Summer Staycations 2019

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Poolside cocktails at The Hermosa Inn; photo by Marilyn Szabo; Models: Subyn Wadsworth and Erick CedEño/Ford Robert Black Agency
Poolside cocktails at The Hermosa Inn; photo by Marilyn Szabo; Models: Subyn Wadsworth and Erick CedEño/Ford Robert Black Agency

By Angelina Aragon, Mirelle Inglefield, Leah LeMoine, Craig Outhier & Christianna Silva

Original photography by Angelina Aragon, Craig Outhier & Marilyn Szabo

Triple-digit heat? Bring it on!

When the mercury rises, prices plummet at Arizona resorts and hotels. Find your perfect fit with our annual guide to the best summer staycation promos in the Valley… and beyond. Bonus: Easy-to-browse resort chart!


The Hermosa Inn

Why We Love It: The serenity (your biggest distractions are silence and songbirds), the provisions (cocktails and charcuterie in a cabana by the pool) and the flora (the resort’s lush landscaping will set your senses abuzz).

Nearby Attractions: Hop on a provided beach cruiser for a Frank Lloyd Wright architecture tour – there are three landmarks within 3 miles of the inn. Or bust out a sunrise hike on Piestewa Peak’s vaunted summit trail. The climb will clear some calories for chef Jeremy Pacheco’s buttermilk panna cotta during your post-hike brunch.

High-Season Rate: $499/night

Summer Rate: $149/night

Photo by Marilyn Szabo; models: Subyn Wadsworth & Erick Cedeño/Ford Robert Black Agency
Photo by Marilyn Szabo; models: Subyn Wadsworth & Erick Cedeño/Ford Robert Black Agency

Perhaps no resort in Arizona more clearly reflects the spirit of its founder than The Hermosa Inn.  History tells us that artist Lon Megargee threw outlaw drinking soirees at his hand-built hacienda during Prohibition in the 1930s, digging escape tunnels to protect his guests from the nosy sheriff, and ensconcing his illicit liquids in an underground wine cellar, where private five-course dinners are served today. Fast-forward 90 years, and the Hermosa is still redolent of cowboy mystique and art, embodied in the Stetson hats and caballero art covering its lobby walls, bequeathed to the property by Megargee himself. More of his essence can be found at the Blue Door Art Studio & Gallery, where guests can take private painting lessons and plot art walks of the buildings and grounds. The pool is small for a Valley resort, but we dig the intimate vibe – and the cooling cocktails that come in pool-safe plastic pouches. Grown-up Capri Suns for everyone!

5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley, 602-955-8614,

Summer Promo!
The “Summer in Paradise” getaway includes two drink tickets, a $25 food credit, “daily poolside treats” and more. $149/night


Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

Why We Love It: It’s centrally located, it’s surrounded by beautiful mountains, and there is truly something for every staycationer, from couples rekindling romance on the Different Pointe of View restaurant patio to kiddos watching “dive-in movies” at the pool.

Nearby Attractions: The Phoenix North Mountain Preserve is adjacent to the property, so wake up early to safely hike or bike the trails before the sun unleashes its summer fury.

Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon

Grab a hearty Mexican sandwich at nearby Los Reyes De La Torta or Thai pizza and a Belay Double IPA at North Mountain Brewing Company.

High-Season Rate: $329/night

Summer Rate: $100/night to celebrate Hilton’s centennial (booking code: OX)

Pools are measured by the acre at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, where the The Falls Water Village alone boasts two pools, two waterfalls, cabanas and flowing drinks at Cascades Café (our go-to staycation sipper: Banana Bo Tai, with lots of rum keeping the banana, mango and sweet and sour company). The jaw-dropping views of the city at night from Different Pointe of View are so special that you’ll forget your angst about the 115-degree weather and fall in love with Phoenix all over again. Take advantage of the restaurant’s Sizzling Summer Menu, a prix-fixe menu that includes an appetizer, a main course and a dessert for $44 – an absolute steal considering that entrées alone, like citrus- and sherry-poached Maine lobster with ravioli and garlic-herb baby artichokes, run around $49 each.

11111 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-866-7500,

Summer Promo!
Teachers love summer best of all… and they get an exclusive $72/night rate at Tapatio, with a $35 daily resort voucher.


The Phoenician Resort & Spa

Why We Love It: Gorgeous location at the foot of Camelback Mountain; remodeled guest rooms and golf course; two great dining options in Mowry & Cotton and J&G Steakhouse.

Nearby Attractions: Scotsdale Fashion Square, Ocean 44, Old Town hijinks.

