For me, even when I take “staycations,” I need to escape the Valley a little — especially in the hot summer months that seem to be characterized by endless mirage-covered freeways and dirt-and-rock landscape. Marana, about an hour and a half south of Phoenix, still has a desert landscape, but when you have golf views like these, it still seems like an escape.
While I love trekking it up to Flagstaff to get in a cool environment on the cheap, I recently enjoyed an amazing staycation at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Resort and Golf Club. The resort was one of the prettiest I’ve ever stayed at, and if you can afford the $200-a-night fee, head there for a welcome escape from Phoenix life.
The rooms at the resort are beautiful, with high-definition televisions, expansive bathrooms and bathtubs that are almost the size of hot tubs. I loved the comfy bed and little patio each room comes with — ours overlooked desert mountains.
The hotel service was top-notch. I loved that everyone on staff, no matter if they were dealing with you directly or not, were friendly enough to ask how you were doing and if you needed anything. I was really impressed with the professionalism of the staff at the resort, from check-in, to dining, to poolside, to room staff.
One of the best parts about this resort is its PGA Tour golf course. I’m not a great golfer, but even I could hold my own on this course, which provided spectacular desert views mixed in with the green lushness of the course at every hole. It was thrilling to play the same holes Tiger Woods has played, considering the last time I visited the course for the Accenture Match Play Championship in February, I had to leave after a blizzard hit while I was on the second hole. This was definitely one of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever played on.
I also really loved the pool area at the resort, with both adult and children’s pools and a massive waterslide. Poolside servers offer Mexican food and cocktails, and I also received several free samples of fresh food and iced desserts throughout the day. Laying by the pool was a wonderful way to unwind, and unlike Old Town Scottsdale watering holes, the crowd consisted of families and couples, not wannabe Playboy models and $30K millionaires.
The resort has lots of specials, including a staycation special that includes a $50 resort credit, which you can find here. If you’re going to have an Arizona staycation, at least get out of Phoenix to make your time seem more like a getaway.