Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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Phoenician Physics: as temperatures rise, prices plunge

The Wigwam resort has stunning grounds, adobe architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens and access to four pools for family fun in the sun.  (Photographs courtesy of Wigwam Resort)

The Wigwam resort has stunning grounds, adobe architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens and access to four pools for family fun in the sun.
(Photographs courtesy of Wigwam Resort)

The Wigwam resort has stunning grounds, adobe architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens and access to four pools for family fun in the sun.  (Photographs courtesy of Wigwam Resort)

The Wigwam resort has stunning grounds, adobe architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens and access to four pools for family fun in the sun.
(Photographs courtesy of Wigwam Resort)

 

by SARAH JAQUAY

 

The late Andy Rooney of “60 minutes” might have asked: Did you ever wonder how families with kids can afford a four or five-star resort in a gorgeous natural setting such as Phoenix or Scottsdale and still indulge in on-premise spa treatments, kids’ camps and chic restaurants? I have. In fact, I’ve remarked to my husband, “Well we can stay there, but don’t let the bellman touch your bags and we’ll get our own ice—even if we have to go to 7-Eleven to get it.”

On a recent trip to the Valley of the Sun I discovered how families can live large without selling their jewels. Take advantage of sizzling summer resort deals by following Phoenix’s laws of physics: when the temperatures rise, prices go down and family packages proliferate.

The elegant Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has early bird summer rates starting at $139 plus tax. There’s a daily resort fee, but it includes access to the Trailblazers Family Adventure Center for up to three children, parking and Internet. Adventure center access alone might be worth the trip. Guests can rent fishing equipment; get complimentary basketballs; take the animal discovery class or just hang out playing air hockey and video games.

The Fairmont also offers a “sip, savor and splash” package with rooms starting at $169 per night plus tax. This includes accommodations and a $50 per night per room credit that’s good for meals or snacks at any Princess dining location, tennis and spa treatments at Trailblazers Kid’s Club. Weekend guests may enjoy “dive-in” movies by the pool and fireworks on Saturdays. Their restaurants include La Hacienda, where the culinary talents of Chef Richard Sandoval are on display as well as adult pleasures such as their “snakebite” tequila tasting and flaming dessert coffees; fairmont.com/scottsdale.

If kids want water park fun, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort may be the best bet. Its Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch is four acres of buoyant entertainment with slides, a lazy river, waterfalls and hot tubs. Their summer rates start at $109 plus tax. This summer is all about “retro” with each month offering themed activities and treats from the last half of the 20th century. Every Friday there’s a film by the pool such as this month’s homage to the 1950s: “Old Yeller” and “Alice In Wonderland.” Other activities include hoedowns at Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurant (a succulent barbeque joint) and s’ mores over campfires; squawpeakhilton.com.

The striking Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is the place for families who want to “hang ten” — surfer-speak for riding a wave. The lines for the Kierland FlowRider simulator form in the morning and barely let up. Parents should set their smartphones on video and watch in amazement as their offspring learn to surf in the desert. The Kierland is extending the Hawaiian theme with its “aloha summer” package including: one free FlowRider session with the purchase of another; a $50 dining credit per room, per night; rates from $149 per night plus tax. For the aspiring cocktail creators there’s a “muddle mania” class with deseo restaurant’s master mixologist; kierlandresort.com.

Northeast Ohioans may feel an affinity for one of Phoenix’s most venerable resorts, The Wigwam. There’s good reason: its distinctive 85-year history is linked to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. It started as an executive retreat, then expanded into an upscale getaway ranch in 1929 — where Eastern “dudes” could still experience the Old West. Today, it has more of a Southwestern country club vibe where lounging around the pool or spa, playing golf and tennis before dining at their signature Litchfield’s restaurant is considered a hectic schedule. Speaking of Goodyear, Cleveland Indians fans should note the Wigwam is the closest full-service resort to Goodyear Ballpark where the hometown team trains every spring.

The Wigwam is offering a “3-2-1” summer fun deal that offers three days of play and two nights’ accommodations for $159 plus tax. It’s a bargain price for access to four pools, two 25-foot water slides, cabanas and lots of family activities; wigwamarizona.com.

With deals like these, we may return this summer and let the porter carry our bags.

Authors note: There may be resort fees at all these properties and other restrictions may apply.

 

 

The Wigwam resort has stunning grounds, adobe architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens and access to four pools for family fun in the sun.

(Photographs courtesy of Wigwam Resort)

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