Located on the Gila River Indian Community the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass is a unique resort owned by the Akimel O’otham and Pee Posh tribes. The resort was designed to reflect the culture of the Indian community that owns it. I was amazed at the attention to detail that was put into the design from the artwork on the walls to the spa treatments and the food at Kai, their signature restaurant. This is not a Disney-like re-creation, but an accurate representation of the culture of Gila River Indian Community.
The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass is located just off Interstate 10 south of Phoenix Arizona. It is a 20 minutes drive from Sky Harbor Airport. While the resort feels secluded from the rest of the world, it is only a few minutes drive from the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse and the Phoenix Premium Outlets. The hotel has regular shuttle service that will take you to these places.
Valet and self-parking are available. I like to park my own car so I used the self-park option. Depending on the side of the building your room is on, the parking lot can be a long walk from your room. I recommend dropping your luggage off at the front before checking in if you do not want to carry it.
I arrived around 4:00PM on a Friday and walked right up to the check-in desk. The Front Desk Agent was a trainee according to his name badge. Usually when I see “trainee” on a badge I get worried that the person is not up to speed on everything but this was not the case. Check-In was friendly and efficient and he even noticed that my SPG Loyalty Number was not attached to SPG AMEX Card in the system and quickly added it.
The resort is large with 500 rooms located in two four-story buildings attached to the lobby. Each wing of the hotel is decorated to reflect the cultures of the Akimel O’otham and Pee Posh tribes The lobby is the heart of the resort with restaurants, bar and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the pool and golf course.
Surrounding the resort is a re-creation of the Gila River that once ran through the property and two golf courses. There is 2 1/2 half mile Desert Interpretive Trail that runs along the river. It was too hot to walk the trail when I was there but when the weather is cooler it would be a great place to get some exercise. The trail has signs along it explaining the culture and history of the Gila River Indian Community .
The two story lobby holds reception desk, business center, gift shop as well as the restaurants and bar. It is a great place to hang out and have a drink and there may even be a musician playing the guitar.
The dome over the lobby has murals depicting different aspects of the culture of two tribes. Sit in one of the comfortable chairs in the lounge on the lower level and look up for the best view of the murals.
On the lower level of the lobby is the Link@Sheraton business center. It includes computer work stations and printers. There is even a library of books about Native American Culture.
I stayed in a Deluxe King Bed room with a view of the pool and mountains. Rooms on both sides have views of mountains and surrounding desert. Request a room on the west side if you want to see the spectacular Arizona sunsets from your balcony.
The room was spacious and nicely furnished with a desk, leather chair, large screen TV and mini bar. There was also a balcony with a couple of chairs and table.
The bathroom had a single sink, deep bathtub and walk in shower.
There are four pools, hot tub and water slide. The pools had plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas for shade. I appreciate the abundance of umbrellas since I do not like to sit in the sun. There is also a poolside restaurant and bar.
The resort has six different restaurants ranging from the casual Ko’Sin to the award-wining, fine dining restaurant, Kai. During my stay I was able to try several of these restaurants.
Kai – The signature restaurant is the only Five Star, Five Diamond restaurant in the state of Arizona. The food is a combination of Native American and French cuisines. This may sound like a strange combination but it works and the food is amazing. Ask for a table by the windows or on the balcony when the weather is nice for a great view of the sun setting behind the mountains.
Ko’Sin – The casual dining restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a buffet brunch on Sundays. I had brunch at Ko’Sin on Sunday for $20 plus tax/tip. The waiter recommended getting the buffet over ordering off the menu because the price is about the same but you get more choices. The buffet had a nice assortment of options that are found on the regular menu. I even found out they take special requests when the table next to me requested crispy bacon and were brought out a full plate. Too bad I was full by this point or I would have ordered some. I felt the brunch was a good value and priced comparable to other resorts.
Lobby Bar – Serves drinks as well as light meals and appetizers.
I had dinner one night in the bar and had the Smoked Macaroni and Cheese which was very good. It went great with the Four Peaks Kiltlifter beer from my favorite local brewery.
Aji Spa Cafe – The cafe at the spa serves lighter spa food. I had a Tomato Mozzarella Salad and Smoothy after my massage.
Link Cafe – A casual cafe that is open for breakfast. It serves Starbucks coffee and breakfast items.
Hanyo Grill & Bar – Located by the pool, it serves appetizers, sandwiches and salads.
I enjoyed my stay at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass. The room was comfortable and the staff I encountered were friendly and professional. The Native American design and artwork create a unique environment that is not found in other resorts. I would recommend it for a long weekend getaway or spend a whole week and experience all the resort has to offer.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary stay including some meals and spa treatment at The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass. All opinions expressed here are my own.