Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa—now the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass—embraces the heritage and culture of the Gila River Indian Community in Chandler, just south of Phoenix, Arizona. I felt completely at peace during my stay at the resort.
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is really quite unique in that it introduces the culture of the Pima and Maricopa tribes into everything from the art and architecture to the rooms, spa, and even cuisine. When I stayed at the resort, I enjoyed one of the culturally-themed guest rooms. The room was warm and welcoming with all the gorgeous colors of a desert sunset. The furniture was beautifully handcrafted, the big leather chair perfect for late night reading. Even the bedspread had detail work that embraced the Native American culture, without seeming kitschy or ordinary. The room was elegant, respectful of a culture that honors tradition. I loved my balcony that looked out over the pool and the desert beyond that. It definitely felt like a retreat and it was hard to believe I was only five minutes off the Interstate.
That sense of calm seemed to permeate everywhere on the property. There was soothing Native American flute music playing in the lobby. The open ceiling was a canvas for gorgeous artwork. The scenery outside the massive floor-to-ceiling windows was breathtaking. Walking trails surround the resort and a 2 1/2 mile replica of the Gila River meanders through the property. I simply enjoyed a sense of letting time stand still for a while during my stay.
I found Aji Spa at the resort to be one of the more unique spas I've visited. Aji means “sanctuary” in the Pima language and it was definitely a sanctuary. The treatments I received were relaxing yet energizing. They reflected Native American practices in healing and used many locally-grown and traditional herbs.
I absolutely recommend both Kai and Ko'Sin restaurants. Kai is the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond restaurant open for dinner only. It was a true dining experience that incorporated the cuisine of the Pima and Maricopa tribes, local Arizona-grown ingredients, and unique culinary offerings. I was blown away by the food, which was unlike anything I've ever tasted elsewhere. Where else can you try buds from the cholla cactus? (They were very good, by the way.)
As I sat on the patio waiting for dinner the evening I was at the resort, a dust cloud stirred on the horizon. As it drew closer to the resort, I realized the dust was from the wild horses that still roam the land. It's not just anywhere you can sit in a AAA Four Diamond resort and watch wild horses run by, the sun outlining them against the desert landscape.
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Boulevard
Chandler, AZ 85226