High-Season Rate: $664/night

Summer Rate: $196/night

Photo by Craig Outhier
Photo by Craig Outhier

Think of it as the “Arcadia exodus.” It’s the steady stream of lululemon-wearing moms and Under Armour-sporting dads you see marching up Jokake Drive on weekend mornings en route to The Phoenician and its absolutely stuffed quiver of amenities. And who can blame them? The fabled AAA Five Diamond resort has become something of a local clubhouse for residents of the insular East Phoenix neighborhood, with its surreally well-groomed tennis courts, excellent grab-and-go coffee shop and whelp-pleasing water park, all located on a utopian 250-acre canvas of trees, hiking trails and extended-stay casitas. But don’t worry – the townies know to stay out of your way while you enjoy your staycation run of the place.

6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, 480-941-8200,


Last fall, The Phoenician concluded a three-year, $30 million remodel – the most sweeping and substantive improvement since the resort’s opening in 1988. Here are three upgrades to check out.

The Phoenician Spa
A three-story scratch-build over the site of the original spa instantly catapults this oasis of wellness to Top 3 status in the Valley. Stuff we love: the rooftop, adults-only pool; one of the most spotless steam rooms we’ve ever schvitzed in; and an ultra-mellow relaxation area so capacious and enveloping, you’ll want to grab one of the semi-private lounge beds and disappear for the day.

The Phoenician Athletic Club
A stand-alone structure overlooking those amazing tennis courts, this perfectly provisioned palace of cardio and weight training can compete with any resort gym in the Valley.

Photo courtesy the Phoenician Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy the Phoenician Resort & Spa

Mowry & Cotton
Your Phoenician staycation should include at least one visit to this year-old fine dining restaurant, which scored a Best New Restaurant nod from PHOENIX in 2018. The excellence of chef Tandy Peterson’s dinner menu is a matter of public record, but consider a brunch visit, too – the green chile pork shank is a wolf-it-down winner, and you won’t find a more savory, enticingly vertical eggs Benedict in the Valley. Also: the bloody mary (pictured) comes with a pork belly kabob!

Fun Freebie!
Have dinner at newly opened The Phoenician Tavern, and they’ll start you off with a complimentary flight-size tasting of an Arizona beer from their excellent tap program.


Bespoke Inn

Why We Love It: Between the infinity lap pool, the colossal bathrooms that encourage pampering, the colorful Southwest décor and the intimate eatery right downstairs at Virtù Honest Craft, it’s easy to forget you’re in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale.

Nearby Attractions: If you’re in the mood for a wild night on the dance floor, a five-minute drive – or golf-cart ride – will get you to nightclubs like Maya Day + Nightclub. If you’re seeking a quieter, more sophisticated evening, it’s just a 15-minute walk to swanky lounges and wine bars like Casablanca Rooftop Lounge. During the day, walk over to the Fifth Avenue boutiques and galleries to shop for jewelry, art, crafts and more, or get inspired at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

High-Season Rate: $419-$560/night

Summer Rate: $280-$350/night

If submerging your body into a 74-degree infinity pool, with a bright and beautiful private kitchen, living room, dining area, bedroom, bathroom and laundry room at your disposal isn’t your ideal definition of relaxation, you might not like Bespoke Inn.
Photos courtesy Bespoke Inn
Photos courtesy Bespoke Inn

If it is, though, the boutique hotel with just eight rooms tucked neatly inside Old Town Scottsdale might be the staycation of your wildest dreams. When you aren’t soaking up the sun on one of the multiple patios or sinking into a massive clawfoot bathtub, you can walk to Old Town Scottsdale to enjoy a raucous night out – all with the knowledge that your oasis is awaiting your return. And in the morning, don’t miss out on brunch from Virtù Honest Craft – a simple menu with delectable twists on breakfast favorites, like lemon ricotta semolina pancakes with pistachio crumble, grape confettura and vanilla crema, or a breakfast sandwich with Parmigiano eggs, prosciutto, avocado pesto and chiles on a brioche bun. You might never want to leave.

3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 844-861-6715,

Summer Promo!
Summer 1-2-3: One night is 10 percent off, two nights are 20 percent off, and three nights or more are 30 percent off.

Photo courtesy Bespoke Inn
Photo courtesy Bespoke Inn


3 Coolest Staycay Packages

“Steak-cation” at JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
It’s beef heaven at this historical resort, which is offering the Valley’s first staycation deal centered around perfectly seared Wagyu, filet and bone-in ribeye. The “Steak-cation” package includes accommodations in a luxe, adobe-style casita, resort fee and a $100 credit to Lincoln, a JW Steakhouse, starting at $269/night. Available May 24-September 2; some blackout dates apply. Book using the promo code ZJ8.

5402 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale

Superhero Summer at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Your kids can live out their Avengers: Endgame fantasies #AtthePrincess this summer with capes, masks, games, superhero missions, zipline rides and Superhero Training Academy, where they’ll come up with their origin stories and superhero names. The package starts at $189/night and includes a daily resort credit of $50. Available May 24-September 2.

