Family-friendly resort with rugged mountain backdrop in South Phoenix
Spacious residential-style suites and villas with balconies and luxe bathrooms -- renovated in 2017
Fun seven-acre Oasis Water Park with slides, wave pool, and lazy river
Beautiful 18-hole golf course, viewed from many rooms
Six pools include an Olympic-style pool with lap lanes and one for adults
Sprawling, state-of-the-art fitness center with over 30 weekly classes
Six dining spots include colorful Mexican, an Old West steakhouse, and the Caribbean lobby bar
Oasis Bar & Grill serves hot food and cocktails in the water park
Room service available (limited hours)
Full service spa offers extensive pampering and beauty treatments
Extensive indoor/outdoor meeting and events spaces
Shuttle between on-site facilities and to nearby shopping mall
Wi-Fi, valet parking, and water park passes included in resort fee
Hefty daily resort fee
Water park closes seasonally and is crowded in high season
Can encounter long check-in/ out lines
Food reviews are mixed
Sprawling property can require some walking
The upscale Arizona Grand in South Phoenix is a modern resort haven that’s a hit with families for its topnotch fitness, fun, and dining facilities. The 220-acre property is known for its huge water park, 18-hole golf course, and state-of-the-art athletic club with a full service spa. Six pools are scattered around the sprawling resort, which also offers six dining options. A $13 million 2017 renovation gave the 744 one, two, and three bedroom suites a luxurious homey feel. Suites all feature chic separate living areas with sofa beds, wet bars, and refrigerated minibars. Despite updates, some common areas do remain dated, and the hefty daily resort fee can add up. For another polished family-friendly alternative with slightly lower rates, the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is a good bet.
Sprawling family-friendly resort, rooms renovated in 2017
This popular family resort sprawls across 220 acres at the base of South Mountain Preserve, in south Phoenix. The huge property is a destination in itself.
The lobby is an enormous lounge room with warm-toned Southwestern decor, comfy cushioned lounges, a big roaring fireplace, and rustic exposed wood beams overhead. Insanely long lines at the reception desk, however, can impede on the ambience. Suites are located in various three- and four-story Spanish-style buildings with names like Sedona and Camelback. Each cream-colored block envelops a large open-air courtyard with a pool in the center. Architecture does feel dated, but the well-groomed grounds with grand soaring palms look nice. The rolling green golf course provides a manicured outlook from the lobby, Lobby Grill restaurant, and many rooms. Self-parking is located in pockets throughout the resort, so guests can usually park in proximity to their rooms -- assuming there are spots available.
The bustling seven-acre Oasis Water Park draws hundreds of people daily in season (it's closed from Labor Day to late winter) and forms the focal point of the resort. An eight-story water slide, wave pool, and lazy river offer a perfect remedy to Arizona’s scalding summers. It’s an oasis-like sight, with cream-toned slides, and a faux red rock landscape dotted with lofty palms against a rugged mountain backdrop. Given the park’s popularity though, it can become rather crowded, with long lines at peak times.
Nestled against South Mountain in South Phoenix, a 15-minute drive to Sky Harbor International Airport
The Arizona Grand is located in South Phoenix, just off the I-10 Freeway and Baseline Road. The immediate area is mostly dedicated to large convenience stores and fast food chains, such as Fry’s Food and Drug, Sonic Drive-In, and Little Caesars Pizza. Many guests simply make the most of on-site amenities, though it's only a five-minute drive to Sea Life Arizona Aquarium and the Legoland Discovery Center in Arizona Mills shopping mall. Other attractions include: Beverly Canyon Trailhead (six minutes), South Mountain Preserve, the largest municipal park in the world (10 minutes), and Chase Field in downtown Phoenix (15 minutes). The resort is a 15-minute drive from Sky Harbor International Airport, Other attractions slightly farther afield include Heard Museum (20 minutes), popular hiking area, Papago Park (20 minutes), the Phoenix Zoo (20 minutes), and downtown Scottsdale (30 minutes). Free on-site parking is available. The free shuttle service takes guests to nearby Arizona Mall. It will also transport guests between on-site amenities on request. Expect a 15-minute drive to Sky Harbor International Airport.
