Arizona Grand Resort Review
Plus Tips On Getting More Bang For Your Buck
We love the Arizona Grand Resort mainly for it's Water Park, but also we come here to celebrate our, "The day we met" anniversary, June 13th. Coming to the Arizona Grand Resort is a Staycation for us as we live in Tucson and Phoenix is about an hour and half drive away. The rates are also reduced in the Summer as it can get really hot, it's the "Slow Season" for resorts here in Arizona. This is our third year coming here and I've got some insights on this place that will be valuable to you. So pay attention and learn the "ropes" to make your experience in this "Oasis In The Valley Of The Sun" grand indeed.
This place is huge and sprawling. The picture above only shows a small portion of this place. While you follow the signs to the lobby where you check in at, you'll be amazed how long it takes you to arrive there.
When you finally make it, don't be so quick to have the Valet park your car. Valet parking is included in the resort fee but this place is so huge that you may need your car to get around. The lobby where the Valet parking is may be too far for you to walk from where your room is located. They do have long golf carts that you can ride but you may not want to wait for them to show up to get to where you're going.
When you finally arrive at the check-in building , go ahead and park in the drive loop to the lobby, you can even hand your keys to the Valet but tell them you want your car accessible for after you check in. At the check-in desk, notice the pottery overhead. They're beautiful and some of them have carvings on them. My favorite is the big middle one and I won't say why, have a look for yourself 😉
More pictures of the grounds
We took some awesome pictures of us at night
The Resort Fee
The resort fee is $50 plus tax. This covers these amenities:
- Wireless internet
- Oasis Water Park (Opens seasonally from February through October)
- Athletic Club (Must be at least 16 years old)
- Valet and overnight parking
- in-suite coffee (Be sure to see my comments about this later)
- USA Today Newspaper on request
- Shuttle service to Arizona Mills Mall
- Unlimited credit card, toll-free, local and collect call phone calls
- 20% off one round of golf
- One free appetizer from their "Favorites" selection in the lobby bar when you purchase 2 drinks of equal value
We didn't even know about the free appetizer the first time we came here because they don't mention that when you check in. We cashed in this time though, and got a huge plate of Nachos with our Margaritas. That was all we needed for dinner, we were stuffed!
I've read reviews in the past where guests have complained that even though the water park was closed ( Outside swimming season), they were still charged the whole $50 Resort fee. I called them to verify this and I was informed they reduce it to $35 when it's outside the water park season. I would call them to check this, prior to booking just to be sure.
The Oasis Water Park
The Water Park is the reason why we choose this place. Inside, it feels like you're in California and we love California. This place has an eight-story tower with three water slides, a huge wave pool, a 25 person hot tub, and my favorite, a lazy river.
You can reserve a Cabana, if you can afford it, at $375 on the weekends and $275 on weekdays but that's for the whole day. I can't afford that or even willing to spend that kind of money when you can enjoy yourself just as much if you follow my instructions. Besides, the Cabanas are off to the side, far from where all the food and drink concessions are and those plastic tents are small and enclosed, I can only imagine how hot they can get.
So this is what you do to make the most of your water park visit:
Be sure to put on the wristbands they gave you at check in.
You are not allowed to bring any outside food or drink, other than water, in the water park. They will check your coolers and bags, again, only water is allowed.
The water park opens at 10:30 in the morning so I suggest you get in line at 10:15. You'll see some people getting in early. They are people who booked directly and didn't go through a third party app like Expedia. Don't worry about them as they are not too many to make a difference with my strategy.
When they check you in, they'll ask if there are any adults who will be purchasing alcoholic beverages and if you are, they'll put a different colored wristband on you. Then they'll hand you your towels, you can take as many as you want. You'll need two, one to line your chair with and one to dry off with.
The first time we went here I let my fiance, Jeremy, choose our spot. He likes to be in the sun and I want to be in the shade, but being the giving person that I am, we sat where there was no shade at all. . Big mistake! The sun gets very hot here. Being our third year, we've gotten smarter. We choose a spot under a palm tree where its shadow will shift and we'll get intermittent shade throughout the day. I will also bring an umbrella to hook on the chair to cover my face and decollete. It works very well.
Here's are some ideas you can do to get some shade:
You can do what we do and sit under a palm tree or as soon as you get in the park, look for lounge chairs with an umbrella. As the sun shifts throughout the day you'll get sun and shade at different times.
If there aren't any umbrellas available, then head for the first row under one of the Ramadas. This way you can move your lounge chair forward for sun exposure then, move it back for shade.
There is also a nice area under some mesquite trees that provide sun and shade at the same time. When my sisters and I went, this is where we sat. I like how breezy it gets in the spot.
The Features We Love
Jeremy likes the water slide but I'm too chicken!
My favorite is the Lazy River. You can sit back in your inner tube and relax as you float around.
There is also the huge wave pool. I like to just sit on the edge with a cool drink in my hand and let the waves come up my legs and cool me off.
The Oasis Bar and Grill
As I've mentioned no outside food or drinks are allowed as you can purchase food and drinks here. You can also order from your lounge chair as there are servers going around but sometimes they can be hard to catch and call over. There are flags attached to the lounge chairs that you can raise if they haven't already broken off. We just get our food and drinks ourselves. The prices are a bit inflated as expected since this is a 4 star resort.
The Guest Suites
The guest suites are newly renovated and are very nice. The beds are comfy with fluffy pillows. It comes with a mini fridge that holds a mini bar from which you can purchase alcoholic beverages , soda, or water. You can take the items out to store your own food and drinks, but be sure to return them prior to checking out.
If you need a microwave, you can request one from housekeeping but they will charge you $10 a night. We own a small microwave and brought that with us. Anything to save money!
Our second stay here, we were upgraded to the Villas at no extra charge. I'm not sure why, maybe they were full. The Villa we stayed in was a studio, where as the regular suites are two rooms. One for the bedroom and another for a sitting area. I actually like the regular suites better.
They now have Keurigs in the rooms as part of the renovations. I like strong coffee so I bring my own keurig cups.
You're other choice is to walk to the Marketplace Cafe in the resort lobby. They serve Starbucks coffee and have a wide selection of pastries.
Other Amenities at the Arizona Grande
You can get relaxing massages, facials , body cleansing treatments here. They suggest you relax for about 30 minutes in their resting room prior to your treatments. Shower before coming for your appointment but refrain from shaving. For men, they suggest you shave one hour prior to a facial. They have snacks in the resting room just in case you get the munchies 🙂
This place is really big, it's a 20,000 square feet facility. 70 cardio and strength training machines, 40 fitness classes per week, Free-weight room, heated lap pool, Aqua-aerobics, Racquetball, steam rooms and spas and they also provide nutritional programs. Bicycle rental is available to ride on the hiking and bicycling trail.
The Golf Course
The golf course was named among the nation's Top 50 "Great Service" facilities and awarded a Four-Star "Best-Places-To-Play" honor by Golf Digest. I'm not into golfing but you might be so I've included this a few pictures here. And don't forget that you get 20% off your first round of golf included with your resort fee.
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