If you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation in Arizona, you’ve got loads of options, but whatever you do, be sure to base your stay at one of these ideal resorts for families.
Enchantment Resort, Sedona (Prices & Photos)
This remote red-rock resort may not have a water slide or children’s pool area, but it does have an amazing location in a cliff-walled canyon, along with a number of programs for kids and suites that are ideal for families. This unforgettable luxury resort set just a few miles outside Sedona in Boynton Canyon, is also renowned for its spa, Mii Amo, a world-class destination spa to which guests have exclusive privileges for treatments inspired by the wisdom and traditions of Native Americans, aimed at achieving balance and harmony, making Enchantment ideal for moms and dads in need of relaxation. The rooms and suites are all nestled in small pueblo-style buildings and include private decks, jaw-dropping views, and beehive gas fireplaces. Activity options are practically endless, including mountain biking and hiking, swimming, golf, cooking classes, yoga, meditation and much more.
Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Marana (Prices & Photos)
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is famous for its design that showcases local geology, using woods, stones, flora, gems, minerals and the colors of the Sonoran Desert. And, with the longest water slide in Tucson, a play fountain for the kids, children’s programs, hiking trails, jeep tours, and horseback riding, it offers more than enough to keep the kids entertained too. This ultra-exclusive luxury resort tucked within the rolling hills of Marana boasts 20 miles of hiking and biking trails as well as a beautiful spa. its restaurant offers indoor/outdoor seating, with the menu focused on southwestern cuisine using local ingredients. Rooms feature copper accents, crystals, and colorful geodes as well as Tortolita Foothills and Wild Burro Canyon views. The resort also highlights the indigenous people of the region with a library housing books on the area’s cultural and natural history, Native American art and an outdoor sunset celebration every evening that includes a Native American flutist.
Arizona Grand Resort, Phoenix (Prices & Photos)
The Arizona Grand Resort is just a 15-minute drive from the Phoenix airport at the base of South Mountain Preserve. There are few kids who wouldn’t love its massive onsite seven-acre water park, Oasis, which features water slides that plunge nearly 70 feet, a wave pool, a water play area for the little ones, and a tubing river. The resort even offers spa treatments for kids and teens. It’s also home to five restaurants, including the especially kid-friendly cowboy-themed steakhouse, Rustler’s Rooste with its fun Wild West atmosphere. For parents who want to enjoy some activities on their own, the hotel features the Grand Adventures Kids Club, with a morning and afternoon session every day. Kids from 5 through 12 enjoy the daily theme and activities, like games and crafts.
Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa (Prices & Photos)
The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa offers a host of both kid- and adult-friendly activities that are sure to please the whole family. Kids get their own lounge and game room, and the pool area features a fabulous water slide. The Westin Family Kids Club offers activities like creative crafts, scavenger hunts, dance parties, tennis and racquetball, butterfly watching and even “dive-in movies” at the pool. While the kids are enjoying a great time, mom and dad can enjoy a full schedule of instructor-led classes, lounge around five gorgeous swimming pools, play a game of tennis or a round of golf on the resort’s 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature private golf course, with the picturesque Arizona Sonoran Desert as the backdrop. There are eight onsite dining options as well as in-room dining service and a Westin Eat Well Menu for Kids – all menus offer organic options, as well regional dishes focused on local flavors and ingredients.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson (Prices & Photos)
Tucson’s most dramatic resort, and one of the most luxurious of all the major resorts in the region, the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort sits at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains offering especially striking views. It has a playground, a kids’ club for ages 4 through 12, and its own waterfall, offering plenty to keep the kids busy. Wildlife sightings are common, including great horned owls, coyote, and deer. There are two sprawling pools, one an adults-only pool, on the property, along with two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, lighted tennis courts, and a scenic walking trail. Plus, the famed Sabino Canyon is just a short drive away. Rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished – they even include a bathroom with a mini-flat-screen TV and a double-wide tub.
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa (Prices & Photos)
One of the Arizona desert’s most popular family-friendly resorts, the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa offers four acres of pools and water park features, including a water slide and a 1,600 foot Lazy River pool, for enjoying relaxing inner-tube rides along the beautiful grounds, making it a big draw for families who want to keep busy with a practically endless list of activities. The property is also home to two 18-hole golf centers, a fitness center with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a 4.2-mile jogging course around the property perimeter. Its award-winning Revive Spa hosts 41 treatment rooms, while the 10 restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining.
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale (Prices & Photos)
The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch is a kid’s dream come true with its water playground boasting 10 swimming pools, a sand beach and waterfalls. Located in posh Gainey Ranch, here it’s easy to imagine that you’ve escaped to an oceanside resort instead of the desert. You’ll be shaded by soaring palms, surrounded by meticulously manicured gardens and paths, as well as lots of water just about everywhere you look. If you don’t want to get wet, you can even take a gondola ride along the waterways. As there are year-round children’s programs, you can let the kids play while you play a round or two at one of three golf courses at nearby Gainey Ranch Golf Club or treat yourself to a massage at the Spa Avania. When it’s time to dine you’ll find several onsite options as well as nightly entertainment.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Prices & Photos)
The Fairmont Scottsdale is an ideal family destination resort, featuring nearly 650 spacious guest rooms and suites as well as a variety of family-friendly activities including golf, tennis and a free-form lagoon pool with waterpark-style slides. At the Kids Club, the little ones can take part in fun events like scavenger hunts, swimming, and lagoon fishing programs. Teens even get their very own Hang Out area, complete with DVDs, Xbox consoles, and a cyber cafe. The resort even hosts a camp for outdoor adventurers, the National Geographic Explorers Camp brings the fantasy of wild safaris and animal exploration to life with National Geographic experts in the summer. The resort also features award-winning restaurants and the Willow Stream Spa.
Rancho de los Caballeros, Wickenburg (Prices & Photos)
If you’re looking for a ranch vacation resort, Rancho de Los Caballeros in Wickenburg may be ideal. It offers a kids’ program, golf, spa, and horseback riding, as well as the chance to learn about Sonoran desert ecology while having a good time. Set in the heart of the Old Southwest, about an hour northwest of Phoenix, guests enjoy 20,000 acres of lush open range, along with 100 saddle horses for riding the rugged trails. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy playing at one of the Top 100 courses in the U.S., along with a list of other options like taking a hot air balloon ride, exploring the desert via a jeep, ATV or mountain bike tour, embarking on a guided nature hike or just enjoying a leisurely swim. Kids ages 5 to 12 can meet up with other young ones during the complimentary daily kids’ program. so you can play on your own too, perhaps indulging in spa treatments that feature local desert ingredients. Everyone can fill their appetite at the cookout feasts that include fine wine for the grownups. When you’re ready to retreat to your casita, you’ll find handcrafted furnishings and artifacts along with private patios to take in the tranquility of the outdoors.