We visited my family in Scottsdale, Arizona for Thanksgiving (sooooo fun!) and we, along with my sister, Emily, and brother-in-law Miklos, stayed at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. The location is great for visiting the Scottsdale area. The property is absolutely enormous and every inch of it is beautiful.
What is particularly family friendly about this resort is its courtyard like design. There is a huge lawn in the center of the property, and it was great for our kids to run around and burn off some energy. The receptionists gave special attention to the boys when we checked in, providing them eachwith their own blow-up ball, which they had a blast playing with on the lawn. The entire desert setting is gorgeously landscaped, and there is plenty of room and pathways to explore with the kiddos.
The pool, like the rest of the resort, is huge and awesome for kids of all ages. There is a long lazy river and tons of poolside chairs. There are several different sections of the pool, each with its own vibe. We hung out in the same section each day because it seemed to be the most toddler friendly, and we noticed that other areas were more fun for bigger kids to swim and play. There may have been an adults-only section of the pool, but we didn’t notice it, so if so they did a good job tucking it away from the action.
We ate most of our meals at the hotel, too. The service was consistently friendly and speedy, the breakfast at the restaurant was delicious – especially the blue corn pancakes. I had them two days in a row – hands down the best blue corn pancakes I’ve ever had.
We ate and drank poolside each day — easy finger foods, delicious drinks for the adults, and fun smoothies for the kiddos. We also hit up the taco bar one day for lunch — I simply cannot pass up a taco bar — and I was not disappointed.
Couple tips: 1) Pass on the valet parking option. We parked our rental car ourselves and although the parking lot looked far away, there are several entry points into the property, and may even be closer to your room than the main entrance. I’m always a fan of valet, but here we were able to save money and time walking to our room by parking the car ourselves. 2) Request a room that is near the lobby or check on a map to see where your room is before you hoof it there. Although our section of the property was very quiet, we were near the conference center and had quite a hike with the boys from our room to the lobby and restaurant area. Next time I would definitely request a room closer to the action.
And we will definitely be back; in fact, we purchased a special they were offering for a return stay in one of their townhomes to use on our next trip. Next time I plan on spending some luxe mama time in the spa, too…I’ll let you know how it goes!
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