Capping a rugged rise between Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, CopperWynd, a boutique Arizona resort, has flown under the radar for years. Now with a chic renovation and a stellar new restaurant, it is poised to become one of the Southwest’s most coveted wedding spots. Here are seven reasons why:
1. Outrageous panoramas. Beyond the golf courses and swimming pools of the valley below—not to mention the improbably towering pillar of water for which Fountain Hills is named—rise the jagged peaks of The Superstition Mountains, home to the Lost Dutchman gold mine. Sunrise covers them in an amber haze; their ruby glow at sunset is the stuff of 1,000 Instagram posts.
2. Ceremony sparkle. Speaking of views, the wedding lawn commands a jaw-dropping vista of the Sonoran Desert and the jagged Four Peaks in the distance. Set up a wedding arch trimmed with desert vines and flowers, or let the landscape do the decorating.
3. Just the right size. CopperWynd is in the Goldilocks resort zone: Not too big, not too small, just right for a faraway wedding. With 32 massive guest rooms, all with private terraces, you can take over the entire property and still keep your numbers down.
3. A pair of pools. There’s both a lounge-y oasis for sprawling and splashing (and for letting the kids do their cannonballs) and a dedicated lap pool for serious workouts—and afternoon naps.
4. Top tennis. If your crew is an active one, or even if they’ve never held a racquet, the 9 lighted tennis courts practically beg you to lace up your sneakers. For a group activity, it’s hard to beat a round robin tournament; guests who’ve been off the courts for a few years (or decades) will appreciate the “instant tennis” clinics.
5. Spa surprises. For a resort this intimate, the freshly renovated spa comes as a nice surprise: There are half-a-dozen treatment rooms, a serene meditation area, and a full menu of treatments, including massages that utilize local sage and lavender and a body polish made of desert salts.
6. Heroic hikes. You’re in prime hiking territory, with a huge variety of trails from easy desert walks that take in the spring wildflowers to Iron Man-style treks up challenging peaks.
7. Wining and dining. A broad patio and contemporary wine bar are complements to Flourish, the resort restaurant. In fine weather, floor-to-ceiling panels slide open to let in the nighttime air; in cooler months a fireplace invites lingering. Menus are fresh and compelling: griddled Hallumi cheese, sunflower seed risotto, and what we swear are the best fried brussels sprouts in America.