Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Review of our Staycation at the J.W. Marriott at Desert Ridge CANYON VILLAS {Schutsky Staycation}

Last summer we stayed at the  the J.W. Marriott's CANYON VILLAS at Desert Ridge twice, once for my sister in law's bachelorette party and again for a week later that summer since her party was so much fun.  My mom has a time share and the Marriott is one of the collaborating hotels, so for a super discounted rate {normally $259 a night} we were able to stay there again for the week.  It's super fun, to take a break from real life and relax with family and friends in town.  We didn't have to buy plane tickets or drive anywhere, but we still go a vacation out of it. I didn't have to do any real house work {although, we didn't take time off work for this staycation}, and we had family stay with us a few nights, since we booked the two room villa.  We had so much fun, but were able to cook our own dinners, because they have a FULL kitchen and I was able to wash laundry as needed because they have those in the units as well.  Anyway, here's some images from the staycay. so you can see for yourself...
The master suite looked like this, although, they are in the process of renovating and I doubt the villas will look like this much longer. 
I, literally, ALWAYS check the tub photos of a hotel before booking a room anywhere, it's the frosting on a vacation cupcake.
The living room {before the kids got to it}, the couch is another pull out bed.  This villa sleeps 8 comfortably! 
Nothing ultra fancy, but a large enough table to entertain a few guests.
Here's the second room with one of the two queen beds. 
Aunt Gretchen and a few of the kiddos enjoying House Hunters {we don't have cable at home, so vacations usually allow for some otherwise unheard of T.V. time.}
Like I said, Husband continued the cooking duties while staying here, which was nice, because we had friends and family over almost every night!
You can see Charlee enjoyed visiting.
Schutsky Brother's collaboration quinoa stuffed pepers, asian noodles and an eggless fried rice quinoa.
Sonja loved this edamame quinoa stir fry.
Once we were done eating, the kids entertained themselves, Vera is learning how to draw. 
And the girls practiced cheer stunting with Ryan.
I took a moment for a selfie and Husband whipped up this pineapple juice concoction with coconut vodka and blue curacao {my mom stopped by and dropped off those paper straws from target, she's the sweetest}.
On Saturday and Sunday we spent almost all our free time at the main pool! While staying at the villas does grant access to the main pool, during their busier seasons like spring break, they limit access and do not allow villa guests to go to the main pool.  Also, the resort only gives wrist bands for the number of people staying in your room, so if you only have a reservation for two people you'll only get two bands for the pool, hence the benefit of splurging on the larger villa, we had 8 passes and the kids didn't need them. image from official marriott site.
I may or may not have stolen Sonja's "dirty worm" drink. 
Uncle Wayne underwater.
Sonja smiles. 
and Vera smiles on cue now.
The best Piña Colada in Phoenix and a tasty Prickly Pear Margarita {don't tell anyone but the Clarendon's is better}.
After drinks by the pool, we headed back to the room to make dinner.
It was the weekend so of course Husband made beer and brats.
When there's only one brat left, share.
My mom and I got piña pedicures at the Revive Spa at the resort.  And I may or may not have tried enough glitter to give myself a manicure.  The pedicure smelled so good, the lotion was piña colada scented .  Although, not to complain but I would have liked a little more of a massage.  It wasn't the BEST pedicure but it was a good one {and clean! I had a bad experience a while back, where the lady cut my toe while trimming my nails and put it back in the water without disinfecting it before I asked for some peroxide or alcohol, and have been scared to get a pedicure since then, but this spa was so fresh I didn't have any fear.}, and they had a warm neck pack which was luxurious.  
After the pedicures Grandma joined me at the pool and splurged on a few treats. 
I ordered all the curly fries!
The view from the main resort at sunset just couldn't be captured in photos, sometimes I take for granted the Sonoran sky, we're lucky to have pink skies year round.
The next night I promised Sonja s'mores.  It was one more item to cross off her summer check list  and the Canyon Villas have an amazing fire pit {two actually} 
I always make sure to request a room by the courtyard so we can walk out and onto this patio area.
I couldn't find regular chocolate bars at sprouts in a hurry but they had these peanut caramel clusters and I thought to myself, that would be an amazing s'more upgrade. 
and it was.
Husband prefers to light his mallow aflame.
Where as, I prefer to slowly heat it to perfection, without the crispy shell.
Sonja enjoys playing with fire and likes Daddy's technique because she gets to blow it out.
The "other" Schutskys. 
See? Vera LOVES the peanut caramel chocolate decision.
After that mess, we obviously took a bath.  I emptied the girls piggy banks the day before to find some spare cash for some much requested {by Sonja} bath bombs from Lush. Grandma sponsored one too, and let me just say, the thing I enjoy most about staying in hotels, it the fact that after taking a bath in glitter, confetti or even gold, I don't have to clean that shit.  
On Tuesday morning we wandered the community garden for some treasures to add to dinner. 
They had all these peppers and so many herbs, which is really awesome, not only because that's cool they care about growing food, but because last time Husband and I went on vacay. I forgot to pack his spices for cooking and he practically had a meltdown because his food would be flavorless.  That couldn't happen here, basil, rosemary, mint, and so much more.  You don't have to worry about bland food.
Vera enjoyed all the plants and flowers as well, everything smelled so good! 
Along with the fire pit, community garden and grills, they also have these games set up in the courtyard for the guest.  
We enjoyed soup and grilled cheese on our patio while it sprinkled. 
We had a great view of the clouds as almost monsoons rolled in. 
You can tell Vera enjoyed the view of the sky.
Something I really like about this resort for staycations is the extensive resort activities list they have for EVERYDAY.  They have workouts, competitions, wine socials and most importantly ICE CREAM MAKING! 
Granted the actual ingredients are the cheap {and god forbid, non organic} brands, it's still really fun for the girls to make ice cream in a bag. 
And while they do charge for tacos and tequila night and for beers and brats, the ice cream activity is completely free!
While at the smaller pool that afternoon I ordered a mocktail for the girls and a "pain killer" for me {I swear I don't drink this much normally, but I wanted to try all the kinds}
On Wednesday evening, we had another impromptu beer and brats night of our own, we invited a few family and friends over for a pot luck, and made full use of the grill and patio areas.
Uncle Wayne and Nonno keeping Vera entertained.
I love that this space allows for entertaining and since we were on "vacation" but in town, all of our friends were able to come enjoy the space with us.
We checked out by 10am on Friday.
Thankfully, our pool key continued to work all day and the girls and I hung out at the splash pad for a few more hours before heading home.

If you're looking for a fancy place to stay, weather you're in Phoenix or visiting from somewhere else, I highly suggest the Canyon Villas!   Do you staycation or travel? where are your favorite places to stay? let me know in the comments!

p.s. This post was NOT sponsored by the J.W. Marriott's CANYON VILLAS at Desert Ridge but it should have been. wink.  


  1. LOVE the pictures! I think this is the hotel that Uncle Chris and I stayed at when you and Skylar got married! We had a suite in the hotel. It didn't cost us anything because Chris has a gazillion Marriott points!

    I absolutely LOVE the picture of Vera on her back looking up at the sky! Her face is the sweetest. Thank you for sharing!

    Aunt Joanne

  2. Love, Love, Love the pics!!! The girls are getting so big. You ALL look absolutely wonderful. Miss you all very much.