Family vacations can be tough. Everyone has a different expectation of the perfect getaway. Fortunately, Scottsdale’s resorts were designed to indulge nearly every whim—and persuade you to stay on property. From sunrise tee times and outdoor adventures to poolside lounging and nighttime stargazing and s’mores, the best Scottsdale resorts make it easy for your family members to mix and match activities. Most of the big resorts have kids programs that tout a full docket of games, crafts and educational desert activities. Think of them as mini-summer camps for the little ones. These supervised breaks, meanwhile, enable parents to enjoy a little adult time at the spa or on the links. Scottsdale resorts also make it painless to coordinate some basic logistics that come with family travel. Adjoining rooms and multi-room suites easily accommodate large broods. Babysitters are just a phone call away, and kid-friendly menus and special requests are never a problem. Here are the five best resorts in town that coddle the whole family.
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
This relaxed resort offers fun for the whole family: 27 holes of golf, spa treatments and an Adventure Water Park with a lazy river and 110-foot water slide. Walls are lined with mementos from Arizona history, and the neighboring Kierland Commons outdoor mall provides shopping and dining options without having to get into a car.
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Everything about this resort is big, from the soaring lobby to its 950 rooms, 10 restaurants, 3.5 acres of pools and 36 golf holes designed by Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus. Arizona's largest resort carries its size well, though, with subtle Western details such as leather couches and delicate stonework.
Scottsdale Fairmont Princess
The five-diamond Princess deftly marries luxury service with a casual atmosphere. Kids love the Trailblazers Family Adventure Center, the pet desert tortoise and five swimming pools, complete with towering slides. Parents happily indulge at the chic Bourbon Steak and La Hacienda Mexican restaurant, two 18-hole championship golf courses and the must-be-seen-to-believe spa.
FireSky Resort and Spa
An excellent value, this Kimpton property delivers friendly service and amenities similar to those at the five-star resorts up the road—but without the expense. FireSky has a boutique feel, and its lush grounds, complimentary evening wine hour, sandy “beach pool” and nighttime s’mores kits are all crowd-pleasers.
Arizona Grand Resort
A $52 million renovation transformed this 740-unit, all-suites property into a family-friendly oasis in South Phoenix. You’ll find all the amenities of most resorts, but it’s the seven-acre Oasis Water Park that really draws guests in, with its wave pool, lazy river and three eight-story water slides.