An oasis in the desert: Ariz.’s best resort pools - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

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An oasis in the desert: Ariz.’s best resort pools

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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:17 am

While summer temperatures can be a scorcher, there’s one activity that helps Arizonans beat the heat: lounging in the pool. And what better way to cool off than relax in someone else’s pool — especially at one of our state’s sparkling AAA Four or Five Diamond properties?

Arizona is home to some of the best resort pools in the country, so residents and visitors alike have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting a refreshing and relaxing summer staycation.

AAA experts have selected their favorite Diamond-rated resort pools to make the choice easier.

AAA’s top picks

• The Oasis Water Park at the Arizona Grand Resort. Voted one of the Top 10 Resort Water Parks by the Travel Channel, this AAA Four Diamond resort in Phoenix is one of the country’s largest resort water parks. The 7-acre water park features three eight-story water slides which send guests down at speeds up to 35 mph, wave pools with weekend “dive in” movies, lazy river tubing that winds through the park, a giant hot tub and a children’s water play area.

• Desert Springs Oasis at The Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort. With the Pusch mountain range serving as a picturesque backdrop, guests at this AAA Four Diamond property just north of Tucson enjoy a variety of water features to play in. Kids will love the 143-foot “Sliderock” waterslide, and smaller ones will enjoy the fish-shaped children’s pool, with interactive water features in the tail. Those who tire of the slide water volleyball can relax in the hot springs and the waterfall-fed cold plunge.

• Sonoran Splash at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. This luxurious AAA Five Diamond property in Scottsdale has something for every member of the family. Sonoran Splash features two, 200-foot waterslides, which turns into a tTechno waterslide featuring fog, disco lights and music during the weekend nights. Guests can also enjoy family-appropriate “dive-in” movies. Adults seeking a quieter reprieve can retreat to the large adult pool and enjoy poolside dining.

• Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. Located in Chandler, this AAA Four Diamond resort will keep the kids entertained with three sparkling swimming pools, a waterslide, poolside movies and poolside activities led by resort staff.

• The Phoenician. This AAA Five Diamond Scottsdale gem features nine pools and a 165-foot waterslide. The resort’s smallest guests can enjoy cascading waterfalls and two children’s wading pools.

With so many choices, it may be hard to pick just one. The good news is that most resorts are offering great summer rates and packages, and AAA members should be sure to ask for exclusive member discounts.

AAA has been inspecting and approving lodgings for 75 years. Annually, AAA evaluates more than 58,000 lodging establishments and restaurants, and rates them on a scale of One to Five Diamonds. Visit for more information.

• Linda Gorman is communications and public affairs director for AAA Arizona. Reach her at (602) 650-2716 or

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