JW Marriott Desert Ridge Arizona summer staycation

With temperatures getting close to the 120’s, our family was excited about our Arizona summer staycation. It had been years since my husband and I stayed at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge and decided it was time to go back to enjoy the pool resort for a weekend. Our six year old daughter loves playing outside and asks to swim all day in the summer. The JW Marriott Desert Ridge was a perfect place to be poolside all day with a lazy river, water slide, numerous pools, and plenty of shaded seats. The view of the desert mountains just behind the resort combined with palm trees lining the pools created a wonderful ambience for a family summer staycation and made us forget how close to home we actually were. 

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My husband travels quite a bit for work so we were able to book a weekend room using his Marriot Rewards.   

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The single room with a king bed was the perfect size for our little family. We brought our own pack n’ play for the baby to sleep in but the resort also provides them to guests so bringing your own is not necessary. We have the Ingenuity washable play yard (affliate link) and love it. It was the first time we would be away from home overnight with our new baby. She is just over two months old and we wanted to try out our own sleeping arrangement to see how well she would sleep. 

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The large bathroom had both a shower and bath. This is especially helpful when traveling with young children.  

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We made our reservation just one week ahead and called early Saturday morning to see if we could check in early. Our room was available by mid morning which gave us plenty of time to enjoy the water. The resort has a large pool with splash area along with numerous other small pools, a splash pad, and secluded hot tub. There is also a lazy river to enjoy with or without tubes and a water slide. My daughter’s favorite place to play was in the lazy river taking a break to go down the water slide each time she made it around the river. There were many guests at the resort enjoying the pool but it did not feel crowded. The lazy river had plenty of room for my daughter to happily swim alongside our tubes and there was never a long line for the water slide.

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With a new baby, shaded seating was important in order for our entire family to enjoy the pool. The baby is too young to go in the water, but my husband and I took turns sitting with her while our older daughter played. There are many different seating areas full of lounge chairs and umbrellas for shade. The complimentary ice water and otter pops kept us cool while we sat under an umbrella for most of the day. Servers come by every few minutes to take drink and food orders. The taco stand nearby is also a great option for lunch.

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The many patios around the resort offer relaxing views of the desert landscape. Fire pits are available to use in the evening for s’mores. 

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The resort has a few different dining options in addition to the poolside menu and taco stand.  The Meritage Steakhouse and Roy’s Pacific Rim are onsite. The Desert Ridge Marketplace, where we had dinner, is a short five minute drive away and has many different dining and shopping options. The next morning we enjoyed the buffet breakfast. The buffet has so many different choices for adults and children. The pancake bar with toppings is the best I’ve seen; peanut butter chips, whipped cream, and dried bananas with real maple syrup was an amazing pancake combination! 

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If you’re not up for a full breakfast, Starbucks with with a desert view patio is always an option. You might even see some Arizona wildlife. In the short time we waited for our coffee orders, my daughter spotted a jack rabbit bunny and squirrel.

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The resort has family friendly activities throughout the day including scavenger hunts at the pool and nightly events. Check with the concierge desk during your stay for an updated calendar of events.

We had so much fun at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge for our Arizona summer staycation. Does your family enjoy summer staycations too?

If you’re packing for a staycation, don’t forget all your water park bag essentials for kids.

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