With Record-Breaking Summer Temps, Hitting a Phoenix Resort Might Be the Answer
Cool down at a pool or in an air-conditioned suite.
As the dog days of summer drag on and the temperature hits 120-degrees repeatedly, locals are all about how to cool down in Phoenix. While the city operates 29 public swimming pools, only 18 are going to be operational in 2023 due to an ongoing lifeguard shortage. (It’s the third year in a row where there’s been closures because of staffing.) While public swimming access may be limited, residents have another cool-down option. Visitors plummet in the summer and the town’s plethora of resorts have discounted room rates, including access to lush pools, sometimes with additional savings for Arizona residents. Looking for a day trip rather than staycation? Check for day passes, which are often offered for a fee to book a pool chair or cabana. So pack up your pool bag and hit up the best resorts to cool off in Phoenix.
Established first in 1959 and totally redone in 2017, Mountain Shadows sits in an enviable position beneath Camelback Mountain. Its summer crown jewel is the pool area, with two 75-foot pools to laze along, connected by a waterfall. There are daybeds and plenty of chairs to hang with friends and split one of their cocktail pitchers. There are private cabanas available to hire for guests and day visitors with TV’s and mini-fridges, with half-off rates on Mondays.
It can be tough sometimes to feel like you get any kind of love if you live in the West Valley; after all, most notable hotels and resorts are located Downtown or farther east. There is one exception to this rule, however, and that is the historic Wigwam resort. A staple of Litchfield Park since 1929, the Wigwam is tucked away, a hidden gem for those west of I-17. The resort offers two pools, one for families and one for adults, and you can buy a Day Pass starting at $50 for adults and $30 for children. Plus, there are lots of kid-friendly activities all summer long, like mermaid training and poolside films. (Editor’s note: Updated on July 30, 2023 to reflect Wigwam’s current prices.)
A longtime staple of summertime fun thanks to its pool and lazy river complex, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge has just upped the ante. Guests can now enjoy AquaRidge Waterpark, the newly reimagined pool experience at the resort. The Canyon Creek Lazy River has been updated, alongside additional pools (and waterfall!) at Wildfire Grove. Havasu Playground will have three new water slides opening this summer, including dual-person vertical wall tube slide. Of course, there’s splash pads, lots of cabanas and later this summer, an adults-only retreat with an infinity plunge pool.
The Princess resort has made a serious business out of providing fun and entertaining activities for children and families throughout the year. While their events can change year to year, one thing remains constant and that’s their 6 pool system. There’s something for everyone, like the Sonoran Splash Pool with water slides and a sandbox or the Sunset Beach pool with an actual white sand beach. If you’re there sans kiddos, hit the adults-only pool with hammocks, daybeds, and floating bean bags.
Although not the largest swimming complex around, Rise’s Lylo Swim Club is still a worthy urban oasis. They have great rates for locals to reserve chairs or daybeds and Industry Mondays are discounted to $20 during the day. The Mexican-inspired poolside dining menu allows patrons to nosh on tacos, carne asada fries, or shrimp aguachile verde while lounging with weekend DJs. Plus keep an eye out for events throughout the summer to take things up a notch.
It can be tough sometimes to feel like you get any kind of love if you live in the West Valley; after all, most notable hotels and resorts are located Downtown or farther east. There is one exception to this rule, however, and that is the historic Wigwam resort. A staple of Litchfield Park since 1929, the Wigwam is tucked away, a hidden gem for those west of I-17. The resort offers two pools, one for families and one for adults, and you can buy a Day Pass starting at $35 for adults and $14 for children. Plus, there are lots of kid-friendly activities all summer long, like mermaid training and poolside films.
For staycations, downtown is a great place to be, but it would be hard to venture away from the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. For starters, the property just revamped their rooftop pool, turning it into a new oasis called Eden. Part pool, part lounge, and 100% astounding views, Eden offers guests a little urban outpost, complete with Mediterranean dining. You can rent out their 8 person cabanas and then stick around with friends to party at night when Eden turns up the lounge atmosphere. And don’t forget if you’re staying on property, your furry friend is a very welcome guest to enjoy the AC too.
Sometimes you just want to throw a little glam into the summer routine. Why not go hang out at the pool where Marilyn Monroe spent some time? The classy and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired property offers seven pools that are appropriately chilled during the summertime. The Saguaro Pool and the Paradise Pool have air-conditioned cabanas so you can lounge in luxury; for the ultimate experience, get the private cabana suite loaded with butler service, bathroom, and flat screen television. The Paradise Pool also includes a triple 65-foot water slide called The Twist. Day passes and cabanas can be bought by non-guests so everyone can be Marilyn for the day.