My Luxurious Stay at the Historic Hotel Valley Ho
By Lauren Wong
“Wow.” The second my hotel card beeped and I opened up my door, I immediately dropped all my bags and facetimed my mom. In pure awe of how beautifully inviting this place was, I am not lying when I say this room had to have been the nicest room I’ve ever stayed in. So, I’d say my overnight trip was off to a great start.
Joining in on a hotel tour run by Ace Bailey, Concierge and Owner of Ultimate Art and Culture Tour Company, opened my eyes to just how much history lies within the walls of Hotel Valley Ho. Originally constructed in 1956, the hotel became a member of the Historic Hotels of America back in 2007.
"Once you tear it down, you can’t rebuild history, that’s my opinion in a nutshell."
With a slight breeze in the air, the palm trees that tower over the pools and line the courtyard swayed under the afternoon sun. The reflection of the sun bouncing off the pool creating a glistening effect, made the cerulean water all the more pristine against the lush property. The orange, blues, and yellows found throughout the hotel compose a beautiful, contrasting pop to Arizona’s green and brown landscape.
Nestled in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale is this quiet, peaceful oasis that features two pools, the Oh Pool and Ohasis (that offer food and beverages), their Zuzu restaurant, and VH Spa (all with no resort fee). The summer months mean weekend concerts at the Oh Pool!
It’s hard to believe that you’re in the middle of downtown with how amiable the resort is. But, you’re just a short walk away from lots of restaurants, shops, museums, and more. Being surrounded by so many options makes it easier to keep the whole family entertained.
“It’s just a phenomenal example of good architecture, good mid-century architecture, and there’s so many elements that are special about the hotel, like the fact that the outdoor space is so peaceful and we’re in such a prime busy location,” Bailey says. “I think that it’s the attention to detail that was paid in both the renovation and the interior design that was done. They kept one foot firmly planted in the present with subtle salutes to the past.”
When you first enter the lobby through the sliding doors, you’ll notice that the furniture is minimalist. Keeping their roots of mid-century design, the building speaks for itself. It sits on 14 acres of land and maintains the character and style of the building by showcasing most of the original structure. The 350 pound designed concrete panels that can be found throughout the resort are just one of their signature features.
There seems to have been a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright-”esque” influences within the 180 contemporary designed rooms that circle a magnificent courtyard. This makes it perfect for hosting a variety of events from fashion shows to weddings, and more. It quickly became a Hollywood hotspot.
“Once you tear it down, you can’t rebuild history, that’s my opinion in a nutshell. I’m not an advocate for preserving all mid-century architecture… but the good stuff like this hotel, the quality stuff, and we have a propensity to not value it because it’s so young,” Bailey says. “People don’t think of it as being historic and a lot of buildings have gone away because of that, just because [they think] newer is better and that’s not true.”
Going through an $83 million renovation while keeping the architecture integrity they couldn’t change the building material. However, they could go in and rip out the drywall because that wasn’t done when the hotel was originally built. In the early 1970s the hotel was acquired by Ramada, but all affiliations with Ramada have ended as their goal became to foster the gem that was already standing.
Photo credit, Hotel Valley Ho
“I think people have the impression that Scottsdale’s very transient and we don’t have any history, that we’re only about golf spots and shopping,” Bailey says. “My mission is whenever I do a tour with anyone, and even as a concierge, to show that Scottsdale’s about so much more.”