JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Seven restaurants, ranging from a casual wine bar to an Asian fusion option
- Fitness fanatics will love the range of classes available, from mat pilates to tai chi
- Kids will be entertained for hours with four acres of swimming pools and a Lazy River with water slide and whirlpools
What To Know
- There’s a resort fee of $25 per room per night
- WiFi is free in the lobby and lounge
- One-on-one personal trainers are available for an extra charge
- Breakfasts are not included in the rate, and start from $17
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
With its gorgeous desert setting and wealth of fresh air activities, this mammoth, 900-room family-friendly resort is aimed at golf and wellness enthusiasts. Enjoy two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo, or spend the entire day at the spa, with its Southwest-centric treatments like mesquite clay wraps and turquoise blue sage body rituals. Those with heartier appetites can restaurant-hop between the resort’s seven dining experiences, sampling everything from North Italian comfort food to Hawaiian-Asian cuisine at Roy’s.
In the Area
Even those who don’t count themselves as music aficionados will be wowed by the show-stopping Musical Instrument Museum, or MIM, a fascinating and well-curated journey through the history of music, with a collection that includes instruments from music icons like John Lennon and Elvis Presley. See one of the world’s greatest wonders from a great height on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, many of which depart from Phoenix. Then come back to earth – deliciously – at Kona Grill, a fun Phoenix standby dishing up everything from fresh sushi to flatbreads with fancy toppings like brie, figs, and red onion jam.
How to Get There
Did a staycation with the kids and they had fun. However, as the paying adult, there were more things to dislike than like. We did enjoy dinner and brunch at the Stone Grill, comfy beds, fun games for kids to play by lazy river. Unfortunately, there were way more things not to like with the #1 being the outdated pool. I should have known when I couldn't find a pic of the pool anywhere on their website. Once there its obvious why - it looks like a motel pool from the 70s. Its old, ugly and completely non functional given its surrounded by hot cement up to the edge and has no steps leading in, just ladders, so you're forced to jump in. Ok if you're a kid but its not easy for an adult to jump into 3 ft of water. You cant squat down to get in because of the hot cement vs something like cool decking which most establishments in the desert would have. There is no ledge of any kind in the pool to sit and relax. The decking is too hot to lean on the side to have a drink so everyone lays out their wet pool towels. Not the 'resort' look of feel. There are no shade structure of any kind at the resort even though its in the desert which means sitting by the pool is not enjoyable. By 3pm I was able to grab a chair with and umbrella from people who were leaving but the umbrellas were the cheap kind that are not adjustable so you are still in the sun. The service staff never cleaned up the last people's drinks so we had their garbage there the entire time. The only nice part of the pool area is the lazy river which is enjoyable and has a fun, but small, water slide. Be prepared to share this river with tons of people. The pool and the lazy river were absolutely packed when we went in Aug and one of the staff mentioned we should have no problem finding a pool chair (she was wrong) because the hotel was "not that busy". Then of course if you're a mom with kids you wont enjoy having to pay a $30 daily resort fee for things you cant use like the spa (no kids allowed), golf and bikes. The kids will have fun but parents keep your expectations low on getting any kind of 'resort' feel.
A wonderfully adorned resort! The rooms are spectacular, and many have beautiful views overlooking man made ponds, waterfalls, and streams. Some of the rooms overlook the pools, which can be quite noisy during the day with children playing and yelling. I was lucky enough to get room with a view over one of the manmade waterfalls a little further away from the pool. Palm trees surround the property and the landscaping is well maintained. The hotel is grand and has several restaurants and shops. The main lobby is always bustling with people… again it can get quite loud. You can grab a drink and sit a chat with friends or family. I stayed for five days and ate at every restaurant. Each restaurant catered to my vegan diet. Everyone was pleasant. The room had a balcony I could sit and relax and when I was in my room I left the sliding doors open so I could feel the slight breeze. I could hear the waterfall and often people chattering. In the evening music filled the main courtyard and I could hear it from my room on the balcony as well. It seemed to be a half family, half business resort. There was constantly a mix a business dress and flipflops in the common areas. The week I visited, they hosted an international event, so there were many people from around the business world. I spent some time at the spa also. It was good massage and pedicure. The pool at the spa is for 18+ which was nice. I stayed at the hotel for a university event that was being hosted on the weekend in one of the main ballrooms. I personally would not choose to stay at this property for a relaxing, adult vacation, but it would be great for business or a family getaway. There are plenty of activities for the kids and the property is self-contained, so parents can feel their children are safe. For business, it would be a perfect location for company events with golfing and other amenities. While the room and spa offered a perfect and relaxing getaway for the week, the rest of the hotel was constantly buzzing. You may have to wait in line at the onsite Starbucks for 30 minutes to get a cup of coffee or make a reservation at the restaurants to get service. Overall, a wonderful hotel, but not the type of place I would choose for a relaxing adult vacation.
My two teens and I recently returned from a six night stay and we highly recommend the resort.
Arriving from the East Coast we landed early and arrived at the hotel at 9am. Our room wasn't ready but we were given keys to access the pool until we had been assigned a room. Upon being assigned a room, I headed up from the pool to get situated. It was a beautiful view of the mountains and golf course but there was construction or clean up from a recent storm that was going to be ongoing for a day or so. I requested to be moved to another room and was immediately given two choices, both with nice views. They allowed me to wait in the room and a bellman came up to move my luggage and provide me with my new keys.
We had researched and asked for advice from the hotel prior to coming to the resort so we never needed to use the Concierge. We ate at several places within the resort and all were very good with pleasant service. We played pickle ball early in the morning and we were the only ones there. Beautiful court and equipment. We used the bikes one day - they looked brand new and rode smoothly. The driving range was well maintained and clubs were provided. Please note, even when not playing golf and just using the driving range you need to wear golf attire so bring an extra outfit . We did play a round of golf. The Faldo course was in excellent shape and they had several choices of golf clubs to use.
Everywhere you turned, complementary water was given. This was a pleasant surprise. There was no reason to become dehydrated in Arizona while staying at the Desert Ridge.
Even with a conventions going on, you didn't feel like you were in a convention hotel.
My children were too old but activities every day for younger children.
Three special areas of recognition -
Pool area - yes people ordered food and beverages - the staff was on top of clean up. There was no mess to be found
Room - a shout out to housekeeping. Our room was CLEAN. I am one of those people who checks the top of lamps and corners of bathrooms. Unbelievably clean. I travel a lot for work and stay at high end hotels. I hope this cleaning team can be recognized.
General support. Trying to plan my first vacation in a while, I reached out to the Desert Ridge and Kimberly worked with me for months to get my vacation right - both on resort grounds and off.
I highly recommend visiting this resort.
Although a quick 2 night stay this property is very clean and has a great staff that was friendly and responsive. You can valet park or park yourself in the big lot but it’s a bit of a walk to the main entrance. Comfortable rooms and quiet in the overnight hours. The pool area was right outside my first floor room but it was so hot not many were even swimming. If you are staying on the north side and not venturing out too much it’s a great place to stay but it is 30 min without traffic to down town sites. This place is ideal for large conference events like I was at.
The grounds are beautiful and the staff is very welcoming. The views are stunning and the hotel is beautiful. It’s very conveniently located to downtown Phoenix. Check out the Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix when you’re there.