Top Arizona Resorts for Fun in the Sun that Never Ends

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Fairmont Scottsdale Princess at night
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess at night. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

From Flagstaff to Tucson, Arizona offers sunshine and outdoor fun that ranges from hikes in the desert to award-winning golf courses. Home to Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona’s gorgeous red rock country, the vibrant urban center of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley and the impressive saguaro cacti and fiery sunsets of Tucson, Arizona also offers a wide choice of luxury resorts.

Here, we round up our favorite Arizona resorts. Many welcome pets, some offer uber luxurious spas and all have that Arizona must-have if you happen to be traveling with kids: fabulous swimming pools.

Best Resorts in Scottsdale

The pool with waterslides at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, an Arizona resort
The dueling waterslides at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. (We have it on good authority that the one on the left is fastest.) Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 

7575 E Princess Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 585-4848

From the 90-second front desk check-in to the manicured landscapes to the friendly servers, it’s tough to find a flaw at this 65-acre resort that delivers laid-back luxury in the Sonoran Desert. Nestled on 65 acres in North Scottsdale, the AAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a pet-friendly hotel with beautiful grounds, impeccable accommodations, a variety of dining options and unrivaled service.

The family fun starts with the five pools! The kid-friendly Sonoran Splash pool offers organized games, water slides, cabanas and yummy Pina Coladas to keep the adults happy. When you want a beachier vibe, head to Sunset Beach, where 9,000 square feet of sand imported from Miami surround the largest pool.

Park the kids at the Trailblazers Kids Club (it’s included in the daily resort fee for up to three kids ages 5-12) for the morning while you head to the Well & Being Spa for a few hours of quiet. The adults-only sanctuary is open to spa guests and features complimentary cabanas at the infinity pool, floating bean bags and food and beverage service from attentive pool butlers. Say it with me now: Ahhhh.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess pool with a white sand beach
The sand at this beach was imported from Miami. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

What’s so great about the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 

  • A half-day in the Trailblazers Kids Club daily is included in the resort fee for up to three kids.
  • The whole family can join the Trailblazers fun in the afternoons to ride the 3D simulators, dig in the virtual reality sandbox, play a life-sized game of Pac-Man, borrow basketballs for the sports court, rent fishing poles for the catch-and-release fishing program and meet desert animals like the resident desert tortoise Cecil.
  • 5 heated pools (they’re chilled in the summer!), complete with waterslides, splash pad and covered sandbox stocked with Tonka trucks and beach toys. (There’s a sixth pool that is part of the new Privado hotel, an even more luxurious option within this luxury hotel.)
  • The Well & Being Spa offers a long list of treatments, plus access to the rooftop pool, hot tubs and cabanas for the day. A salon offers kid-parent treatments.


The view of hte pools at night at the Hyatt Regency at night
The view of the pools from my room at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85258
(480) 444-1234

The magnificent McDowell Mountains and spectacular Sonoran desert provide the perfect backdrop for a stay at the luxurious Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch.

Set on 27 acres near Old Town Scottsdale, this resort has amenities for both families and couples and manages to please everyone. For kids and families, there’s the “water playground” with sandy beach, zero entry pool and waterslide. Plus, there’s a shaded outdoor playground — a must in the searing Arizona summer.

A special treat for adults is the fantastic full-service Spa at Gainey Ranch that offers everything from massages to salt room treatments.

The lobby overlooking the outdoor dining area at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch
The expansive lobby overlooking the outdoor dining area at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

What’s so great about Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort

  • 2.5-acre water playground complete with a sand beach and 3-story, high-speed waterslide
  • Free wifi
  • Pet friendly
  • Rooms have private balconies with breathtaking views
  • Native American cultural experiences
  • The full-service Spa Avania
  • Live music, kids’ fun zone with giant Jenga and other oversized fun, and many other activities


Lazy river at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale AZ
The lazy river at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

6902 East Greenway Parkway
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254
(480) 624-1000

The Westin Kierland offers large rooms, a kids club, on-property dining and lots of fun water activities, including a FlowRider and lazy river. And, of course, it’s a Westin, which means the rooms come with those luxurious never-want-to-leave-them Heavenly® Beds.

