The Wild Horse Pass has many interesting views of mountains and the desert that surround it. I found my views of this establishment changing almost as radically as the difference between mountain and desert views over the course of my visit. This was a good thing.
My initial impressions were shaped by the layout of the hotel and center and the deconstructed pricing schedule Sheraton has devolved for the Wild Horse Pass.
The Wild Horse Pass is a rather large and rambling building built in the southwestern style. It is confusing and difficult to navigate. And, it seems as though no matter where your room is, it's a long way to an exit....any exit. Also the elevators don't go all the way from the bar to the sleeping rooms and there are parts of the building on parts of the floors where you just plain can't get there from here. Better signage, a map at check in and some directional signs would be helpful. Parking is ample, but not conveniently located. Walking to and from parking and reception is potentially dangerous, especially at night where the sidewalks are dark and include stairs.
The pricing policy was much more of a pain. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass charges separately for EVERYthing. Yes there is a fitness center, for example, but it costs extra (it's also in a separate building a long walk across the desert from the hotel). Sheraton is even charging $4.50 for first aid kits, which I consider to be the ultimate in cynical customer exploitation.
The place grows on you, however. For one thing, the staff is extremely helpful and uniformly friendly and were always a pleasure with whom to deal. For another the restaurant turned out to be quite good. This would be the Kai Restaurant. We ate at the bar one night and had lunch at the pool another day. The food at the bar was cold and the sandwiches and drinks (an iced tea and a diet coke) cost approximately $50.00 (the hotel automatically adds a 15 percent gratuity. That short changes the staff in my case because I almost always leave more). Finally, the pool complex is superb and includes a fantastic twisting turning slide that is a joy for people of all ages. There is also a very nice hot tub.
Most of the decorator budget was lavished on the public rooms, which are in a Native American motif. The guest rooms are in a western hotel modern sort of style with the requiste pictues of deserts, Native Americans, and sand. The bed was comfortable, the towels were large and fluffy, and the shower (we had a glass corner shower) was excellent with an adjustable head. There was also a soaking tub. There was no refridgerator, but the in room bar could be off loaded to provide room for a couple soft drinks. If you are willing to upgrade you can have a view that overlooks the pool and the mountains beyond. We did not upgrade and had a superb view of the parking lot; however, that did not affect the comfort of the room one way or the other. There is one ice facility per floor. My partner asked if there were vending machines; the question was met with smiles and a negative response.
The Wild Horse Pass is a resort and offers horse back riding ($65 an hour), a spa (prices vary, but it seems to be very full service), and a golf course. There is also a conference center which appears to be connected to the hotel through an underground facility that links to a much larger facility some distance away. I was at the hotel accompanying my partner who was attending a convention. She reports that the convention services, including the food, were excellent.
Would I stay at the Wild Horse Pass again? If it were convenient or if I were attending a conference, absolutely. The hospitality, the food, and the pool make it worth while.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is located in the Sonoran Desert on an expanse of rugged Arizona landscape where the ancient vistas, mountains, and roaming wild horses remain untouched. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Hotel Chandler
- Sheraton Chandler
- Chandler Sheraton
- Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort And Spa