Some Scottsdale resorts put on talent shows, screen outdoor movies, and bring in desert animals from the Phoenix Zoo for demonstrations. Others offer villas with full kitchens, washer/dryers, and enough room for families to spread out comfortably. Take a look at all of our picks for the best family resorts in Scottsdale.
As a golf resort, a family getaway, and a corporate retreat, the Westin Kierland is a clear standout in Scottsdale. Its size helps it satisfy such a range of guests: while kids run wild at the on-site Aquaventure water park (with a FlowRider, a lazy river, and a 110-foot slide), couples relax at the comparatively serene adults-only pool, great big blue margaritas in hand. The excellent Westin Kids' Club, for kids 4 to 12, hosts supervised activities, such as swimming, scavenger hunts, video games, soccer, and tennis clinics (half and full days available). Daily activities for families include camp fires with s'mores, talent shows, outdoor movie screenings, and desert animal demonstrations brought in from the Phoenix Zoo. For a bite to eat, there are several on-site places to choose from, plus more restaurants across the street at Kierland Commons, an upscale shopping mall. Tennis courts, three 18-hole golf courses, sunset bagpipers -- the Westin simply has more stuff than other resorts, and a convenient location and friendly service, to boot. So while the added fees can be irksome and the guest rooms aren't extraordinary (they look like higher-tier hotel rooms anywhere), most guests happily return.
The 645-room Phoenician takes up a 250-acre chunk of prime real estate on the edge of Camelback Mountain. The resort uses its space and setting well, with 11 tennis courts, seven dining options, and nine-pool complex with a 200-foot twisting slide and pirate-themed splash pad with a suspension bridge, treehouse, and spray guns. The hotel's Funicians Club program for kids ages 5 through 12 includes activities such as cactus garden tours, arts and crafts, board and video games, outdoor sports, and playground time. At night, parents can take advantage of the Funicians' "night owl" program while they go to dinner.
The village-like Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North has a beautiful setting in the Sonoran Desert, at the foot of Pinnacle Peak. The 210 rooms are spacious and elegant, featuring gas-burning fireplaces, plush beds, and deep tubs. Resort features include a gorgeous bi-level pool (with a kiddy area, bar service, cabanas, and occasional free treats), a free kids' club for ages 5 to 12, and two tennis courts.
The 298-room Westin Kierland Villas is an upscale timeshare outpost of the Starwood chain. It has an excellent location just outside Scottsdale, a kid-friendly swimming area, and an adults-only pool. The villas are comfortable and modern with full kitchens, laundry facilities, showers with twin showerheads, and spacious balconies. This is a hotel with an informal atmosphere as opposed to the more formal competitors in this steep price class.
At the base of Camelback Mountain, this 11-acre property delivers amenities and services that eclipse those of nearby (and similarly priced) competitors. This resort offers two pools, a walking path with exercise equipment, tennis and racquetball courts, a spa, a playground, and outdoor grills. The 111 rooms -- technically condos/timeshares -- are very large and individually decorated (style can vary greatly). Studios, two-, and three-bedroom condos have wood-burning fireplaces, balconies, soaking tubs, full kitchens, and laundry facilities.
The McCormick Scottsdale isn't as spiffy or as modern as its competitors, but it's the only hotel in Scottsdale with lake views. The three-and-a-half-pearl property's 125 guest rooms have bland decor, but all units feature furnished balconies, and are equipped with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and Keurig machines. The resort's amenities include boating and fishing, plus there's an outdoor pool, tennis courts, and two on-site restaurants, but guests pay for it all, as there's a daily resort fee.