No need to leave the Valley for a great summer getaway! Save time, money and energy — and never worry about airline tickets, flight delays and rental cars!
Fabulous resorts with private pools, award-winning restaurants and world-class golf courses are all available during summer months. And bonus! You’ll find them at rock-bottom pricing! Many resorts have kid activities to give mom and dad a break, with offerings as varied as scavenger hunts, miniature golf lessons and even mermaid school.
Some of the summer specials exclude nightly resort fees and taxes. To get the best deals, check sites like Groupon, Living Social and Travelzoo. (Resorts often put their lowest prices there and throw in extra perks.)
End of July and early August is a particularly good time to vacation, as families with school-age children gear up for back-to-school events. Get started on finding your private oasis with these options less than 30 minutes from Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Chandler.
The Boulders Resort
34631 N Tom Darlington Dr., Carefree
A trip to the Boulders Resort is like entering another world, with southwest-style casitas, haciendas and villas set amid the natural Sonoran Desert terrain and ancient boulder formations. The resort blends into the Black Mountain foothills of the town of Carefree and features a mountain of boulders overlooking the main lobby and pool. You can hike up a trail for a rare view of the Valley, pamper yourself in the spa or dine in a top-notch restaurant. Try out the labyrinth pathway to center yourself with walking meditation. Kids will love the wildlife that roam the property, including jackrabbits, javalinas, quail and an occasional coyote.
- Two world class golf courses, a pool with a waterfall and tennis courts
- Golf carts available to transport you around the property even if you’re not golfing
- A 33,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Spa
- The Palo Verde restaurant with views of the desert and the golf course, plus a variety of restaurants and cafes with casual and formal atmospheres
Rates begin at $139 per night during the summer, plus seasonal deals. The Best of the Boulders deal at $164 per night includes a $50 daily resort credit to use at the golf course, spa or restaurants.
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa offers a desert-inspired retreat with a luxurious spa, a golf course with “GolfBoards” and upscale shopping nearby. Kids will love the Kierland FlowRider wave simulator, 900-foot lazy river and 110-foot waterslide at the Resort’s Adventure Water Park. There’s even a Tommy Bahama Relaxation Reef for rent on an island in the pool. All of this is within walking distance of the Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter shopping and dining centers.
- Award-winning Agave Spa with cucumber facials and peppermint oil massages
- Three 18-hole golf courses named Acacia, Ironwood and Mesquite, each with its own strategy
- Pools, water park and cabanas—something for everyone
Rates for the resort’s Big Chill Package run $169 in July and $149 in August. On the 4th of July and August 5-7, the resort will cool off guests with eight tons of snow, 1,000 pounds of ice and a synthetic ice rink.
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa
5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler,
The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is a hidden gem located on the Gila River Indian Community in Chandler, about a mile southwest of the Wild Horse Pass Casino off the I-10. It’s an award-winning resort that showcases the heritage, culture and art of the Pima and Maricopa tribes. Reserve a room that overlooks the river that surrounds the resort and you’ll feel like you’re miles away from civilization with all the luxuries of a Sheraton hotel. Treat yourself to dinner at Kai, the state’s only eight-time AAA Five-Diamond restaurant with a Native American Fusion menu.
- The Aji Spa, a Native American spa that means “sanctuary” in the Pima Language
- Two 18-hole golf courses with sweeping desert views
- Resort pool with water streams and a 111-foot waterslide designed after the ancient Casa Grande Ruins
- Koli Equiestrian Center for horseback riding and extensive walking trail
- Sheraton Adventure Club for children 4 to 12. Kayaks and paddleboats available.
Rates begin at $89 all summer through Labor Day. Fourth of July Sip, Soak & Splash Weekend is $154 a night and includes a fireworks viewing party on July 2.
Arizona Grand Resort and Spa
8000 S Arizona Grand Parkway, Phoenix
A visit to Arizona Grand Resort and Spa transports you into a desert oasis. The resort has earned several prestigious accolades, including ABC 15’s Number One Staycation Spot in AZ, a spot on the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Water Parks in the Country and Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play designation. It’s Arizona’s only AAA Four Diamond resort and features one and two-bedroom suites.
- Oasis Water Park, with seven acres of water recreation, including Slide Canyon Tower with three slides, a 10,000-square-foot Oasis Wave Pool and a winding Zuni Active River
- 20,000-square-foot, full-service Arizona Grand Spa and athletic center
- Golf course with panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape
- Six dining venues with choices from steaks to seafood to Mexican fare
Rates begin at $122.55 per night with advance 14-day purchase. Check out the special Golf, Grand Choices and Celebration packages that include various golf, spa and dining options. For a special treat, try the Celebration Package for a romantic getaway with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and $50 dining credit, starting at $229 per night.
6000 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale,
The Phoenician is a Phoenix favorite and a Five-Diamond luxury destination at the base of Camelback Mountain that provides dramatic views of the city skyline. Presidents, celebrities and royal visitors have stayed there. Your family can golf on the 27-hole championship golf course, play tennis or relax in one of seven luxurious pools. The spa features a water bar, full-service salon and meditation atrium. There’s also a 165-foot waterslide and a Funicians Club for children ages 5-12. AquaMermaid School, a new activity this year, teaches guests, ages 7 and up, how to swim like a mermaid wearing a specially designed “tail.”
Hungry? The Phoenician offers 19 dining options with a vast array of culinary delights, including the J & G Steakhouse with romantic views and upscale dining.
- A choice of guest rooms, suites and elegant casitas
- 2 acre cactus garden with 250 variety of cacti
- $25 million art collection
- A corridor of upscale boutiques
Rates begin at $169 per night and there’s a special summer spa offer to buy one treatment and receive 50% off the second treatment. Treat a friend or family member!
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 East Princess Drive, Scottsdale
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess boasts all the essentials for a great getaway: six pools, top-ranked restaurants, a swank spa inspired by the Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls, championship golf courses—one of which is home to the Annual PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open. Additionally, the Princess just opened Sunset Beach, a 9,000-square-foot white sand beach with 830 tons of sand. Tons of kid activities in the Adventure Center.
- Well & Being Spa with a palette of experiences offered
- La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, Bourbon Steak, Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar
- Fireworks every Saturday night
- Dive-in movies, mermaid sightings, water balloon fights and lagoon fishing derbies
Rates begin at $179 per room or choose a package. We like Sip, Savor & Sand, which features a $50 daily resort credit.