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25 friends, 125 acres, $85,000: What JW Marriott's Camelback anniversary package gets you

Aug. 28, 2021
7 min read
25 friends, 125 acres, $85,000: What JW Marriott's Camelback anniversary package gets you
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For its 85th birthday, the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is inviting guests to spend $85,000 on its 85th Anniversary Package, good for you and 24 friends to come celebrate the resort's birthday at the Sonoran Desert property.

The cash layout may sound like a pretty extravagant birthday present you'd be gifting the hotel. But, when you consider the package includes a seven-night stay for 25 people (in addition to many other extras) at the lavish property set on 125 acres outside Scottsdale, Arizona, it actually has some legit appeal.

And that's particularly true if you've been looking for an easy place with lots of on-site activities to celebrate the return to travel with a big multigenerational gathering or a super-sized group of friends.

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Let's break down what $85,000 gets you and 24 of your travel buddies during a week at the luxurious desert property.

Here's what the hotel looked like back in the day. (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn)

A Marriott property since 1967, the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa traces its roots to 1936 and what was then called the Camelback Inn -- a desert oasis popular with horseback-riding folk that cost $75,000 to build and had room for just 75 guests.

While you can still see some of the original Camelback Inn's elements here -- including adobe-syle bricks from 1936 in the lobby and the lobby's original fireplace and wood rail balcony -- the JW Marriott puts forward the expected luxurious and thoroughly modern stay.

So what does $85,000 for a weeklong vacation here today get you at this sprawling 453-room Category 6 Marriott Bonvoy property?

Let's start with where all 25 of you are bedding down.

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The 85th Anniversary Package includes room accommodations for 25 people, spread between the Jackrabbit Suite and nine additional guest rooms on the property.

Jackrabbit Suite private pool (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn)

The adobe-style Jackrabbit Suite sleeps a maximum of four people and has perks like a private swimming pool with mountain views, a fireplace and indoor and outdoor living spaces with more mountain and desert views.

We're guessing this is where whoever is footing the bill will be sleeping (anyway, that's where we'd call dibs if we were footing the bill).

It's easy to imagine sipping a morning coffee on the shaded terrace or cozying up with a nightcap by that fireplace.

JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Jackrabbit Suite living room. (Photo courtesy of the resort)

Moving on to more about what your $85,000 birthday gift to the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa actually gets you and your guests, there's actually quite a bit.

Your week kicks off with a welcome reception in the Jackrabbit Suite for your party of 25.

And while most meals at the property are excluded, the package does include breakfast for all 25 of you each morning of your stay -- a good time to convene before setting off on adventures together or apart for the day.

A guest room (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa)

And there are quite some adventures included with the package, too, with options to suit different traveler types (after all, it's hard to please everyone when you're rolling 25 deep).

Plan one day to head off on the included guided hike to Camelback Mountain, good for all 25 of you (people who prefer not to hike can feel free to chill poolside with something frosty or sleep in).

Spa pool cabanas (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort and Spa)

The package also includes 20 spa treatments at the Spa at Cambelback Inn -- which means five people have to miss out on that luxury. Here's hoping there are children in your group (the spa is for 18 and up only) so there's no squabbling over who gets a massage and who has to hear about how good it was.

Relax after your treatment at one of the private poolside spa cabanas or in the spa's plunge pool, steam room or therapy baths.

A private yoga session for up to 25 guests is also part of the package. And you're all invited to head out on guided tours of the resort's sprawling grounds during your stay, including to Mummy Mountain Western Town, various "secret spots" and birding locations, too.

On-site golf course (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa)

Fancy a tee time? A round of nine holes of golf at one of the hotel's championship on-site golf courses is included in the anniversary package for up to 12 players (maybe draw straws with your guests on that one, if there's competition -- surely someone will swap a massage for a round of golf).

The anniversary package also includes an off-property excursion during your stay for all 25 of you, or whoever is interested, with some fun options that include hot air ballooning, ATV or Jeep tours, horseback riding and more.

Finally, one dinner during your stay will be on the house (or at least wrapped into package rates) at the Chef's Garden, where you can look forward to a private dinner for all 25 guests.

Marriott Bonvoy members rack up 85,000 points for this stay, of course, and no part of the package can be booked on points.

Is the package worth it?

If you're trying to do the math on whether it's worth it or not, we dive into rates and redemption values for the rooms below, to give an idea of what your outlay would be if you were just to book rooms for a group this large.

Screenshot courtesy of Marriott

If you were to book 13 Resort Casitas with two queen beds each (to accommodate 25 people), it would cost 50,000 points per night, per room, to stay over standard dates at this Category 6 Marriott Bonvoy Property.

That comes to 4,550,000 points for your stay, and TPG values those points at $36,400.

For off-peak dates at the property, you're looking at spending 3,640,000 points for a seven-night stay (at 40,000 points per night/per room for seven nights). TPG values those points at $29,120.

Then, add up what you would spend in cash on all of the "extras" in the package, such as breakfast, spa treatments, golf and other outings. Only you can say if this would work for your crew but it's interesting to ponder.

Bottom line

The package is pricey, to be sure. But you're paying for someone else to take care of a lot of the activity planning for a group in a way, too. If you're looking for a place to gather with a big group of people, wrap in some activities that appeal to everyone and include a few meals where you're sure to get everyone together in one place for a time, too, the 85th Anniversary Package at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa could be worth it. After all, there's no price you can put on family time -- especially when some of the planning details fall on someone other than you.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of the JW Marriott ScottsdaleCamelback Inn)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.