A few years ago we took a family vacation to Scottsdale, Arizona and stayed at Four Seasons Scottsdale. It was somewhere we were curious to check out and what we found was a new favorite family destination. On that trip, the girls were 3 and almost 2. There were many wonderful attractions in the Scottsdale area for little ones. You can check out some of our favorite Scottsdale area places to visit in this post. Our favorite part about the trip was where we stayed: Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North. The resort was gorgeous and had so much to offer a traveling family. When we were planning our first vacation as a family of 5, we decided to return to Arizona. We were so comfortable with young children at Four Seasons Scottsdale, that we knew right away that’s where we’d like to stay again.
We knew there would be space for everyone to spread out and sleep, amazing restaurants that welcomed children, kids menus all 3 would eat off of, a kids club that would entertain for hours, and best of all: the family pools! We knew that traveling (especially flying 5 hours to a different time zone) with 3 kids was going to be an adventure in itself. Tom and I wanted to know that once we arrived on vacation, we could stay somewhere that “had it all” and not feel the pressure to get up everyday, pack everyone in a car and find activities.
Sure we had some places we wanted to return to in Scottsdale and a few new places to check out, but we ended up using our rental car 1 time the whole trip and that was to drive to an attraction 5 min away. We didn’t do much off the Four Seasons property but had an amazing vacation. The kids beg at least once a week “please bring us back to Arizona”. So, how did we have so much fun in one place? We found a great resort with incredible family amenities.
10 reasons why I recommend staying at a resort as a family:
1. Kids Get Comfortable
I think the hardest thing about traveling with kids is that you take them out of the comfort of their own home and their daily routine. Often, as parents, we expect that just because we are taking our kids to an exciting place, they are going to be excited and have fun. Sometimes this isn’t the case. Vacations can throw little kids for a loop and you can have a lot of crying on your hands vs excitement. Having a trip where your hotel is just a “home base” and you are constantly out doing excursions, museums, activities, etc can make it worse. If you find a resort with a lot to do and explore on site, it gives the kids a chance to settle in and get comfortable. I’ve found that we all have a much better experience at a resort mainly because the little ones aren’t so “thrown for a loop”. Another plus is if someone in the crew needs a nap, one parent can just walk back to the room with the napper while the rest of the family keeps going with their activity.
Staying at a resort means many great meal choices at your disposal. Another thing that can be hard traveling with little ones is mealtime. If you are on a resort that is family friendly, then there will be various places to eat that are family friendly too. At the Four Seasons Scottsdale, not only are there many family friendly meal options, but kids eat free (see site for details). Even poolside, there were great options on the kids menu and they were so accommodating. At every meal, we even found things for Tommy to eat (oatmeal, yogurt, fruit etc). We also always enjoy a few meals in the room, so finding a resort with great in room dinning, like Four Seasons, is key. Then once the kids eat they can run around the room and play while we enjoy a quiet cup of coffee!
3. No Need to Drive
I remember a time when Tom and I would roll up to a car rental desk at an airport and just grab the cheapest compact car they had. If it was a scenic location then maybe we’d spring for a Jeep Wrangler. You can’t get a compact car or a Wrangler with 3 carseats. So renting a car means renting the biggest vehicle they have + carseats. It’s not cost effective or convenient. So staying on a resort that offers plenty of fun for the whole family makes travel easier.
4. Family Activities
Anytime we’ve stayed at a resort, particularly a Four Seasons property, we’ve been amazed at all the activities available for families, even families with children as young as ours. Our favorite family activity at Four Seasons Scottsdale (for both trips) was family movie night at the pool or as they call it: Dive in Movies. The kids think it’s so neat to see a movie screen pop up at the pool. The staff hands out popcorn, glow sticks and floats for everyone. We’ve enjoyed meeting so many families from around the country while we enjoy the family movie night. Plus our own little family has made some great memories without every leaving the resort property.
