From Phoenix to Tucson, these lavish resorts have all the amenities you need to relax, stay cool, and get pampered, while enjoying the beauty of Arizona’s desert landscape. Take advantage of summer rates, which provide an affordable opportunity to relish in 5-star luxury.
Where To Stay
Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
15000 North Secret Springs Drive
Marana, Arizona 85658
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, is a stunning resort, located in Marana (near Tucson), which blends seamlessly into the beauty of its High Sonoran Desert setting. Surrounded by a unique forest of saguaro cacti and breathtaking canyon views, the remote location naturally provides peace and serenity with plenty of options for recreation and relaxation, including a Jack Nicklaus designed 27-hole golf course. The resort’s comfortable elegance and exceptional service is perfect for family adventure or a romantic getaway. Explore the mountain terrain by geocaching (a scavenger hunt in the desert) or take a sunset hike, followed by a complimentary cocktail.Cool off in one of three pools on the property and slide down the 235’ waterslide, built into the hill at ground level to blend into the desert landscape. Water summer activities include: a ride on the Cosmic Slide (water slide with lasers, lights and music) on Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. and Dive-In Movies every Saturday at 8 p.m. through the end of August.
Guest rooms and suites have an appealing modern Southwest design with luxurious elements, including spacious marble bathrooms with deep tubs. Surprise your child and order an In-Room Tent Experience, a fun way to enjoy an indoor camping experience in the comfort of your room. A real tent is delivered and set-up with a comfy duvet to sleep on, along with a book about Arizona’s High Sonoran Desert, a desert tortoise stuffed animal and a lantern to keep.
What To Do
For younger travelers (ages 5-12), the Dove Mountain Ritz Kids Rangers program keeps kids busy learning and discovering cultural traditions and the natural wonders around them through immersive experiments, games and art projects. Young explorers are given their own Adventure Expedition Travel Guide to complete filled with facts, questionnaires, maps and puzzles. Each day the Ritz Kids program differs emphasizing learning activities based on four key concepts: water, land, environmental responsibility and culture. While studying native plants and animals, kids will go on a nature walk with a ranger guide and discuss the petro glyphs on the rocks left by the Hohokams (Native American tribe) hundreds of years ago. Half-day programs (3 hours) begin at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Dove Mountain Ritz Kids Ranger Headquarters.
While the kids are happy and well taken care of at the Ritz Kids Rangers, Mom and Dad can escape to the award-winning Spa for some hard-earned relaxation time. Featured treatments are designed around the balancing elements of nature and time-honored traditions of the Sonoran Desert. Try a Hohokam Stone massage or a Thai Table massage to melt away stress, increase flexibility and balance energy. After your nurturing treatment, further relax at the spa’s private pool with a massaging waterfall in the Jacuzzi and comfortable day beds.
Where To Eat
CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar, found on the lower level of the hotel, features upscale American cuisine, with a menu based on regional and sustainable items from local growers. A citrus grove on-site is utilized in dishes and drinks when the fresh oranges, tangelos and grapefruit are in season. The contemporary design and vibrant earth tone colors are aesthetically pleasing to look at. Both the food and the service are exceptional at CORE. Some dishes on the menu pay tribute to the area with a flavorful Sonoran desert twist. Specialty breakfast items include: Huevos Rancheros and Braised Short Ribs and Potato Hash. For a totally indulgent feast, try the breakfast buffet with a bevy of hot and cold items, including assorted pastries, smoked salmon, fresh fruit, buttermilk pancakes and an omelet station. Dinner is a truly special experience and reservations are recommended.
Where To Stay
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
10600 East Crescent Moon Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is located in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak in the high Sonoran Desert, among towering saguaros and the rugged flora and fauna of north Scottsdale. Adobe casitas scattered throughout the property have private, landscaped terraces or balconies with magnificent desert views. The one-bedroom suite is spacious and features a separate living area with a kiva fireplace and queen sofa bed, two bathrooms, a private patio and plunge pool, a telescope for stargazing, and an outdoor garden shower.
While staying at the resort, families can utilize the complimentary children’s camp “Kids for All Seasons,” open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., for children ages 5 to 12. Kids can drop by even for a short time to play on the Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii, build with Legos or play a game of ping-pong. A number of scheduled activities are also available at the camp, such as “Pajama Jam,” where children enjoy pizza and a movie and parents can enjoy a dinner night out.