This 250-acre resort has an eclectic set of dining options, a full-service spa and a 27-hole golf course.

What’s so great about The Westin Kierland Resort

  • Adventure Water Park, with a 900-foot lazy river, a 110-foot water slide, the FlowRider, a zero-entry area, cabanas and islands.
  • The Mining Company, the hub of resort activities where you can pick up a newsletter listing times and locations of the many on-site activities.
  • The Compass, which is similar to a scavenger hunt. It’s a great way to learn where everything is and kids can collect a stamp once they find the spot on the map and earn a pin after they collect all the stamps. It’s a great way for families to work together.
  • The O.K. Corral where families can play games like chess and make s’mores over a fire pit on a Saturday night.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Westins are Marriott properties. Join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty rewards program before you book to score members-only perks and earn points to be used on future hotel stays.


The mother-of-pearl inlaid pool at The Phoenician, an Arizona resort
The three tiers of pools at The Phoenician include this one, inlaid with Mother-of-Pearl tiles. Photo creditL Cindy Richards

The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort

6000 E. Camelback Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
(480) 941-8200

The Phoenician is a AAA Five-Diamond, Forbes Five-Star resort set on 250 acres at the base of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale. Completely renovated in 2016, the resort offers 645 upscale guest rooms, suites and casitas, the Forbes 5-Star Phoenician Spa, an 18-hole golf course, plenty of dining options and three tiers of pools.

The Funicians Club for kids is currently closed, but when it is operating, it offers daily activities for kids ages 5-12, three big screen TVs, a lake house play house, salt water fish tank and more. The Kids Zone pool area features a tree house complete with a swaying bridge, sails and a helm for children’s inner pirate to explore, splash pad with spray guns, falling buckets of water and shooting water spouts and a 197-foot twisting water slide – for guests 42 inches and taller.

The entrance to The Phoenician Spa as seen from the pool.
The Phoenician Spa. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

What’s so great about The Phoenician

  • Pools with water slides, splash pad and dive-in movies.
  • The Funicians Club kids’ club with a 180-gallon salt water fish tank, video games and LEGO wall.
  • Newly renovated and spacious guest rooms, suites and casitas
  • Private balconies
  • Daily resort fee includes wifi, two-hour bike rental, tennis court access and morning yogaSheBuysTravel Tip: The Phoenician is a Marriott property. Join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty rewards program before you book to score members-only perks and earn points to be used on future hotel stays.


Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

4949 E. Lincoln Drive
Scottsdale, Arizona 85253
(480) 627-3200

This pet-friendly luxury resort offers free bike rentals and bocce ball, 3 pools and several fee-based activities, including guided hikes on Camelback Mountain.

The 293 guest rooms and suites have smart TVs and wifi.

The Omni Kids Crew program greets kids with a backpack filled with a Sonoran desert coloring book or desert sticker book and a choice of a desert dweller figurine. They get milk and cookies delivered to their guest room on the first night. Plus, a coloring menu and crayons are available in the resort restaurants.

What’s so great about the Omni Scottsdale Resort

  • The Omni Kids Crew program gives kids a backpack filled with fun.
  • The resort is pet friendly.
  • Free bike rentals and bocce ball.
  • Three on-site restaurants

SheBuysTravel Tip: Join Omni’s Select Guest loyalty program before you book to get access to the best rates and members-only perks like express check in, bottled water and free wifi.


Kayaking on the Salt River in Arizona
Kayaks are available from the McCormick Scottsdale Resort. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

The McCormick Scottsdale Resort

7421 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale Arizona 85253
(480) 948 5050

The pet-friendly McCormick Scottsdale Resort is located about 25 minutes from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, next to McCormick Ranch Golf Club and resort guests get preferred tee times for those seeking to hit the links. The property has two swimming pools, a main one, and a smaller one, a spa and fitness center, on-site dining and meeting facilities.