Fresh, neutral, and spacious with separate living rooms, wet bars, and luxe bathrooms
A choice of chic residential-style one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites and villas are on offer. All were given a fresh new look as part of the 2017 renovation. Neutral tones featuring beige and soft blues complement matching wood and cane furniture in Resort and Guest Suites, which come with laminate hardwood floors in living rooms and plantation shutters on windows. Tech features include USB ports, flat-screen televisions, Staycast media streaming, clock radios with CD players, and (in higher categories) Bluetooth speakers. Wi-Fi is covered under the resort fee. Safes, irons, ironing boards, and hairdryers are also provided. All categories open onto furnished patios or balconies.
Resort and Deluxe Suites comprise the most popular one-bedroom categories. These are available in king or two queen bed configurations with queen sleeper sofas in living areas. The major distinction between the two is the location: Deluxe Suites are closest to the water park.
Grand Suites are available in two- and three-bedroom layouts that upsize floor plans with huge living areas containing extra bathrooms. All Suites come with marble-topped wet bars, refrigerated minibars, and Keurig coffeemakers. Bathrooms are large and luxurious with wide marble vanities, walk-in frameless glass showers, and a good selection of toiletries.
Grand Suites and Villas have more Southwestern decor influence, thanks to warm color accents in sunset tones, and rustic wood finishes, such as in kitchen cabinetry and exposed beams. Villas come with one or two bedrooms, upping the wow factor from other categories, with more space, full kitchens (though cookware costs extra), bathtubs, and twin vanities in master ensuite bathrooms. Guests get a choice of golf, city, or mountain views.
Grand-scale resort amenities include a water park, golf course, athletic club, and full spa
Spanning seven acres, the Oasis Water Park (closed Labor Day through late winter) is the major highlight at the Arizona Grand. Guests receive four water park passes per room (included in the resort fee) and may come and go as they please. The waterpark offers several slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a water spray deck, and a giant hot tub. Private cabanas are available for rent, and plenty of first-come-first-serve deck chairs are provided throughout the park. Oasis Bar & Grill serves a range of colorful cocktails, beer and wine, along with a decent selection of fast food and snacks, such as burgers, tacos, and salads.
In addition to the water park, six heated outdoor pools are scattered throughout the resort, ensuring all rooms are in reasonable proximity to at least one of the pools. There's an Olympic-style 20-meter pool offering multiple lanes, located at the on-site athletic club. Another pool is just for adults.
Spanning 20,000 square feet, the Arizona Grand Athletic Club is state-of-the-art, with a sprawling sea of cardio and weights training equipment, a separate free weights room, and a racquetball court. Over 30 fitness classes per week (such as yoga and spin) are offered, and personal training on offer is at an extra cost. The full-service Arizona Grand Spa also resides in this building. It offers all manner of facial and body treatments, massages, and scrubs, in addition to beauty and hair services. The 18-hole golf course is also a highlight. Its rolling greens create a beautiful backdrop to the lobby that's overlooked by many rooms.
The Caribbean-themed Lobby Bar offers a full bar, plus American fare such as wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and wings. The Lobby Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with plenty of American and international influence on the menu. Indoor or al fresco seating is available, though overall food reviews are mixed. Also located off the lobby, the Marketplace Cafe serves Starbucks coffee, snacks-to-go, and gelato. Open for lunch and dinner, Aunt Chilada’s serves hearty Mexican fare and over 50 tequilas in a festive space with indoor and outdoor patio seating. Old West-inspired Rustler’s Rooste offers a meaty dinner menu and stunning views with a family-friendly atmosphere with live country and western music. Room service is available for specified hours.
The resort features a multitude of indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces, spanning 120,000 square feet. The daily resort fee includes Wi-Fi, four wristbands to the water park, athletic club access and fitness classes, valet and self-parking, daily newspapers (on request), in-room coffee, and the shuttle service to the Arizona Mills Mall. Given the resort’s size, features can be rather spread out which can require some walking, but the shuttle service will happily take guests from their rooms between on-site amenities if requested.
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