Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

A Spanish Villa Located in Phoenix


October 18, 2022
Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Royal Palms Resort and Spa

Stay in the United States but Feel Like You’re in Europe

Nothing quite charms me as quickly as a modernized historic property that’s been well cared for and preserved for others to enjoy, especially for a destination wedding. The Royal Palms Resort and Spa at the base of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix has a storied past with a brightly colored future. 

As you enter, the cobblestoned drive, flanked with soaring palms and lush landscaping, is like being transported to another time and place. Meandering cobblestone walkways, private enclaves perfect for intimate celebrations or larger spaces designed for grander affairs (with an estate-like feel) are all available for weddings away. The resort is truly a home away from home with 119 guest rooms, casitas and villas – all with an antique take on modern amenities.

The original owners of the property, Delos and Florence Cooke, purchased the 65-acre parcel of land and built the original structure to remind them of their European adventures. The architecture of the original building has been respected over the years and all additions were given the same look and feel to make the resort a seamless, immersive experience. The Spanish Colonial architecture is found consistently from the main restaurant of T. Cooks, through the rooms, the pool and even Alvadora Spa. 

There is no shortage of things to do at Royal Palms. From lounging cabana-side at the resort pool and sipping Rosé all day to visiting the Alvadora Spa for a signature treatment, you’ll enjoy some serious R&R. If wellness and fitness is your thing, hiking Camelback Mountain or taking a bike ride along one of two paths directly from the resort are great options. They even have outdoor yoga and fitness classes available.

Photo by Michael Baxter

When you’ve earned your extra calories, indulge in some of the most interesting cocktails via Mix Up Bar and take a mixology class. We got to experience this on our most recent visit and learned all about what to shake and what to stir while making our own libations. Once you’ve enjoyed a few cocktails, don’t miss T. Cooks for dinner. With a Mediterranean flair, all dishes are inspired, fresh and decadent.

Photo by Michael Baxter

Dining under the stars for your destination wedding is a must. There are over 20,000 square feet of event space – most of which is outdoors. With roaring fireplaces for the cooler months and misting systems for when the temperatures rise, they keep you comfortable no matter what the season. Rest assured, the indoor event spaces are just as quaint and beautiful as you would hope, so your “Plan B” is a solid one. With over 300 days of sunshine, you likely won’t need it.

Royal Palms Resort and Spa is a historic haven in the bustling city of Phoenix, but with all the personality and charm of a European villa. If you’re wanting to travel internationally for your wedding, but cannot make the long trip for your group happen, consider this little slice of heaven inspired by the Mediterranean. 


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