2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, 602-955-6600, arizonabiltmore.com/restaurants-and-dining/
Like a swanky buffet bulges with king crab legs, imported cheeses and buckets of Champagne, the Valley teems with top-notch resort restaurants. We advocate the all-you-can-eat approach: Try a little of everything, but make your first plate substantial. To that end, start your feasting at the historical Arizona Biltmore, which opened in 1929 and recently underwent a $35 million series of enhancements. With four restaurants, a chic watering hole, complimentary Friday wine tastings and a posh high tea experience, the Biltmore is a foodie’s dream. Forgo traditional room service and order dishes from Wright’s or Frank & Albert’s (both named for the resort’s architectural muses, Frank Lloyd Wright and Albert Chase MacArthur) to be delivered to your door for decadent in-room dining. Crab cakes Benedict, whole-grain blueberry pancakes, pecan-smoked bacon, mimosas and the resort’s signature Biltmore Green Juice make for the best breakfast in bed you’ll ever have. Summer staycation offerings include a poolside margarita cart, weekly featured cocktails and rates starting at $125 per night.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, the Biltmore – the only U.S. hotel designed in collaboration with the architect – is partnering with Taliesin West to host insider experiences and tours covering everything from Wright’s signature “Biltmore Block” to the property’s iconic sprite statues. Inquire for pricing.
High-season rate: $459/night
Summer rate: $125/night
Food fantasies EXTRA
Kai at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, 602-385-5726, wildhorsepassresort.com/kai
• Routinely ranked among the state’s top five restaurants, Kai specializes in indigenous, multi-course feasts that are culinary vision quests. Native ingredients including cactus, pickled roots, corn pinole and tepary beans dance through the menu, which is divided into stages of life: The Birth, The Beginning and The Journey. Chef de cuisine Ryan Swanson’s preparations may be newfangled, but the dining room’s vibe is old-school: no denim, no T-shirts, no technological devices.
High-season rate: $391/night
Summer rate: $117/night
Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, 855-245-2051, sanctuaryoncamelback.com/dining/elements/
• Long before he was a Food Network star, Chef Beau MacMillan lured diners to Elements with his elegant New American cuisine and room-filling exuberance. There’s just something fun about eating Atlantic swordfish and “lobstah” mac and cheese prepared by a Massachusetts boy in PV. Arizona residents and advance purchasers (stays booked 14 days or more before arrival) score 20 percent off room rates.
High-season rate: $569/night
Summer rate: $215/night for Arizona residents only
T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa
5200 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-808-0766, tcooksphoenix.com
• In addition to being a historical haven (see “History Buffs,” page 112), the Royal Palms is home to one of the “steady Eddies” of Valley fine dining. Through August 31, guests can enjoy the Luxe Lounging package, which includes a $25 food and beverage credit to T. Cook’s – just enough for a plate of Chef Todd Allison’s Hudson Valley foie gras with port-poached Bosc pear.
High-season rate: $600/night
Summer rate: $189/night
— Leah LeMoine
300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, 623-935-3811, wigwamarizona.com
Born as a guest ranch for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company executives in the 1920s, The Wigwam is a true Arizona original, from the pueblo-style main house to the Southwestern casitas that dot the sprawling, sun-drenched property. It’s also one of Arizona’s top family vacation options. The 3-2-1 Summer Fun package (three days and two nights, $179-$239) will afford the kids plenty of time to enjoy the 25-foot dual waterslide that towers over one of the West Valley resort’s three swimming pools, and every Saturday from June 3 to August 26, kids can start the day with a character breakfast ($17 adult, $8.50 child) starring the likes of Spider-Man, Ariel and Snow White. Even The Wigwam’s on-site fine dining restaurant, Litchfield’s, is kid-equipped, with a free menu for little ones and coloring books to keep them occupied while you enjoy a grilled pork chop and competitively priced bottle of Mt. Veeder Cabernet. After all, it’s your staycation, too.
