Stylish Arizona Staycations
As the season heats up, summer rates at Valley resorts take an affordable dive. Experience the best in luxurious, world-class accommodations at one or more of these amazing resort properties at a fraction of their in-season rates. What are you waiting for? Pack your overnight bag for a lavish weekend of relaxation, fine dining, plush accommodations, and much more.
By Paige Bailey
10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr., Scottsdale
An escape from the ordinary that’s just around the corner, the AAA Five-Diamond Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale offers up its signature legendary service and high-end offerings with an accessible touch to put guests at ease during the summer and beyond.
The Four Seasons is a true desert getaway that takes full advantage of its stunning surroundings. Immerse yourself in picturesque vistas filled with magnificent views of the awe-inspiring beauty of a Sonoran setting. There are 210 intimate, relaxing generously sized guest rooms, including 22 luxury suites complete with high-end accouterments that include L’Occitane bath products, luxury down duvets and pillows, and thick terry bathrobes that all contribute to a restful night’s sleep.
With temperatures up to 10 degrees cooler than the Valley below, early-morning risers can take full advantage of all the activities at their disposal, which include hiking Pinnacle Peak and hitting the links for a round of golf at the Troon North’s Tom Weiskop and Jay Morrish-designed course. For guests looking to do as little as possible, the property’s contemporary Southwestern spa boasts 14 treat rooms and a menu of services to sooth and rejuvenate.
This summer, the Four Seasons invites guests to leave the fast pace of daily life behind for a getaway where the top priority is making memories and taking time out to savor the small moments together. Weekday rates start at $179 per night through Aug. 31 for a luxurious casita guestroom. Families can select the Very Important Kids Package, which includes a complimentary in-room family movie, a welcome amenity, vouchers for free smoothies, and a $100 resort credit per room with every two consecutive paid nights. Couples can opt for the Hideaway Package, a romantic escape that includes accommodations in the resort’s adults-only romance building as well as a variety of special touches, including a Love Potion welcome cocktail, couples’ bath amenities, and late checkout.
5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix
Family fun abounds at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. The lush tropical AAA Four-Diamond destination complete with four acres of sparkling pools also includes a meandering 1,600-foot lazy river with underwater jets and a waterslide with 89 feet of fun—you’d be hard-pressed to not be impressed by all the watery fun to be had. Set on 316 acres in the Sonoran desert complete with sweeping vistas of the crimson-hued McDowell Mountains, it’s a gorgeous setting for a quick getaway.
Kick back with a cocktail at the grand Wildfire pool, the resort’s largest natatorium and the center of the property’s waterways. Topped by a glowing fire at night, it’s a beacon of light against the desert sky. The youngsters will enjoy the Mesa pool, with an average depth of 3.5 feet; it’s located next to the interactive dancing fountains, an ideal oasis for families to enjoy. Meanwhile, couples can retreat to the Isla del Sol spa pool for quiet relaxation with massaging jets in the soothing water.
The pool scene is just one of many things to experience at this property. Moms can take a break with a day of pampering in the award-winning Revive Spa, while dads can tee off at the Faldo and Palmer championship golf course. And the property’s abundance of eateries means that guests will never go hungry and can order just about anything they could want, whether it’s steaks and seafood at Meritage Steakhouse, Southwestern American at stonegrill, and gourmet poolside fare at Just a Splash.
Now for the details on the JW’s smoking summer deal: The property’s signature Fling & Swing summer offering, an amenity-rich package starting at $149, includes a daily $50 resort credit, free golf, free meals for kids 12 and under at stonegrill and Meritage Steakhouse, free access to the Family Escape Center, free tennis, complimentary self-parking, 20 percent-off spa treatments and retail purchases, and no resort fee charge. This special package is available through Sept. 7. It’s your family’s fling, so go ahead and do your thing.
9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale
The closest thing to Las Vegas without leaving the Valley, the AAA Four-Diamond Talking Stick Resort offers a hip alternative for those looking to book a staycation where action, entertainment, and gambling take center stage. Talking Stick is one of the only Valley resorts with mega-entertainment options all in one spot––there’s a lot to arouse your attention. Besides boasting a 240-000 square-foot casino, a 25,000-square-foot ballroom with big-name headliner concerts, the TSR Showroom for more intimate shows, and three pools at which to lounge, guests can also enjoy a championship golf course or practice their swing at the popular Top Golf facility across the way from Talking Stick Resort.
