The Best Family Staycation Spots: Arizona
BY MANDY HOLMES | THE REAL HOUSEWIFE OF SCOTTSDALE
From a technology filled game room to a kid’s club with a resident bearded dragon these Arizona hotels have amazing kid amenities and are totally worth a family staycation. Now I’m not an expert in hotel evaluating (or am I?), but my family did participate in 19 Arizona staycations throughout the summer so I consider myself qualified enough to recommend some great family friendly options if you’re looking for a little local escape!
The Phoenician. Why? “Family-friendly” and “luxury resort” are often mutually exclusive, however, The Phoenician has managed to combine the two concepts in spectacular form. For children ages 5-12, the specially-designed “Funicians Club” program offers a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities including playground activities, outdoor sports and a family friendly golf cart tour of the property’s natural wildlife and fauna. Indoor fun includes arts and crafts, board games, charades, video games like Wii and Xbox and a live bearded dragon that kids can feed. Don’t forget about Hoppy Hour where kids can pick out and name a stuffed bunny to take home. There’s also a room for teens packed with a ping pong table, shuffleboard, foosball, and old school arcades. Of course no family vacation at The Phoenician is complete without hitting up the expansive pools and a huge splashpad.
The Kierland Westin. Why? One of the Resort’s biggest attractions is its Adventure Water Park which offers a 900-foot lazy river ride and a 110-foot waterslide. I highly suggest renting a family-friendly poolside cabana to relax in shaded luxury with your own personal waitstaff. There’s also the KIERLAND FLOWRIDER- a surf simulator that lets even first-time flowboarders enjoy the fun-filled challenge of surfing in the desert. Located adjacent to the Adventure Pool and shaded from the Arizona sun, the “OK Corral” provides hours of FUN with activities that include lawn chess, basketball, water balloon games, hula hoop contests, limbo, relay races and more. In the evening, the area’s fit pit is the place to be for “Kierland Kampfires” and Arizona S’mores. A hidden gem at the Westin is the kids only buffet at Nellie Cashmans. Filled with personal pizzas, chicken strips, various kinds of fries, yogurt, pudding, fruit platters, pastas, and other kid friendly cuisine- it’s worth a trip to eat there even if you’re not staying at the resort.
The Fairmont Princess. Why? I love a good theme and this year’s Superhero Summer extravaganza at The Fairmont Princess is not to be missed. Between the on site white sand beach and two thrilling waterslides, The Princess is a top pick thanks to it’s kid’s club. The Trailblazers Kids Club features a chance to go zip lining, an evening laser light pool party, swimming with mermaids, and visits from superheroes including Captain America and Spiderman. Teens can even join in the kids club as junior counselors and give mom and dad a break to enjoy some of the best guacamole in town at La Hacienda restaurant or enjoy a date night at Bourbon Steak- both on property. There are dive in movies and fireworks when the sun goes down and if you can squeeze in some spa time, the Well and Being Spa at The Princess is one of the best places in town for some R&R!
Arizona Biltmore. Why? With a total of 6 resort swimming pools on property, a 92-foot waterslide, Dive-in Movies, a kids only foam party on the Great Lawn, and an ice cream shop with unique sweet treats, the Biltmore is a great mix of kids activities without being overrun with children. Children between the ages of 4 and 12 ca participate in Kids Korral, a supervised activity program with a fun, camp atmosphere where they can play golf or tennis, join nature walks and bike rides, swim, and do arts and crafts. There’s also a playground that includes a track ride, floating stones, bowed ladder, tunnel spiral slide, arched bridge, and a variety of climbers. For parents, the hotel features a great on site restaurant that delivers gourmet room service and firepits outside each suite to enjoy when the kiddos go to sleep.
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