From our first moments at check-in I knew we were in for a kid-friendly treat. There was a small desk off to the side for V.I.K. (Very Important Kids). While my kids were occupied with their own check-in and the water dispenser, I was able to check-in to our room.
I was instantly a fan of hotel “camping” when the bellman brought our luggage and escorted us to our room with my 3 kids fresh off a loooong hot car ride trailing behind.
Our room was nothing short of spectacular. Front and center was a kid-sized tent complete with down bedding, book, stuffed animal, and flashlight as part of the “In-Room Tent Experience”. Unfortunately, there was only one of each so my kids had to divvy up the treats. My kids jumped right in and zipped themselves up. The tent was small and truly only large enough for one kid to sleep in, so my kids took turns each night much to their delight.
From the room we headed straight to the pool. The pool was a dream. We skipped the resort pool and headed straight for the family-friendly Adventura pool complete with splash pad and 235-foot waterslide. Located a few steps below the resort pool, frolicking children and shrieks of joy from the waterslide do not disturb guests looking for a more serene environment. The pool and slide area were very well supervised by the hotel and I felt I could relax and enjoy my children enjoying the day. We quickly made friends with 2 families who had kids the same age as mine and we were set for our stay.
BEE ALERT: There were A LOT of bees in the water slide and pool. My oldest got stung. The resort was quick to send someone with a bee sting kit and check up on us later the next day, but take note if you have a child with allergies.
The highlight for my kids, after the 235-foot waterslide of course, was the Jr. Ranger program. My kids got to attend a Ranger Day Camp. They were taken on hikes, learned a ton about the desert and made a bunch of crafts to bring back to the room. There are also hiking trail maps available at the concierge, mountain bike rental, guided hikes and Geo-caching. We spent our afternoons at the waterslide and splash pad. The kids also played badminton, ping-pong and checked out board games from the lobby.
At sunset each evening, a ranger gave a talk about the desert while we were serenaded by live Indian flute music. The ranger was knowledgeable and kindly answered all of my inquisitive 5-year-old’s questions.
We had dinner reservations at the CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar. I confess I was not sure their signature restaurant would be kid-friendly after a day of sun and merriment. Upon arrival I opted for the outdoor, less formal, seating and we were able to be a little louder and move around a little more than the indoor formal dinning room would have allowed. We enjoyed a leisurely meal of steak and prickly-pear lemonade while listening to live Indian flute music as the sun set.
Overall, the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain has done an amazing job of maintaining it’s status as a luxury resort for adults while providing fun entertaining family and kid friendly activities.
Disclaimer: My stay and dinner at CORE were compliments of the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, but all opinions and experiences my own.