The Ultimate Guide to a Perfect Phoenix Staycation

You deserve a dip in the pool.

Staycation season is officially here in the Valley, and if you’re not fleeing the heat, the next best option is enjoying the luxury of a hotel bed, dining at some of the state’s best restaurants, opting for a luxe spa treatment and enjoying the cooling relief of a beautiful, resort-style pool.

Summer is for the locals in the Phoenix area thanks to room deals, short wait times at your favorite eateries and largely abandoned pools. And while most of Arizona’s best-loved hotels offer it all—to perfect your experience we’ve organized our list of top spots by which have the best pools, spas, restaurants, rooms and activities. So, grab your favorite warm weather cocktail and plan your next local getaway with us.

Hotel Valley Ho
Courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho

The best pools

Hotel Valley Ho
If you’re looking for a vibrant pool experience look no further than the OH Pool, which brings together a quirky retro atmosphere, a poolside bar, live entertainment, and plenty of cabanas for a party-like experience that still manages to be relaxing. Looking for something a little more low-key? The OHasis pool is equally stunning and much more calming. In addition to its great pools, Hotel Valley Ho also offers fun mid-century modern guest rooms, a full spa, and great dining at ZuZu—just don’t end your stay without trying a Show Stopper Shake.

The Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore has not one, not two, but seven pools for your enjoyment—from the recently revamped Paradise Pool complete with a twisting water slide to the adult’s only Saguaro Pool and Marilyn Monroe’s own personal favorite pool, the Catalina Pool. Speaking of Marilyn Monroe—The Arizona Biltmore is an icon in its own right—serving as a go-to destination for celebrities and political figures since 1929. Its recent $70 million renovation not only included several pool updates, but also new cottage options, new bars, an updated spa, and a brand-new restaurant.

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale
Courtesy of Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale

The best programming

Mountain Shadows
If a leisurely luxury vacation isn’t enough for you, enjoy the extensive and high-end activities offered by Mountain Shadows. From art opening and closing receptions to wine tastings and complimentary yoga nights to weekly sunset champagne sabering, you’ll never feel bored during your staycation. We personally love the monthly Sunday Supper Clubs—which feature four-course meals specially curated by the resort’s Chef Wiley and a special guest. You’ll also love staying in the modern rooms, swimming while enjoying spectacular mountain views or playing a round of golf on their award-winning course.

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
This resort is a year-round destination for fun—from the now legendary Christmas at the Princess festival to the recently introduced Pumpkin Nights at the Princess, the Fourth of July Freedom Fest and everything in-between. The resort is also home to six pools—including one designed to resemble a white sand beach. As if that wasn’t enough, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess also has four high-end restaurants, access to the famed TPC Scottsdale golf course and a brand-new luxury spa—the Sisley-Paris Spa—within the resort’s existing award-winning spa, The Well & Being Spa.

Civana Wellness Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Civana Wellness Resort and Spa

The best spa

CIVANA is a true escape in scenic Carefree that offers the feeling of ‘getting away,’ while still being less than an hour away from downtown Phoenix. So, it’s no surprise its wellness-focused spa is the ultimate in relaxation. And while you can enjoy incredible versions of your typical massages and facials here, you can also explore reiki healing, experience a cranial sacral treatment, plunge into the hot/cool wading pool, or sweat it out at the sanarium sauna. The trendsetting hotel offers all kinds of other health-focused activities too—from nutritious dining to hiking and sound baths.

The Phoenician
This three-floor, 37,000-square-foot spa takes pampering very seriously. The treatment list is shorter than you might be used to seeing at other resorts, offering a straight-forward experience that skips the gimmicks. Try the CBD-infused Relief Massage, the Shea Butter Wrap or Hydrafacial for the ultimate pick-me-up. Staying a while? This resort is also known for its half a dozen restaurants (we say opt for J&G Steakhouse!), its many pools, and its golf course.

The Hermosa Inn & LON's
Courtesy of The Hermosa Inn & LON's

The best food 

Hermosa Inn
The Hermosa Inn captures what many think of when they imagine Arizona—charming adobe architecture, views of Camelback Mountain and a design that stays true to its cowboy origins. It’s unapologetically not kid friendly—so it’s a true adults only escape with a relaxing pool, Southwest-style guest rooms and lush gardens not often experienced in the Phoenix heat. But its greatest asset is Lon’s, which stays true to the Western theme with Arizona-inspired fare. For the summer, the hotel is turning down the temperature with a special five-course meal that’s enjoyed in the 57-degree wine cellar. We also love the weekend brunch—especially the bacon starter, which is presented still sizzling along with mini waffles, maple syrup and aged sherry vinegar.

Omni Montelucia
The Omni Montelucia will transport you to Spain with its stunning guest rooms, awe-inspiring Kasbah Pool with views of Camelback Mountain and the beloved Joya spa, but what we love best is the restaurants—especially the tapas-inspired Mbar and Prado. Mbar is the perfect spot for meeting with friends while biting into an order of brie bruschetta or wood-grilled lamb chops while sipping one of their signature gin and tonics. Prado meanwhile is a full experience—with Spanish-inspired dishes including some of the best paella in town. 

Sanctuary's seasonal menu is developed by Food Network star Chef Beau MacMillan, so you already know you’re in for a treat when sitting down for one of their Asian-inspired American meals. The menu is inviting while still creative—think miso glazed salmon or Korean BBQ-style Wagyu beef cheek with sweet corn puree. Jade Bar is also a go-to, whether you’re lucky enough to stay at the hotel or not, with its creative craft cocktails like the Red Panther featuring tequila, grilled peach, maple, and red wine bitters. It all oozes luxury that’s carried throughout the property—from the modern design and mountain views to the infinity-edge pool and high-end spa. 

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows
Courtesy of Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows

The best rooms

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows
Not into high-rise hotels, long hallways, and constant lines for the elevator? The Andaz offers a collection of mid-century modern escapes with private entries, private patios, and in some cases even outdoor showers. The expansive rooms range from 485 square feet to a colossal 1,800 square feet and are each thoughtfully decorated with modern décor and vibrant colors that seamlessly fit into the 23 acres of desert landscape. Andaz also offers three pools and locally sourced fare at the on-site restaurant Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen.

ADERO opened late last year after undergoing a $100 million renovation, taking everything from its spa to its restaurant and pools to the next level. However, it’s the rooms that are most unforgettable—outfitted with custom furniture, a sunrise-inspired color palette and spacious balconies. What’s even more incredible is 95% of the rooms provide views of the mountains surrounding the resort, so no more unsightly parking lot views here. Need more space? The resort also offers 16 oversized suites for ultra-luxe lounging.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale
It goes without saying that if you want the best of the best you can have it all at the Four Seasons. The five-star Scottsdale resort near North Scottsdale’s Pinnacle Peak offers rooms with patio fire pits, in-room fireplaces, a private plunge pool, and more—meaning, if you never wanted to leave your room, you absolutely could and would still have an unforgettable stay. However, we still recommend playing a round of golf, creating your very own skin products at the spa or indulging in the 20-ounce bone-in prime ribeye at our favorite on-site restaurant: Talavera.

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Jamie Killin is a Phoenix native and Arizona State graduate who specializes in lifestyle and features writing. You can usually find her at the spin studio, a concert, or trying new restaurants across the Valley. Follow her at @jamiefayekillin.