Writer Shoshana Leon // Photo Courtesy of Castle Hot Springs
An hour north of Phoenix in the rugged Bradshaw Mountains, Castle Hot Springs, one of Arizona’s first luxury resorts, offers historical charm, modern amenities, fresh culinary options and relaxing activities in a peaceful setting.
Castle Hot Springs gets its name from the natural hot springs that produce over 200,000 gallons of pure, odorless 120-degree mineral water a day. It has an interesting history and some very famous guests, including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and several United States presidents, including Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. In 1945, a young John F. Kennedy spent a few months at Castle Hot Springs recovering from his wartime injury.
In 1867, U.S. Army Colonel Charles Craig and his soldiers came upon the hot springs after they captured a gang of robbers in the Bradshaw Mountains.
Frank Morrill Murphy, a self-made millionaire from Wisconsin, opened Castle Hot Springs as a luxury healing retreat in 1896. Murphy’s brother, who became territorial governor of Arizona in 1898, moved his Arizona office from Prescott to Castle Hot Springs during the winter months.
After Frank Murphy died in 1917, Castle Hot Springs had a few more owners before being sold to the Talley family, who owned the Arizona Biltmore. In 1976, a spark from a fireplace burned the main hotel building to the ground. Following the fire, the Talleys donated the property to Arizona State University, which used it as a conference center until selling it in 1987.
The property exchanged hands a few more times before being purchased in 2014 by a partnership of local investors and managed by Westroc Hospitality, which has restored and revived some of Arizona’s most cherished properties including Hotel Valley Ho, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, and Mountain Shadows.
Castle Hot Springs is home to 32 luxury cabins and bungalows, some of which have piping directly from the hot springs into oversized tubs with an open ceiling, offering a relaxing soak under the stars. Resort guests have many options to recharge, including soaking in the hot springs, taking a hike, resting by the pool or enjoying a massage.
Castle Hot Springs will provide guests with a taste of history as they enjoy the tranquil surroundings and soothing hot springs that have brought people to the resort in search of relaxation and healing since 1896.
Castle Hot Springs // 5050 E. Castle Hot Springs Rd., Morristown, AZ // 480-367-6240 // castlehotsprings.com