By Roger Cox, Editor
Arizona's largest resort, the 950-room JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa rises on 316 acres in the Sonoran Desert where Phoenix gives way to Scottsdale. That location affords sweeping views of the McDowell Mountains, while the resort furnishes a full basket of amenities, including tennis and pickleball courts, a championship golf course, a spa and fitness center, several swimming pools—one of them a serpentine river pool—children's programs, a Starbuck's, and half a dozen restaurants and lounges.
Pro Shop: 480-293-3663
Tennis director Brian Thorfinnson has been a fixture in Phoenix resort tennis since the late 1980s. At the JW Marriott, which he joined in 2002, he caters to the needs both of tennis players and, increasingly, pickleball players, with private lessons, clinics, game-matching services, and same-day racquet stringing.
Tennis Courts & Fees. There are five lighted hard courts adjacent to a full-service pro shop. These have patios with lawn chairs and tables with faux-stone tops and a border of flowers in reds, oranges, purples, and yellows and the occasional palm or mesquite tree. Court Fees: included in resort fee.
Pickleball. There are 12 courts in total, 12 of them permanent. There are three pickleball pros, among them Jack Thomas, who is President of the USAPA. Level up clinics and a daily clinics available during the season. There are Super Senior International Pickleball Association (SSIPA) and other tournaments throughout the year.
Golf Courses. The Wildfire Golf Club within the resort comprises two 18-hole layouts:
Faldo Championship Course: Designed by Nick Faldo. Par: 71. Length: 6,846 yards.
Palmer Signature Course: Designed by Arnold Palmer. Par: 72. Length: 7,145 yards.
Spa & Fitness Center. The Revive Spa offers a variety of massages, facials, and body wraps as well as salon services. There are not one but two fitness centers: the main one, which is free to guests, has a full ranges of Cardio, strength, and flexibility equipment; the second, in Revive Spa, available at a daily fee, also has an extensive array of equipment as well as group classes.
And ... There are five swimming pools, one a serpentine river. Bikes are available for rent from the tennis pro shop. Walking and jogging trails wind around the resort and head into the desert.
Family by JW provides a mix of family activities, including supervised children's programs for ages 4-12 and junior kids camps focused on recreation, arts & crafts, and adventure. There are also family themed nights, bingo parties, and s'mores by the firepit.
The resort has 950 rooms, 91 of them suites (ranging in size up to two bedrooms), variously with views of the resort, golf course, or desert.
There are half a dozen dining outlets and lounges.
If you like the sound of this JW Marriott, you may also want to consider:
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Travel Instructions. The JW Marriott is roughly 22 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).