike through The Trail of Time and learn about the landmark’s storied history, from incredible fossil discoveries to the village of Supai located in its basin. Alternatively, walk over the glass skywalk in the west of the canyon for uninterrupted views over the gorge from 4,000 feet.

Tucson, UNESCO City of Gastronomy

Tucson earned a coveted UNESCO title for its incredible culinary history, dating back over 4,000 years – a tapestry of Mexican and Native American cuisine that makes up the melting pot of the current Tucson culinary scene. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding Sonoran Desert, local chefs champion regional ingredients such as prickly pear, mesquite, and chiltepin peppers, in bold Southwestern dishes. You can sample your way through this delicious city on a guided culinary tour, or hop between innovative eateries at your own pace.

Take a wine tour in Sedona's Verde Valley

Sedona’s lush valleys are a stark contrast to Arizona’s desert landscape, with a wine-nourishing microclimate that nurtures the string of vineyards that run along the famous Verde Valley Wine Trail. Taste industry-leading, authentically Arizonan wines at Caduceus Cellars, experience a laidback tasting experience at Chateau Tumbleweed, or delve into the valley’s top varietals at Page Springs Cellars. Or, leave your route in the hands of an expert with a guided vineyard-hopping tour.

Go sightseeing on the Verde Canyon Railroad 

Delve deep into Arizona’s picturesque valleys on the Verde Canyon Railroad’s historic route from Clarkdale to Perkinsville. Journey through towering red-rock cliffs, passing by Native American ruins, over fortified bridges and into man-made tunnels, in the restored vintage comfort of a FP7 locomotive. Settle in to the leisurely 4-hour venture with a drink and snack in hand, and keep an eye out for desert wildlife, as guides share stories of the passing landscapes.

Walk around Old Town Scottsdale

Affectionately known as the ‘west’s most western town’, downtown Scottsdale is a place frozen in time, where charming Old West facades and cowboy festivities abound. The old town consists of nine walkable districts, so you can saunter between the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and the vintage Sugar Bowl ice cream shop with ease. Delve into Scottsdale history with a walk down Brown Avenue and marvel at the resplendent Old Adobe Mission church, or walk through the swinging doors of Rusty Spur Saloon for a rootin’ tootin’ hootenanny.

Hike the lush Saguaro National Park

Discover the colossal cacti and rugged mountains that adorn the landscapes of the enchanting Saguaro National Park. Home to the massive saguaro cacti — the park’s namesake — this area features some of the largest cacti in the USA, found only in a small part of the country. Hike the myriad trails and catch glimpses of the Garwood Dam, built in 1948, while relishing the breathtaking views of the foothills and Santa Catalina Mountains. Or, enlist the help of an expert ranger with enlightening programs that unveil the park’s ancient topography and thriving wildlife.

Pamper yourself at one of Scottsdale’s best spas

Melt into pampering wellness rituals at The Phoenician Spa, an elegant oasis offering holistic treatments among Scottsdale’s stunning landscape. Indulge in a transformative Himalayan Salt Stone Ritual, where warm, hand-carved stones melt away tension. Reveal your radiant glow with a Sonoran Wellness Scrub, Massage & Wrap, a revitalising experience that capitalises on the power of salt crystals, desert sage and wild lavender. Immerse yourself in tranquil surroundings at the rooftop pool, where calming desert landscape vistas enhance your journey, or partake in a yoga, fitness or meditation session to fuel your body and mind.

Sip craft beers along the Flagstaff Brewery Trail

Embark on a tantalising adventure through northern Arizona’s craft beer scene along the Flagstaff Brewery Trail. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, immerse yourself in cosy taprooms where friendly brewmasters share their passion, and soak in the heart of Flagstaff’s vibrant brewing culture. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or simply seeking an unforgettable experience, the Flagstaff Brewery Trail promises delightful exploration of liquid treasures. Raise your glass, embrace the camaraderie, and sip and sample your way through up to nine watering holes on your tour de froth.

Embrace the western way of life at a dude ranch

Take the opportunity to delve into the cowboy lifestyle at a classic Arizona dude ranch. Embrace the rugged beauty of the desert as you saddle up for exhilarating horseback rides through scenic trails, take part in cattle drives and learn essential roping lessons. Indulge in hearty Western cuisine and relax in charming cabins that blend rustic charm with modern comforts. For an elevated western experience, stay at the Rancho de Los Caballeros, an over 75-year-old institution that blends undying cowboy spirit with indulgent spa treatments and luxury casitas.