Camp Wigwam Schedule
Every weekend during the summer, The Wigwam schedules a full weekend of family-oriented frivolity. The highlights:
• Friday: water-balloon game, duck races, water relays and a poolside movie
• Saturday: poolside DJ, cookie decorating, water-balloon tennis, fireside s’mores
• Sunday: animals from the Wildlife World Zoo, arts and crafts, more water balloons
High-Season Rate: $329/night
Summer Rate: $89-$119/night for Arizona residents only
Family Getaways EXTRA
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix, 480-293-5000, marriot.com
• The North Valley resort’s bona fides as a family destination are fairly straightforward: It simply has the best, most splashy, most marvelously sinuous lazy river in Arizona. Let the kids laze while you exploit the Come to Life Spa package ($199/night), which includes a 50-minute rub and $50 resort credit. Also: Kids’ meals are free at the restos.
High-Season Rate: $460/night
Summer Rate: $179/night
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
7677 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-997-2626, squawpeakhilton.com
• The 4-acre Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch is a slam-dunk for families at this resort perched on a hill near Dreamy Draw Park. It’s got a 130-foot waterslide, a miniature golf course and a daycare concept called Coyote Ranch, so mom and dad can steal away to the on-site spa. Or wherever. Book three nights and get the fourth free through the Another Day in Paradise special.
High-Season Rate: $329/night
Summer Rate: $134/night
Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Scottsdale, 480-444-1234, scottsdale.regency.hyatt.com
• A white sand beach and adults-only pool and grotto bar make the Hyatt’s 2.5-acre water playground fun for everyone. Get the Splash into Summer package ($149-$229/night) and receive a $50 resort credit to use at Spa Avania and its famous Himalayan salt wall while the kiddos play Giant Jenga and Xtreme Laser Tag. Fun fact: One of our editors used to work at the Hyatt’s kids camp. It’s legendary.
High-Season Rate: $450/night
Summer Rate: $149/night
— Craig Outhier
Get your game on
Talking Stick Resort
9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480-850-7777, talkingstickresort.com
Naturally, casino gaming is an integral experience at this Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian tribe-owned resort in Scottsdale – there’s a huge one right downstairs. But the reason Talking Stick tops our list of casino staycations has more to do with its enviable menu of party-centric summer entertainment options, which rival many top-tier Vegas resorts. To wit:
• By all indications the highest-elevation wellness center in the Valley, The Spa at Talking Stick is located on the resort’s 14th floor and spoils guests with soul-emboldening views of the Superstition Mountains. Opt for the Ready for Romance package ($421/night) and get a 60-minute couple’s massage.
• Venues, venues, venues. Talking Stick boasts two large concert venues, a 14th floor nightclub in Degree 270 and three more drinking lounges around the property. Summer acts include ’70s folk crooner Gordon Lightfoot (June 24), comic Demetri Martin (June 29), “American Pie” rocker Don McLean (August 5) and Wynonna Judd (August 12).
• Staged every Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) through August, the resort’s RELEASE pool party features top-shelf DJ talent like Dillon Francis and Duke Dumont. Free to guests.
Other Talking Stick Packages
• Talking Stick’s standard Staycation Package runs $129/night and comes with a $25 resort credit. Our rec: The Champagne Brunch at Wandering Horse Buffet is Vegas-worthy.
• Golf much? The Par Fore the Course package ($153/night) includes one round of golf per person, per night on the resort’s scenic course.
High-Season Rate: $219/night
Summer Rate: $129/night
Casinos & Gaming EXTRA
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
5040 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, 800-946-4452, wingilariver.com
• The Southeast Valley casino has a pretty evolved summer pool scene of its own, with a steel drum reggae outfit on weekends, a poolside grill program and sundry backyard games like ping-pong and corn- hole. And you can’t beat the flat summer room rate of $69. That’s a package unto itself.
