Wow – I haven’t posted in quite awhile even though I’ve been meaning to for weeks! I’ve been travelling a ton for work and when I’m doing that I have ZERO downtime.
I’ve never really done a “staycation” before but when my plans fell through to go to my parent’s cabin in northeastern Arizona I started looking for other options to stay cool here in Phoenix. My husband was in summer school and works Friday & Saturday nights for some extra spending money so he was basically out of commission for the weekend and also needed quiet time to study. I found a great package deal at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, which I had never been to and always wanted to check out.
The package was $169 per night and included the following:
– $50 resort credit daily
– free kids meals 12 and under with paying adult
– free resort fee which included free internet and self parking (a savings of $47.95/day)
Prior to booking my stay I reached out to the hotel through twitter to ask if there would be any way to view fireworks from any of the hotel rooms. I was told that depending on the room, it would be possible to view neighboring fireworks displays.
I went a head and booked a room for my son and I then contacted the social media director who gave me her contact info and asked her if I could get a room where we could view the fireworks. She put a note in my reservation and now all we had to do was wait!
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa has several pools and a lazy river. As my son is an avid water kid I was excited to spend 2 days just relaxing by the pool and playing in the water.
We arrived at our hotel around 10am on Friday, July 4th. The place was PACKED!! I was able to check in to my room early and my son and I got settled. We changed into our suits and headed straight to the pool.
And the pool was even MORE PACKED! It was nearly impossible to find a lounge chair near the pool where I could play with my son and keep an eye on our stuff. Despite the crowds, my son and I did have fun playing in the water and riding in the lazy river until it was time to get cleaned up.
When we arrived back in our room we were greeted with an amazing gift from the social media director. On our coffee table there was a tray with milk and cookies for my son, spa amenities and a reusable infuser cup for me. She even included a free drink at the bar for me! I was completely blown away at the surprise and tweeted a Thank You! immediately.
There were tons of activities going on all weekend long but my son was most excited about the opportunity to make his own pizza. The cost was only $10 and worth every penny!
The chef was awesome and gave each child their own chef hat, dough and a rolling pin. We frequently make our own pizza at home so my son has a little experience. He had a blast though making his own pizza and was in his element. They had tons of toppings to pick from and it was finally time to pass the pizza over to be cooked. We waited in the shaded grass and my son made some friends running around while his pizza was cooked. Soon it was ready and time to eat!
After his pizza we headed back up to our room and rested up until it was time for the fireworks. We sat on the balcony and saw lots of fireworks going on far off in the distance but the closer ones didn’t start until about 9pm. We had an awesome view thanks to my contact through twitter.
The next day we slept until we got up and my son had breakfast in the room with some food I had brought with us and stored in the mini fridge in the room. We got down to the pool as soon as we could to stake our claim and play until a couple of my friends came to join us at the pool. We had a fun, exhausting day playing at the pool and even took a nice walk to the huge garden on property that is used to supply vegetables and herbs to the kitchen.
The next morning on our last day we woke up to my husband knocking on the door delivering me my beloved Starbucks. He was able to join us that morning to enjoy brunch before we had to leave to go home.
All the food we had was wonderful – even poolside! I would definitely go back to the JW Desert Ridge but I would probably avoid holiday weekends in the future. I did love being able to see the fireworks from our room but I’m just not a big crowd loving person. It wasn’t as relaxing as I’d hoped by the pool because there were just so many people! You can get the same package at other times during the summer so next year I’ll probably plan to go at a different time. The crowds didn’t bother my son though and he had fun regardless!