Our family had a wonderful stay at the Arizona Grand Resort in the Phoenix, Arizona area in late May 2011. As part of our stay we met Michael Sanchez, Director of Travel Agent Sales, for the resort. In this report we’ll interview Michael about the resort features, and then give our family’s impressions of our mini-vacation.
by Family Travel Gurus co-owners Tim and Anne Larison and our sons Andrew and Josh Larison (age 17)
To get a good overview of the resort, watch this video the Larison Family put together:
FamilyTravelGurus: Why do you think the Arizona Grand Resort is a good choice for a family vacation?
Michael: I feel the Arizona Grand is the ideal resort for family due to its close proximity to Sky Harbor, 7 acre Oasis water park, golf and it’s 6 different dining options. A little something for everyone.
FamilyTravelGurus: What different room categories do you have?
Michael: We have 740 newly renovated suites. They are residential-style and truly relaxing end to your active day. I have to say our Grand Dream Sleeper pillow-top mattresses is amazingly comfortable! Every Resort Suite has a separate living room with a queen sofa bed as well as a private balcony or patio off the bedroom, which offers hotel guests an ideal place for watching stunning Phoenix, AZ sunsets.
FamilyTravelGurus: Tell us about your water park – is this an exclusive for your guests only?
Michael: The water park is exclusively for our resort guests and showcases a 8 story 3 slide tower, lazy river and wave pools. They may even enjoy the water park after the have checked out!
FamilyTravelGurus: What fitness opportunities are available at your onsite Athletic Club?
Michael: With 20,000 square feet we offer more than 45 classes weekly to choose from including yoga, spinning, water aerobics and strength training. We also feature Staley Performance Institute. This is a World-class teaching and coaching facility located on site. Home of acclaimed coach, author, and presenter Charles Staley, SPI features a wide variety of strength-based fitness classes and educational offerings for anyone seeking greater health, performance, and overall functioning.
FamilyTravelGurus: And you also have a Spa?
Michael: With 15 treatment rooms and a multitude of therapies, the Arizona Grand Spa is the largest resort spa and salon in Arizona and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
FamilyTravelGurus: What do you offer for golfers?
Michael: The Arizona Grand has a 18 hole golf course that’s blends traditional links and desert influences. Golfers are treated to the majestic beauty of Arizona’s South Mountain Park, a protected natural desert preserve. Dramatic elevation changes and breathtaking mountain vistas highlight the diverse and challenging Par 71 layout, which can be seen from The Lobby Grill overlooking the first tee box area.
FamilyTravelGurus: What onsite dining options are available?
Michael: We proudly feature Aunt Childada’s, Rustlers Rooste, The Lobby Grill, the lobby lounge and bar, Marketplace Café, Oasis Grill.
FamilyTravelGurus: How does your resort stand out from others in the Phoenix area?
Michael: Without a doubt we offer the best of the southwest all in one ideally located resort. We are the only all-suite resort to feature everything from a 7 acre water park to amazing golf! Our motto says it all “Fun, Friendly, Naturally Grand”.
We certainly agree a stay at the Arizona Grand is a fun and affordable vacation option. Here’s what the Larison Family thought of the resort:
“I really liked our stay at the Arizona Grand. The water park was great, especially the lazy river (very relaxing). The fitness center was fun to visit in the evening. I liked shooting baskets and playing racquetball there. It was good to have a few malls nearby for entertainment and restaurants.” – Andrew Larison (age 17)
“Overall, the Arizona Grand resort was much better than I had expected. My favorite part was definitely the water park. It had a lazy river and wave pool which both had tubes to float on, a giant slide tower, and a hot tub. The lazy river was very fun and there was even a section at the end where rapids turned on every so often. I also enjoyed the slides because there was one that wasn’t as steep as the other huge slides but was still fun to go down. The entrance to the water park was only a few steps away from building that our room was in, so we could go whenever we wanted. There was also a scenic hiking trail through the hills around the area. Another thing that I liked was the amount of things outside the resort. There was a mall with an IMAX movie theater very close and some great restaurants. I especially liked Lin’s Grand Buffet which was a huge Asian buffet restaurant. Our room was big enough for the four of us and included a fold-out bed for me and my brother. This vacation was a nice deviation from going on cruises or Disney parks because it was closer to home, and I truly enjoyed it.” – Josh Larison (age 17)
“I am not a swimmer or much of a ‘water person’ but I too really enjoyed our stay at the Arizona Grand. The Lazy River in the Water Park can be enjoyed by anyone (I took a relaxing few laps around the River myself – one of the rare appearances by me in a swim suit!) There were plenty of shady areas in the Water Park where I relaxed while the boys and Anne were having fun in the water. Besides the Water Park, I liked our accommodations (we had a one bedroom unit with a king sized bed in the master bedroom). I enjoyed shooting baskets and playing racquetball with Andrew and Josh in the Athletic Club in the early evening. I also liked playing ping pong on a table located in the courtyard just outside our room.
One thing I dislike when we go to a new city is figuring out driving directions. Driving to and around the Arizona Grand was a breeze! The resort was easy to find, just a short distance from the Phoenix airport, and as Josh writes above there were lots of restaurants and a couple of shopping malls within a short driving distance.
We’ve had clients stay at the Arizona Grand come back with good reports and now we can see why.” – Tim Larison
“What a great combination for a family get-away. I found the Arizona Grand Resort to be a nice place to enjoy family time. Our Deluxe King Suite was good for our 4 night stay. Even though we have 2 big teenagers, the queen sofa sleeper was fine. The standard suite would be a little tight to add a roll-away bed. The resort also offer suites with 2 queen beds in place of the king bed. For even more space there is also a hospitality suite that would give a family a more spacious option.
With on site restaurants, two malls within easy driving distance and many restaurant options in the area, we didn’t have to look far to feed the family.
The resort is in a beautiful area and golfers, hikers and runners will be pleased to see the golf course, and paths surrounding the resort.” – Anne Larison