Staycations refer to short trips in and around your current area. This word was coined soon after the financial crisis of 2008, when people felt unsecure about their spending and wanted to have a fun outing—one not too far or one that could cost too much money. And here we are again… when our travel is limited. Staycations are FUN! I plan each of them as if I were going on a larger more elaborate trip, and then, off we go! Let me share some of the interesting ones that I have taken in the past two months, each one bringing diversion and change to brighten up the weeks for us.

Naturally, one must choose destinations carefully and be sure that masks and social distancing are part of the experience. My first outing was to Sanctuary Inn in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale. This is a small resort nestled in the foothills near Camelback Mountain, best known for its spa. What I liked about Sanctuary is that they have a lovely infinity pool with many chaise lounges surrounding it and lots of service to adjust chairs and towels, and bring ice water, food and drink in rapid time.

But there are also two other smaller pools— one right by our room, and we had the luxury to have it all for ourselves. Service in this hotel is excellent, although this hotel, while claiming to be five stars quality is not really that. They do have both inside and outdoor eating and bar services. Their menu is good. Rooms are spacious. There are lovely spaces to walks or hikes to, in and around the hotel, but the best feature of this hotel is its spa!

Our next adventure was to Hacienda del Sol, right off Skyline. While you may have eaten there before in their excellent dining room (now closed), the hotel per se is just perfect. It is a small boutique hotel decorated perfectly in old world Mexican charm. Rooms are lovely and well-equipped, some even have outdoor rain showers right off your patio with view of mountains. That was the best feature for me!

They even have their bar area open with expanded dining inside and out. And of course, you are close to many other restaurants in the area for eating or take out. Here again, there is a lovely infinity pool (a bit small and not enough shade), but the one more beautiful is the old pool from 1940’s where the stars swam. We opted for that and found ourselves all alone with a bartender checking on us regularly for food and drink. Early mornings are lovely for walking around the precisely manicured flower and cactus gardens, dotted everywhere with a rich display of contemporary outdoor sculpture.

One of my most interesting getaways was to Hacienda Corona Bed and Breakfast. This is a hidden treasure near Nogales, between Patagonia and Tubac. This was an old hacienda/ranch where John Wayne and his Peruvian wife stayed many times while shooting some of his famous western movies. When I first went there, it was owned by an American couple (who died too soon and left it to their daughter). The original owners put so much time and attention to all details. I loved the room called Duke, in honor of John Wayne.

In my recent visit, I do feel that many details have gone by the wayside, like the the pool, which is still lovely (I just wish they would skim it each morning for debris.) The Duke room is still great especially its room—including the bath and sitting room. In the morning, they offer a delicious gourmet breakfast each day (focused on fresh, local produce). Later in the evening, you can attain a great cocktail, each night with conversation about the property and the old days. By the way, there are amazing murals on many walls by Salvador Corona who painted there in 1942 and 1955, hence the name Hacienda Corona.

My most recent getaway was to Hermosa Inn in Scottsdale. This is a small boutique hotel, once the home of a Western artist. It is meticulously groomed with a charming pool, where you can rent a cabana for the day. They have a great restaurant called Lons, which features both inside and outdoor patio seating. I love this place, as well as Tubac Spa and Golf Resort, where I will soon go! Both places are owned by the same the people and I see many similarities!

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