There’s nothing worse than finding yourself at the wrong resort pool. You’re expecting to spend a summer weekend splayed out on a lounge chair with nothing but a Sudoku puzzle book and your iPod. But what if, when you arrive at your resort pool, you discover it’s crawling with kids doing cannonballs? Or on the flip side, maybe your family is embarking on a long-awaited resort vacation, anticipating waterslides and lazy rivers but you mistakenly end up at an all-hours over-21 party scene, complete with teeny bikinis and free-flowing piña coladas?
Your summer vacation by the pool could go horribly, horribly wrong.
But it doesn’t have to.
Arizona Travel is your resort swimming pool guide. We’ve collected the best-of-the-best in Arizona hotel and resort swimming pools, and there’s something for everyone. From family-friendly resorts catering to moms and dads with little ones, to those with an adults-only, pool-party-after-dark kind of scene. We’ve included resorts where bigger (or more) is better, offering several “zones” to cater to all visitors, and a few where a smaller size translates to exclusivity and privacy.
Tip: Don’t automatically assume the “resort” distinction means big bucks for a room. Arizona resorts are well-known for dropping their summer rates from $300/night way down to $89 – $199. Locals are hip to the smokin’ hot rates… visitors should get in on the deals, too, and follow the links below to book a stay at an otherwise budget-busting accommodation!
Here’s our list of the 9 best resort hotel swimming pools in Arizona.
1) The Phoenician Resort – Scottsdale The Phoenician is home to the classic Arizona resort hotel swimming pool. The Phoenician Resort’s pool fulfills fantasies of festively striped cabanas and perfectly folded striped beach towels to match. Nestled in the shadows of Camelback Mountain, this exclusive resort’s pool is open to guests only and features nine sparkling pools located throughout the resort grounds. Aquatic highlights include their signature serenity mother-of-pearl tiled pool, cascading waterfalls, the secluded Desert Spa and a 165-foot twisting waterslide. Private cabanas may be reserved for the ultimate in poolside luxury.
2) The Hotel Valley Ho – Scottsdale The hotel is a classic in mid-century design and lighthearted ambiance. Originally a hideaway for Hollywood’s elite, this downtown Scottsdale urban resort once again features rooms with all-glass walls opening onto airy patios. The hotel’s pool features music and massage in private cabanas, and the poolside Oh Pool Bar + Cabanas. Perfect for those looking for a retro-throwback that caters to an adult crowd, the Hotel Valley Ho’s pool heats up when the sun goes down. The after-dark party scene is well-known throughout the Valley, so put on your bikini and high heels and get ready to party from day ’til nearly dawn.
3) Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain – Paradise Valley Guests enjoy Arizona’s largest infinity-edge swimming pool and a separate 25-yard outdoor lap pool in the shadows of Camelback Mountain. Chosen for this list for its unique design and unforgettable views, the resort pool at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain is romantic, intimate and a great location for celeb-spotting; Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn and Britney Spears have all stayed at this magnificent boutique hideaway. So don’t forget your big movie-star shades… someone just might mistake you for a famous sun-worshiper while you take in the Sonoran desert rays,
4) Arizona Grand Resort – Phoenix This luxury resort (locals may recognize it as the former Pointe South Mountain Resort) features Oasis Water Park, one of the largest water parks in the nation that was voted in the Top 10 by the Travel Channel. Perfect for families, it features an eight-story high tower with three thrilling water slides; a gigantic Wave Pool; relaxing river tubing; Wild Cat Springs for kids; and a 25-person hot tub. Oasis Water Park is for resort guests only, so it isn’t overrun by locals and other outside thrillseekers. The newly renovated, AAA Four-Diamond rated Arizona Grand Resort features over-sized, family-friendly suites, too – another good reason this resort is making waves.
5) Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast Inn – Sedona Chosen for our list of favorites because of its million-dollar views, quiet, romantic and intimate location, and eco-friendly design, the pool at the Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast Inn of Sedona wins three gold medals. Canyon Villa’s pool is a great place to relax and enjoy your stay…with the added plus of a red rock panorama of Courthouse Butte & Bell Rock. Located within the Inn’s compound, it’s maintained for the sole use of guests of Canyon Villa and not shared with any other lodging facility. Last, their swimming pool is seasonally heated with energy saving solar panels.
6) Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort – Tucson Desert Springs Oasis, the Tucson water park located at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort, is the ultimate in southern Arizona destination for your family vacation. Their brand -new 143-foot “Sliderock” waterslide is perfect for enjoying sunny Tucson weather and the fun continues with “dive-in movies,” live entertainment, games and a kid’s camp. If your family includes “guppies” who aren’t ready for the waterpark, they can splash and swim in their own custom area. Parents will love sitting poolside, sipping the resort’s signature prickly-pear margaritas and playing the renowned 45-holes over three golf courses and 31 tennis courts.
7) JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort – Phoenix The JW Marriott Desert Ridge fits the bill in the “something-for-everyone” category. It’s sheer size – 4 acres of shimmering waterways – and a plethora of activities, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa offers endless choices when you want to be cool. Glide through their crystal blue swimming pools, relax in whirlpools or float down the spectacular Lazy River. Arizona Travel recommends those looking for a quiet, adults only day book a spa treatment and spending the morning or afternoon next to the Revive Spa pool, complete with private cabanas that can be reserved, butler-passed icy-cold hand towels and full poolside food & beverage service.
8 ) Luna Vista Bed & Breakfast – Verde Valley You will delight in this rural luxury bed and breakfast country inn; it’s an oasis retreat on Beaver Creek between Camp Verde and Sedona, Arizona surrounded by breathtaking nature, wildlife, ancient ruins and captivating history. We at Arizona Travel love the pool at Luna Vista because it’s remote location and resort-size make it the ultimate in privacy and romance and has uninterrupted views of the rustic beauty of the Verde Valley.
9) Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort – Phoenix The last of our “waterpark” picks, the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort’s Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch made our list because of its various kids’ activities and the resort’s unique offering of one and two-bedroom casitas that sleep up to six adults. The pools at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak make a splash with guests of all ages. Four acres of shimmering pools and cascading waterfalls are just the beginning of an unforgettable resort experience. Spend the day floating around the Lazy River or visit Kid’s Koncierge for the opportunity to learn about, and sign up for, all the wonderful kid-style amenities available at the resort. For a true Western experience, check out Tombstone, the resort’s Old West theme town. Book special summer rates online.