What’s so great about The McCormick Scottsdale Resort

  • The pool area is large and inviting for families. There’s a waterfall to swim under and plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas surrounding the pool. There is a shallow area for smaller children, shaded cabanas are available and a poolside restaurant/bar makes it convenient for families to grab a snack or a drink.
  • Kayaks, canoes and fishing gear are available from sunrise to sunset
  • The rooms are spacious, but families of 5 or more will need adjoining rooms.
  • A complimentary hotel shuttle will take you anywhere within 5 miles of the resort.
  • Free wifi and free parking


Other Resorts Near Phoenix

Tubing on the Salt River in Scottsdale Arizona
These Arizona resorts are close to lots of outdoors adventures, including tubing on the Salt River. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

The Boulders Resort & Spa

34631 North Tom Darlington Drive
Carefree, AZ 85377
(480) 488-9009

This legendary golf resort sits on 1,300 acres of the Sonoran Desert foothills with panoramic views of 12-million-year-old granite rock formations.

Named the Best Hotel in Arizona by Travel + Leisure magazine, the eco-friendly Boulders has four pools and a long list of outdoor adventures that can be booked through the resort, ranging from guided hikes to air tours of the nearby Grand Canyon.

The 33,000-square-foot spa offers a range of massages, treatments and therapies infused with ingredients from the Boulders’ desert environment.

What’s so great about The Boulders Resort

  • A wealth of outdoor adventures can be booked through the hotel, ranging from night bike rides to guided stargazing to hot air balloon rides.
  • Four pools, hiking and walking trails on the nature paths around the property offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Room options include one-, two- and three-bedroom villas with full kitchens and a private patio with a gas grill.


Gorgeous desert sunset in Arizona
Take a hike to see the sunset over the Sonoran desert. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

The Wigwam

300 East Wigwam Blvd.
Litchfield Park, Arizona 85340
(866) 976-6894

The gorgeous Sonoran Desert setting of The Wigwam immediately makes guests feel at home in the Southwest. That feeling continues throughout the 440 acres of this AAA Four Diamond Arizona resort and Historic Hotel of America.

Its 331 spacious casitas, 70 suites and two presidential suites, can sleep up to six with a separate bedroom area, large living area and sofa bed. This resort is made for play. There’s a bocce ball court, corn hole, sand volleyball, plus a large pool with a splash area for little kids and a water slide for the bigger ones.

The Wigwam is Arizona’s only resort with 54 holes of championship golf, including two Robert Trent Jones Sr. courses. Plus, it’s home to the LeMonds Aveda Salon Spa, a 26,000-square-foot soothing sanctuary with a private pool for spa guests

What’s so great about The Wigwam

  • Three pools, including a kids fun zone with two waterslides, a splash pad, private cabanas and relaxing Jacuzzis
  • Two custom built, regulation bocce ball courts, sand volleyball court, bike rentals and yard games, including corn hole
  • Nine lighted, paved tennis courts


Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass

5594 W Wild Horse Pass Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85226
(602) 225-0100

Every aspect of this resort embraces its Native American roots. The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is a Marriott property, but the resort is owned by the Pima and Maricopa tribes of the Gila River Indian Community.

Their influence is stamped throughout the resort, from the grand lobby with the 10 murals on the ceiling, to the naming of the restaurants, to the artwork and décor. The name of this Arizona resort pays homage to the more than 1,500 wild horses that run free on these tribal lands. Kai, meaning ‘seed’ in the Pima language, is the only AAA Five Diamond/Forbes Five Star restaurant in Arizona. Aji Spa (“Aji” is the Pima word for sanctuary) offers a menu of indigenous Native American treatments approved by Tribal Elders to ensure authenticity, correct use and respect of the culture.

