Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions
The story of the Royal Palms Resort and Spa starts with Delos and Florence Cook. They departed New York for Arizona in the 1920s with the hopes of improving Florence's poor health with a warmer climate. They settled on a 65-acre parcel near the base of the Southern Slope of Camelback Mountain. Their design aesthetic was unique for the area and the time as they modeled their home on the European villas they had seen on their extensive travels.
The villa changed hands several times until it was purchased by Al Stovall in the 1940s. Al Stovall had prophetically predicted the boom of tourism to the Southwest following World War II. It was he who first expanded the villa and built 15 Casitas to the west of the original Cooke home. By the winter of 1948, the first room reservation was officially recorded and The Royal Palms Resort and Spa was off and running.
The Royal Palms thrived during the second half of the twentieth century and gained a reputation as one of the pre-eminent resorts in the Southwest. Opening the Orange Tree restaurant and the heart-shaped pool, the resort expanded and modernized without losing any of its traditional and authentic charms. As the Royal Palms looks to the future, it is now a part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The hotel is still proudly reflecting its history and offering travelers the unique experience of staying in a piece of living Arizona history.
Cover photo courtesy of Sheri Hooley via Unsplash.