High-Season Rate: $250/night
Summer Rate: $69/night
We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center
10438 N. Fort McDowell Rd., Fountain Hills, 480-789-5300, wekoparesort.com
• As the luxury imprint of Fort McDowell Casino, this AAA Four Diamond property offers top-rated golf, the Amethyst Spa and Fitness Center, Southwestern-inspired cuisine at Ahnala Restaurant and crazy beautiful views of Four Peaks.
High-Season Rate: $329/night
Summer Rate: $189/night
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino
15406 Maricopa Rd., Maricopa, 480-802-5000, caesars.com
• Greater Phoenix’s southernmost resort is tribute-band paradise, with acts like ABBA Fab and Bostyx on its Live at the Lounge playbill. It’s also a good place to grab a duff, ranking No. 6 on Golfweek’s 2012 list of Arizona’s best open-to-the-public courses. No summer staycation deals at press time, but Harrah’s does offer regular Hot Dates deals for as low as $63 a night.
High-Season Rate: $80/night
Summer Rate: $80/night
— Craig Outhier
Hot child in the City
The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix, 602-252-7363, goclarendon.com
Every seasoned Phoenician knows about our reverse hibernation schedule – play outdoors all winter, stay indoors all summer. Following that formula, then, there’s no better place for staycations than the city’s urban core, where indoor activities abound. Maximize AC-induced relaxation at The Clarendon Hotel and Spa, a pretty little historical boutique hotel in Midtown where the Downtown arts crowd hangs. It’s basically the equivalent of an Instagram succulent post on the coolness scale. “People want to come here because it’s different, eclectic,” general manager Greg Joines says. Built in 1972, the 105-room Clarendon retains its groovy charm through bold colors and patterns in artwork and furniture, and a rainbow tiled pool. On-site restaurant Café Tranquilo supplies copious tequila drinks and guacamole to keep the party swinging in-house, or you’re just a few light rail stops away from vintage shopping in the Melrose District, dining at the Upward Projects resto-corridor up Central Avenue, or a ballgame at Chase Field.
Guests who book directly through the Clarendon’s website get free breakfast at Tranquilo. Also free? Use of the hotel’s small fleet of beach cruisers for scorching summer bike rides. For those who’d rather skip the hellfire soul cycle, snag a spot by the pool, where the staff is known to circulate popsicles on hot days. And each evening at 5 p.m., head to the lobby for a complimentary glass of Arizona wine at the manager-hosted wine hour.
High-season rate: $199-$249/night
Summer rate: $89-109/night
Urban Retreats EXTRA
Kimpton Hotel Palomar
2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 602-253-6633, hotelpalomar-phoenix.com
• You won’t find a more Downtown hang than the Hotel Palomar, located in the heart of CityScape. Seize the solstice spirit with the Fast Forward to Summer package, including 20 percent off rooms and suites plus 20 percent off at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and LUSTRE Rooftop Bar, which hosts pool parties every weekend through September 3.
High-season rate: $359/night
Summer rate: $136/night
2401 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-468-0700, thecamby.com
• Tap into Biltmore-level luxury at The Camby, which boasts a 24/7 rooftop pool and bar. The summer Dine & Elevate package includes an upgrade to a mountain-view room, $50 food and beverage credit to Artizen (a 2016 PHOENIX Best New Restaurant) and 50 percent off valet parking.
High-season rate: $199/night
Summer rate: Starting at $129/night
1333 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, 480-968-3451, moxy-hotels.marriott.com
• If ever there was a hotel version of a millennial, the MOXY is it. Case in point: This summer, the evil stepdaughter of Marriott hotels is launching an Instagram hashtag campaign, and offering 25,000 Marriott Rewards points for the best #SelfivatorConfession selfie in their elevator, which has been made into a mobile photo booth with props.