Complimentary weekend activities at the resort include stargazing (led by a professional astronomer) on Friday evenings and “Dive-In” movies on Saturday nights. During the day, relax at the pool with complimentary cabanas and passed amenities such as smoothie samples and fruit kebabs. Adults can relax and recharge at The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale with the refreshing scent of citrus featured in seasonal spa treatments. Enjoy discounted treatments during Spa Happy Hour with choice of two pampering 25-minute mini services for the special rate of $129, offered from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
Where To Eat
Proof is an American canteen with a laid-back and fun atmosphere, inspired by the historic days of Route 66. The décor of the restaurant draws upon the area’s history as a stagecoach hitchingpost. An old-fashioned soda fountain serves up nostalgic milkshakes, malts and spiked floats, while a speakeasy bar offers 50 kinds of beer, wine, and distilled spirits. Executive Sous Chef Jesse Hansen works with local artisans and growers to create elevated versions of Main Street USA comfort food. Fried green tomatoes, soft pretzel knots with spicy cheese sauce, and chicken and waffles with bacon brittle, peach bourbon syrup and cayenne maple butter are but a few of the scrumptious items served. Visit from 3-5 p.m. for an “Ice Cream Social,” where you can buy one ice cream or float, and receive the second one free.
What To Do
Arizona Outback Adventures
16447 N. 91st Street, Suite 101
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
In partnership with Arizona Outback Adventures, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale offers a series of customized adventure programs from mountain biking, rafting, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. For over 20 years, AOA has been the premier adventure tour company in the Southwest, specializing in guided adventure day tours in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. They offer a gentle river-rafting trip on the Lower Salt River that is family-friendly and Class 1 (the easiest rating of difficulty). As you peacefully float down the river, a guide will provide information about the scenic landscape and point out plenty of bird watching opportunities. All the guides are very knowledgeable and have an enthusiasm for the outdoors that is catching. This half-day rafting trip is a great way to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Sonoran Desert and includes transportation, water and snacks. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.
Where To Stay
2400 E Missouri Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85016
A historic landmark since 1929, the Arizona Biltmore is widely recognized for its distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright architectural style, luxurious facilities, and history as a playground of the rich and famous. Every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover has been a guest at the “Jewel of the Desert.” Nestled on 39 acres at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the legendary resort offers: eight swimming pools, two 18-hole golf courses, six restaurants and lounges and a 22,000-square-foot spa.
In honor of its 85th anniversary, the property has launched a multi-million dollar renovation (to be completed in the Fall 2014) to modernize and refine accommodations, while preserving Wright’s historic architecture and design. Chic and contemporary guest rooms will be light and fresh with a soft color palette of mist, linen, latte, and contrasting warm wood colors. Affordable summer rates start at just $109 per night and an all-inclusive package for two from only $209.
What To Do
Summer at The Biltmore offers a variety of experiences from wine tastings, to Moonlight Yoga, kids cooking classes, s’mores on Squaw Peak Lawn, “glow-in-the-dark” golf and more. However, Paradise Pool (a combination of three pools) is the place to be with its 92-foot water slide, swim-up bar and private cabanas with full bath, refrigerator, phone, TV, robes, lounge chairs and cooling misters. Summer guests can enjoy “Splash Cinema” Dive-in Movies on Friday and Saturday nights, while floating on inner tubes in the pool. For a totally indulgent aqua treatment, try a Hydra facial in the award-winning Spa.
Where To Eat
The resort’s signature restaurant, Wright’s at The Biltmore serves up classics with a modern twist. The innovative cuisine reflects fresh, locally sourced ingredients (including herbs from the Chef’s garden) transformed into elegant dishes. Classics such as Lobster Thermidor with English peas, wild mushrooms, crab and sabayon and Beef Wellington in a puff pastry with foie gras, duxelle and hollandaise are found on the menu. Wright’s is also known for its acclaimed Sunday brunch, with an impressive selection of culinary delights from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The newly designed restaurant is impressive with large globe pendant chandeliers of varying sizes, glass panels framed in wrought iron, and Frank Lloyd Wright sketches seamlessly integrated with the existing gold-leafed ceiling. All in all, the Biltmore is a classic property that keeps getting better.