Our recent getaway to Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa was inspired by two things: my desire to sit by the pool in warm weather and Brad’s desire to watch the Chicago Cubs play Spring Training baseball.
When we talked about taking a winter trip, I wanted a destination where we could spend some quality time by the pool, and Brad wanted to make sure there was plenty to do besides sit by the pool (his idea of sitting in the sun is sitting in the shade with a towel covering his head).
There is definitely a lot to do in Arizona, and I’ll start off by admitting that we could have packed more activity into our schedule, but since one of our main goals was to relax, we also did a lot of sleeping in and making last minute important decisions about, say, ordering room service vs. driving three minutes to the gastropub down the street.
Where to Stay
We wanted to see as much of the Valley as we could, so we decided to split our time at a few different resorts and hotels, which also helped us get better deals. We picked one just outside of Phoenix, one in the Old Town area of Scottsdale, and one in Mesa, a few minutes from the ball park. Each property and area had its own unique charm.
If you’re looking for peaceful luxury, but you don’t mind being a little off the beaten path, The Wigwam is where you want to be. This was my second time staying at The Wigwam and you can read more about it in a post specifically about this resort.
The first time I stayed at The Wigwam was in 2014 on a media trip, and then I returned with Brad for our spring training trip because I loved it.
Three years later, it remains one of the coziest, most charming resort with beautiful rooms (we were treated to an upgrade to the Adobe Terrace King Suite), comfortable beds, picturesque views and as Brad noticed, some of the best landscaping us city kids have seen in a really long time.
It’s where to go if you want to be tucked away from the hubbub surrounding Sloan Park in Mesa, yet still have everything you need right on the property: dining, drinking, swimming, spa, golf.
If there is a downside to The Wigwam, it’s the location — about 25 minutes from downtown Phoenix, about 30-35 minutes from Scottsdale and close to 40 minutes from Sloan Park. If we had to do this all again, we wouldn’t let the location deter us, but we would definitely plan our trip differently to cut down on time spent talking to Siri for directions.
If you’re looking for a party, or a hip, young environment with lots of energy, stay at The Saguaro. The location is a 10/10: it’s smack in the middle of Old Town Scottsdale and a five or ten minute walk from dozens of shops, bars, restaurants and just overall local charm.
The rooms are on the smaller side, but decorated in a bright and modern Southwestern theme. Our room had a little Juliet balcony which was nice because we could crack the door and enjoy a really nice breeze for sleeping.
There was also some really fun art in the rooms, which I later learned is a still life cactus series, ‘Desert Love‘ by Colleen Durkin, an artist and motorcycle rider who traveled West fromChicago, to shoot the plant life that call the Saguaro home.
The bummer of all bummers: even though it rains all of like, twice a year in Phoenix, it started raining a few hours after we got to The Saguaro and continued right up until we checked out.
So, we didn’t get to take advantage of all of the fun sunny-day amenities the property offered. If we had, I would have been camped out at one of the property’s two pools — the Calma Pool, quiet space lined by trees perfect for reading or a poolside nap, and the Picante Pool, which is where all the action happens, Paddle Board Yoga every Thursday evening and poolside room service.
Phoenix Marriott Mesa
If you want to be close to Sloan Park, but not adjacent to the action, the Phoenix Marriott Mesa is a great choice at a reasonable rate — hard to find during the Spring Training season.
We stayed here for one night — our last night — when we checked in at about 9:30 p.m. after a full day of baseball and craft beer tastings.
The property amenities are clean and comfortable — nothing fancy — but there was coffee in the morning, a bar that we were way too tired to think about using, and room service that I’m sure is perfectly good too. We did enjoy the pool on Wednesday morning when we woke up to perfect weather, and there was a really nice, new-looking fitness center (if you’re into that kinda thing).
The biggest perk for us is that it was barely a ten-minute Uber ride to Sloan Park, where we spent two afternoons on our trip, as well as a brewery tour with Arizona Wilderness Brewing