High-season rate: $209-$249/night
Summer rate: $99-$129/night
4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-308-1100, thesaguaro.com/scottsdale
• Party on a budget at the Saguaro, which boasts a bustling pool scene at a fraction of the cost of its Old Town Scottsdale contemporaries. The most colorful hotel in the Valley – literally – offers locals a staycation package that includes $40 off the nightly room rate, a $40 food and beverage credit and a 2 p.m. checkout (Sunday through Thursday). Screaming spa specials, too.
High-season rate: $297/night
Summer rate: $159/night
— Lauren Loftus
The Hermosa Inn
5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley, 844-423-3981, hermosainn.com
The grande dame of historical Southwestern resorts just completed a $5.5 million renovation and expansion that included the addition of 10 deluxe casitas (complete with vaulted ceilings with skylights, clawfoot tubs and beehive fireplaces), renovation of 12 historic rancho casitas and the expansion of LON’s Last Drop bar and patio adjacent to on-site restaurant LON’s. Thankfully, the inn’s bones and spirit have retained the rustic gentility befitting the 1930s home of legendary cowboy artist Lon Megargee. You can feel his spirit everywhere – his paintings and prints are in every building, along with books and artifacts detailing his life and work. Chef Jeremy Pacheco has also crafted a charming Southwestern menu evocative of the Hermosa’s environs, with Arizona durum flour pancakes with local honeycomb at brunch and Hayden Flour Mills pasta in the mac and cheese at dinner. The summer prix-fixe menu offers a three-course meal for $45 per person and the Sip and Save on Sundays special brings 50 percent off a selection of wines by the bottle, including all Arizona wines, in the LON’S dining room from 6-9 p.m. Book private dining in LON’s underground wine cellar at least one week in advance and enjoy a special tasting menu for $65 per person.
Boutique Hideaway Bonus
The Summer in Paradise Getaway special, offered through September 9, includes valet parking, two drink tickets per room upon arrival, a $25 daily food and beverage credit, gratis poolside treats, upgrades when available and early check-in/late check-out when available.
High-season rate: $386/night
Summer rate: $139/night
Historic Resorts EXTRA
6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, 480-941-8200, thephoenician.com
• One of Arizona’s chicest resorts began as the humble adobe Jokake Inn in 1926. The structure still stands inside the sprawling grounds today, along with 645 total rooms. This summer brings a bonanza of savings because the resort is undergoing extensive renovations. Put up with a little construction and you can get more than half off of the new redesigned rooms, plus 50 percent off all Funicians Kids Club programming and one complimentary in-room movie per stay.
High-season rate: $500/night
Summer rate: $119/night
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
5402 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, 480-948-1700, marriott.com
• Breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain have enticed silver-screen luminaries including Jimmy Stewart and Bette Davis to stay at the Camelback Inn since 1936. Through September 30, you can make like an Old Hollywood starlet with staycation specials including a $50 resort credit, a $199 Swedish massage package and unlimited golf for two starting at $219.
High-season rate: $659/night
Summer rate: $169/night
Royal Palms Resort and Spa
5200 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-283-1234, royalpalmshotel.com
• The Spanish Revival-style love nest of New York industrialist Delos Cooke and his wife Florence was completed in 1929 and opened as an inn on February 1, 1948. Guests can take guided history and art tours every Saturday. In addition to dining credits, the Luxe Lounging summer package includes a $50 credit to the award-winning Alvadora Spa.
High-season rate: $600/night
Summer rate: $189/night
— Leah LeMoine
The Boulders Resort & Spa
34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr., Carefree, 480-488-9009, theboulders.com
The Boulders’ secluded Carefree setting screams “tranquil Southwestern retreat” rather than “insanity sweat sesh” with ancient granite vistas and cozy, just-renovated casitas to go with slightly cooler temperatures than the rest of the Valley. But don’t let all that Zen fool you: This place is fitness buff heaven. With eight tennis courts, two Jay Morrish-designed award-winning golf courses (it was named 2017’s Best Golf Resort in the Southwest by Golf Digest), four pools, moonlight bike ride tours, sunrise stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga classes, gorgeous guided hikes and horseback riding, and desert fly fishing, this resort has an activity sheet long enough to tucker out Bear Grylls. And if you hurry, you can also test out your Spidey senses climbing and rappelling one of the iconic huge boulders the resort was named for. Rock climbing is offered before the summer temperatures reach unsafe levels (usually in early summer). The Boulders was named Best Hotel in Arizona in 2017 by Travel + Leisure, proving there’s no better #fitspo staycation this summer than one among the rocks.
