Staycation/Vacation Reviews of Hotel Palomar, Ritz & Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch Resort in Scottsdale

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One cool thing I do for this blog is review hotels and resorts.  So a few months ago, I booked a mother-daughter getaway and we tried out three different properties in one fun filled weekend.  Our big splurge was the Ritz Carlton, then we headed over to the new Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix and we ended our fun at the Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.  The upside of coming to Phoenix during our hot season is that the hotels and resorts cut their rates a lot, so take a look and then book.  Find a weekend and treat yourself! Here are pics from our adventure and our review of each place…

The Ritz Carlton in Phoenix in the Biltmore Area 

The Ritz Carlton is a luxury hotel in a great location in the Biltmore area of Phoenix.  ritz phxI was able to splurge because with our American Express card we were able to take advantage of a promotion that gave us the room, two dinners and two breakfast entrees all for around $300.  The food is amazing at the Ritz.  dinner ritzI highly recommend the salmon if you ever dine there.  My daughter’s spaghetti was yummy, too.  And the breakfast was just as tasty the next morning with a delicious breakfast burrito for me and hot cocoa for my girl.  Yes, we like to eat when we vacation, so the fare at the Ritz was a real treat.  We opted for room service and the property restaurant, called Bistro 24, looked very inviting, although not to my tween daughter who thinks room service is the best invention ever.  I so agree!ritz bkfastWe never made it out to the pool, but after I saw this picture, from the hotel’s website, I wish that we would have…ritz pool

We decided to save our pool time for the resort that we would hit on day #3.  We wanted to take advantage of the cool location of the Ritz, so we went to the AMC dine in movies that is just a 5 minute (or less) walk from the hotel to see the cool Gravity movie with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.  If you haven’t gone to a dine in movie, I recommend it.  I was able to have wine brought to my seat and my girl enjoyed a smoothie as you can see in our photo, that is a little dark since we were in the theatre…movie smoothieAfter our movie, we enjoyed going back to our nice room with the view of the Biltmore with the Camelback Mountain backdrop.  It was perfect and the next morning we walked through the underground walkway to shop and eat at the Biltmore.  win viewOn our way, we got to see a bride and groom posing for pictures.  They were having their reception at the Ritz.  My girl loved that!  After we left the Biltmore with shopping bags and full bellies from the yummy Zinburger restaurant, we checked out and ventured over to the very cool Hotel Palomar, where we were treated to a super cool room by a good friend of ours (lucky us)!

Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix

Although this picture is from the Hotel Palomar’s website, I would swear this was the room that we stayed in because it looks exactly like our awesome room that we spent night #2 of our hotel hopping staycation….palomar room

As you can see, we loved our room and posed proudly as we got ready to head out to the super cool CityScape mall where the Hotel Palomar is located.  We were clad in our new clothes from our earlier fun shopping trip at the Biltmore.  
in room
I chose a 60s inspired outfit to match the retro look and feel of the Hotel Palomar as is evident when you step into the funky and fun lobby…palomar lobby…and the staff were fun and friendly, as you can see here when the front desk clerk challenged my tween in a hula hoop contest right there in the hotel lobby…

hula hoopWe loved the Hotel Palomar and we highly recommend it as the perfect downtown Phoenix place to stay.

We were then ready for a different kind of hotel for our last night of hotel hopping, so we went the resort route and checked into the Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.

Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch Resort & Spa

This resort didn’t disappoint, especially at check-in where free margaritas are given to guests checking in. The prickly pear rita was a nice and tasty surprise.  Here it is pictured on our room’s balcony which had a comfy set of table, chairs  margaritaand lounge chairs for desired outside dining.  That evening we went to the resort’s restaurant called SWB, A Southwest Bistro and the table side prepared guacamole was scrumptious.  Eating by the fire pit was a nice treat. patio

After dinner, my tween asked for her favorite pastime, smores!  kiteat smoresThe resort delivered with a delicious kit and I must admit that I had two of those tasty treats myself.  To our delight the fire for marshmallow roasting was located in front of the Gondola boats, which I hadn’t realized the resort offered to guests.  So we took a lovely ride and our captain also happened to be an opera singer, so he sang beautiful music to us as we relaxed and rode along the waterway under the stars.  opera singerCheck out our relaxing boat pictures.  I definitely recommend this….

She wasn't really asleep, but it was truly that relaxing!
She wasn’t really asleep, but it was truly that relaxing!


Two thumbs up for the Gondola ride.
Two thumbs up for the Gondola ride.

We saved my daughter’s favorite attraction for last and that would be the pools and waterslide that the resort offers.slide galThe pools are nice and the slide is high plus the resort offers a sandy beach entry for the kiddos, too.  Very nice indeed.slide at gaineybeach entryWe give our weekend hotel hopping a big thumbs up!  Have you ever hotel hopped?  What is your favorite hotel?  Tell us in the comments section and remember to check this blog under the travel section for a lot more hotel reviews from places like Vegas, Washington DC, Flagstaff and more.  Happy travels….or happy staycation! us in boat