The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Insight - BY JULIE HALPERT


To cel­e­brate my daugh­ter's col­lege grad­u­a­tion in May, I wanted to treat her to a lux­u­ri­ous get­away with my sis­ter. My sis­ter, a sea­soned traveler, got an idea. If it was lux­ury we craved with­out sticker shock, why not stay at an up­scale re­sort in a place that's ea­ger to at­tract tourists in the sum­mer?

We de­cided on a long week­end in July at An­daz Scottsdale Re­sort & Bun­ga­lows in Scottsdale, Ari­zona, where the tem­per­a­tures were 90-110. The “Heat It Up in Scottsdale” pack­age starts at $189 a night and in­cludes two cock­tails per per­son per day, a waived re­sort fee (usu­ally $39-a-day), full break­fast, and 25% off spa ser­vices. Com­pare that to peak sea­son rates, which start at $349 a night.

The 185-room re­sort con­sists of ex­quis­ite, mid­cen­tury-mod­ern bun­ga­lows. We up­graded to a 750-square-foot suite for $344 a night. It came with a pri­vate, pool­side cabana with a couch, ta­ble and chairs, and a flat-screen tele­vi­sion. Other perks were a free early morn­ing yoga class by the pool with Camel­back Moun­tain as the back­drop, and com­pli­men­tary home­made potato chips, choco­lates and taffy in the room.

Hy­att Re­gency Scottsdale Re­sort & Spa at Gainey Ranch Scottsdale, Ari­zona

The ameni­ties: Stellar views of the McDow­ell Moun­tains and 10 swim­ming pools – in­clud­ing one for adults – 20 foun­tains, 45 wa­ter­falls and a 30-foot, three-story, high­speed wa­ter­slide, as well as a man-made beach with a 5,000-square-foot sandy beach area. For $15 an hour per child, chil­dren ages 3 to 12 can at­tend Camp Hy­att. There's also a spa, a golf course and eight restau­rants.

The deal: With “Sum­mer Made Sim­ple,” chil­dren 12 and un­der get a free din­ner each day from the chil­dren's menu in two of the restau­rants, as long as at least one adult is pay­ing for a full-price meal. Chil­dren 18 and un­der play one round of golf free per day with a pay­ing adult. Rates start at $139 per night, not in­clud­ing the $40-plus tax re­sort fee, which cov­ers self-park­ing and bi­cy­cle rentals. Peak sea­son rates start at $450 a night.

Beat­ing the heat: The re­sort of­fers sev­eral pool­side ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing water­melon-eat­ing con­tests, in­ner tube races and wa­ter bal­loon tosses. There's also nightly live en­ter­tain­ment.

Mi­raval Ari­zona Tuc­son, Ari­zona

The ameni­ties: Sit­u­ated in the Santa Catalina Moun­tains, Mi­raval Ari­zona is a pre­miere well­ness spa. The all-in­clu­sive re­sort fea­tures ca­sita-style ac­com­mo­da­tions. There are more than 120 com­pli­men­tary well­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, lec­tures and fit­ness classes weekly, along with three pools.

The deal: Sum­mer rates start at $399 per per­son per night, com­pared to $699 in win­ter. Rates in­clude a $175 nightly re­sort credit per per­son that can be used to­ward spa ser­vices; classes like bee­keep­ing and cook­ing; fit­ness classes; all meals, as well as snacks and non­al­co­holic bev­er­ages; and shut­tle trans­fers from Tuc­son In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Beat­ing the heat: Most of the out­door pro­grams take place early in the morn­ing. Mi­raval hosts a se­ries of full moon pro­grams, in­clud­ing Ce­les­tial Yoga and Twi­light Zi­pline.

The Rowan Palm Springs, Cal­i­for­nia

The ameni­ties: The Rowan is the first new ho­tel built in down­town Palm Springs in decades. . Each of the 153 rooms have views of the San Jac­into Moun­tains or pri­vate out­door ter­races. There's a rooftop pool with a bar, and bikes avail­able to bor­row. A so­cial hour of­fers free beer and wine. Ac­cess to hik­ing trails are in the ho­tel's back­yard.

The deal: Sum­mer sale: Rates start at $147 a night for mid­week stays (com­pared to $289 dur­ing high sea­son), and at $225 for week­ends (com­pared to $289 dur­ing high sea­son).

Beat­ing the heat: Guests can watch the sum­mer's me­teor show­ers from the ho­tel rooftop.

Four Seasons Ho­tel Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada The ameni­ties: Though it's on the famed Las Ve­gas Strip, the Four Seasons has a non­smok­ing, nongam­ing at­mos­phere. In ad­di­tion to the pri­vate pool, guests can use the pool com­plex at the ad­ja­cent Man­dalay Bay Re­sort & Casino.

The deal: Sum­mer rates start at $220 per night ver­sus $300 dur­ing peak sea­son. Guests can also book the “Ex­pe­ri­ence More” pack­age, with rates start­ing at $280 per night, based on a two-night stay. This in­cludes a $100 ho­tel credit that can be used for the spa or to book a pri­vate pool­side cabana. Deals can be found here.

Beat­ing the heat: Com­pli­men­tary ameni­ties pool­side, in­clud­ing Evian spritzes, chilled fruit and os­hi­bori tow­els.

Las Ven­tanas al Paraíso, A Rose­wood Re­sort Los Ca­bos, Mex­ico

The ameni­ties: Sit­u­ated on Cabo's coast­line, this re­sort has 84 ac­com­mo­da­tions, in­clud­ing 12 beach vil­las. Five din­ing venues spe­cial­ize in dif­fer­ent types of din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, in­clud­ing a tep­pa­nyaki ice-cream bar and a tequila-and-ce­viche bar. A 5,000-square-foot pool has a swim-up bar.

The deals: Guests who stay three nights can re­ceive the fourth night free. An ocean-view ju­nior suite is $674 a night, com­pared to $1,125 in the win­ter.

Beat­ing the heat: A team of pool but­lers are avail­able to mas­sage your feet, mist you with cold Evian spray and bring you com­pli­men­tary Pop­si­cles, sor­bets and le­mon­ade.

Mi­ra­monte In­dian Wells Re­sort & Spa In­dian Wells, Cal­i­for­nia Ameni­ties: Nes­tled against the Santa Rosa Moun­tains in the greater Palm Springs area, this is an 11-acre re­sort with three pools. Com­pli­men­tary yoga ses­sions are held ev­ery Sat­ur­day morn­ing.

The deal: The re­sort has a va­ri­ety of va­ca­tion spe­cials, in­clud­ing “Sum­mer Chill” where you stay two nights and get the third night free. Sum­mer rates start at $109 a night, plus a $35 re­sort fee; the start­ing rate at peak sea­son is $211. Chil­dren eat free all sum­mer.

Beat­ing the heat: The Starlight Sip & Swim is a cabana rental pro­gram 7-11 p.m. Fri­day and Sat­ur­day through the end of sum­mer. It in­cludes a pitcher of san­gria or mar­gar­i­tas. Cost is $100. Guests can also watch movies Fri­day and Sat­ur­day at dusk.

An­daz Scottsdale Re­sort and Bun­ga­lows via NYT

Scenic moun­tain views sur­round the pool at the An­daz Scottsdale Re­sort & Bun­ga­lows in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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