Take thrill-seeking to a whole new level with a scenic hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert or soar above the Grand Canyon in a private helicopter tour. If you’d rather stay grounded, a Hummer adventure will take you on a titillating trip tackling 60-degree rock slopes and running streams. All activities can be arranged through the concierge.
High-season rate: $399/night
Summer rate: $139/night
Fitness Staycations EXTRA
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale, 480-585-4848, fairmont.com/scottsdale
• Start off with a WellFIT assessment, where a coach will recommend a unique workout approach based on your overall goals and fitness level. Or, try something new with an aerial yoga session or a fun, studio-based Surf Set class. Check out the Well & Being Spa Relaxation package which includes room accommodations and a $200 spa credit, starting at $219 per night.
High-season rate: $399/night
Summer rate: $169/night
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
6902 E. Greenway Pkwy., Scottsdale, 480-624-1000, kierlandresort.com
• Who says your workout routine has to go out the window during vacation? Wake up at the Westin Kierland with a guided group run complete with warmup and cool-down exercises. And if you want to tighten your golf game, the FORE-MAX Training System incorporates fitness, nutrition and classic golf instruction designed to improve your driving distance and endurance on the greens.
High-season rate: $300/night
Summer rate: $179/night
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, 480-948-2100, sanctuaryoncamelback.com
• Variety is the spice of life with a choice of three unique yoga classes: Vinyasa Reformer blends flow yoga and reformer Pilates, Restorative Yoga incorporates live music, and TRX Yoga focuses on downward yoga poses while limbs are suspended. If you’re experiencing Olympics withdrawal this summer, there’s Olympic-grade Triathlon Training where guests will be assessed by one of the fitness experts on staff, including gold medal swimmer Misty Hyman, for a tailor-made three-day program that will focus on the fitness goals of the participant.
High-season rate: $425/night
Summer rate: $215/night
— Mirelle Inglefield
New in Town
Get acquainted with these four latest additions to the Valley resort scene.
Mountain Shadows Resort
5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley, 480-624-5400, mountainshadows.com
Opened: April 2017
The Pitch: Luxurious modern getaway in Paradise Valley, at a price point caressed to fit between Sanctuary and Camelback Inn.
3 Reasons To Visit
• The Design: Built over the bones of the Eisenhower-era Paradise Valley resort of the same name, the new Mountain Shadows is a wholly original structure – a “scrape build” in developer parlance. And it’s certainly a statement piece, with a futuristic, Bauhaus-inspired cubism that stands in striking contrast to its PV neighbors. Tongues are wagging.
• Hearth ’61: The resort’s open-kitchen concept is helmed by ex-ZuZu and Elements chef Charles Wiley and features a refreshing emphasis on small plates and wood-fired entrees, including daily “roast” specials like Thursday’s exquisite miso-glazed game hen – a crispy and playfully sweet fall-off-the-bone masterpiece.
• The Short Course: In the mood for a quickie? Mountain Shadows’ 18-hole boutique golf course is a 54-par charmer that’s tailor-made for beginners and duffers on a schedule. Set at the foot of Camelback Mountain, it also affords grand views of PV.
It’s not exclusively a summer deal, but the resort’s Free Flow Nights invites yoga enthusiasts to stretch for free in the grand courtyard every Thursday (6-7 p.m.) followed by $5 glasses of wine; the Stay and Play package ($139/night) includes two rounds of golf per night.
