J.W. Marriott, Jr. Offers Sneak Peek into Famed Camelback Inn’s $45 Million Renovation
Global Lodging leader Shares His Family’s Decades-long Attachment to the Historic Property.
J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International (NYSE: MAR), was joined by his son David Marriott, award-winning chef Laurent Tourondel and Ralph Scatena, resort general manager to celebrate the $45 million renovation of Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Scottsdale Arizona. The occasion also marked Mr. Marriott’s birthday, which was celebrated when Chef Tourondel presented him with a Lemon Daffodil cake.
“My family has been vacationing at Camelback Inn for 60 years, and I’ve spent some of my happiest days right here,” said Mr. Marriott. “Camelback Inn was the first resort built in Scottsdale; now, it’s the first hotel in Arizona to welcome renowned restaurant BLT Steak. We’re proud to be taking this legendary place to the next generation while honoring its rich and beloved history.”
Camelback Inn—one of the longest-running Five-Diamond properties in the United States—will this June complete a renewal process that includes a new main lobby, meeting spaces, public areas, and two restaurants. The renovation process has opened up the property to its inspiring desert surroundings while preserving the history and unique Southwestern charm that has made Camelback Inn a perennial favorite among generations of visitors.
Guests can track the renovation’s progress and view plans at the dedicated website, www.thelegendgrows.com.
The “new” Camelback features a 20,000 square-foot ballroom with 24-foot ceilings, textured flagstone floors, alderwood doors, overhead beams and wrought-iron accents. The ballroom’s ceiling takes a cue from Frank Lloyd Wright with decorative colored-glass panels that let in plenty of sunlight, and the facilities employ modern tools such as keyless entry and security, full wireless connectivity, production-quality lighting and sound capabilities and electronic reader boards.
The renovation will soon unveil BLT Steak, which will showcase Chef Tourondel’s Modern American Steakhouse concept and signature blend of American flair with French classicism; and new signature restaurant Rita’s Kitchen, which will serve modern south-of-the-border fare such as poblano chiles stuffed with organic chicken, dates and Menonita cheese alongside regional American favorites like organic beer-can chicken and Texas beef brisket. Both eateries will utilize expansive new outdoor spaces and grow herbs and other ingredients from new organic gardens. A colorful lobby bar—a high-energy spot for groups large and small—will specialize in tequilas, sangrias, margaritas and beer.
Camelback Inn’s renewal will also introduce the Arizona Discovery Room, a nod to the hotel’s past with photos of noted guests such as John F. Kennedy, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and Bette Davis. The hotel’s concierge will be stationed in this room, and will serve as a source of information about Camelback’s and Arizona’s history. Similarly, construction work has carefully preserved and reused original features such as adobe brick, wood work, beams and floors.
Camelback Inn’s distinctive casita-style guestrooms will feature new beds, carpets, flat screen televisions and refurbished bathrooms. The project is overseen by a diverse team of professionals, led by internationally recognized firm Hill Glazier Architects—whose experience includes exceptional design at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, California; Four Seasons in Kona, Hawaii; and Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Vail, Colorado.
Set on 125 acres of Sonoran Desert terrain in affluent Paradise Valley, Camelback Inn embodies the spirit of the Southwest with its peaceful desert setting, private grounds for hiking and meditation and indigenous plant life.
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