By Valery Behr
Keeping the whole family entertained is a challenge on any family holiday. That’s not a problem at Arizona Grand Resort, a AAA-Four Diamond, all-suite resort nestled next to Phoenix’s South Mountain Preserve. There’s an 18-hole golf course, 20,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art athletic club and spa, six pools and five restaurants. But that’s not all. Tucked in the back of the property, for resort guests only, is a seven-acre private waterpark. Spanning an area that covers over six football fields are water features that will appeal to kids of all ages. For daredevils over 48” tall, the Slide Canyon Tower has two heart-stopping 67-foot high, free-fall slides and a more traditional Sidewinder slide.
The Zuni Active River adds double and single inner tubing along a 950-feet lazy river with “rapids” action. A 10,000 square foot Oasis Wave Pool simulates the ocean with two-foot waves and an adjoining sport pool provides water volleyball or basketball action. For pre-swimmers, Wild Cat Springs offers an 800-square-foot area for toddlers just a short walk away from a 25-person hot tub. An onsite bar and grill, gift shop, entertainment and dive-in movies rounds out the experience. Standard Resort Suites with king bed and queen sleeper, complete with mini fridge and video game-ready entertainment center, start at $149. Tip: Consider standing in line before Oasis opens to score shady chairs near the wave pool or free fall slides. www.arizonagrandresort.com.
Lush grounds, a 27-hole, Ted Robinson-designed golf course, award-winning spa and luxurious accommodations have made Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa a favored vacation destination for decades. A recent facelift to this Rancho Mirage, California, resort included the addition of Splashtopia, a 1.2-acre water, family-friendly playground. Parents with small tots will enjoy the white sand beach with negative entry pool. Two 100-foot waterslides, a 425-foot lazy river and group hot tub will appeal to tweens, teens and parents, with a separate splash pad and activity pool to round out the offerings. Onsite amenities include a well-stocked gift shop and Splash Grill for Mediterranean fare and tropical drinks. Tip: Ask for a room overlooking Splashtopia for quick changes close to the action. www.rancholaspalmas.com