Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > West
Reload this Page >

Help me plan my AZ and NV trip please

Help me plan my AZ and NV trip please

Old Dec 17, 14, 9:45 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: Accor PLT,Thai Silver, HH Dia, SPG PLT (LT Gold), TK Gold, M&M S, BA Silver, Hyatt Dia
Posts: 4,357
Help me plan my AZ and NV trip please

Well managed to bag an award flight to PHX with BA for myself and the family. We managed 4 J seats out but are sitting in Old F but only Y back however will look for an upgrade. Been there once before on a conference but never really got to see the place.

Our tentative plan is as follows:

Day 1-5 chilling in Scottsdale
Day 5-7 Up to the Canyon
Day 7-9 Hit the strip
Day 9 onwards chilling ??

Presently have the Arizona Biltmore booked with points for the first portion. What I could really do with some help on are the following:

1. Where to stay when we visit the Canyon.
2.Things to see on the way to the Canyon and to LAS
3.Suggestions on hotels good for families (15+18) which won't break the bank (especially Vegas)
4.Car hire recommendations out of PHX
5.Airport hotel info

Any other suggestions would be warmly received including the best way to see the Canyon.

thanks

Last edited by ExpatSomchai; Dec 17, 14 at 9:56 am
ExpatSomchai is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 11:36 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PHX
Programs: UA *Alliance
Posts: 3,876
When are you coming?

I wouldn't describe the Biltmore as Scottsdale if that's where you plan on hanging out.

There is the El Tovar in Grand Canyon National Park and a few chain motels in Tusayan. Those are really your best options.

Check car rental prices frequently, prices rise and fall constantly. Depending on when you're coming, there can be one way out of AZ deals to be had. PHX airport taxes are ridiculous, so look at the Hertz in Mesa at Main and Dobson. Very easy to get to via light rail from the airport.

For a family your size, I wouldn't hesitate to look at Holiday Inn Desert Club on Koval. Easy walk to center of The Strip and they're converted apartments so you can book two bed two bath units with full kitchens.
SWCPHX is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 11:56 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: Accor PLT,Thai Silver, HH Dia, SPG PLT (LT Gold), TK Gold, M&M S, BA Silver, Hyatt Dia
Posts: 4,357
Hi SWCPHX

Thanks for the feedback. You know the story about mad dogs and Englishmen? Will be there in HOT season (Aug). The whole Vegas hotel scenario is damn confusing as prices are very reasonable. Palms, Hard Rock, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grande, NY NY all offering good deals.

Will take a look at the car rental prices. Thanks for the tip
ExpatSomchai is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 2:20 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Aluminum, WN B+
Posts: 929
Five days in Scottsdale seems long to me, especially since your kids aren't old enough for the clubs. I would reduce that to about three, then maybe stop off in the Sedona/Flagstaff area for a couple days.

If you're sports-inclined, the Arizona Diamondbacks (pro baseball) will be in season, so you might check out a game. Dbacks.com

August is monsoon time, so there are thunderstorms nearly every afternoon, especially in the Arizona part of the trip (Vegas can get it too, though). If you plan any outdoor activities, plan them for the morning. As I'm sure you're aware, it's also oppressively hot in PHX and LAS, so another reason to spend more time in the higher elevations of northern Arizona.

LAS is only a 5-10 minute drive from the strip, so getting a hotel nearby shouldn't be a big problem. I've stayed at the Embassy Suites near UNLV several years ago which was good, and most recently at Aria in July which I also thought was good. If you want to go cheap and your travel is set, you might consider a Hotwire type service. I'd look at 4+ stars on the central or south strip ( that's how I booked Aria).

Last edited by Lost; Dec 17, 14 at 2:34 pm
Lost is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 2:31 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Aluminum, WN B+
Posts: 929
Oh, and make sure your 18 year old knows that the drinking age is 21 in AZ and NV and to not even try getting a drink, especially in Vegas where free/cheap alcohol is all over the place. Gambling age is also 21.
Lost is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 3:16 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: Accor PLT,Thai Silver, HH Dia, SPG PLT (LT Gold), TK Gold, M&M S, BA Silver, Hyatt Dia
Posts: 4,357
Yep I will rub that one in for sure
ExpatSomchai is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 7:11 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: UA 1MM/*A Gold, WN A+ CP, Mar LT Tit, IHG Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 5,282
Originally Posted by Lost View Post
Five days in Scottsdale seems long to me, especially since your kids aren't old enough for the clubs. I would reduce that to about three, then maybe stop off in the Sedona/Flagstaff area for a couple days.
+1 on this. Your kids are too young for the club scene and will likely be bored by the art gallery & jewelry boutique scene. But they probably will enjoy swimming, tanning, etc. at the hotel's pools. Three days is about the right length of time for that.

