Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass is just not another luxury resort. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, this expansive property sits on a Native American reservation and converges nature, culture, and business.

A Dazzling Desert Oasis

Conveniently located 11 miles from Sky Harbor International Airport on the Gila River Indian Community, this unique desert oasis came about in 2003 when community leaders were looking for a hospitality business to partner with. The hotel was custom-designed with culturally-themed guestrooms reflecting the traditions of the Pima and Maricopa people. Also on site are 36 holes of Troon® considered among the best in Arizona, Forbes Four-Star Aji Spa offering Native treatments, dining at the AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star Award-winning Kai, private trail rides on horseback at Koli Equestrian Center, and a boat cruise to Rawhide Western Theme Town.

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Immerse Yourself in Native American Culture

Native American leaders dictated every aspect of the hotel, from its design to the food and beverage, and the spa treatments. Furniture and paintings were created by members of the community. Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass continues this marriage by employing members of the Indian Community and encouraging them to work in hospitality, receive management training, and continue to live on the reservation.

A painted mural covering the ceiling of the main lobby tell the story of Native Americans in vibrant colors. Large boulders set a backdrop to the reception and soothing flute plays in the background. Each of the 500 rooms and suites have modern conveniences along with Native American motifs such as pottery with traditional symbols, and horse paintings, engraved mirrors, and woven blankets, to remind guests of the hotel’s roots.

Take a Walk Through Tranquility

Walking trails and golf courses crisscross the property, which is also a natural sanctuary. With two rivers, hundreds of plant species, birds, bunnies, and the backdrop of the Sierra Estrella Mountain Range, you can feel instantly relaxed in nature. Take a morning walk on the 2.5-mile intuitive walking trails and reflect on the Native American stories marked along various stops.

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Get a Taste of Tradition

Aji, meaning ‘sanctuary’ is Arizona’s only Native American-owned spa and features indigenous treatments based on ancient legends of the Pima and Maricopa Indians. The 17,500-square-foot spa offers one-of-a-kind treatments developed from ancient rituals, including ingredients such as white clay and river rocks from the Gila River and a traditional Native American roundhouse (dwelling) used for meditation. For a unique experience, ask for a Thoachta, healing treatment by local Shaman, Belen Stoneman. Using Pima healing doctrines, she gives a divine massage by connecting with spirits.

The hotel’s restaurants Kai meaning ‘seed’ and Ko’Sin meaning ‘kitchen’ in the Pima language feature a fusion of Native American and Arizona comfort food using local ingredients found on the property and sourced through the tribes. Appreciate paintings made by local artists (some of whom work as the hotel’s staff) while dining on grilled tenderloin tribal buffalo, mole made from American Indian seeds, or pancakes made with mesquite flour and honey. Even the menu at Kai restaurant is a hand-painting by resident artist Mike Medicine Horse Zillioux.

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Through its earth tone design, story-telling art, indigenous spa treatments, and locally inspired cuisine, Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass makes for a luxurious culture filled desert getaway while paying homage to the land and its people.

The author of this post has either a relationship with or received other compensation from the product or service providers that are featured in this writing.

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About The Author

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer who has traveled to 70+ countries and is on a mission to see the entire world. She is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, Go Eat Give, which promotes cultural awareness through food, travel and volunteering. Sucheta is the author of a series of children's books on travel, "Beato Goes To" that teach kids about different countries and cultures.