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JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

5402 East Lincoln Drive · Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 USA

  • 480-948-1700

In the Beginning

The vision of a world-class retreat in the picturesque Sonoran Desert sprang from the mind of ambitious young hotel manager Jack Stewart.


In 1936, the ambitious would-be hotelier persuaded a group of investors led by his friend and Ohio businessman, John C. Lincoln, to finance construction of the resort on a panoramic site with wonderful views of Camelback Mountain. Thus, Camelback Inn became Scottsdale's first luxury resort.


Designed by architect Edward Loomis Bowes, the resort cost $75,000 to build and accommodated 75 guests. The resort immediately attracted wealthy travelers who endured long train rides to Phoenix from the East Coast and Midwest, then another 12-mile trek down bumpy dirt roads to reach their Southwestern resort adventure. Horseback riding, desert exploration and other outdoor excursions introduced vacationers to the wonders of their secluded surroundings.


Welcoming guests and making them feel at home is a Camelback tradition that was begun by Stewart and his wife, the former Mabel Louise Shoemaker. Louise was a social dynamo who organized grand costume events, such as the zany Gold Digger's Ball, instilling a spirit of camaraderie among guests that lives on to this day. Some families vacationing at Camelback Inn today remember coming here as children, just as their parents did before them.


Bill Marriott's Memories