Expert Advice

Arizona Beyond The Grand Canyon: Scottsdale Edition

How one couple enjoyed relaxing in this desert oasis

Deanna and Mike O
Two Hilton Grand Vacations Owners in Scottsdale, Arizona

Don’t get us wrong — the Grand Canyon is well worth visiting Arizona on its own. But once you’ve seen the natural wonder, are you wondering what’s left to do in Arizona? We found out that there’s an abundance of activities in Scottsdale. Get ready to explore Arizona beyond the Grand Canyon.

Living room in a Suite at Scottsdale Links, a Hilton Vacation Club in Scottsdale, Arizona 

Where To Stay In Scottsdale

With HGV Max, Owners have so many options. We chose to stay at both Scottsdale Villa Mirage, a Hilton Vacation Club and Scottsdale Links Resort, a Hilton Vacation Club on two different legs of our Arizona road trip.

On the first leg, we stayed at Scottsdale Villa Mirage. We had a 2-Bedroom Suite where Mike could use the second room as his office with two monitors and good Wi-Fi access. Deanna used the tranquil surroundings and perfectly sunny days to finish reading a book.

On the second leg, Scottsdale Links was our home for 10 days of the trip. The Suites here were enormous, with a nice-size balcony and walk-in closets in every bedroom.

Each resort has upgraded Wi-Fi and conveniently located BBQ grills. The in-suite kitchens are fully stocked with utensils and cookware. The staff was very friendly and was always there if we needed anything.

Note: Neither of these resorts has elevators, so if you are unable to walk a flight of stairs, request a first-floor Suite.

Outdoor amenities like a grill, fire pit and putting green at Scottsdale Villa Mirage, a Hilton Vacation Club in Scottsdale, Arizona 

What To Do At Scottsdale Villa Mirage

We used a Lyft credit, one of the perks of Centum+ membership, to get to the resort from the airport. We chose not to rent a car for this leg of the trip, so we opted to stay at the resort. Instead, we savored the April sunshine and warm weather since we’re from Michigan.

There are plenty of activities right at the resort: a welcoming pool, cornhole, a pool table, shuffleboard, pickleball, a putting green, a fitness center and a lending library. We also discovered the Serenity Spa, a quieter area than the main pool. The AQUA Poolside Eatery is available for snacks, great food and drinks with an Owner’s discount. We also attended an HGV Ultimate Access event and dinner with extended family at the Persian Room.

A Day In Phoenix

After five relaxing days, we picked up a rental car for the rest of the trip. Booking the car outside the airport saved us a great deal of money.

We headed over for a night at the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix. We stayed at this striking, historic hotel and used a free night certificate from our Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card. The architecture — inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright — is worth seeing in person. While there, we took advantage and played at the beautiful Arizona Biltmore Golf Club and had a fantastic meal of smoked Wagyu brisket with three different salsas at Renata’s Hearth.

A Hilton Grand Vacations Owner golfing while on vacation in Arizona 

What To Do At Scottsdale Links

The Champions Course at TPC Scottsdale is adjacent to the resort. Although there aren’t discounts for Owners to golf, we got reasonable rates in the afternoon by calling the clubhouse. The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale — where the WM Phoenix Open takes place — is just down the street.

The resort has two pools, one for adults only and the other a large family pool with a splash pad. There are hot tubs in both pool areas. The lobby has a small store for any items you may have forgotten to pack, as well as some snacks and wine. This resort features family activities and amenities like foosball, bag toss, a pool table, a putting green, a fire pit area and a fitness center. We were fortunate enough to have our friends and fellow Hilton Grand Vacations Owners Tim and Lisa D. experience Scottsdale with us.

Things To Do In Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale was one of our enjoyable stops. There were a lot of shops, restaurants and public artwork and sculptures throughout the downtown area. We also happened upon the Farmers Market, which is one of our favorite places to explore in any city we visit.

We hiked the Gateway Loop, which is about a 700-foot elevation gain. It took us just over two hours to complete. We enjoyed gorgeous views from the top, and Deanna didn’t see a single snake.

Scottsdale, Arizona 

Where To Eat In Scottsdale

There are so many places to eat in the area. Although we generally cook most of our meals in our Suite or utilize the resort’s BBQ grills, we ventured out to eat a few times. We also recommend the “A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale” food tour to sample several local restaurants.

A few of our favorites were:

Next time you’re looking for a new destination, keep your mind open to Scottsdale. The majesty of the mountains will leave you breathless, whether you explore the city or relax by the pool.

Read “The Best Of Scottsdale, Arizona: Art, Adventure, Eats And More” for more things to do in this desert destination.

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Hilton Grand Vacations Owners Mike and Deanna pose at the beach

Deanna and Mike O

Mike and Deanna are Centum+ Owners who’ve owned with Hilton Grand Vacations since 2019. Their favorite vacation destinations include Barbados, Orlando, Arizona and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. They enjoy golfing, seeing historical sites and attending HGV Ultimate Access events like the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. So far, they’ve visited 26 properties — with plans to visit more thanks to HGV Max.

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