High-Season Rate: $299/night
Summer Rate: $89/night
1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-875-8000, foundrehotels.com
Opened: October 2016
The Pitch: Housed in the re-energized building that formerly housed the drab Lexington Hotel, FOUND:RE is where industrial chic design meets Downtown’s cheeky artist aesthetic. The hotel exudes exceptional attention to detail, from the hundreds of local art pieces throughout to the custom steel furniture in the guest rooms to the eclectic, globally inspired street food at on-site restaurant MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails.
3 reasons to visit
• Location: They say it’s everything. Indeed, at FOUND:RE you’re next to a light rail stop in the heart of Downtown Phoenix which, if you haven’t noticed, is in the midst of a renaissance with a growing arts community and buzzing bar and restaurant scene.
• Art: Cultural Curator Michael Oleskow hand-picked the 300 or so pieces of art created by Arizona artists found throughout the hotel lobby, restaurant, guest rooms and attached art gallery. You can’t miss the massive nude of Burt Reynolds in a blond wig hanging behind the front desk or the “Reveries” series of a woman’s face leading the way to MATCH.
• Atmosphere: With open-concept common areas, an astounding art collection and close proximity to the eccentric Downtown arts crowd, this place is a people-watching jackpot. The open bar and lounge is very “see and be seen,” while guest rooms boast stellar views of Phoenix and very Instagram-able floating beds.
High season rate: $349/night
Summer rate: $129/night
The Scott Resort & Spa
4925 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-945-7666, thescottresort.com
Opened: December 2016
The Pitch: Upcycled boutique hotel within walking distance of Old Town Scottsdale. Also: nice beer program.
3 Reasons To Visit
• The pool scene: Set at the former address of FireSky Resort, The Scott comes pre-equipped with two outdoor pool complexes with cabanas, a pool bar and all the fun beach-like excesses you might expect from an Old Town sunbathing spot.
• Jurlique: The resort’s on-site spa features six treatment rooms with natural lighting (a rarity) and offers a 30-minute massage option (another rarity) for $90. Also available: hammam-like water therapy treatments that incorporate purifying salts, tonics and butters. Think of it as a bubble bath on steroids.
• Extracurriculars: You’re right next to Old Town! The Galleria district – with Bottled Blonde, Bevvy, The District and a litany of high-energy watering holes – is right around the corner. You can also grab dinner at Second Story Liquor Bar, Bourbon & Bones or any number of prominent restaurants.
The Life is Brewtiful package ($119/night) includes four beers and an appetizer at check-in – just to get your staycation started on the right foot; the Time Out for Teachers special gives educators and school administrators access to $99/night rates.
High-Season Rate: $369/night
Summer Rate: $109/night
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
6114 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-368-1234, scottsdale.andaz.hyatt.com
Opened: December 2016
The Pitch: $75 million revamp of a former Cottonwood Suites property in mid-Scottsdale; named to the coveted Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s annual Hot List of the world’s best hotels
3 Reasons to Visit
• The Art: As part of Hyatt Hotels’ global luxury line of Andaz properties, the resort has a mandate to reflect and promote local culture. As such, the digs are festooned with Valley-made artwork, primarily by artists living and working in the nearby Cattle Track Arts Compound. See their paintings, pottery and installations throughout the grounds or schedule a tour of the studios.
• The Food: Named for the tapestry techniques of Native Americans, Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen is another celebration of the Sonoran Desert. Think: Arizona Medjool dates stuffed with cream, Crow’s Dairy goat cheese dumplings and blue corn pancakes.
• The ambience: “This isn’t just a hotel with a good restaurant, it’s part of the landscape,” says Cattle Track artist Mark McDowell. The grounds are a quiet oasis of private single-story casitas shaded by original mesquite and olive trees with premium views of golden sunsets over Camelback’s Praying Monk. From the complimentary flip-flops in each room to the minimalist Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary to the non-lobby lobby featuring iPad check-in and a gift shop stocked with local goods, everything at Andaz says, “Welcome to Scottsdale.”
