It had been a long (but really fun) day. We started with an early morning appearance on Good Morning Arizona followed by back-to-back book signings in Scottsdale and Chandler. By the time we slipped into the steaming jacuzzi at the edge of the Marriott's Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in northern Phoenix, it was late and we were definitely ready to relax.
Plastic cups of chardonnay in hand, we submerged ourselves into the water and the darkness. Except for the underwater lights, the hot tub area is as dark as a movie theater, creating the perfect setting for a show of shooting stars. As Los Angeles residents, we're not used seeing a sky of twinkling lights. It's either too bright from city lights or too smoggy or both. We witnessed one of the largest shooting stars we've ever seen and spent the rest of our jacuzzi time watching for as coyotes sang in the distance. It was one of those moments when you think to yourself, "life is good right now."
The premises are beautiful and meticulously managed. A stroll around the property will take about thirty minutes and lead you past a golf course, lazy river, water slides, adult pools, a spa, restaurants, stores, a Starbucks, an outdoor lounge, and quiet seating areas just for viewing the scenery.
During our four-day stay, we enjoyed a few rounds of room service, a meal at twenty6, and coffee and scones in the lobby. The food is outstanding, as well as the customer service. At twenty6, we highly recommend the chips and guacamole appetizer, and the burger and fries. So good. We would have loved to eat at the steak house, and to spend more time at the pool and the spa, but we had book signings that took up most of the day.
We both stayed in cozy and luxurious rooms with gorgeous bathrooms. The beds swallow you up in comfort and are made up in beautiful linens. There's a mini fridge for storing your wine and cheese, and ample dresser space for those who actually unpack. The only suggestion I'd make is to ask for a room that doesn't face the outdoor lounge area if you're hoping to get work done during the evening. On Friday and Saturday nights there's live music until ten o'clock that is impossible to block out. But if a free concert outside your window sounds appealing, you'll be happy to know that most of the rooms have balconies with chairs and a table. If you don't have work to do after 7:00 PM, having a glass of wine outside your room is a great way to end a day.
The photos of the property should be enough to convince you that this is a great spot to get away. But if you need something to push you over the edge, we'll tell you what's across the street: In-N-Out burger. There's also a large outdoor shopping complex across the way with dozens of other restaurants and stores, as well as a movie theatre. If you're looking for more upscale shopping, Scottsdale Quarter is just a fifteen minute drive away.
You'll truly love this hotel and everything it has to offer. It is big though, and hosts a lot of conventions. So if you're hoping to get a room for a little weekend getaway, start looking now!