Last week, I took my three kids to Phoenix, Arizona for spring break. My husband couldn’t travel due to work commitments, and I wanted somewhere I could take the kids that didn’t require much work on my part. Plus, my kids said they wanted a relaxing trip without a lot of schlepping. We booked five nights at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak for a total of 240,000 Hilton Honors points (see my original post about the cost here).
An added bonus of this trip was that I was able to use my husband’s free weekend night from his Hilton Ascend card for my friend and her family to stay one night at the resort in their own room. We went to high school together, and I hadn’t seen her in 18 years.
Getting There, Check-in and Resort Grounds
Getting to Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak could not have been easier from the airport. I chose to skip the rental car, so we took Lyft to the resort for $16-$19 each way. The ride was about 20 minutes.
We arrived around 11 p.m. There was no line at the front desk, so check-in was speedy.
Since I have Hilton Honors gold status due to my Hilton Ascend credit card, the front desk informed me I would receive a $20 breakfast credit for each night totaling $100 for our visit. We could use that credit wherever we wanted, and not just for breakfast. Also, since I booked on points, I did not have to pay the $35 per night resort fee.
The resort grounds are beautiful. The hotel is close to mountains and has many palm trees and cactus plants throughout the property.
We even found a Mickey cactus!
The resort was large (over 30 acres), but everything was easily walkable for us on pathways and a quiet residential street.
Our Room–Agave Suite at North Pointe
At check-in, I was happy to see that our room was in the Agave Suites at North Pointe. These rooms are slightly more expensive than the suites at South Pointe because they are more updated.
The large room size was a main factor in picking this hotel. My kids do better with more space. We were assigned room 1104 on the first floor, close to the north pool.
The living room contained a sofa bed, desk, TV and bar area with refrigerator.
The bathroom was in between the living room and bedroom. The sink was outside, while the toilet/bathtub/shower were enclosed.
Our bedroom had two queen beds, a dresser with TV and a closet. Since we were on the ground floor, our room had a patio with a view to a resort driveway.
Having two TVs and two separate sleeping areas separated by doors helped make our stay much more comfortable than a standard hotel room.
Food at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak
As some of you saw on our Facebook page, I brought an entire suitcase of snacks and breakfast items for this trip. My boys especially are always hungry, and I wanted to spend our food credit on lunch or dinner rather than breakfast.
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak has a sit-down restaurant, Rico’s American Grill. We ate there once for breakfast and once for lunch. The breakfast buffet was $9.99 for kids and $19.99 for adults, but you could also order a-la-carte items. The lunch menu was quite limited, but we all found something to order.
One day at the water park, we had lunch poolside from Slim Picken’s Café. The food and prices were about what you’d see at a typical pool-side resort restaurant.
We really wanted to try the barbecue restaurant near the pool, Hole-In-The-Wall. The restaurant smokes its own meat, and it smelled so good. Unfortunately, we saved this for our last day, and the restaurant was closed. What a bummer! I was disappointed we didn’t get to try the tableside s’mores.
The two on-site resort gift shops had small to-go items that were reasonably priced. Items included string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, Lunchables, etc. When the kids didn’t feel like venturing out, we purchased a few items from the gift shop for a light dinner.
For lunch one day, we followed the peppers on the sidewalk to the nearby restaurant Aunt Chilada’s. It’s just down one block and across the street.
The food was excellent, and the restaurant had the cutest patio. My younger kids were thrilled that they got to pick out toys from a treasure chest after our meal.
There are several more restaurants within a few miles of the resort. Overall, I felt the food choices were decent and not as overpriced as I expected.
Thank goodness the pools were heated to 81 degrees because the weather in Phoenix was unseasonably cooler than normal. March temps are usually in the mid- to high-70s. While our first full day was warm, the rest of the week dipped into the 60s.
Both the north and south sections have identical smaller pools with a hot tub and swim-up bar. The swim-up bar was open during the afternoon. Since our room was right outside of our building’s pool, we spent a lot of time in the hot tub. We visited it every morning and every evening.
There was even a set of saunas behind the bar.
River Ranch Water Park
River Ranch was a short 5-minute walk from our room. The pools here seemed warmer than the one by our room. This water park did not disappoint!
The main pool curved around, starting with an almost zero-entry area (it had one step, and then gradually went down).
The middle part of the pool had a volleyball net. We borrowed a volleyball from the recreation desk.
The far section of the pool had the water fall with benches all around and behind. With the mountain and the palm trees behind it, I could almost imagine we were in Hawaii.
There was a hot tub just to the left of the waterfall.
Up a few stairs and around the corner, this second pool had a volleyball net and a basketball hoop.
The lazy river snaked around the mini golf course. It was a very lazy river, meaning it didn’t have a strong current so we all moved very slowly.
The water slide is on the far right side of the water park. My kids went down it once, but they were more interested other parts of the park.
Behind the water slide, there is a baby pool that is one-foot deep. It has a playground behind it.
We visited River Ranch every day except one (when it was cold and rainy). Even though the resort was sold out during our stay, we always found lounge chairs in the water park.
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak has a basketball court, tennis courts and a mini golf course. All of these are included with the resort fee (which you don’t have to pay if you reserve on points).
My boys played tennis twice. We just had to reserve a time at the recreation desk. They borrowed tennis rackets from the resort.
My kids couldn’t get enough of the mini golf course. We must have played at least six times during our stay. The course is 18 holes, and it winds up and down a small hill inside the lazy river.
I didn’t get a chance to check out the spa or fitness center. The resort also has a kids club, which is a major boon for families. It has daytime and evening sessions.
Since my family has been spoiled by top-notch recreation teams at a few Hyatt resorts (like Hyatt Lost Pines, Hyatt Regency Hill Country and Hyatt Regency Coconut Point), I feel that Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak has room for improvement. For example, one of our days was cold and rainy. Even though the pools are heated, it wasn’t ideal weather for enjoying the water park.
In our experience at Hyatt resorts, the recreation teams would have improvised and moved some activities inside to a conference area (like corn hole, giant Connect 4, etc. that were all still outside). This happened during our winter stay at Hyatt Lost Pines. At Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak, I asked the recreation team (and there were a lot of them standing around with nothing to do because of the weather) if there were any indoor activities, and they replied no. This seems like a big miss for both guests and the resort. If the resort could have kept people around for indoor activities, it would have made more money on food. The kids and I left the resort to go out to lunch and see a movie (took a Lyft for $6 each way).
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak was just what the kids and I needed to relax over spring break. We didn’t have to schlep around or pre-plan our activities, we just had to show up. The larger suites made for a comfortable 5-night stay.
I read on other reviews that the resort is run-down and dated, but we did not find that to be the case. It appears that the resort refurbished the lazy river and the mini golf course before our visit, because both were in excellent shape. While the recreation isn’t as fine-tuned as a Hyatt resort, as long as the weather was nice we were never bored.
If you’re interested in accumulating Hilton Honors points for a free getaway, see my referral link for the Hilton Honors Ascend card. It currently offers 150,000 bonus points after spending $3000 in the first three months with a $95 annual fee. If you and a partner/spouse both opened a new card, you would have over 300,000 Hilton Honors points.
Have you stayed here before and if so, what did you think? If you haven’t stayed here, does Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak look like a good fit for your family? Where do you plan to spend your Hilton points?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.