If you are coming to Tucson you better be staying in the JW Starr Pass. I have been to this property several times for work conferences and have always enjoyed the luxurious rooms and great conference meeting facilities, however I have always wished my family was there with me to really enjoy all of that the property has to offer. Well I decided to get out of the Phoenix heat and to have a weekend vacation at the resort in June.The drive to the hotel is great and you get a true sense of resort as you drive away from the City and towards the peaceful Tucson mountains. Check-in was great and there was staff everywhere offering to help but not in an overwhelming way as can be the case at some resorts. The room was large and very clean and visually pleasing as they always are at this property. Our girls couldn't wait in the room for long and we were quickly on the way to the pools. There are three pools at the property including a lap pool for exercising, a large two level traditional pool for whole families and a third lazy river pool with a water slide.
We quickly chased behind our daughters who were making their way to the lazy river. At a central location between the pools you check in at a casita where you get wrist bands, towels and water. Once we checked-in the staff remembered our names and said hi as we came in and out of the different pools. I was very worried that getting to the property in the afternoon there would be no lounge chairs available and if there were they certainly wouldn’t be in the shade. WRONG.. There were plenty of chairs available and every chair around the pool has shade provided by numerous shades. I couldn’t have been happier as I hate baking in the sun. The girls loved the slide and the I even had to go down it a couple of time with them. Floating around in the free tubes as a family was wonderful and we made a lot of new friends in the process.
I had planned on letting the girls swim for a little while and then leaving to get some lunch, however my wife and I couldn't get the kids out of the river and slide they were having so much fun. So I cautiously decided to order lunch poolside knowing that at some resorts that is the worst thing possible as everything is stone cold when it gets to you. There were lots of fresh choices for kids and adults on the menu and we ordered some hamburgers, nachos and quesadillas. To my surprise and delight everything came out quickly and was hot and delicious. For the rest of the weekend we ate our lunches poolside. We also spent a lot of time in the larger pool which is very large and although there were a lot of people at the resort that weekend I never felt cramped. Plenty of shade and chairs at the large pool as well. The other thing I loved about the pool area is that there was cold ice water in coolers everywhere and we took full advantage of it. In my opinion there is nothing worse than not having water at an Arizona resort and having to buy expensive bottles of water all day long just to stay alive. Not the Case at the JW – free ice cold fresh water all day long.
I also noticed a Marriott manager in a full suit visiting the pool on occasion and casually making sure that all the guests were having a great time and to see if they needed anything. When he came by I noticed that it was Chad Lybrook who often responds to reviews on this site. That made me happy to see that upper management was out and about and making sure that the resort lives up to its name and that guests were happy.
We ate dinner both nights in the signature grill. The food was delicious and the buffet for the kids was free which was awesome. It included mini corndogs, fruits, yogurt and jello, Chicken Strips, tater tots and many other items. It was perfect for our girls.
All in all it was a very enjoyable stay at a first class resort and we are determined to come back each year and start a new family tradition at the JW Starr Pass.