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“A Marriott on steroids”

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JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Ranked #8 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 19, 2006

We stayed at the hotel because of a business conference, not so much by choice, and I think we would have chosen elsewhere, if not for the business conference. The rate was quite high for the off-season, considering the level of service and the quality of the room. Maybe if I was a golfer I would have been more excited, but this resort is out on the edge of town, a 20-30 minute drive from the nightlife of Scottsdale.

The hotel is big, and I think that may be part of the problem. It's very dificult to provide top service to over a thousand guests. House cleaning was quite slow and the halls seemed to be filled with maids carts all the time. We had numerous problems getting internet connections (should be better at a nearly new hotel), and the staff weren't much help. Wireless and high-speed in the room were two separate charges, for each computer. In fairness, the hotel did remove most of our Internet charges.

There are several food options, quite acceptable and reasonably priced, given that this is an expensive resort. The pools are very nice, and they are generously staffed with attendants. The pool area seemed to be the most service-oriented part of the hotel. Many other folks were "going through the motions" or a little rough around the edges. This is not a Ritz-Carlton.

This a very nice property, and families will enjoy a trip to this resort more than a trip to Las Vegas. But the place didn't feel that special, and I think I would have preferred to stay at one of the more established resorts closer in to the center of Scottsdale (most of which are the same price or less expensive.)

Stayed: June 2006
12  Thank BaronVonH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,505 - 2,511 of 2,688 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2006

I have stayed at this hotel twice. The rooms are wonderful, the staff friendly, a vacation it iself. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2005, traveled on business
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10  Thank K3c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2006

My husband and I just returned from a weekend getaway at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. We’re Phoenix residents, but like to check out the local hotels and spas. This was our first visit to this property. We have stayed at other JW Marriott properties and were impressed. Not so with this property. The lobby and grounds are beautiful. The staff and service were mostly unremarkable. Probably the biggest drawback was the room. Rather than the usual luxurious JW standard, it was more like “JW meets Courtyard by Marriott.” If you want luxury, this is not the resort for you. There was nothing elegant about the room. It was simply standard. The bed was comfortable and the room was clean, but beyond that, we were not impressed. Further, the hallways leading to the guestrooms were hot and muggy. It was as if they were trying to conserve electricity by keeping the AC set at an uncomfortably high temperature. In addition, the hallways had an odd odor that we likened to dry cleaning fluid. We visited the spa on Saturday, enjoying two treatments each. The treatments themselves were fine, but the spa lacks the luxury of its competitors in this resort category. The wet areas are minimal, and overall, the spa accommodations are only so-so. We did enjoy the spa pool, which is much less crowded than the other pools at the resort. It was quiet and relaxing, with the exception of an inconsiderate guest yapping continuously on her cell phone. The Spa Bistro served tasty food with efficient, courteous service. We dined at Roy’s, where the service was exceptional and the food on par with other Roy’s locations. I will return to this Roy's location. However, I will not stay at this property again. Given a choice, I would book the Camelback Inn, which has a sumptuous spa and guest accommodations that offer what I expect from a JW Marriott.

  • Stayed: July 2006
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9  Thank ArtiesBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2006

We stayed here on business with my husband. Well where do I start? Upon driving in to the resort you are struck with the immeadiate immensity of the hotel. It is truly a "resort" in scale. Checking in was a bit hectic, there were a gaggle of luggage boys under the carport busily attending to peoples luggage. Getting in and over to the checkin desk was a bit harried but I think it was a busy day. They said they were at full capacity. We arrived early (around 1pm) and they had a lovely room available already. When we walked into our standard room we were surprised to see our bed covered in red rose petals. It was beauitiful. I dont know if this is standard practice for them or not, alot of other guests I spoke to did not recieve this but it was a nice touch.The bathroom was gorgeous, It was so large! It had a nice deep tub for baths and a seperate all-glass shower. The tile in the bathrooms is gorgeous but VERY slippery when wet. I think its a law-suit waiting to happen. The pools are beautiful, that is where I spent the majority of my time, while my husband was on business. There are many private corners,shady spots and umbrellas to stake out if you want to be alone. The service by the pool was unexpected. They will bring you drinks and a limited menu poolside. The food was great, noone I was with, was ever dissapointed in there choices. The salads could feed a small family, and at $12-14 each they should. Heres a tip: They offer a smaller managable half-size salad for $6-8 each that is still enough to fill up even a large appetite. But they wont tell you they offer this smaller size, we just found out by accident. Food and drink service poolside was a little on the slow side but the young people that were working the pool in 100+degree heat deserved a medal for that alone. Housekeeping was a bit slow, some days I would be out of my room 8 or 9 hours and come back and housekeeping was just finishing or had not gotten to my room yet. My only complaint about this goregeous place was the selection of places to eat. There is NOWHERE to just grab a low-cost meal. Even the cafe that is poolside charged $12 for a cheesburger, $12-14 for salads, and $10-12 for average drinks.(Everyone was raving about there Pina Coladas w/toasted coconut in all fareness) The restaurants I'm sure were fabulous, I only ate in the 2 that were the most affordable. You can also have drinks and a small food menu out on the large patio in the back of the hotel. ( I recommend the "Chicken Wonton-Tostada's" they were unreal....Yumm!!!) They have large upholstered furniture outside on the back patio, where you can sit and feel like your on your living room couch being served dinner. I wished I would have aten there a bit more it was so relaxing. All and all there is not much I can say bad about this place, between the mountain veiws, the gorgeous pools, the mostly prompt and couteous service, beautiful rooms, and good food it was a fantastic week. I would highly reccomend it to anyone visiting Phoenix.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled on business
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14  Thank shopselina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2006

