Don Draper Would Go Mad for the Hotel Valley Ho

Hotel Valley Ho's exterior; below right, a room

By Dennis Hensley; originally published in

If you’re a Mad Men junkie and you’re having withdrawals after the recent Season 4 finale, might we suggest getting your mid-century modern fix at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, AZ.

Built in 1956 and refurbished from top to bottom for its 2005 grand reopening, the 193-room hotel is an irresistible mix of retro and of-the-moment. It’s like taking a stylish step back in time … but with flat-screen hi-def TVs, Philippe Stark-designed bathtubs and state-of-the-art Precor cardio equipment! The place is so cool you half expect to see John Hamm’s Don Draper knocking back his 12th cocktail of the day at the Café ZuZu restaurant or Christina Hendricks’ Joan Holloway sauntering through the lobby on the way to her facial appointment at the VH Spa.

You could also imagine January Jones’ Betty Draper unwinding for a few days by the martini-shaped pool VHroom after getting her quickie divorce in Reno. The Valley Ho is no stranger to Hollywood glamour. This, after all, is where Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood had their wedding reception in 1957. And Jimmy Durante was known to tinkle the ivories in the lobby late at night when he couldn’t sleep.

Within walking distance is one of Old Town Scottsdale’s most popular new restaurants, The Mission, which serves Latin-flavored favorites like empanadas, mojitos and mahi-mahi tacos with a unique homespun flair; the flour tortillas are brought to your table on a heated brick to keep them warm. Round out the night with a drinks and dancing at the nearby gay bar, BS West, which has been a neighborhood favorite since 1988. Sing karaoke, catch a drag show or if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll meet your own Don Draper on the dance floor.

Published by edsalvato

Educator, marketing, communications and travel safety expert; LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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