7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale

Spa Daze Away Package at Boulders Resort & Spa
Release your tension in the Boulders’ world-class spa, which is offering a restorative package that includes one 50-minute massage, nightly accommodations in a casita for two people, one $25 food and beverage credit per person per night and unlimited free fitness classes starting at $470/night. Available June 1-August 31.

34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr., Carefree

Photo courtesy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Photo courtesy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess


CIVANA Carefree

Why We Love It: This wellness-focused resort is like a miniature Miraval, without the two-hour drive. Bonus: more booze, and you can use your cellphone with abandon.

Nearby Attractions: It feels refreshingly remote from city life, but shops and restaurants in Carefree and Cave Creek are minutes away. Opt outside and hike Spur Cross’ Metate Trail, explore nearby Hohokam ruins or book a tee time at nearby Legend Trail Golf Club or Rancho Mañana Golf Club.

High-Season Rate: $299/night

Summer Rate: Starting at $139/night; advance purchase is $110/night (non-refundable)

Formerly the forgettable Carefree Resort & Conference Center, the serene CIVANA Carefree made its grand debut in March 2018 after a multimillion-dollar remodel.

Photo courtesy CIVANA Carefree
Photo courtesy CIVANA Carefree

Purportedly the Valley’s only sustainable wellness resort, CIVANA provides approachable ways for guests to dip a toe into – or go all in on – physically and spiritually focused programming, from beginner hikes and aerial yoga to floating meditations and classes on angel messages (all included with accommodations). A two-story spa with 29 treatment rooms and a pool deck – built in what was once an opera house frequented by Dick Van Dyke – is the cherry on top of this dairy-free sundae, and you’ll want to linger over tea, house-made granola and wellness elixirs in your robe for hours after your energy-aligning chi signature massage. Locals can also take advantage of the new Club membership, which includes unlimited daily classes, exclusive discounts (including 20 percent off accommodations, spa services and food at fine-dining Terras and casual Café Meto), and access to the spa, fitness center, pools, tennis court and pickleball courts. Inquire for Club pricing.

37220 Mule Train Rd., Carefree, 480-653-9000,

Summer Promo!
Book using the Local Love Package and enjoy 20 percent off your guest room and waived experience fee ($30).


JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

Why We Love It: To our knowledge, it’s the only resort in Arizona with its own saguaro forest. Also: awesome hiking, a nicely equipped spa and freebie tequila toasts at sunset.

Nearby Attractions: Saguaros! Along with some of west Tucson’s coolest culinary destinations, including MSA Annex, a food and retail hub hewn from salvaged land-sea shipping containers (much like The Churchill on Roosevelt Row). Highlights include fast-casual Japanese ramen shop Kukai (try the onigiri rice balls) and Westbound, an open-air taproom.

High-Season Rate: $259/night

Summer Rate: $179/night

“Where’s the best place to see the saguaro forest in this part of Tucson?” the visitor asks. By way of an answer, the man – a designated “hiking concierge” at Tucson Starr Pass – gives a quick nod over his right shoulder. Translation: “It’s right there, silly.” Set atop Mine Mountain overlooking downtown Tucson, Starr Pass has many virtues – gorgeous, mountainous golf course, amazing views, etc. – but its most distinctive feature could be its walk-out access to the state’s lushest saguaro forest, just steps from the porte cochère via Bowen Trail. Follow up your two-hour sunrise hike with a much-needed rub-down and rehydration session at the resort’s Hashani Spa (highlight: the steamiest steam room we’ve ever steamed in) and dinner at Mediterranean fine-dining flagship eatery Primo, led by James Beard Award-winning chef Melissa Kelly. (Highlights: Heavenly seared duck breast in jus with a brush of grilled fennel, and fun nightly specials like all-you-can-eat mussels.) Don’t think of Starr Pass as a resort – think of it as a trailhead fit for royalty.

3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., Tucson, 520-792-3500,

Summer Promo!
Achtung, golfers: “Fling and Sling” includes unlimited golf for two per day and a $50 resort credit. $189/night

Photo courtesy JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

Look for these in-the-works resorts in upcoming staycation coverage.

The Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley
Set on 20 acres west of Scottsdale Road, this future imprint of The Ritz-Carlton hospitality empire will include a restaurant that uses “produce sourced from the resort’s citrus orchard and garden,” according to a spokesperson. ETA: Spring 2020

Arrive Phoenix
Adaptive reuse giants Vintage Partners (Uptown Plaza) and Venue Projects (The Newton) are teaming up to convert an uptown midcentury hotel and apartment complex into the Valley’s next hot boutique resort. ETA: late 2019

Great Wolf Lodge
Huge in the Midwest and South, this family resort chain broke ground last year near Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Guests will have access to an 85,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, an arcade/miniature golf center and multiple dining options. ETA: Fall 2019

BONUS! STAYCATION MATRIX Find your favorite Valley resort in this browse-and-go grid.

Click on image to download printable PDF
Click on image to download printable PDF

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