LABOR DAY STAYCATIONS

savings for locals at Valley hotels

text by Robin Collins and Ron Jenkins

Above: Poolside at The Wigwam.

Considered the “unofficial” end of summer, Americans traditionally celebrate Labor Day with a three-day weekend that includes visiting friends and family, barbecues and picnics, swimming and parades. Can’t get away? Why not take advantage of one of the many holiday packages being offered by the Valley’s five-star resorts.

Above: Dive-In movies at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

FAIRMONT SCOTTSDALE PRINCESS

All aboard! The Fairmont Scottsdale’s 8th Annual Labor Day Dreamcation weekend transforms the resort into the S.S. Princess Cruise Ship as you bid farewell to summer and sail to the tropical paradise of the Hawaiian isles. From Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3 immerse yourself in Hawaii’s most memorable experiences, including a nightly torch lighting and traditional conch ceremony, lei making, tropical poolside happy hours, hula lessons, fireworks, limbo dancing and more. Kids will enjoy transforming into mermaids, watching dive-in movies, partying at the nighttime water-slide event, becoming island explorers and being inspired to move and play to the upbeat rhythms of Hawaii. Room rates begin at $179 nightly and include a $50 resort credit. www.scottsdaleprincess.com

THE WIGWAM

With rates starting at $120 a night for Arizona residents, guests can enjoy this family-friendly West Valley resort. Those staying three consecutive nights will receive a $150 resort credit. Come enjoy poolside games including water-slide races and obstacle courses, water relay races, a poolside DJ, family game night and poolside movies. www.wigwamarizona.com

Above: Chill out on the FlowRider at Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

WESTIN KIERLAND RESORT & SPA

The surf’s up this Labor Day weekend at Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Unlimited free FlowRider sessions for all resort guests will be available on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. In addition, the resort will also be hosting all of its Big Chill arctic adventures and activities on both Saturday and Sunday for a weekend-long Labor Day celebration. Chill-seekers may cool off with a bevy of frosty offerings to include the all-new Polar Plunge, a larger-than-life, 300-pound ice cube drop into the resort’s Adventure Pool, choreographed FlowRider shows and a life-size igloo. Round out the fun with Lazy River floating, rides down the 110-foot waterslide, poolside tunes, fun games and activities, unlimited s’mores and savory Smokin’ Jack’s BBQ. The Big Chill package starts at $159 per night and includes a $50 resort credit. www.kierlandresort.com

MOUNTAIN SHADOWS

Arizona residents can receive rates starting at $169 a night, with the resort fee waived. Mountain Shadows offers a third night free. The Labor Day resort special includes a round of par-3 golf at the Short Course, a beer and a burger for $45. www.mountainshadows.com

Above: Make a splash at River Ranch Water Park, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak.

POINTE HILTON SQUAW PEAK

Make a splash at River Ranch Water Park this Labor Day weekend, with its multiple pools, cascading waterfalls and lazy river. The complex features games, dive-in movies, arts & crafts, scavenger hunts and music. Challenge your family to a game of miniature golf – the 18-hole course surrounds the lazy river and strategically winds its way around the River Ranch. Practice your backhand on one of our three tennis courts then relax with a cool beverage or ice cream snack at Cactus Rock Creamery. If your kiddos are high-energy, have them join other kids at Coyote Camp. Designed for children ages 4 – 12, it offers a variety of educational activities supervised by experienced staffers. Rates start at $125 a night.  www.squawpeakhilton.com 

HOTEL VALLEY HO

A tribute to mid-century design, the hotel offers rates starting at $189 a night. If you want to stay the entire Labor Day weekend, guests are treated to the third night free. Pool party central with DJs, live music and drink specials. www.hotelvalleyho.com

Above: The Phoenician’s remodeled pool area is luxurious.

THE PHOENICIAN

Spend a fun-filled holiday weekend at The Phoenician. Newly-renovated to the tune of $90 million, the makeover is impressive and every bit as luxurious. From the Adult Margarita Putting Challenge, cornhole and ping pong tournaments to a watermelon eating contest and junk food bingo, there’s something for everyone. Play all day and splash all night with a Dive-In Movie and Glo-at-the-Pho Pool Party. On Saturday, the fun continues at the annual On the Boardwalk Carnival. Enjoy food, fun and festivities such as a bungee run, velcro wall, carnival games, beer garden showcasing the local brews as well as classic carnival food. Performers, including a magician, fortune teller, stilt walker, face painter and fire dancer, will delight the crowd. www.thephoenician.com 

THE SCOTTSDALE RESORT AT McCORMICK RANCH

Starting at just $72 per night, guests can enjoy being pampered at the resort’s full-service spa and receive 50-percent off all treatments. Also, the resort fee will be waived. There will be lots of activities poolside including live music, dive-in movies and games including beer pong, corn hole, horseshoes and ping pong. www.destinationhotels.com/scottsdale-resort