The Ultimate Staycation List For Phoenix {and Tucson!}


Trust me. I love a proper road trip or international flight as much as the next mother of 2 but listen, sometimes I just want to sneak away with my husband for the night and let the kids stay up late with a family member or friend and pick them up in the morning. Enter the “staycation.”  A little vacation from the weekend housework, and not having to make 3 lunches and clean up 27 because food multiplies in kids hands.  Am I right?! I am always checking the most affordable vacations on Expedia or Airbnb and borrowing my mom’s time share {it’s called sharing for a reason ladies!}.  I have a few Phoenix staycations {and a Tucson one if you want a mini road trip} that are just perfect for an overnight away, or with the kids.


Royal Palms

royal palms staycation

The Royal Palms has a special place in my heart.  It was where we stayed on our wedding night, and as a tradition, for our first few anniversaries as well.  The hotel has the most beautiful, seriously enchanting grounds.  It’s very romantic and the rooms have private patios.  Home to T. Cooks too; you can literally check in and stay the whole time at the resort while enjoying some of the best food in Phoenix.  The pool isn’t anything too fancy, but is perfect for cocktails and sunbathing.  Probably my favorite aspect of the hotel are the tubs.  Be sure you check out all of the accommodations before booking a space that is right for you.  We usually opt for the ‘Estate’ room, which has private patio or balcony, large jacuzzi tub, and mini fridge.  Perfect for one night. 


Palomar Downtown Phoenix


First of all you don’t have to be a guest to check out the rooftop bar, Lustre, but I’d suggest you are since you’ll probably just want to stay the night after hanging out drinking by the pool all day {or if you’re bringing the kids- chasing them around the pool all day}.  The entire pool deck is shaded in the afternoon, which is awesome because we all know how hot everything gets under the Phoenix sun. This hotel is not only kid friendly but also dog friendly.  There are rooms with nicer tubs but most come with a stylish shower.  The rooms are modern, well designed and boast views of downtown Phoenix. Also, the Blue Hound Kitchen is located downstairs or for in room dining.


Canyon Villas at the Marriott at Desert Ridge

Phoenix Staycation

Canyon Villas is probably my favorite family staycation location in the Phoenix area.  It has a splash pad, courtyard, and pool all on its half of the resort, along with access to the main Marriott pool, which is home to the famous lazy river and Roy’s.  We usually stay here once a year for a week. With villas that have 2 bedrooms we’re able to have a mini family reunion with friends and family and split the rate.  It’s a great deal even without the timeshare, because the suites are huge and have kitchens! They’re like mini apartments. We love the shuttle to the main Marriott so we can go to the main pool and order dirty worms {non alcoholic cookies and cream smoothies with gummy worms} and the best poolside piña colada I’ve ever had {and I’ve been to Hawaii}. The Canyon Villas are a family friendly resort and also have special events during the summer, like ice cream making on the patio, wine tastings and Taco Tuesday.


The Boulders Resort and Spa


Located about 20 minutes north of Phoenix in Cave Creek, this Arizona staple has been around since the 1980s.  The Boulders is named after the prehistoric boulder formation.  Don’t worry though, the resort is anything but ancient.  It just received a full restoration and make over, and it features 160 casitas with wood burning fireplaces (a rarity since local law prohibits wood burning fireplaces in hotels, but these ones were grandfathered in).  The rooms are large, featuring a seating area near said fireplace over a beautiful native weaved rug.  In fact, much of the decor around the resort is inspired or handcrafted by Native Americans, which is a beautiful sentiment to the desert landscape’s original dwellers.  There are also villas and haciendas for family travels, some featuring as many as three bedrooms!  The resort is also home to the Palo Verde Restaurant which features local produce, meat and dairy from local farms.  The Boulders has 4 pools on site, including the spa pool just for adults (you know, if you want to escape the water guns and cannon balls).  They’re running summer specials right now!


Hotel Valley Ho

Hotel Valley Ho staycation

This trendy Scottsdale hotel is best known for its summer pool parties.  With it’s stylish mid century modern design, it’s like stepping into the past, but with better food (thanks Zuzu!). They have weekend pool parties, and if you you’re booking ahead, $99 sales for summer.  I don’t know if you noticed a theme, but I love the room with the bathtub in the middle of it.  It has a blue mood light and it’s ultra swanky.  This hotel is probably an adults only stay (for myself personally), but there’s no reason not to bring your kids.  The pool might be a little crowded on the weekends but still fun for little ones to cannonball into.  I also love how this hotel is walking distance from some of the best restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale.  Well, if you like walking it is, otherwise you can grab a cart to drive you back.


Loew’s Ventana Canyon Tucson

IMG_1698-768x576 If you’re up for a drive down south, I highly suggest Loew’s Ventana Canyon in Tucson.  Tucked into saguaros, you might think it’s a mirage, but I promise this beautiful art deco exterior is real and the resort  is fully equipped with pool and spa. We usually bring the kids with us to this hotel only because we’re usually in Tucson for something important and we want them to join us, but it’s romantic enough to make it a weekend trip without the kids too.  If you do bring littles make sure to stop by the ponds near the pool to see all the gold and koi fish.  



What do you think?  Did I leave out your favorite resort?  Where do you and your family enjoy going for a good staycation?  We’re always looking for more local getaways (and please tell me, which ones have the best bathtubs?)!


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