On Location: The Wigwam

The Wigwam

With almost a century of hosting well-heeled visitors seeking a desert getaway, The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz., has become synonymous with Southwestern-inspired casual elegance.

The front entrance to The Wigwam is a surprise for those used to see-and-be-seen arrivals, massive porte cocheres and dripping chandeliers. It’s basically a big, heavy wooden door, with a small square window in the center and wrought iron hardware—almost like the front door of a home. Like most of the resort’s 331 accommodations, which are scattered throughout the lushly landscaped 440-acre property, it is located in a single-story whitewashed, adobe-style building.

The Wigwam

Step inside and the first thing that strikes you is the music, from the Sinatra era, signifying that this is a place with a rich history, chosen over the past 100 years as a desert retreat for both movie stars and family vacationers alike. In fact, The Wigwam started out as a guest ranch owned by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

The charming lobby fireplace creates the same cozy effect as a fire on a snowy winter day, even in summer in the Arizona desert. You just want to curl up on one of the buttery leather sofas and stay a while, explore the display cases filled with historical memorabilia from a bygone era, peruse one of the coffee table books scattered throughout. Exposed beams run the length of the ceiling, and bright Southwestern art and pottery punctuate the dark woods and white stucco finishes. That same vibe of relaxed luxury is present throughout, including the library and restaurant/bar area.

The WIgwam

Prevue held its Meet Well Summit at The Wigwam in early September, and as meeting partners, I found the service from Senior Conference Services Manager Bobby Mason and his team to be flawless. They worked with the chef to create healthy but tasty food and to incorporate special touches of wellness throughout, including a discount at the LeMonds Spa so attendees could focus on their own personal wellbeing, and a half-hour restorative stretch break that left placid smiles on attendees’ faces. A handy service available to both meeting planners and guests, “Wigwam Pronto,” allows you to shoot off a text with any need to a virtual concierge and hear back within minutes.

The Wigwam

Golf has always been the centerpiece of this resort, with three 18-hole championship courses, two of which were designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The esteemed Gold Course was nicknamed “Arizona’s Monster” and has hosted many signature golf events. There are also three pools, a fitness center and the Aveda spa. With 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 65,000 outdoors in 10 different garden and event lawns, there are many options for your group and plenty of room to socially distance.

And that’s exactly what we did, for a safe, comfortable, rejuvenating COVID-free event.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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