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Which Phoenix Resort Is Right for You?

SmarterTravel

Deciding where to stay in Phoenix isn’t easy. Often the answer to which resort is right for you depends on the experience you want to have there.

Phoenix resorts can be worlds unto themselves, full of everything a vacationer needs to kick back, relax, and indulge. But different Phoenix resorts cater to different vacation goals.

Which Phoenix Resort Is Right for You?

Is your priority world-class spa treatments or kid-friendly water slides? Golf or architecture? Here’s an overview to help you find your perfect Phoenix resort.

Water Park: Arizona Grand Resort, Phoenix

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There are a lot of Phoenix resorts with water parks, but the 744-room Arizona Grand Resort stands out thanks to its seven-acres of slides, pools, and lazy river. Among its highlights are the eight-story thrill slides, wave pool, and lazy river wide enough for double inner tubes.

Amenities: Six dining venues, award-winning spa, 20,000-square-foot athletic center with more than 30 fitness classes per week, hiking and biking trails, and 18-hole desert golf course.

Book it: Get prices for Arizona Grand Resort & Spa and other Phoenix hotels

Family Friendly: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale

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The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess takes family-friendly to a whole new level. Its kids’ club program entertains with games, crafts, and supervised swimming, while the rec center features video and arcade games. Kids can also meet the resort’s tortoise and bearded dragon, play basketball, and fish at the property’s three lagoons.

Amenities: Six pools (one with a 9,000-square-foot sand beach), kids’ club, rec center with video games, catch-and-release fishing, ping-pong, billiards, shuffleboard, basketball, and animal discovery center.

Book it: Get prices for the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and other Phoenix hotels

Native American: Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, Chandler

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Owned by the Pima and Maricopa tribes (under the Sheraton brand), the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is infused with Native American culture. The restaurants showcase native foods, the art is by Native Americans, and some spa treatments have ceremonial elements. The resort even has a “cultural concierge” to enhance your stay.

Amenities: Native American cuisine featuring foods grown on tribal lands, artwork by tribe members, cultural concierge, storytelling and song program, and spa treatments featuring native ingredients and culture.

Book it: Get prices for Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass and other Phoenix hotels

Spa: Sanctuary on Camelback Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley

Triathlon prep: gold-medal training in the southwest
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Not only is the Sanctuary Resort Spa among the best Phoenix spa resorts, but many consider it to be one of the nation’s best spas. Asian-inspired services are performed in 12 indoor and outdoor treatments rooms. The spa also has a Watsu pool for aquatic treatments, Zen meditation garden, and reflection pond.

Amenities: Treatments include detox wraps, reiki, and Thai massage. There are also services like nutrition counseling and tarot readings. The spa has a Watsu pool, Zen meditation garden, reflection pond, and full service salon.

Book it: Get prices for Sanctuary on Camelback Resort & Spa and other Phoenix hotels

Golf: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Scottsdale

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There are nearly 200 golf courses in the Valley, several of them at Phoenix resorts. While Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North doesn’t have its own course, guests do have special access to Troon North Golf Club’s two 18-hole courses, considered by many to be among the nation’s finest desert golf courses.

Amenities: 36 holes of championship desert golf, guest access to the clubhouse, golfboard rentals, caddie services, golf instruction, and complimentary shuttle between resort and golf club.

Book it: Get prices for Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and other Phoenix hotels

Architecture: Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix

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Frank Lloyd Wright collaborated with student Albert Chase McArthur to design the Arizona Biltmore, one of Phoenix’s most architecturally stunning resorts. Built entirely of Wright’s “Biltmore Brick,” precast blocks made from desert sand, the resort has hosted presidents and celebrities, including Irving Berlin, who composed “White Christmas” by the pool.

Amenities: Mission-style decor, eight pools, seven tennis courts, 20,000-square-foot spa, fitness center, two 18-hole courses, three dining venues, afternoon tea, and life-size lawn chess.

Book it: Get prices for the Arizona Biltmore and other Phoenix hotels

Romantic: Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix

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The most romantic resort in Phoenix, the Royal Palms Resort and Spa takes wooing to a whole new level. The Mediterranean-villa style property is perfect for candlelit dinners in private alcoves, but staff will also plan the perfect proposal, bring in musicians for a special evening, and arrange for romantic dates off-property.

Amenities: Couples massages, candlelit dinners, customized menus, rose petal turndown, rose petal drawn bath, floral arrangements, musicians, and help planning the perfect proposal.

Book it: Get prices for Royal Palms Resort and Spa and other Phoenix hotels

Luxury: The Phoenician, Scottsdale

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It’s hard to single out one luxury resort in Phoenix, but The Phoenician has a few elegant touches other Phoenix resorts don’t, starting with its $25 million art collection. Rooms feature Italian linens and oversized bathrooms with Italian marble. Afternoon tea is served on fine china while a pianist plays.

Amenities: Italian linens, oversized marble bathrooms, $25 million art collection, seven dining venues, afternoon tea, three-story spa facility, tennis courts, golf course, cactus garden, and kids’ club. 

Book it: Get prices for The Phoenician and other Phoenix hotels

Historic: The Wigwam

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A Historic Hotel of America, The Wigwam dates back to 1918 when Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company bought the land to farm cotton for rubber production and built an adobe-and-timber structure to house suppliers. That structure evolved into a guest ranch in 1929. Today, portions of the original ranch remain and historic photos lines the walls.

Amenities: 54 holes of championship golf dating back to 1930s, nine tennis courts, Red Door Salon & Spa, fitness center, 8,000 rose bushes, two bocce courts, sand volleyball court, and complimentary shuttle service.

Book it: Get prices for The Wigwam and other Phoenix hotels

Hip Boutique: FOUND:RE, Phoenix

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Phoenix resorts are generally located in outlying communities. FOUND:RE has what the resorts don’t: a downtown address on the light rail route. Its lobby, common areas, and industrial chic rooms are decorated with eclectic local artwork, and the boutique hotel participates in the city’s First and Third Friday art walks.

Amenities: Floor-to-ceiling windows in rooms, common spaces and rooms decorated with works by local artists, retro pool design, separate on-site art gallery, and on-site restaurant.

Book it: Get prices for FOUND:RE and other Phoenix hotels

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—Original reporting by Teresa Bitler

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