After our stay at The Arizona Grand Resort and Spa it is clear to see why the resort has received what seems like an endless number of awards and accolades. From being named the regions only AAA Four Diamond all-suite resort to Fodor’s Choice Gold Awards Best Property and Top All-Suite Resort Company in the Nation by Business Travel News to one of the most family friendly resorts in Phoenix, it’s easy to say the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa is truly grand. For more Arizona travel ideas, see our Arizona Wine Country Travel Guide.
Review of The Arizona Grand Resort and Spa
Hotel Rooms at The Arizona Grand
There are a variety of different sized rooms at the Arizona Grand Resort, each one has a private balcony and mini-fridge. We chose to stay in the King Suite, which includes a separate bedroom and living area, aka a private room for the adults and a private room for the kids. The suite itself is on the smaller side but if you’re not planning to be in the room much it’s the perfect amount of space. If you need more space check out the Grand Suites.
The bathroom in the King Suite is modern, clean and complete with plush white towels. The tub/shower and toilet are separate from the sink area, which is exposed to the bedroom. I personally prefer the bathroom to be completely separate from the bedroom since combining the two creates a cramp, messy. However, when you have four people sharing one room and bathroom the separation helps.
Activities at The Arizona Grand Resort
The amount – and variety – of activities at the Arizona Grand Resort is a bit overwhelming. Initially it was difficult to find out everything going on during our stay. After a stop into the Athletic Center I had a much better sense of all the activities we could take part in. There’s a lot to do – from hiking and biking trails in the mountain preserve next to the resort, to the Oasis water park, to outdoor, poolside movies in the evenings, golf and exercise classes or relaxing at the spa. There really is something for everyone.
The kids and I joined in one of the guided hike the Arizona Grand offers guests. We’re pretty avid hikers so having a guide was new to me but I have to say I loved it. The guide went into a lot detail about the plants and wildlife we came across on the hike. She also explained the history of the area, making it a much more colorful experience.
A stay at the Arizona Grand isn’t complete without a visit to the Oasis water park, which was voted by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s Top 10 Water Parks. It is a destination in itself. My kids could have spent every hour of every day at the Oasis if we let them. From water slides to a lazy river and a zero entry pool it’s perfect for all ages. Adults will love the poolside food and drink service and outdoor grill and bar. Our kids made waves while we sipped on an adult beverage and munched on wraps. It’s really an Oasis for everyone…
If you’re not into spending time at the water park, fear not, there are a number of quite, secluded pools at the Arizona Grand.
Dining at the Arizona Grand Resort
The Arizona Grand Resort offers a range of dining selections. From grabbing a coffee and yogurt parfait in the lobby coffee shop, then watching the morning sunrise as the golfer tee off. To eating a salad (or burger) at the Oasis water park and then munching on fried rattlesnake for dinner as you soak in the sunset over Camelback Mountain. The options are delicious.
Talk about a fun atmosphere and amazing food, Aunt Chilada’s is a treat. The traditional Mexican fare ranges from burritos, enchiladas, salads to a list of more than 100 premium tequilas. I suggest the street tacos and one of the signature margaritas – amazing!
Aunt Chilada’s is on property but a bit of a hike from the main resort. It’s an easy walk and one I highly recommend doing after you eat. If you’re running late for a reservation or have little ones you can call the bellman to have a golf cart sent and swing you by there. If you visit Aunt Chilada’s try sitting on the patio. The atmosphere is alive with fun, festive energy. The service was outstanding the food was an experience in itself.
Go hungry if you’re heading up the hill to Rustler’s Roost. The western themed restaurant dishes out steaks, ribs, chicken and seafood in a fun, family friendly environment. Make sure to try the fried rattlesnake and prickly pears. Kudos to our server for talking us into giving it a try. Like she said, it tastes like chewy chicken.
Rustler’s Roost is located on the hill above the Arizona Grand so you’ll need to have the complementary resort shuttle drive you there. Given its location, the Rustler’s Roost has an amazing panoramic view of the valley. Try to get there in time to see the sunset. It’s really a sight. In addition to the food and view, there’s live music, TVs to catch the game and a tin slide – if you’re up for the ride.
If you plan to spend the day at the Oasis water park there’s no need to worry about bringing a lunch. You can order lunch at the bar area, poolside grill or right from the comfort of your lounge chair. The food is rather pricey, think $12 for a hotdog, but it’s delicious and the portions are large enough that two little kids can share an order of chicken fingers. The service at the pool was excellent, especially when we ordered from the lounge chairs. Our server was very attentive and helpful.
The Lobby Grill
The Lobby Grill is the newest addition to Arizona Grand Resort & Spa and it’s apparent. While the food was outstanding and the views on the patio can relax just about anyone, the service was the worst I’ve experienced in years. We arrived at the resort about 10am with two hungry kids. With the time change they were ready for lunch – not breakfast or brunch – so we grabbed a snack in the coffee shop and waited until 11am to go to the Lobby Grill. Upon being seated we were told it would be at least 30 minutes before they could take our order. I looked around to an empty patio and dining area and inquired as to why? Essentially, the kitchen wasn’t ready to begin preparing lunch, which was supposed to begin at 11am. (Having waited tables myself for nearly a decade this is a problem. In my experience the kitchen is prepping for lunch at least 45 minutes beforehand so they can make the switch.) We entertained the kids with crayons and the birds eating leftovers from the unbussed tables for the next hour. The food nearly made up for the wait as it was delicious but then the inattentive waitress ruined it. Once our food was delivered (by a food runner, not the waitress) we didn’t see anyone again for nearly 45 minutes. We had to get up and find our waitress to pay the check.
I’m hopeful this was just an off day and your experience will be better. The food is just too good to not visit the Lobby Grill.
The Arizona Grand Resort and Spa is an amazing resort with something to offer everyone. It’s hands down one of the best family friendly hotels we’ve stayed at. It’s proximity to the airport makes it a great spot for business and pleasure.
What the Princesses Have to Say
The kids – the Princesses – can’t wait to get back to the Arizona Grand. This time they hope they’re tall enough to do the water slides.
Have you stayed at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa?
Elaine Schoch (pronounced the German way – Shock) is the editor and founder of Carpe Travel as well as an award-winning travel writer, wine judge, certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 and certified American Wine Expert. She is married to The Husband and has two kids, Princess One and Two – who’s interest and knowledge in wine is quite extensive. Not to mention the stamps in their passports.