"Luxury Resort offers friendly, comfortable, and amazingly fun experiences"
The Arizona Grand resort prides itself on being “naturally grand.” The aesthetic mixture of lush foliage, mature plants and trees, a massive nature reserve, and numerous water fountains mixed with warm desert art and décor, oversized couches, soft lighting, fireplaces, and the smell of fresh brewed coffee welcome you to an amazing resort with luxury, comfort, and your family’s needs in mind.
My family of five (I have three girls age 1to 6) had the privilege of staying at the Grand for three days and two nights and our eyes and senses were filled with all the features of an amazing escape. Although the resort is a well deserved four diamond luxury class hotel, it is far from pretentious and offers guests with a home-away-from home comfort that you might not expect, but will gladly enjoy. The staff treated guests with respect, and offered nothing but warm, smiling service to all that were encountered. The friendly service was outstanding and genuine as many staff often stopped to welcome my little ones and see how they were enjoying their stay.
All of the rooms at the Arizona Grand are full suites featuring either one or two bedrooms with doors between the bedrooms and the living area. The rooms are spacious, immaculately clean and decorated in an approachable yet beautifully modern Southwestern theme. The bedding is amazingly soft and cozy and each room has a fold out couch that was surprisingly more comfortable than many I have been on in the past. There were two TVs in our hotel room, so the kids enjoyed the chance to watch cartoons without a mom or dad lamenting their choice. (A note to parents of small kids: the room is equipped with a gaming remote control that also runs the TV operation. My kids, pretending to play video games, almost purchased a grown up movie. A quick disconnect of the cord and this was no longer an issue). There are balconies or patios on each level that overlook the gorgeous grounds and little chirps of birds can be heard in the morning as the day begins. You can also upgrade to a waterpark view, which is probably the closest you’ll get to ocean front property in Arizona! There is a mini-bar fridge and sink area that can lock with a key (no little ones stealing the expensive treats!), and the fridge is not weighted, so you can feel free to use the space for your own goodies as well. The two bedroom villas even have a full kitchen attached if you are interested in bringing your iron chef along with you.
If you don’t want to cook, (or if like me you are more of a tin foil chef) there are plenty of tasty options on site. The Lobby Grill and Lobby Bar sit cozily in the amazingly comfortable lobby and offer guests numerous choices with a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. During peak times, they offer a buffet as an additional choice to families hoping to simplify their meal. The fare is American, casual and looked and smelled delicious. If you are hoping to just grab a quick bite, the Marketplace Café offers Starbucks coffee, pastries, dessert and some amazing looking grab and go salads and sandwiches. They also sell a made from scratch gelato that looked to die for, although my dairy allergy prohibited me from indulging. Other restaurants on the premises include Aunt Chilada’s Tempe Mexican food that offers a delicious full Mexican menu in a fun, casual setting. Rustler’s Rooste western steakhouse is a boisterous, noisy saloon with live music, dancing, and a slide that your kids can ride down to enter the restaurant! I had the privilege of dining at the two aforementioned restaurants and you can read those reviews here: Aunt Chilada's- http://www.trekaroo.com/restaurants/aunt-chiladas-phoenix-arizona?r_id=32095 Rustler's Rooste- http://www.trekaroo.com/restaurants/rustlers-rooste-restaurant-phoenix-arizona?r_id=31967. Room service was actually much more reasonable than I had anticipated and offered some great family deals like a pizza pack, drinks and breadsticks for under $30! The last restaurant is located inside the private waterpark: did I mention there was a private waterpark?
The Oasis Waterpark is included with your resort fee and is a beautiful private waterpark with full restaurant and bar on site. We spent two days enjoying this park for all it is and even my mostly water-shy kids loved every minute of their time there. There are three slides (one boasting speeds up to 35mph) that kept the bigger kids and adults busy during their stay. My little ones were not tall enough (or brave enough really) to ride as you have to be 48” to enjoy the slides. They did enjoy the rest of the park consisting of a kiddie area with a small shallow pool, a splash zone and plenty of shade for the moms and dads watching the little ones. There is a 10,000 sq. ft. wave pool that generated waves the perfect height for my kids to brave, and a 950 foot long Active River (not a lazy river because it moves a bit quicker and has a few surprises!!) that is wide enough for large families to float down together at the same time. Parents of older kids can relax at the bar or lounge in their chairs as they trust the 13-17 lifeguards on staff at any moment. This water park is well thought out, well-managed, and well-kept. It is far more than a concrete jungle with some water & slides. During peak times such as Spring Break and Summer, the water park offers entertainment to kids and families alike, including performances by live musicians, dancers, and meet and greets with characters from the SeaLife Aquarium. During my stay, the kids enjoyed a “dive-in” movie, watching Toy Story 3 on the big screen while floating in a raft in the then calm wave pool.
The resort boasts a host of other amenities including an 18 hole golf course, 6 additional swimming pools close to rooms, an awesome Kid’s Club with amazingly fun and age appropriate activities for kids 5-12 (must be scheduled the day before, call the front desk), an arcade for kids 13 and up, free access to their athletic club and spa, which I must say looked much more like a professional gym and less like anything I have ever seen at a hotel. The club offers a lap pool, more than 40 cardio machines, free weights, indoor basketball and racquetball, daily classes in yoga, Pilates, and boot camp style routines. The spa is full service and offers both salon features like pedicures and hair appointments in addition to massage therapy, body treatments and even a lava shell massage. The hotel offers a 24 hour in-room babysitting service for kids age birth and up; you might want to take advantage of this feature and get a spa treatment done & then head off to a kid-free dinner as well.
The nature lover will also get a treat on this property as it is nestled up against the South Mountain Preserve, a 17,000 acre desert wonderland. The Holbert Trail is recommended for families with small children, and every Saturday there is a free guided family hike at 9am if you prefer the option of staying in a pack. The concierge has information on day hikes and jogs, mountain biking, animal sightings and petroglyphs. The resort also can connect you with a horseback riding tour on a nearby Indian reservation for families with kids older than 6.
Overall, this resort truly has it all. Approachable luxury, beauty, convenience, attention to family needs, friendly service, and great value. I highly recommend any family take the resort on a test drive for their next vacation plans. Summer is approaching and an awesome, fun, and relaxing vacation with the Arizona Grand Resort may be just what your family is waiting for.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a complimentary stay at the Arizona Grand Resort. I received no other compensation besides the hotel stay and dinner at Aunt Chilada’s restaurant, and the hotel did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view. All opinions are my own.