Phoenix's 'Best Kept Secret': The Embassy Suites By Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale and Stonecreek Golf Club

Stonecreek and the Embassy Suites pair well as a stay-and-play in Arizona's competitive golf scene in the Valley of the Sun.
A nice view from a balcony at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottdale reveals the sun rising over Stonecreek Golf Club.

PHOENIX, Ariz. - First let me apologize.

I feel like I let our GolfPass readers down. When researching Arizona's many golf resorts last year to build our U.S. Golf Resort Guide - the first of its kind on the web - apparently I missed a golf resort hidden in plain sight: the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale.

To make up for the blunder, I booked a stay during a week-long visit to Arizona over the New Year's holiday to find out more about it. In my defense, neither the hotel or the semiprivate Stonecreek Golf Club next door market themselves in tandem as a golf resort. Stonecreek provides a beautiful backdrop for the hotel, but the two are managed by different companies - the hotel by Hilton and the Stonecreek by Arcis Golf. But the synergy is there ... the range and pro shop are mere steps from the elevators off the lobby. A lot of other more famous golf resorts in Scottsdale could use such a convenient connection between their beds and the first tee. The Embassy Suites-Stonecreek combo didn't rank among Phoenix's five best golf resorts in a recent story I wrote (see below) because the competition is fierce, but it most certainly would appear if I expanded the list. Read on to understand why it's so often overlooked:

The Resort Experience at The Embassy Suites

The putting green at Stonecreek Golf Club sits adjacent to the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale.

I'm also not afraid to admit that I love the Embassy Suites brand. My family is currently married to collecting Hilton Honors award points like Tour pros hunt birdies. We're obsessed. Any time we travel, we're booking Hilton, and anytime it's more than just my wife and I in a room, we're booking Embassy Suites. We like the extra space of the suites, while still maintaining solid value for the price with a touch of class. It's not "fancy" by any means, but most Embassy Suites are plenty nice.

This particular hotel checked the three most important boxes I look for in a stay:
* A good breakfast. The complimentary breakfast buffet boasted an omelette station - something you normally only see at a high-end golf resort.
* A powerful shower with good water pressure.
* A comfy bed.

The other reason we like the Embassy Suites brand - the free drinks at happy hour in the lounge. With 60 restaurants within 1.5 miles, we didn't dine at Tatum’s Lounge & Patio, but at least it's there if you need it. The hotel, which offers an outdoor pool, is within six miles of hiking trails at Camelback Mountain and a large outdoor mall.

The only bummer is paying for parking ($9 a night) seems like a bit of overkill. It's essentially a resort fee that's entirely unnecessary.

The Golf Experience at Stonecreek

Stonecreek touts itself as Phoenix's "Best Kept Secret". To be honest, I had never heard of the 6,871-yard, par-71 course before my visit. Stonecreek opened in 1983 as a Roy Dye/Gary Grandstaff design before it was tweaked by Arthur Hills a couple years later.

The golf experience is unique to Paradise Valley. A number of its holes are protected by an endless barrage of cross-hazard carries in the form of a dry creek bed, wetlands and ponds that golfers don't often experience in the Sonoran desert. The first hole is typical of the challenge. Golfers need to stay left to avoid the large pond that torments slicers up the right side. Ten other holes are pinched by similar obstacles. For that reason, it feels like target golf for much of the round.

Golfpass user 'ruorias3' called Stonecreek "My Fav in Phoenix" in a recent review, writing: "Challenging course layout (that) makes you strategize your shot selection & approach. Fun to play."

Heading into 2023, General Manager Ron Koohbanani believed the course was in its best shape in years, partly thanks to new sand in the bunkers. As for the facilities, the clubhouse is expansive with an oversized pro shop and the restaurant, Up The Creek.

Stonecreek might not be a secret much longer. We're adding it to our resort guide, so more golfers - snowbirds and locals alike - can find it next time they're shopping for some good, quality golf that won't break the bank in the Valley of the Sun.

More Arizona Golf Packages

March 21, 2019
A dream golf destination in America's southwest, there are many ways to experience spectacular golf here. The Phoenix-Scottsdale mecca boasts 200-plus courses and an array of world-class resorts and spas. Or, experience scenery and seclusion in smaller Tucson. Summer golf can be comfortable too in high-altitude climes like Sedona and Flagstaff. Name your game and Arizona's got a package for you.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Phoenix's 'Best Kept Secret': The Embassy Suites By Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale and Stonecreek Golf Club