For similar reasons Las Vegas is not a great place to spend more than a few days with teenagers. They can splash in the pools and play in the arcades but they are too young for the gambling and clubs that truly define Las Vegas. You might consider spending more time visiting park lands.
darthbimmer is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 8:27 pm
  #8  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Travel Safety/Security & Texas
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: AUS / GRK
Programs: AA EXP, HHonors Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 10,969
I think 4 days or so in metro Phoenix is about right, and would actually give you time to adjust to the time, relax, enjoy the pools, and adjust to the weather. And to re-iterate what SWC mentioned upthread, The Biltmore is NOT in Scottsdale. Probably 15-20 min away from the Old Town area.
There are pools right on property, hiking nearby (get out early), golf, tubing on the Salt River, lakes, daytrips to Tucson... there really is no shortage of things to do.

I also second the idea to grab the El Tovar ASAP. If that is booked, I'd reserve something else inside the park, and keep your eyes open for any cancellations. I've stayed at another lodge (I think Maswik). While not grand or spectacular, it was a ~5 min walk from the rim. Now would also be the time to book the mule trip if you're even thinking of it.

As for Vegas...I've stayed at so many different places. By far, if you can afford it, and maybe there's decent prices, I really enjoyed Bellagio. Paris is good. Caesar's was ok (I've heard some of the newer wings are nice). I didn't care for Mandalay Bay. Venetian was nice.
A co-worker just looked at Vdara for an event next year and really loved it. We took a look at the Cosmo in April, and that was also nice.
For your first time, I'd recommend staying on-strip so you can easily walk around.
aztimm is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 5:02 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PHX
Programs: UA *Alliance
Posts: 3,876
A lot of the other resorts will sell day passes in the summer. I'm not overly familiar with the Biltmore but I'm pretty sure that they don't have water slides like the Pointe South Mountain or the Flowrider like the Westin Kierland. Those are two things that the teens may want to do for a day.

And a big +1 on the idea that if you go for a hike, go early, and I mean early. Please don't be one of the idiots that has to get plucked off of Camelback by Phoenix Fire.
SWCPHX is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 10:49 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Aluminum, WN B+
Posts: 929
You should also plan to see at least one Vegas show. That's something your whole family would likely enjoy doing together.
Lost is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 10:54 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: Accor PLT,Thai Silver, HH Dia, SPG PLT (LT Gold), TK Gold, M&M S, BA Silver, Hyatt Dia
Posts: 4,357
Certainly going to look into a show. Has anyone stayed at Tropicana or Luxor and have any feedback?
ExpatSomchai is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 11:13 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LGA - JFK
Programs: UA, AA, DL, B6, CX, KE, Latitude, VIFP, Crown & Anchor, etc.
Posts: 2,575
We just spend 2 days inside the Grand Canyon in late October, switching around to a different lodging, the Maswik shortly before we left for LAS. The "EL" are the best & steps away from the South Rim, $$$ and not easy to book. Use the National Park Service website/link as it has plenty of useful info - all of the rooms inside the park are managed by the same chain. Beware that it is very hot in the summer and you want to do your best to get a room with air-conditioning, it was still 70 degree (daytime) in late October and we had 2 big fans inside our rustic cabin. If you check out Tripadvisor - my review with several pictures are in there, with some practical details.

I would consider spending 3 days in GC if possible, as there are lots of things to see, not to mention sunrises & sunsets - take advantage of the free shuttles within (3 routes) & do research ahead of time. Food inside the park is basic, no-frills and reasonably priced, nothing to write home about. There was no working cable TV stations at all and basic (digital ??) TV signals for a few local channels were lousy - we went to bed around 9:30 PM since we need to be up early anyway. Entrance fee to the park is good for multiple use up to 7 days per vehicle, so you might also want to consider staying just outside the park (15 minutes) with a # of 2 & 3 stars hotel chains with better amenities, including internet access. Cellular coverage is poor to none around there approaching/inside the park, so have an offline GPS NAV/Map app available for driving.