Rooms are spacious and deluxe with a modern bathroom and plush towels. The best feature: the serene balcony with panoramic views of the Sierra mountains and the nightly sunset.

What’s so Great about Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass

  • The Adventure Club offers half and full-day supervised activities ranging from Native American-inspired projects to pool play and family friendly movies.
  • During the winter months, there is storytelling around the campfire during “Stories and S’mores” and learning about ancient cultures and traditions at “Storytelling & Song.”
  • Friday-Sunday in the summers there are a variety of family activities with a cultural focus, such as jewelry-making classes and culinary classes.
  • The Hanyo Pool (“Hanyo” in Maricopa means “oasis”) is centrally located behind the main lobby with a large pool and a water slide.
  • A 2 mile interpretive trail through the Sonoran Desert has more than 50 signs sharing tidbits about culture, history and plant and animal life.
  • River Adventure Boats offers pedal boats, hydro bikes, kayaks and stand up paddleboats for exploring the river for an additional fee.
  • Every room has a private balcony.

Pro Tip: Sheratons are Marriott properties. Join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty rewards program before you book to score members-only perks and earn points to be used on future hotel stays.


Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

2400 E Missouri Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
(602) 955-6600

This historic Arizona resort has seven outdoor pools, including the family-focused Paradise Pool with its triple twisting water slide for the big kids, splash pad for the little ones and a swim up bar for the parents. This grand hotel, designed by a student of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, offers an all inclusive package that includes meals, the resort fee, parking and a discount in the spa.

What’s so Great about the Arizona Biltmore

  • 7 pools, including the family friendly Paradise Pool with a water slide and splash pad.
  • Option to buy an all inclusive package.
  • Family yoga and other kid-friendly experiences.


JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

5350 East Marriott Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85054

The AAA 4-Diamond JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa caters to families with its Family Escape experience. It includes a daily kids camp each morning. Then, in the afternoon, the whole family is invited to play board games and video games, watch movies, make arts and crafts and participate in activities that change daily.

The resort offers 17 pickleball courts, five pools and a lazy river. Many of the rooms and suites have sofa beds to accommodate families.

What’s so great about the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort

  • Family Escape experience includes a morning kids camp and complimentary afternoon family activities.
  • 5 pools, including the Lazy River Outdoor Pool, the Serpentine Waterslide and a kids’ splash pad. All pools are heated at 82 degrees in the cooler months.
  • Many of the rooms and suites have sofa beds to accommodate families.

Pro Tip: Join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty rewards program before you book to score members-only perks and earn points to be used on future hotel stays.


The Camby Hotel

2401 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona, 85016
(602) 468-0700

Formerly The Ritz-Carlton, The Camby Hotel in central Phoenix offers a kitschy fun vibe, attentive service and fabulous dining. Named for Phoenix’s well-known Camelback Mountain, the hotel is a playful mix of professional and the avant-garde, with unexpected twists on familiar southwestern concepts. The décor, the staff and restaurant are all top notch.

The 227 rooms are just as spectacular as the rest of the hotel. The ceiling of one room has a copper panel with fun sayings painted on it, such as “Dear Sleep, I know we had problems when I was younger, but I love you now.” There is a cattle skull lamp on the wall that illuminates the word “Moo” underneath when it turns on. This pet-friendly property has a fun rooftop pool.

What’s so great about The Camby Hotel

  • The swimming pool is small, but there are ping pong tables and a game area nearby.
  • Kitschy design features make a great hotel scavenger hunt if you want something to keep kids entertained.

Pro Tip: The Camby is a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of independent hotels, so join the Bonvoy rewards program before you book.


Best Arizona Resorts near Tucson

Saguaro cactus in Arizona
The symbol of Arizona is the Saguaro cactus. Photo courtesy of Visit Tucson.