Kick off the season at the perfect playground for an adult getaway with Talking Stick’s sizzling Summer Playcation Package from just $119 a night through Sept 30. The package includes a daily $25 food and beverage credit with a minimum of a two-night stay.
Itching for a quick road trip for off-the-beaten track luxury? The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain delivers.
By Sondra Barr
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
15000 N. Secret Springs Dr., Marana
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is the first resort in the Southwest and Arizona to receive the coveted Forbes Five-Star designation for 2015. The property is tucked away in the high Sonoran Desert in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains, in the scenic town of Marana. It’s one of those under-the-radar luxury resorts for people in the travel-know. Now, you can consider yourself one of them!
You wouldn’t be the first person to be surprised to hear that an award-winning Ritz-Carlton resort is a mere 80-minute drive from the North Valley. The 800-acre property opened only a few years ago, in 2009, but since then, it’s scored an impressive list of awards and recognition from top travel authorities like Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. Indeed, part of the property’s charm is its seeming isolation from the outside world.
The desert surroundings serve as the inspiration for the resort’s look and feel. Its presence, nestled neatly in the groove of two towering peaks in the Wild Burro Canyon amid stately Saguaros and jagged boulders, is impressive without being garish or overwhelming. The breathtaking scenery is the main star, and The Ritz-Carlton is wise to take every opportunity to showcase its bounty through the use of natural elements throughout the property’s interior and exterior spaces. With quartzite floors, copper accents, raw steel fixtures, and historical artifacts such as quartz crystal and geodes, the feel is one of holistic luxury that’s also authentic to the area.
This casual, natural feel extends outdoors to the open areas, where three sparking pools are a refreshing sight against the desert landscape. Choose from the expansive infinity-edge Turquesa Pool with poolside butler service; the family-friendly Aventura Pool with a 235-foot waterslide, cabanas, and children’s splash pad; and the adults-only Serenity Pool. No matter where you lay your towel, the attentive staff is always on hand to quench your thirst. Each night, the Spirit of Adventure Celebration around the fire pits on the Ignite Lounge patio presents “The Legend of the Spirit of Adventure,” the incredible story of a native Hohokam brave that concludes with live Native American flute music surrounding the hotel and desert. And the Ritz-Carlton will make your comfort a priority wherever you are.
Multiple dining choices offer guests tempting culinary delights from the hotel’s signature restaurant, CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, which serves contemporary American Cuisine; Ignite Lounge & Bar, an innovate gastropub; the poolside Turquesa Latin Grill; and Cayton’s at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, which offers American comfort food with Southwestern flair. Each highlights sustainable, regional, and organic cuisines in keeping with the area.
All the amenities you’d expect from a Ritz-Carlton make a grand showing in the 253 guest rooms and suites and 44 individual and casita suites, including The Ritz-Carlton Suite. The 400-thread-count linens by Frette, featherbeds with down duvets, separate stone shower and marble bathtubs, robes and slippers, all the way to the full travel-size Asprey of London toiletry array in a sublime purple-water scent are the cherry on top of this delectable staycation. Warning: You’ll be tempted to stow away any and all of the soap, shampoo, and lotion upon your departure––it’s just that heady and unique a scent!
Not surprisingly, resort activities take a cue from the surrounding area. In addition to ample trails and organized hikes, the world-class Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain, a 17,000-square-foot spa featuring eco-holistic treatments, and a top-of-the-line fitness center, guests can also take in stargazing with an astronomer on Saturday nights for educational and interactive sky tours. Even the youngsters can get in on the fun with the Dove Mountain Rangers children’s programs that offer hands-on supervised physical, creative, and educational adventures for young explorers, focusing on life in Southern Arizona. Kids will experience the Wild West, Mexican heritage, Native American life and culture, and the plants and animals that call Dove Mountain home. Under supervision of their in-house ranger, you can even experience an up-close-and-personal encounter with the some of the desert’s inhabitants, including snakes, scorpions, spiders, and a tortoise.
With an intriguing assortment of spa, golf, and recreational activities for the entire family, a quick road trip to The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is within reach. Through Sept. 7, enjoy rates starting at $219 nightly, with a $50 resort credit. It’s a winning combination!
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