The Stay More, Save More deal takes 20 percent off your room rate if you stay two nights, and 30 percent off for three nights; the resort fee will also be discounted to $29 for this package. In addition, the Family Plan gets you a second room for 50 percent off with purchase of one room at the regular rate. Arizona residents get 20 percent off all summer long.
High-season rate: $399/night
Summer rate: $139-$209/night
Oxymoron? Maybe a little. But these extra-Valley Arizona resort experiences deserve a mention.
L’Auberge de Sedona
301 L’Auberge Lane, Sedona, 855-905-5745, lauberge.com
By any hospitality standard, this high-country resort is one lavishly baited hook: The beautiful, burbling creek. The delightful bungalows with the outdoor showers. The unfailingly helpful staff. It all adds up to Arizona’s most bucket list-y resort experience, and a great pseudo-staycation option, particularly given that temperatures rarely crack 100 in red rock country. The kicker: Star chef Michael O’Dowd (Kai) recently took over the kitchen at the resort’s flagship restaurant, Cress on Oak Creek. See what O’Dowd has cooking via the Celebrate Love package ($315/night), which includes a $125 resort credit.
High-Season Rate: $1,195/night
Summer Rate: $305/night
Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort
10000 N. Oracle Rd., Tucson,
Cushioned in green lawns and palm trees at the base of the towering Santa Catalina mountains in Oro Valley just north of Tucson, the El Conquistador recently completed the largest renovation in its 34-year history. The multi-million-dollar refresh includes renovated guest rooms; new poolside cabanas, fire pits and a 143-foot waterslide at the Desert Springs Oasis pool; and the reopening of its horse stables for trail rides and custom “Western Adventures.” A great option for families, the resort is debuting its El Con Kids Club this summer. Drop off kids ages 4-12 for half- or full-day activities while you hit the links on three courses featuring 45 holes of championship golf.
High-season rate: $279/night
Summer rate: $109/night
Tanque Verde Ranch
14301 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson,
Want to rough it during the day but have a resort experience at night? This luxe dude ranch is for you, dude. Tanque Verde offers an all-inclusive “resort” ranch experience complete with three daily meals, comfy casitas and suites, and access to a laundry list of ranchin’ fun – horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, nature walks – along with citified activities like tennis and watercolor classes. Cowboy cookouts and breakfast rides are rustic fun, but if you’re feeling fancy you can book a Chef’s Table experience (in advance of your stay) with Chef Justin Macy, who will craft a six-course pairing dinner. Inquire for pricing.
High-Season Rate: $775/night
Summer Rate: $365/night
16802 N.E. Hwy. 88, Tortilla Flat,
A With its dramatic rock formations and red rock canyon walls, Canyon Lake is arguably the prettiest and most underappreciated of the four near-Phoenix lakes formed by the damming of the Salt River in the 1920s. Like Apache, Roosevelt and Saguaro lakes, it’s a boating and fishing bonanza. But it’s also veined with slot canyons and narrow waterways that make it uniquely suited for a kayaking adventure.
Camping: RVers ($55/day) and tent-campers ($30/day) alike can book spots at the Canyon Lake Marina Campground; the U.S. Forest Service also runs a campground at Tortilla Flat, but only from October through April.
Kayak/boat rental: Pontoons ($90/hour) and fishing skiffs ($25/hour) are available for rent at Precision Marine (precisionmarine.biz), which also lets single kayaks for $60 for a half-day. Navigate the lake with a map provided at the marina.
Dinner cruise: Treat the family to a twilight supper ($56 adults, $32 children) on Dolly Steamboat (dollysteamboat.com), a 142-passenger tour craft that also hosts bighorn sheep viewing cruises and astronomy-focused excursions.
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