Between GC and Sin City, the drive is about 4.5 to 5 hours with 1-2 stops and basically a straight routing with only a few turns to watch for, nothing really worth seeing unless you wanted to go out of the way into other AZ towns, for the typical "tourists" Plan for gasoline/petrol stops/refill carefully as services are limited and McDonalds are your best "friend" for food & drink, just off the exits. Posted speed limit is 70 or 75 MPH between these towns & traffic moved very, very nicely for us in the Fall but summer time is different, plus the dry heat.

Others already mentioned LAS which I concur, if your stay is early/mid-week, there will be plenty of discounted/bundled deals, just keep your eyes open & book something that's fully refundable until last minute - beware of the extra daily resort-fees, which are now charged by most big names.

TropLV has been our homebase for years since we always get comp'd there & our host take care of everything for us, it's Hilton branded and it's free, so what's there (standard rooms are big & nice enough) to complain about - make sure you stay at the Tower next to the casino, and free self-parking a short walk away (and, valet parking with luggage being highly recommended - for arriving & checking out, steps away from hotel lobby/registration area.) Luxor's rates have been lowered and should be very similar to the Trop (avoid the Excalibur next door) and don't rule out NewYork-NewYork or even Paris if you are looking for deals or not too concerned about 4stars+ pampering.

Last edited by Letitride3c; Dec 18, 14 at 12:17 pm
Letitride3c is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 11:42 am
  #13  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Travel Safety/Security & Texas
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: AUS / GRK
Programs: AA EXP, HHonors Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 10,969
Originally Posted by ExpatSomchai View Post
Certainly going to look into a show. Has anyone stayed at Tropicana or Luxor and have any feedback?
I've stayed at Luxor, in a main pyramid room. The slanted window gives the feeling the room is bigger than it is; well I guess if you count floor space it is accurate.
The elevator/inclinator can give a bit of vertigo.
If you're out in the, "hallway," it can be noisy, as the main casino floor is right below.

The pool at Luxor was nicer than NYNY, and the room was nicer too. At least you'll probably have a view at Luxor, where some of the NYNY views are of other towers.

The Tropicana is now a Hilton/Doubletree property, there's an exhaustive thread on it over in the HHonors forum:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilto...ton-hotel.html

If you haven't seen a Cirque show, I'd highly recommend one. Mystere is a great start.
Actually, Treasure Island had a show/room deal at the time, that the room was nearly free.
aztimm is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 11:44 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: MDW/ORD and the late lamented Meigs Field...
Programs: UA 1MM Premier Plat, Hilton Gold, Marriott Titanium/ LT something or other
Posts: 1,192
While you are in Phoenix -- the Musical Instrument Museum is surprisingly fascinating, and will have something for all ages; the Desert Botanic Gardens has great birdwatching if that's your thing; Taliesin West (architect Frank Lloyd Wright's establishment) can be skipped if you aren't interested in architecture - the Biltmore itself will give you a taste; the Hurd Art Museum.
If you weren't going in August I say, do hiking, lots of hiking - PHX has over 200 miles of walking/hiking trails, and climbing Squaw Peak (can't remember the new, PC, name-Pistewa?) and Camelback mountain provide a nice workout and wonderful views - try starting just at daybreak, take lots of water, sunscreen and hat and wear good hiking shoes/boots.
Main Street in Old Scottsdale is pleasant, a couple of the galleries actually interesting, and a fun old-fashioned ice cream parlor on the main drag.
But plan to get up early for the drive to Sedona, in order to spend the whole day there before going on to Flagstaff - again, there's great hiking, great vistas, and the town of Jerome is cute. It tends to be cooler than PHX, so that may give you reason to spend an extra day in the area.
lskohn is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 1:36 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: PHX
Posts: 2
I have a suggestion for the drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Stop in Sedona on the way up, but once in Sedona, take the Oak Creek Canyon scenic drive on the 89A (instead of taking the I-17). You can stop at Slide Rock State Park on the way up as well, although I'm sure it will be busy. Once you've made it out of the canyon, there is the Oak Creek Vista, just off the 89A to the right, that has some nice views.
ForeverProcrastinating is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread