Where Mad Men Really Vacationed – Hotel Valley Ho

The new season of Mad Men FINALLY aired while I vacationed with my family in Arizona a few weeks ago.   We got to stay in the delightful Hotel Valley Ho for a couple of nights, which is exactly the kind of place Don Draper would have chosen if he were on vacation! 

Betty and Don


Check out the colorful exterior of the hotel:

 Hotel Valley Ho – Scottsdale, Arizona


Built in 1956, this mid-century blend of modern and southwestern style became Hollywood’s getaway destination.

 Hotel Valley Ho Lobby


Lots of celebs like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope frequented the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood even married here.

 Robert & Natalie


Here I am in the lobby, feeling a bit like Betty Draper.  Well, maybe more like Peggy Olsen.

kristie barnett

 Valley Ho Lobby


This is what our room looked like. – it was one of the standard guest rooms.  There are  more swanky options, but it was really cool.

 Hotel Room at Valley Ho



The compact bathroom was fabulous and coated in this luscious dark teal color.

 Fab Potty at Valley Ho


We had a large patio beyond the sliding doors, and the courtyard beyond looked like this:

 Mid-Century Meets Southwestern Style


I can only imagine what it would have been like poolside in the 1960s . . .


The whole vibe of the place was very Palm Springs.


We dined at Cafe ZuZu, which was absolutely amazing.

 Cafe Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho


This was the way the hotel looked when it was first built in 1956.  It underwent a major renovation/restoration in 2005, which brought it back to it’s mid-century splendor.

 Hotel Valley Ho circa 1956


Oh, and I told Don you all said “hi.”

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Laura Ingalls Gunn
8 years ago

I often drive by HVH on my way to design shops.

I wonder if you went by the spa and picked up a “Spa Ho” shirt? They always make me do a double take and then laugh when I see one.

Jen C.
Jen C.
8 years ago


8 years ago

very cool. I love that show too….seeing Betty in this picture, I don’t know why Betty put on so much weight in this season since I missed the first episode….is it the actress or the character, do you know? thanks for sharing…

8 years ago

really? that makes me feel better. If that’s true, they really did a good job, because it’s not just her body puffed up, her chin and face all became ‘bigger’…. I was still thinking about Rene who intentionally put on a lot of weight just for shooting that movie, oops, I forgot the name of it.

7 years ago

Just noticed this comment because we were thinking of staying at Valley Ho. Just wanted to note, it’s not make up to fatten her up. January Jones (the actress that plays Betty) had just given birth only a few weeks prior and I think they wrote her “fatness” into the storyline so that she wouldn’t be MIA the entire season.

Sheila Zeller
8 years ago

Thank you SO much for sharing this! I am such a Mid-Century fanatic, and a Mad Men junky that this post just kept me smiling… I want to be there… around that pool… in the 60’s! Yup, I can imagine it 🙂

8 years ago

That’s so funny! My husband couldn’t wait to show me pictures of his room from when he last went to Phoenix. (Also a few weeks ago!) I thought the place looked really cool! And THIS was it! Thanks for sharing your photos… they helped enhance his description. I hope I will get to go there some time. It looks really fun and interesting.

8 years ago

funny how when it was built everything was in black and white ;D
also did you notice how the lady at Robert and Natalie’s wedding (also in black and white) looks like the Queen Mum?

8 years ago

What a fun escape! Such a throwback to another era. I was thinking how much this is like a mid-century hotel I stayed at in Palm Springs right as you mentioned it! Glad you had a great time.

8 years ago

Wow..so cool. Honestly, it is just like you transported back in time. Thanks for sharing!

8 years ago

totally off-topic, but you have FABULOUS hair!! how do you get such great volume on the top? mine is long, straight and layered like yours but lies flat…

8 years ago

I’m not a big fan of mid-century design, but they did a great update at this hotel! I also love Mad Men! Don Draper is pretty darn gorgeous, no matter what the year!

Paula Van Hoogen
Paula Van Hoogen
8 years ago

Could that be Richard Nixon in that picture with Robert & Natalie? Doesn’t look like Pat Nixon tho…
I love the mid-century modern clean lines…seems to be back on the upswing today!
What a neat place—want to jump in that pool! Thanks, Kristie!

8 years ago

LOVE these photos! What a fabulous hotel! I am a huge Mad Men fan, too.

p.s. clicked over from Nashville Women Who Blog…glad you found us on FB. 🙂

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