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SPRINGTIME ESCAPES Favorite spots to spend the season
Alison Bailin Batz » The Entertainer!
pring break might be over, but there are still some great seasonal escapes worth taking advantage of just a few hours from the Valley. Here are some of our favorites.
TUCSON – JW MARRIOTT STARR PASS Just two hours south of the Valley, Tucson is best known as UA Wildcat country. Rivalry with ASU aside, the area is full of hiking, biking, breweries and one of Arizona’s top resorts for staycations, The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. Nestled on 50 acres in the saguaro-covered foothills of Tucson National
Come See Where We Live See Over 140 Exotic Animals! Big Cats, Bears, Primates, Wolves, Birds, Reptiles, Critters and more! Guided Tours
10am, 1pm, 3:30 (feeding tour!)
Wed – Mon, 9am-5pm Closed Tuesdays
13441 E. Highway 66 Valentine, AZ 86437
Located on Historic Route 66 at mile marker 87, 29 miles east of Kingman, AZ.
Park with panoramic views of the city, the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa is situated in Tucson National Park’s foothills. The resort features 575 guest accommodations including 35 luxuriously appointed suites, six dining experiences, the 20,000-square-foot Hashani Spa, fitness center, 27 holes of Arnold Palmer signature golf and the Starr Pass Golf Club, tennis and access to multiple hiking and biking trails on property. A collection of outdoor water features that complement the resort’s natural surroundings include multilevel swimming pools, a waterslide, lazy river, reflection pool and dancing fountains. In addition, the resort pays homage to local and regional history with several “rituals” that have become staycation favorites. Among them, “The Legend of Arriba, Abajo,” which takes place at 5:30 p.m. daily on the terrace. During the program, guests gather to watch the sunset and experience an interactive tequila toast, done to the story of Arriba, Abajo. The story, told by the Marriott team, begins with the tradition of a man asking his beloved’s father for her hand in marriage. Fearing losing his daughter, the father devised a plan to keep that from happening: a tequila-drinking challenge. Guests listen in delight to the legendary tale and come together in the toast, “Arriba, Abajo, al Centro, al Dentro, Salud!” (Up, down, out and in), each getting the opportunity to taste one of the resort’s 150 tequilas. http://bit.ly/Z8JpxX
CABO SAN LUCAS – PUEBLO BONITO SUNSET BEACH Cabo San Lucas is among the easiest ways to hit the beach this spring or summer. It’s only a 90-minute flight from the Valley. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in sun-kissed Cabo San Lucas, family-friendly Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach is an all-inclusive luxury resort blissfully secluded on a private coastal bluff. The picture-perfect location offers
tranquil seclusion and convenient access to the vibrant downtown corridor of Cabo San Lucas, including prestigious golf courses and beaches. The resort was designed so everything – from cliffside pools to exotic dining options (including a world-renowned steak house) to a luxurious spa – within steps of one’s room. The resort even operates its own medical clinic. pueblobonito.com For those looking to get off property for a little adventure, guests are covered. Perhaps the most unique experience to the area is swimming with whale sharks. And there isn’t a better operator in the area than Island Cat Baja. The tour operator provides full transportation to and from the resort, and boasts private and semi-private whale shark swimming experiences on a full-service luxury catamaran. The boat includes a private chef, bartender, on-site marine biologist (who jumps in the water first to find the sharks), all equipment and a professional photographer. islandcatbaja.com
ROCKY POINT – BELLA SIRENA Prefer a drive to the beach? Just four hours via car, Rocky Point has long been Phoenicians’ top way to escape South of the Border without hopping on a plane. In recent years, more than a dozen resorts – all offering all-inclusive packages – have popped up, each more luxurious than the next. A favorite – and sister property to the popular Las Palomas Resort next door – is Bella Sirena. Every Bella Sirena Resort Condominium has a panoramic view of the ocean and the unique landscapes that surround Rocky Point. It also has full kitchens, tennis courts, highend bars, pool parties, live music and on-site dining. Visually, desert sands meet the crystal-blue ocean to create seemingly endless miles of sandy beach, thanks to the resort’s positioning. With crystal-clear negative-edge pools, elegant courtyards and tropical trees, it is quickly becoming the height of luxury in the area. The front desk team is also specially equipped to ensure guests have easy access to area attractions, including seaside massages, jet skis and whale watching.