Many resorts have babysitting services available. We were very pleased with the babysitting at Four Seasons Scottsdale last time we visited (more details in this post) and we were looking forward to using it again on this trip. Traveling with 3 little children is a lot of fun but it’s really nice to have a night out, just Tom and I, when we travel. We were so grateful that there was a reliable, trustworthy babysitting service at the Four Seasons so we could go out to dinner at one of the really nice restaurants at the resort.
6. Resort Kids Clubs
Many resorts have programs for children or kids clubs. The Four Seasons Scottsdale has Kids for All Seasons and it’s amazing! There is a “club” that is filled with toys, games, arts and crafts, etc. There were even toys Tommy could play with. It was a great way to beat the heat mid day. In addition to having a place kids could play, Kids for All Seasons has organized activities throughout the day. One day we participated in a carnival in one of the resort ballrooms. There was cookie decorating, hula hooping and a giant bounce house indoors! The kids still talk about it. For kids 5 & up, you can drop them off to stay on their own. Since Tommy and Alex were under 5, I stayed for the activities, but could sit back and relax while the incredible staff entertained the kids. The best part: everything is included for guests, you don’t pay for any of the time at the club or the activities.
7. Activities for Adults
The kids shouldn’t get to have all the fun! Resorts like Four Seasons Scottsdale cater to all ages. There are plenty of activities for the kids and for families to participate in, but there are also ways to adults to enjoy themselves on their own too. When we vacation as a family Tom and I like to each take some time to ourselves while the other person watches the kids. At Four Seasons Scottsdale there is a wonderful spa that I have enjoyed. There is also a great fitness center and adult only pool. Plus, the resort is next to Troon North Golf Club. Having a chance to return to play Troon North was a huge selling point in getting my husband to agree to a family vacation back to Scottsdale. He loves the course and the scenery is unbelievable. He looks forward to the day the kids can learn to play and join him at Troon North (they have a fantastic kids and family program), but for now he enjoys a quiet afternoon to himself.
8. Staff Gets to Know You
Staying on a resort you get to know the staff. It makes for a more personal experience. My kids still refer to people at Four Seasons Scottsdale by name and ask when we will see them again. The staff there was exceptionally warm and welcoming and by the 2nd day we knew many of their names. This helped make everyone feel at home.
9. Often More Than One Pool
Resorts often have more than one pool option. This makes it even easier to not leave the resort because as soon as anyone gets “bored” you can switch it up and swim and splash somewhere else! We like that Four Seasons Scottsdale has a pool option that is just for little kids and is very shallow. When the girls are in the kids pool, we can sit and watch but don’t have to be in the pool with them. This gives them a change of scenery from the “big pool” and us time to relax. They also have rooms that come with their own pool, which was a huge bonus for this trip. Just because Tommy had to nap twice a day, didn’t mean that the rest of us had to stop swimming!
10. Easier to Relax
Last, but certainly not least, I think finding a resort for a family vacation is key because it’s so much easier to relax. I never like when people say “traveling with kids isn’t a vacation, it’s just a trip”. It can be vacation and very relaxing if you plan right and choose the right place to go. We had a wonderful time in Scottsdale with 3 kids. The kids were comfortable and had a blast all day long. There was so much to explore right on property from the pools to walking the grounds looking for lizards. We took time to enjoy the resort we were staying at and didn’t drive ourselves crazy with seeing everything the surrounding area had to offer.
Four Seasons Scottsdale helped us have family fun while also relaxing.
We figure we can do more of that when the kids get older. This trip was about spending quality time as a family on our first vacation as a family of 5. The resort made that possible and made it very easy to relax while we enjoyed the time with the kids. We started the day with meals in our room followed by walks around the property to look at the cacti, mountains and “creatures”. We spent the remainder of the day enjoying multiple pools geared towards families, including time in a kids pool that was shallow enough to let the girls splash while we enjoyed time on a lounge chair poolside. We could then end the night with a meal at a fantastic restaurant just steps away from our room. We are so thankful for all the Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North had to offer our family and hope to return again someday.