Visit Monument Valley in the Navajo Tribal Park

The stunning backdrop to a slew of Hollywood movies, Monument Valley has become one of the USA’s most recognisable landmarks. The massive sandstone buttes that tower dramatically over the red-rock desert are best viewed from the 17-mile looping Valley Drive. Take photos in front of the iconic Mittens and Merrick Buttes, marvel at the cinematic pillars of the Three Sisters, say hello to the horses at John Ford’s Point and more. If you want to see off-the-beaten-track sights such as Teardrop Point and Mystery Valley, it will be necessary book a third-party tour in advance.

Top places to eat and drink

Terra Farm + Manor

If a luxurious culinary adventure is the last thing you’d expect to find in the 1.25-million-acre Prescott National Forest, then prepare to be surprised by Terra Farm + Manor. This hotel and restaurant, set in the whisper-quiet Arizona mountain region, entices gourmet travellers to understand the true meaning of farm-to-fork. Gather your ingredients for each meal fresh every day: herbs, vegetables and edible plants fringe each lodge. But the highlight comes at day’s end, when you’ll savour a five-course feast at the communal candle-lit table, as Chef James Porter regales you while cooking live over a flame. 

Castle Hot Springs

Rustic meets modern at Castle Hot Springs, set at the base of the amber Bradshaw Mountains. The resort’s in-house restaurant, Harvest, crafts a delectable, ever-evolving menu based on the ‘harvest of the day’. The onsite farm currently provides the restaurant’s greens, with the goal of one day supplying 80% of all its produce. The result is an addictive symphony of flavour combinations inspired by all corners of the world, from Korea to Morocco and Southeast Asia. For those staying the night, the team runs tours, giving insight on the humble ingredients that transform into edible works of art. 


Discover exquisite Native American cuisine at Kai, meaning ‘seed’ in the Pima language. The unique menu, which incorporates the essence of the Pima and Maricopa tribes, is unlike any you’ve experienced before, with each course an inventively titled chapter: from the small plates of ‘The Birth’, appetisers in ‘The Beginning’, and the triumphant main of ‘The Journey’, to the sumptuous sweets of ‘The Afterlife’. Native flavours lead the charge, with dishes like grilled tenderloin of tribal buffalo with smoked corn puree, cholla buds, and scarlet runner bean chile with saguaro blossom syrup. But don’t take our word for it – Kai is Arizona’s only AAA Five Diamond Awarded restaurant, and also has a Forbes Five-Star Award under its belt. 

Los Milics

Soaring 5,000 feet above sea level, the lush pastures of the Elgin Wine trail bring a lot to the table. The mosaic of vineyards in the region is blessed with ideal winemaking conditions: cool temperatures, and fruitful soil said to rival that of Burgundy, France. One of the highlights of the trail is the cellar door at Los Milics, nestled at the base of the Mustang Mountains. As you enter the tasting room, you’re greeted by large-scale art installations, creating supremely special surroundings for your tasting. Savour Spanish-themed nibbles, and be sure to say hello to the winemakers, Ita and Pavle, who will be pouring their wines on the crush pad of the winery. 

Tito & Pep

Laidback in nature, but big on flavour, Tito & Pep burst onto the midtown Tucson scene, making the New York Times list of Top 50 nationwide restaurants of 2022. Chef and owner John Martinez invites diners to follow his travels and dive into the multicultural history of the Southwest region through seafood stews and mesquite wood-fire grilled meats. Pair your brightly seasoned meal with southern Arizona’s best-selling craft beer, Bario Blonde Ale, or a mezcal cocktail - and definitely save room for the passionfruit panna cotta. 

Lons at The Hermosa Inn

Come algo con nosotros (come and eat with us) at Arizona’s only authentic hacienda, surrounded by an undulating landscape of pretty gardens and terracotta desert in Paradise Valley. Stroll the paved pathways in an atmosphere that is reminiscent of a family estate, rather than a hotel and restaurant. Nevertheless, the fare on offer is a touch more sophisticated than home-style cooking – expect globally inspired Arizona fare, with dishes such as ahi tuna seared at the table or charred octopus served with chimichurri and a host of fresh vegetables. Wash it all down with one of the more than 500 wines in the cellar. 

