Well-heeled travelers have heard of the Royal Palms, but this inn—a smaller, equally charming spot—is just under the radar. Fred and Jennifer Unger (also responsible for Royal Palms and SouthBridge) bought and redid this handsome and conveniently located property in a quiet patch of Paradise Valley minutes by car from the center of town and a 15-minute drive from Scottsdale. If you feel like you’re staying in the ranch home of a wacky cowboy artist, you’re right: a creative cattle-herder built the property in 1935, and it now holds an artist-in-residence program to honor the history. From the raw wood and pitched roofs to the funky mismatched Mexican tile and furnishings, the Ungers choose everything in the 35 rooms. The restaurant, LON’s, features seasonal American dishes, including grilled meats and vegetables from the on-site organic farm. The manager is an avid golfer, so be sure to ask for advice on courses; he’ll be happy to reserve you a round.
Tip: There’s no spa, but you can book an in-room massage, and the concierge can hook you up with amenities at the Royal Palms, which is just a short drive away.
Room to Book: The one-bedroom suite is spacious and opens onto a verdant courtyard with a Jacuzzi.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.