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Reviews seem to be mixed. Our friends stayed there a year ago and hated the location because it was so far out but they are the type that like to go out to eat even for breakfast. It was quite a drive to the closest restaurants. They don't like hanging around the pool and she loves to shop. The do like to golf but have their favorite courses which are also quite a drive from the resort. The way the Phoenix area is growing I'm sure by next year the area around the resort will be built up. We are also looking at this resort for fall 2009 and I checked the distances to a few places that I am familiar with and found out that it is only 20 min to the Arrowhead Town Centre mall and about the same distance to the outlets at Anthem. There are also a few golf courses that are not to far away. I would also like to here from anyone who has been there recently.
Well, the sad news is you have the story correct-the mixed reviews are still valid. I would say that the building explosion has slowed significantly. IMHO the resort itself is VERY nice, marble counter tops, new furniture, etc. They have added some horse rentals nearby (that should give you an idea that this is not urban Phoenix). There was some discussion here about the lazy river. I called it a lazy river but I guess it is more properly classified as a lagoon. Again, I feel it is still a LONG WAY to ANYTHING. Of course, it is a good 20 min to Arrowhead Shopping area and Anthem if you navigate properly and miss all the construction (but those are like the closest things! - excluding supermarkets).
We stayed there in July 08. The accommodations are equal to any Marriott we've been to. The pool complex is really nice. It was less than 10 min. drive to all shopping. There's really not much to do at the resort itself. There were false fire alarms on 3 early mornings. They chased us out 2 days in a row for replacing water heater & door trim modifications. Poor planning. It was a dead-zone for AT&T wireless. Don't go in the summer...too hot.
It's great if your going for Spring Training to see a number of teams. We are going in March. My nephew plays for the Padres. Seattle is also there and nearby are the Cleveland Indians. We lived in Seattle for 20 years and I was born and raised in the Cleveland area. So--for us it's a great place!
While staying at the Marriott Desert Ridge last May, took a drive there to see what it was like. The unit, complex, pool all looked quite nice. But I definitely got the feeling I was out in the middle of nowhere. This is in an area of Peoria that started getting some growth, new housing, new strip centers, new...
But now with the change in the housing market it looks to me like it will be many years before this area builds up.
It is fairly close to Sun City or Surprize AZ, so if your visiting folks there it may be convenient.
IMHO with all the nice timeshares in Scottsdale, staying there wouldn't be my choice.
I just booked a getaway at Cibola vista for Nov 2. I looked for other resorts in both Sedona and Scottsdale, but the dates didn't work for us. I am traveling with a 3 yo and plan on lots of time at the pool, and more than several naps. I read it is only an hour north to Sedona for a day trip. Any other trips that can be recommended? I don't plan to shop much, but would like to hike, and watch a few sunsets.
There is a fairly large outlet mall in Anthem. On I-17 on your way to Sedona. Not too very far from CV - you could easily take a half day trip there to look around (even if you don't like to shop). There's not much else to do right nearby.
I'm not sure about that 1 hour to Sedona...according to mapquest, it's about 96 miles.
Just south of Anthem, there is a Pioneer village full of authentic buildings from the early west. It's very low key and not touristy at all 9unlike Tombstone). It would be a fun place for a 3 year to run around.