Pizzeria Bianco 

From humble beginnings in the back corner of a Phoenix grocery store, chef Chris Bianco has grown Pizzeria Bianco to become an institution with his slow food, artisanal pizzas. The first pizzaiolo to win a James Beard Award for Best Chef, Bianco now oversees two locations in Phoenix along with three sister restaurants. House-smoked mozzarella and mouth-watering napoli are typical of an attention to detail and dedication to quality that have seen Bianco’s pies described as ‘life changing’. Mangia! 

El Chorro

El Chorro is a place where you’re bound to fall in love, especially at night when there are a trillion stars glinting above you. The nearby Camelback mountains loom majestically over the large outdoor dining space filled with friendly locals and live music. Enjoy the offering of local Arizona flavours, from blue crab meat and ahi tuna towers, to flash fried lobster tail, and red-wine braised beef short ribs. Be sure to leave room for their renowned sticky buns, made with the same sinfully sweet recipe since the restaurant was founded in 1937. 

Different Pointe of View

Triumphantly positioned 1,800 feet above the Valley of the Sun, Different Pointe of View is the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion. The patio at sunset has seen its fair share of people getting on one knee and couples exchanging vows under the starry sky. Spoil your loved one to a five-course tasting menu that toes the line between contemporary American fine dining and modern Mediterranean. Savour dishes such as roasted carrot agnolotti in tarragon brown butter, tender and juicy crispy braised pork belly matched with sweet corn elote and huitlacoche aioli, and pan-seared Alaskan halibut, just to name a few. 

Cress on Oak Creek

Set on the banks of Oak Creek, this aptly named restaurant gently hovers above the trickling stream at L’Auberge de Sedona. Adding to this fairy tale setting, twinkling candles adorn every table, the towering sycamores are just within arm’s reach, and a soundtrack of rustling leaves accompanies your meal. Birds fluttering in the leafy branches leave you completely immersed in an intimate setting, for alfresco dining that is beyond romantic. Enjoy a delicious parade of locally sourced ingredients in a dynamic and creative fine-dining menu with a hint of Southern European fare. Seasonally inflected dishes include rainbow trout, spiced stone-fruit salad, and black mussels mariniere. 

Lux moments


Endowed with the cosy feeling of walking into a warm farmhouse or a friend’s (very gourmet) home, Binkley’s is bursting with personality and uncompromising charm. A table here serves up the best of American fare across a multi-course feast crafted from the finest local and specialty ingredients. The terrace, ensconced in vibrant greenery, sets the scene for your first bites, delivered to you in tantalising mouthfuls of baby green beans and salmon caviar or perhaps a shrimp salad taco. The main courses are served indoors, where just 20 seats total promise an intimate, distinctive dining experience. Savour half-seared hiramasa sashimi, black truffle risotto with red cow parmesan and more, or upgrade your meal with optional drinks pairings, caviar or foie gras.

Take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon

Only a small percentage of the Grand Canyon’s impossible depth and miles-wide basin can be admired from the rim – take flight with a helicopter tour and embrace wraparound views of the iconic landscape. Chose to stop at the Skywalk and tiptoe along the horseshoe- shaped glass bridge, or opt to take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to touch the canyon floor as your helicopter lands in the depth of the valley.

Indulge at Scottsdale Fashion Square

The largest shopping mall in Arizona is also the most lavish, with luxury designers, premium boutiques and globally renowned names all under one shiny roof. Take a break from the great outdoors and treat yourself to some much-needed retail therapy, stopping to refuel with classic American fare at Five Guys or an indulgent sashimi spread at the elegant Nobu Scottsdale. As well as fine dining and opulent retail, the square is host to the immersive art gallery, Wonderspaces, which showcases interactive exhibits and serves innovative signature cocktails.

Find bliss at Miraval

At Miraval, guests are lead toward a slower way of living, with each wellness experience drawing inspiration from the rich red earth of the majestic Sonoran Desert. More than a spa, the institution offers a myriad of rejuvenating and enlightening opportunities – from outdoor adventures and equine experiences to body-renewing beauty treatments. Feel your worries melt away with an Eastern-influenced massage or create a deeper union between yourself and your partner with a Yojana session. Continue the mind-body connection at the Miraval Resort restaurant, where conscious cooking inspires a locally -sourced menu, and leave with a feeling of holistic betterment.