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

7000 N. Resort Drive
Tucson, Arizona, 85750

The casual and welcoming atmosphere, spacious guest rooms, outdoor activities, gorgeous swimming pool and mountain views, koi pond, children’s playground, kid-friendly Window Walk nature trail and the Coyote Kids Club make the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson a great spot for families.

The observation tower at this luxury resort offers stunning views and, on certain nights, stargazing programs. The nature walk winds throughout the resort, with bridges, streams and even a waterfall — in the desert! Best of all is the location, near Sabino Canyon, Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

What’s so great about Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

  • Complimentary cribs and baby bath amenity kits
  • Night lights for easy sleeping
  • Family activity guides to explore nearby
  • Kid-friendly menus and service options
  • Kids under 18 stay free
  • Free wifi


Hilton Tucson El Conquistador

10000 North Oracle Road
Tucson, Arizona 85704
(520) 544-5000

The Hilton Tucson El Conquistador is located in the northwest area of Tucson, near the Santa Catalina Mountains. The centerpiece of the resort is the Desert Springs Oasis. Located in the center of the resort, Desert Springs Oasis is comprised of three different areas: the main pool, a splash pad called the Shallow Springs Kid Pool and a slide called Slide Rock.

The resort also is home to stables and horseback riding among Tucson’s beautiful desert landscape. The El Con Kids Club for ages 4-12 offers full-day, half-day and by-the-hour programming.

What’s so great about Hilton Tucson El Conquistador

  • Resort fee includes a two-hour bike rental
  • Self-guided hiking trails nearby
  • Desert Springs Oasis pool area with a splash and Slide Rock
  • Native American flute player plays indigenous music Wednesday-Sunday prior to dusk.

Pro Tip: Join the free Hilton Honors membership program before you book to get access to amenities such as free wifi in your room.


Best Arizona Resorts in Sedona

Sedona red rocks at dawn at the Enchantment Resort
There are many hiking trails steps from your casita door at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona. Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

Enchantment Resort

525 Boynton Canyon Road
Sedona, Arizona 86336
(928) 282-2900

Nestled at the base of the red rock walls of Boynton Canyon, this 70-acre resort has 218 recently refreshed casita guestrooms and suites. All rooms feature a private deck or patio. There are junior suites that sleep four with a separate living room area. Camp Coyote for kids ages 4-12 offers nature walks, painting, scavenger hunts, culinary activities and more in full day, half day and evening programming.

What’s so great about Enchantment Resort

  • Daily resort fee includes access to the golf club, shuttle, croquet and bocce ball, the fitness center, foosball and more.
  • Camp Coyote for kids ages 4-12 offers full day, half and evening programming.
  • The easy Fay Canyon hike passes Native American ruins and ends at a natural stone arch.
  • The Family Adventure special includes a hike and a Pink Jeep tour.


L’Auberge de Sedona

301 L’Auberge Lane
Sedona, AZ 86336
(855) 905-5745

This is the resort for laid-back, nature-loving families. It sits along side tranquil Oak Creek in the shadow of Sedona’s red rock canyons. Families should choose the luxurious Creekside Suite Cottage, which sleeps four with a separate living area with a sleeper sofa and private deck overlooking the babbling creek.

What’s so great about L’Auberge de Sedona

  • Complimentary transportation within 1.5 miles of the resort, which is enough to get you to most restaurants and shopping in Sedona.
  • Concierge will map out customized hikes and scenic drives for you. These can include Indian ruins, picnic spots, best photo op locations and swimming holes.
  • The outdoor pool is heated and available year-round.


Cindy Richards is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist who serves as the Editor-in-Chief of She also is the mom of two now grown kids who have traveled with her since that first, fateful plane ride when one preschooler discovered a barf bag in his seat pocket and his sister, finding none in hers, demanded, “I want a barf bag too!” She has been a reporter, editor and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, an editor at Chicago Parent and Catalyst Chicago and an instructor in the graduate school at Northwestern’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism.
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