Keith & Melissa Photographers
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Wedding and Portrait Photography Blog

Keith & Melissa are husband and wife wedding & portrait photographers located in Phoenix. Known for our candid, documentary photo journalistic style approach to capturing a wedding story.

my review of 4 resort pools for little ones | phoenix family portrait photographer

It's hard to believe that the kids have been back to school for two weeks.  Even though its still topping 100 everyday, it is hard to believe the summer fun is behind us.  Here's our review of our summer fun! Now this review is only our family's take on staying at these four resorts.   I'm not talking about pools where it's romantic or great people watching or even super cool water slides. I'm strictly talking about resort pools in the greater Phoenix area that we have actually stayed at AND have a pool specifically for little ones. So in the sweltering Arizona summer, when the resort rates are pennies on the dollar compared to winter rates, it was easy to justify a night away at a gorgeous resort for our family.

When we are lucky enough to head to a resort, our goal is for there to be a pool that is fun for the whole family.  Six story water slides are cool, but our kids are just too young (wait till next year!!! Keith and I love water slides, water parks, etc. etc. can't wait for the kids to be super swimmers!).  Isabella just turned 6, so she is swimming really well, but Miss Gabs is on her own schedule.  She has had a couple years of swimming lessons (and is currently enrolled), but it just hasn't clicked with her yet. She still wants to wear her "seatbelt" (a life preserver).  And, she is definitely under the 42" height requirement of most slides! That leaves us wanting a beach entry pool that Gabs can maneuver at her comfort level and the rest of us can still have fun!

Here were our four stops and our thoughts on each:

1. Fairmont Scottsdale By far, of these 4 resorts, the Fairmont had the nicest rooms.  Keith's only requirement for a hotel is that the roof doesn't leak.  I on the other hand, have a long list of what makes a hotel room nice - Keith likes to joke with me that I need 1,000 thread count sheets to be happy!  I'm not quite that bad, but I really like the details and comfort of the Fairmont's rooms. Very nice.  While this hotel is pretty large, it doesn't overwhelm you.The property is laid out nicely, it didn't seem overly crowded.  The family pool is just great!  Lots of fun, 2 water slides and a zero entry pool deck perfect for little ones like Gabs. Overall, this resort is great.  The one drawback:  the family pool was a million miles away from our room!

2.  The Westin Kierland Resort We liked this resort, nice rooms, but it is really, really big!  And even in the dead of summer, with temps hovering around 108, the place was sold out!  I was shocked!  The pool was beautiful, but crowded.  The lazy river and water slide are fun, but Gabby is still too small for their slide.  The children's play area with pop-jet water fountains and the shallow pool made us happy campers.

3.  Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort We decided to celebrate Isabella's birthday here, we rented two adjacent rooms and had a big sleepover with Isabella, Gabs, cousin Ava and Isabella's oldest friend Malia.  The rooms are very comfortable, suites give you that little bit of extra space, which is always welcome when staying in a hotel with small children.  The pool had all of our requirements, zero entry pool deck, water slide, etc.  but was just beyond over crowded.  It almost seemed like any one who lived within a 100 mile radius of the hotel stopped by for a quick dip!  Maybe I would have liked it more if we weren't standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of people who I'm not even sure were staying at the hotel.  It seemed like a big public pool - not a resort pool!  With that being said, everyone still had a great time!

4.  Sheraton Wild Horse Pass This place was just perfect for us!  The room was a little small, but pretty much brand new and very comfortable.  Overall, the resort had a very Southwestern flair, with lots of Native American history, a really nice touch.  The staff couldn't have been any nicer.  We ended up staying by the pool for like 5 or 6 hours.  There were only a handful of families - divide that up between 4 pools and it was close to a one family to one pool ratio - what more could you ask for?  The best part for us was the one pool that was most perfect for Gabs, it had multiple zero entry pool decks all over this large pool, she had such a blast, running and swimming, being a bald eagle and flying around.  And what made it even better?  The pool was adjacent to the pool bar!  A paradise for the kids and for Keith & I!  We had so much fun.  By far, the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass was our perfect summer spot - the best resort pool for our little ones!

There are lots of stunningly gorgeous pools in the area, and lots of great pools that are family friendly, especially for non-swimmers - we would love input on other family's favorites!