Looking through the reviews for Marriott's Canyon Villas, it is difficult to find a negative review, which was encouraging. I almost became overwhelmed with thinking that I would be the exception...but, happily...I wasn't.
Marriott's Canyon Villas is a GREAT resort with everything you'd want in a vacation. We stayed in a two-bedroom villa during the first week of June in 2011. Our room number was 2705 and we exchanged in via the Marriott Destination Program on a Thursday-Thursday stay. I'll give you the low-down!
The resort: Canyon Villas is an exception resort located on a property that is shared by the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. As a guest at Canyon Villas, you have unrestricted access to the JW, which is AMAZING. A Shuttle bus runs every hour on the hour, but the walk isn't bad at between 5-10 minutes. A good, brief walk before you lounge at the pool is ok! Just stay hydrated.
The room: The room is well appointed with a nice water fountain as you enter, full kitchen, dining area, living area, master bedroom suite and an efficiency lock-off. The master bathroom has a tub/vanity combo, as well as a seperate toilet/shower area. The kitchen has a breakfast bar that crosses into the dining area, which includes a full dining table.
Pools: Everywhere! There are two main pools in the central resort area, but close to that are smaller spas and other pools. There is a quiet pool at the end of the resort which I frequented, but I am not into the kid thing while I am trying to relax, so, it's cool. The quiet pool is warm, but very refreshing when you get out. There is also a kiddie pool area on the northern side of the resort. The Canyon Springs pool bar is cool...nice people, good food...a little overprices for a pool bar, but well, ya know how it is. Fire pits were located around the property in the pool areas for after hours enjoyment. Sometimes you had to deal with the family smores-a-thon as an evening way to entertain the children, but once that cleared out you can sit by the fire and stare at the stars, which is awesome.
Resort Grounds: Impeccably maintained. There are grills in the main resort area, and inbetween a set of buildings on both sides of the property. Near the grills on the south side of the property there is a nice herb garden where you can pick some herbs to accent your dishes...a nice and simple touch.
Fitness: Two nice fitness rooms on either side of the main lobby, one for cardio and one for weights. The weight machines were good, but somewhat limiting. Dumbbells up to 50lbs. Remember though, you also have access to the JW weight room, which is a short warm-up run away. At the JW, the weight room has older equipment, but a little more variety, including a Smith Machine, which was good to switch it up. I used both and it worked out ok. All the cardio equip was relatively new and state of the art. There are tennis courts on the grounds as well.
Location: Literally at the edge of the desert, which was great. You aren't in the downtown Phoenix area, yet you have access to the Desert Ridge Marketplace, Scottsdale, etc. We found it to be extremely convenient. Originally, we had toyed with the idea of staying in Sedona, but am extremely happy it worked out this way. Sedone is less than a two hour drive, and is perfect for a day trip, or a two-day trip. Anything more than that, I think I'd get red-rocked out. There is much more culture, fine dining, and things to do in the greater phoenix/scottsdale/glendale area...so, this resort location gives you access to it all.
Room location: If your goal is to relax and enjoy vacation, try to shoot for a room facing the Golf Course on the second or third floor. We loved the location of our room, but it was on the first floor, which was fine for the beginning of our stay. But, on Sunday, new tenants moved in down the hall and they seemed to want to use the back of the villa as their access to the pool, which is weird because that is where you bedroom is, your private patio, etc. The back is the part that looks onto the golf course (if that is your room view) and it has a large dividing area of plants, rocks, and dirt to seperate it. So, it's nice to look out the door and stare, or sit out on the patio in the morning with coffee...which is why it was so ODD for people to use the back of the villa...it was kind of unsettling. We said something to them, but they were a little thick. Odd, given that they can just go out the front door and take the real hallways to the same location and not have to walk through rocks and plants. So, long story, but it helped remind me of the need for a second or third story room.
The JW: This resort is amazing and beautiful. What's truly awesome about this is that you get the beauty and spaciouness of the villa...but, the beauty and grandeur of the JW. This answers some of the indulgent needs of the timeshare traveler! The JW has large and expansive pools, including a lazy river. There is TONS of space to lounge in the sun. The lobby area is huge and has tons of couches to sit out at overlooking the pond. There are fire pits everywhere for at night, and tons of space outside and inside to sit around, and that's not including within the pool area. There are multiple restaurants on site at the JW. Blue Sage is typical American fare, including a buffet breakfast, moderately (resort) priced food. We took a chocolate class here with one of the head-chefs which was awesome...look for it on Sat morning. $39 includes breakfast, class, and take homes!. Roys was by far our favorite, most notably for it's daily 4-6 happy hour where martinis, wine, and select appetizers are only $5 per. Outdoor seating, live music on Fri/Sat...this was the place to be!!! Roy's is hawaiian fusion cuisine and everything was amazing. Try the Hawaiian martini! In addition, there is an italian restaurant (didn't go...desert doesn't say italian to me, but it looked nice). There is also a great-looking steakhouse in the clubhouse to the golf course on the same property...didn't go, but looked amazing. There is a pool bar and a poolside taco bar. The pool bar service was nice...there were always employees working the pool side lounges asking for drinks and food. Try the Kokopelli drink...it's awesome. Was a little disappointed that there weren't any drink specials...but, it was the JW, and I had to adjust my brain. The JW includes Revive Spa which has full spa services (for a fee), a private gym (addt'l fee) and a restaurant. We saw Segway tours that toured the grounds leaving from there as well ($$).
Overall, the Canyon Villas/JW combo is a one-two punch knockout. It gave you the spaciousness of villa living as well as the opulence of JW life. The location provided amazing vistas as well as accessibility to Scottsdale and other Phoenix area attractions. The grand canyon was a bit too far, but won't be on the next trip...there was just too much to do and didn't want to not be around the pool another day...especially since I know we'll be back in the Valley of the Sun at the Canyon Villas soon.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott`s Canyon Villas Hotel Phoenix
- Marriotts Canyon Hotel
- Marriott Vacation Club Phoenix
- Marriott Phoenix
- Phoenix Marriott