Date of stay – March 2015
Overall Score: B
Recommended?: Yes Vegetarian/Vegan Dining Options?: Yes (on-site)
This year, my family and I spent spring break at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa based on the reviews on TripAdvisor and because the hotel itself is a destination. Voted the “2014 number one staycation spot in Arizona,” the Arizona Grand has the seven acre ‘Oasis’ water park (for hotel guests only), complete with water slides, a wave pool, and lazy river. In addition to the kid friendly water park, there’s an 18 hole golf course, full service spa, a 20,000 square foot gym, and six on-site restaurants. While their hotel prices seem reasonable, keep in mind there is a $49 resort fee per night. This fee includes the water park, free valet parking, discounts on golf and spa services, wi-fi, access to the health club, and other amenities.
Hotel/Room: The hotel itself was beautiful to me. Decorated in a Spanish motif, the decor included natural elements that blended with the surroundings. Upon entering the lobby, you are exposed to a huge expanse of glass that showcases their golf course. Fire pits and seating on the patio is relaxing both during day and night. Our room was a suite, with a separate sitting area and mini-kitchen. The room was clean and well stocked, including the mini fridge. We removed everything from the refrigerator to put in our own drinks and food. However, because the items in the stocked mini fridge were moved around, housekeeping thought we had ‘purchased/consumed’ something and ended up getting charged after checkout. After calling the hotel, they removed the charge. Just something for future guests to be aware of. The air conditioning unit was a little old in our room and the room felt a bit tight with two queen beds, docking the room score to a B. For photos of their rooms, visit their website.
Staff: Most of the staff we encountered were pleasant and courteous. However, we had a recurring issue with housekeeping that didn’t get resolved until the day we left. Our room was on the top level and next to a small outdoor patio. Someone had left a used dining tray with food on it right next to our room. Arizona is obviously hot and the food started attracting flies. After it had not been picked up by the next day, we contacted housekeeping again. Our room was made up and cleaned, and yet the very obvious tray next to our door still remained. I believe we called a total of 4 times before it was finally picked up – not necessarily a terrible experience, but still one that bothered me.
Amenities: The amenities at the Arizona Grand were great. The water park was a decent size and seemed fun for kids of all ages. My only complaint was that it was packed. We went to the water park on our first day around 1:00pm and we couldn’t find a beach chair. Every single chair in the park had towels on them, claiming them as taken. We probably spent the first 30 minutes just looking for somewhere to put our stuff down. Eventually we snagged two chairs that day, but we always arrived right at the park’s opening for the rest of the trip. There are dining and drinking options within the park – even waiters walking around to take orders and deliver them to your beach chair. Please note, the dining at the water park is very expensive. An order of fries costs $8, a cheeseburger is $15, potato chips cost $5, salads are $16-$17 and drinks are just as pricey, especially alcohol (You can’t bring your own drinks in either. They inspect all bags coming into the park.)
Within our cluster of buildings where our room was, there were two regular pools and hot tubs. We enjoyed our time in this area because it was much quieter and less crowded. Because I didn’t walk around the whole property, I’m not sure if there are pools in each area of lodging.
The health club was excellent as well. In fact, the Seattle Seahawks stayed at this hotel before Super Bowl 49 partially because of the large fitness facility. Free weights, weight machines, cardio machines, a yoga room, a specialty sports room, and more are all located here. I’ve never been at a hotel with a gym this big or complete. It was incredible! I can’t grade the golf course or spa because I didn’t use the services there.
We only visited one restaurant within the hotel, the Lobby Grill. We had a nice dining experience here, and I was pleased with the vegetarian options. In addition to the Lobby Grill, there is a hotel bar, a small cafe within a gift shop (featuring Starbucks coffee, pastries, and gelato), a steakhouse, Mexican dining, and the water park bar and grill. There are plenty of other dining options close to the resort as well.
Overall, we had a fun experience and were pleased with the hotel. Obviously, we wish we had a better experience with housekeeping, but we all enjoyed our stay and would likely come back. If you have young kids that love to be in the water, this is a great hotel to spend a week at, and you’ll never have to leave!