JW Marriott Desert Ridge. If
bigger is better, this unabashedly expensive resort may be just the thing. It has 869 rooms and 81 suites,
classical music in the parking lot, splashing fountains, a river, 3 swimming pools (one complete with a waterfall pavilion and rooftop bonfire),
a 28,000-square-foot spa with Olympic swimming pool, 8 tennis courts and 2 golf courses (one by Arnold Palmer,
the other by Nick Faldo).|
And wait, there's more - "an expansive grand lobby, [where] guests are dazzled by the sight of stunning floor-to-ceiling windows opened wide spilling out onto sparkling waterways and majestic palm-lined pathways". Wow.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
If you'd prefer something more intimate and hip, try this stylish resort, the epitome of
cool with its penchant for stark black, electric green, and Asian decor. For those with a taste for the
more traditional, there are 74 less expensive (and older) "mountain casitas," concrete-block buildings with
Situated on 53 acres high on Camelback Mountain, it promises "privacy and peace" in an "elegant and intimate" setting with "stunning, panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valley below". It offers a 12,000-square-foot spa, 4 heated pools including one billed as "Arizona's largest infinity-edge resort pool", 6 newly resurfaced tennis courts, a sleek resturant with dynamite views, a stylish bar and patio, and hiking and biking trails.
If you're looking for something with a little less edge, try this mainstream resort oriented
towards "couples looking for quiet times", "families looking for fun" and "business
traveler[s] seeking comfort and convenience". Favored by business travelers and groups in the winter, vacationers take over in the summer.
It offers 735-rooms, two large pools, a 110-foot waterslide and 900-foot lazy river, a spa, 27-hole golf, a volleyball court, chic dining in its Nuevo Latino restaurant with cuisine influenced by James Beard award-winning Chef Douglas Rodriguez, hallways lined with art, historical photos and plaques, and Kierland Commons, an "urban village" with shopping, restaurants, and summer concerts.
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass
And if you want soul, try this inspirational resort celebrating the architecture, design, art,
and legends of the Pima and Maricopa tribes. Located on the 600-square-mile Gila River Indian Community
south of Phoenix, it features a 2-1/2 mile replica of the Gila River that meanders through
the resort grounds with scenic boat rides shuttling guests to the Whirlwind Golf Club (2 18-hole Troon-managed golf
courses) and nearby Wild Horse Pass Casino.
Although it's a midscale chain, its 500 rooms feature custom designed furniture, the lobby boasts a routunda ceiling ringed with colorful murals of Indian life, and a lighted waterfall. Other amenities include a 17,500 square foot spa, tennis courts, jogging and riding trails, an equestrian center, the Koyote Kid's Club with activities for kids 5-12, plus 4 pools with cascading waterfalls and a 111-foot waterslide modeling the ancient Casa Grande Ruins.