Honeymoons are the all-important start to married life, and a crucial opportunity to relax after the stress and build-up of the Big Day. Arizona offers newlyweds the chance to escape to a warm climate, with breathtaking backdrops and exquisite scenery sure to provide the perfect follow-up to those gorgeous wedding photos. The selection of luxury and affordable accommodation available in Arizona is almost as vast as the Grand Canyon itself! From the buzz of the capital city in Phoenix to the cultural melting pot of Hacienda Del Sol resort in Tucson, Arizona offers something for every interest, age and budget. Here we round up the top 10 reasons to honeymoon in Arizona.
It is a little known fact that celebrities seeking to sneak under the spotlight have escaped for secret honeymoons in Phoenix for many years. The Arizona Biltmore is the ultimate honeymoon destination for couples seeking seclusion whilst enjoying a plethora of activities on the doorstep. Featuring 8 pools, 5 different casual and fine dining restaurants, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, 7 on-site tennis courts as well as on-site salon services, couples won’t need to leave the resort to achieve optimum relaxation.
Nearby, the romantic Royal Palms Resort and Spa flaunts Tuscan charm. The 1929 Mediterranean-style mansion features cosy courtyards, burbling fountains, bougainvillea-lined walkways and an orange grove strung with hammocks. Ideal for lazy days spent basking in Arizona’s sun-drenched climate.
Tucson’s dramatic Sonoran Desert provides a show stopping backdrop for honeymooners. A renowned location for stargazing and famed culinary artistry, Tucson is a city full of beauty and romance, awaiting discovery. Popular destinations include Canyon Ranch, Miraval and a new high-end addition: Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. Set high in the Sonoran Desert, northwest of Tucson, this five-star resort is a tranquil setting in which to enjoy quality time and the finer things. Thoughtful additions such as wood-burning fire pits, a superior spa and romantic desert drives invite couples to make honeymoon memories to treasure. Arizona’s famous sunsets and starlit skies add the all-important final touches.
With awe-inspiring mountain vistas, sparkling pools and lush gardens, the historic Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort was once a getaway for Hollywood royalty. Having recently expanded, the property retains its historic charm while new casitas and modern amenities make Hacienda Del Sol one of the premiere luxury resorts in Tucson. A popular location for weddings and honeymoons, this resort provides guests with the ultimate getaway. Here, guests may saddle up for a morning trail ride and before returning to the ranch for a luxurious spa treatment. Enjoy regionally inspired fine dining at The Grill or a casual meal at Terraza, and enhance any meal with a selection from the region's most extensive wine list or expertly crafted cocktails
Beyond the resorts, newlyweds can embark on adventurous hikes in Saguaro National Park and Sabino Canyon in the Santa Catalina foothills or take a romantic sunset drive along Gates Pass Road into Tucson Mountain Park.
For a cosy honeymoon, booking in for a stay at The Inn at 410 fulfils the quaint and charming honeymoon dreams of a bygone era. Dating abck to 1894, Craftsman-style bungalow comprises just nine rooms, each decorated with its own distinct theme including Monet’s Garden, and private porches overlooking garden patios for an ambience of ‘home away from home’.
After a gourmet breakfast, newlyweds can ski at nearby Arizona Snowbowl during the winter, see the otherworldly lava flows of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument’s Ancestral Puebloan ruins, or explore the shops and restaurants lining the streets of historic downtown Flagstaff.
The Red Rock Country of Sedona promises a magical honeymoon. Enchantment Resort is well versed in honeymoons and offers couples the ultimate stay, living up to its name. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Yavapai Restaurant followed by cocktails at Tii Gavo’s, home to a luxurious patio overlooking the dramatic cliffs of Boynton Canyon.
The resort offers easy access for couples looking to experience Sedona’s mysterious “energy vortices” – including Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. An enchanting honeymoon is yours to enjoy.
From candlelit dinners to strolling through dozens of downtown art galleries, Scottsdale is a five-star getaway for couples seeking to marry romance and culture at the start of their married life. Scottsdale offers whole host of spectacular experiences and activities for honeymooners, with exceptional scenery all around.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. This hidden hideaway for the A-lister, not to mention the magical engagement location for Beyoncé and Jay Z, this first-class resort truly is the perfect secret escape for a romantic honeymoon. Sanctuary Resort invites newlyweds to experience a higher level of luxury, living well, and glorious revitalisation. This famed Scottsdale luxury resort will introduce you to a refreshing new spirit of sophistication and relaxed refinements, as you discover 53 acres of your own private paradise where formalities are replaced by fun, and the most luxurious amenity is the art of connection. Your Sanctuary awaits.
The Grand Canyon
An iconic landmark, the Grand Canyon is a natural wonder with mile upon mile of wondrous scenery to be enjoyed. Take a picnic on a hike for a romantic meal for two, with unforgettable vistas or wake early to witness the breath-taking beauty of the sunrise in this most sacred setting.
Perched near the edge of the South Rim, the elegant El Tovar hotel features uninterrupted, panoramic views of the Grand Canyon from the dining room. For another canyon vantage point, Arizona honeymooners can hike to Phantom Ranch for a stay in the cosy stone cottages at the bottom of the canyon along the banks of the Colorado River.
Arizona is not short of outdoor adventures to embark on. From rafting down the Colorado River to hiking the North Kaibab Trail alongside Bright Angel Creek and Ribbon Falls, honeymooners can wade through the wonders of the state on an adventure to remember.
A houseboat on Lake Powell offers one of the most distinctive and unique honeymoon suites in Arizona. The horizon less waters of the lake set against the red-gold canyons, peaks and buttes of Glen Canyon Recreational Area provide picture-perfect surroundings unlike anywhere else in the world. Honeymooners can also explore one of the region’s many mysterious underground slot canyons – with a local guide, some of whom offer jeep or Hummer tours as part of the adventure.
Prescott is the perfect place for a more discreet escape. Prescott is nestled in the Ponderosa Pines of Prescott National Forest, one of Arizona’s most lush, emerald-coloured settings. Embrace the amazing pine scent as you enjoy Prescott’s natural surroundings, including more than 400 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. Honeymooners to take their pick of adventures in this cosy town that exudes the all-American feel.
From winter’s snow-capped San Francisco Peaks to Tucson’s Saguaro National Park, the Arizona Trail isone of America’s newest and most scenic long-distance trails. Active honeymooners can enjoy a high-energy honeymoon by selecting one of the many hiking adventures available. This impressive trail stretches across Arizona, crossing 21 miles, rim-to-rim, of the Grand Canyon, over eight distinct mountain ranges, four national forests and 225 miles of the Sonoran Desert! See Indian cliff dwellings, old mining camps and ghost towns along the way.
Prescott National Forest
Towering Ponderosa pines, steep canyons, placid lakes and the odd jumble of granite boulders in the Granite Mountain Wilderness on the outskirts of Prescott allow honeymooners to take their pick of adventures that range from rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking to hiking and fishing. If your idea for a happy marriage involves fresh air, scenic views and rewarding hikes, this is the setting for you!
All images courtesy of Arizona office of Tourism