Luxury, fun, great craft beer, and outdoor adventures can all be found in one place. Phoenix, a quick drive from Los Angeles, San Diego or Las Vegas, it is a perfect weekend road trip. We decided to go for 3 nights over Memorial Day weekend. Not ideal for our budget, since prices would be a little higher, and everywhere would be a little more crowded, but it would give us that extra day to escape work, which is always a plus.
We decided on the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa for a variety of reasons. Reason number one…there is a WATERPARK in the resort!
We received complimentary services and/or compensation for our visit and review, however the opinions, thoughts, and amazing photos are all our own.
Yes we are adults, traveling with no kids. The thrill of a water slide and the thought of relaxing on a lazy river is something we never grew out of. The prices were also very good, and the location, and beautiful photos sealed the deal. We booked directly with the resort and they got us a package that included water-park wristbands and the resort fee? Not a big deal. It covers the free wi-fi and free valet parking.
Check-in was a breeze. They parked our car, loaded our baggage up on a golf cart and whisked us off to our room. Ask for the Camelback building. It is directly in front of the water-park and is located in the middle of everything. Close to the spa, the lobby, restaurants, adult pool, and fitness club. They always have great specials, so make sure you check those out.
Our room and view were amazing.
After check-in, we were starving and decided to head to Old Scottsdale to try out Bootlegger’s. Word was they had a great craft beer selection and some savory BBQ. Old Scottsdale reminded us of downtown Palm Springs, a laid back, desert town. We found free street parking easily in front of the restaurant and loved the design.
We had to try their famous Bacon Board. What is a Bacon Board? Five types of bacon, grilled sourdough bread, two kinds of jam, and some pickles. Heaven! The dinner menu had so many things we wanted to try but were so full after the Bacon Board, we ended up sharing an order of the 10 hour slow roasted pulled pork. SO, SO, SO, good. We sat on the outside patio which had great atmosphere. Their craft beer selection had lots of local beer offerings.
After Bootlegger’s we stopped by Union Barrelhouse right down the street. It had caught our eye on the way in. Well, we are glad it did. Look at this draft menu! They also update their Tap Hunter beer list as it changes often. Their food looked amazing too, but we were stuffed.
After that we were beat from the long drive and too much good food and libations.
We woke up bright and early to enjoy our breakfast at the Lobby Grill. We ate breakfast here every morning. They have a buffett, but once we had the Yogurt Parfait and what they call toast (actually a freshly made loaf with 3 different jams)….we were hooked. I mean look at this!
Not to mention the view from the patio.
After breakfast, we headed out with Arizona Outback Adventures at 9am to kayak down the Lower Salt River. We were glad to head out early since it was a holiday weekend and it was going to get packed by noon with tubers. (You can also rent a tube and float down the river!)
We met up with the van a few miles from the river. Wear shorts or something you don’t mind getting wet, bring sunscreen, and its an amazing time! Our guides had waterproof bags for our cameras and one stayed with the van to meet us at the end of the trip and the other stayed along to help us out.
The kayaks were easy to use and we even hit some mini rapids! We were on the water for about 2 hours and they even gave us water and snacks along the way. We had a great time and Arizona Outback Adventures offers all kinds of tours and trips, we can’t wait to go back and book another trip with them again.
After the kayaking we headed to the hotel for a shower before embarking on our next activity. It was time to be pampered! We booked a couples massage at the award-winning Arizona Biltmore, and wanted to take advantage of the sauna and steam room beforehand. The lobby is impressive as well as the bar areas.
We also left ourselves enough time to check out pool area too. A drink before the massage? Don’t mind if we do.
It was hard to choose just one treatment from the extensive list, but the side-by-side couples massage won us over. They use a soy candle in your choice of a variety of scents. They use the melted soy from the candle to rub you down instead of the usual lotion. 75 minutes of pure heaven. The Mr. fell asleep, as usual. Our therapists did custom body work, based on what we said was tense, and asked how much pressure we wanted. It was perfect and we got to keep the soy candles they used as well!
We had one last drink, and relaxed before heading back to the hotel. Who could resist?
Sunday morning we woke up early again, this time to head out to Tonto National Forest for an epic horseback ride with Spur Cross Stables. (We wake up at the crack of dawn at home too, for no reason at all!)
About a one hour drive north from the hotel, in the most beautiful part of Arizona we had seen so far, was Spur Cross Stables, tucked away in a small town called Cave Creek.
As we drove in we kept saying, okay, we could live here. Beautiful homes, large horse properties, and oh the mountains!
We booked a three hour trail ride, but they offer rides from one hour to four and a half hours long. Groups are small, usually 7 people or less, but if you have a large group they are really flexible. We had 2 guides with us, one rode in the front as a leader, and the other in the middle to watch over everyone. We are horse people. These horses were well taken care of, and happy, which in turn made us happy to support such a great place.
We were given canvas bags with water and carrots for the horses, but the bags also came in handy to store our cameras and sunscreen – and they hooked right onto the saddle! The ride was amazing, and the guides knew so much about the land, the history, and plants and wildlife. It was a great way to spend the day!
After two hours some of the people were ready to call it quits, but we stuck around and headed on another trail with amazing views from the top of one of the mountains. I hope we can go back in the spring and ride through the creeks. Our YouTube video of the trip will be up soon, so keep an eye out for it!
Next stop? San Diego!