A very nice sprawling resort, however, I think every single kid under the age of 12 in all of Arizona was there!! Go the the Westin Kierland. That is where we stayed the 3rd and 4th nights of our golf trip, muuuuch better.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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3  Thank Huneymooners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2006

Reading all of the reviews on this site, my wife and I decided to stay at the JW Marriott over the 4th July period, and I have to say the hype does not match the resort. OK, a nice, lavish, well decorated hotel it is, but there are many negatives. The Lazy River was not so much lazy as manic, and there were countless people smoking on rafts and drinking from brought in cans of beer - more like the Salt River than the lazy River. The hotel clearly does not splash out on air conditioning the common areas, a clear issue when it is 110 degrees. The drinks are overpriced, and the service was average - definitely nothing to amaze. I have travelled extensively throughout the world, and have never seen a valet service staffed entirely by 17 and 18 year old kids, nor been refused access to walk around the pool area as I did not have the designated wrist band on. If you are looking for a pampered, exceptionally serviced, secluded and relaxed stay, go to the Boulders in Carefree - a far superior resort, and over this weekend, $40 a night cheaper than the marriott.

  • Stayed: July 2006
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6  Thank Padinphx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2006

We stayed two nights at this resort, and there are negative points that need to mentioned:

1. This hotel caters mainly to conventioneers and - especially during summer - to local families and kids by offering huge discounts. During our stay, the hotel was overflowing with kids - there must have been 600-700 every day. It is a well known "secret" that locals staying here have friends sneak in all the time for free to use the room and the pools. You can imagine the noise level by those crowds. This is definitely not a place for adults to relax. We had to change our room after three unsupervised teens started a screaming contest next door. Expect a huge unruly kindergarden, not a resort.

2. Parking: The hotel unfortunately allows its staff to use a huge part of the closest parking area. The reason is that management attempts to force you to use the valet service ($ 20 per day). If you decide to do self parking, expect long walks in 110-115 degrees.

3. Service: The food at Tuscany was wonderful (salmon/steak), the service understaffed and extremly slow. The chef de cusine came in person to our table to take our order, as she seemed to recognize the service problems. Thanks, chef!

4. Housekeeping: Has problems to get rooms cleaned in time. When returning at 3 or 4 pm, do not expect that your room has been freshened up.

For someone looking for a quiet and relaxing stay, there are much better choices in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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16  Thank Maxesparents
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Address: 5350 East Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Phoenix > Desert Ridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Phoenix
#2 Spa Hotel in Phoenix
#4 Romantic Hotel in Phoenix
#4 Luxury Hotel in Phoenix
#7 Business Hotel in Phoenix
#9 Family Hotel in Phoenix
Price Range: $238 - $790 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 950
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Without peer among resorts in Phoenix, Arizona, award-winning, AAA 4-Diamond JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa welcomes guests to its stunning 316 acres in the Sonoran Desert. Our captivating resort takes you to a place where luxury, personal service, invigorating recreation and excellent dining are in abundance. Guest rooms and suites feature private balconies or patios with dramatic desert vistas, mountain views, and tech-friendly amenities. This premier resort also impresses with the award-winning Revive Spa and championship Wildfire Golf Club, home to the LPGA Founders Cup. Relax and enjoy the company of friends and family indoors or outside on one of many patios with our inviting fire-pits overlooking the resort's waterways. Among the leading North Phoenix resorts, JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is your one-stop vacation haven. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Desert Ridge Resort And Spa Phoenix
Jw Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa Phoenix Hotel Phoenix
Jw Marriott Phoenix
Marriott Phoenix
Phoenix Marriott

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