We went to Phoenix/Litchfield Park for 4 days in early January as part of a “reconnaissance trip” to purchase a new home. We purposely stayed close to several developments we were interested in and lucked out finding an amazing resort just a few minutes away. As with most small trips, we booked everything on our own through American Airlines and the Starwood Preferred Guest website.
Flights: We chose a mid-morning departure flight from Baltimore/Washington International(11am)and took a late afternoon flight home (2:15pm). Since it is a somwhat long flight, we pre-booked and flew first class, which really makes things much more comfortable. As it turned out, flying from BWI was cheaper than flying from the closest airport (Dulles), but I personally felt that it was not worth the money we saved. BWI is not as easy to navigate and the parking situation is a little hairy. Plus, the terminal is not as nice and there aren’t as many amentities in there to utilize while you wait. I shouldn’t complain, though, because the flights were all on time and fairly smooth and both the Chicago-O’Hare (where we connected flights) and Phoenix Sky Harbor airports were easy to navigate. Also, since we flew first class, we got meals on the plane which weren’t half bad and we got to avoid the wait in the security lines, although I don’t mind waiting for my safety.
The Wigwam Resort and Golf Club: The Wigwam Resort is part of the Starwood Luxury Collection and I noticed the maticulously cared for grounds as soon as we pulled up. The Wigwam is a short 20 mile drive from the airport and is very easy to find once you get off the main highway (I-10). We booked the lowest level room at the resort, a garden casita, and got a killer rate using my government discount. The decor is very much Arizona-inspired (the resort’s motto is Authentic Arizona!) and all of the buildings resemble a Spanish hacienda. The grounds are gorgeous, with palm trees and desert flora all surrounding the casitas. One highlight of the landscaping was the palm trees along the road leading up to the main building. They were all lit up for the Holidays and it was a gorgeous sight for those who aren’t used to being in warm climates in the winter.
Our paticular casita was on the first floor of a two-level building and had a view of the pool out the back doors. The bathroom was HUGE, with double vanity sinks, a giant walk-in tile shower and a separate soaking tub. Almost the entire bathroom was a taupe tile and it really brought out the true Southwestern feel of the surroundings. The rest of the hotel room was a normal size, with a king bed, sofa, and a desk area. The furntire was all block wood and the color scheme of the room was natural taupe and Earth tones as well. We had a small patio just outside of our back doors as well, that included a small table and two chairs. The pool was not the main pool, but rather one shared by 4 other two-story casita buildings. There is also a hottub, which was kept at a very warm temperature. The rest of the resort was very similar, with many casita buildings, but most were only one-story, larger rooms. The resort has an onsite golf course, as well as tennis courts and another main pool area. A spa is currently being built behind the main building and is expected to be ready in the summer of 2005. The main building of the resort is well-kept and the decor is very Southwestern. When you walk in to the front desk, they have a fireplace, where you can sit and relax and enjoy the warmth. Of course, this is only a welcomed thing in the winter (or at least I would think!) and even then, the temperature hovered around 65 degrees the entire time we were there. The main building also has MANY ballrooms and meeting rooms, as well as a very well-known restaurant, the Arizona Kitchen. I really wanted to eat there, but because we were constantly on the road, our meals ended up being last minute decisions when we were driving by a restaurant off of the main roads. We did thoroughly enjoy the chain restaurants in town, though! We highly recommend On The Border for some Mexican food and The Wildflower Bread Co. for artesian breads, sandwiches, breakfast. We ate there 3 or 4 times! We did get room service for breakfast the first morning we were there and it was decent, but not as good as Wildflower. Room service was very prompt and very courteous, though.
In general, we wished we would have had more time at the resort and more time to relax, but this trip had a purpose and it ended up being extremely productive! We will definitely stay at the Wigwam again when we go back to settle some issues before we move, but the Wigwam definitely caters to the golf crowd. I think once the spa opens, it will be a better choice for those who aren’t necessarily into golfing all day, every day. The town of Litchfield Park itself doesn’t have too much to offer, but all of your daily conveniences are only a mile away at most.
UPDATE 7/2006: After having lived in the area now for over a year, I have continually visited the Wigwam as a quick getaway, or when family or friends come into town. Over the last year, the Wigwam has undergone extensive renovations, which have only improved the resort and have made it one of my favorite local destinations. In May 2006, the Wigwam Resort added a brand new Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa and it is truly one of the most unique spas I have ever visited. Its Southwest decor is truly breathtaking and the resort did an amazing job of upholding its roots when designing the building. The spa is a bit expensive, but I had a wonderful facial and the staff was incredibly attentive. I highly recommend making the Wigwam a stop if ever traveling out this way, or a quick relaxing getaway.
UPDATE 9/2009: While no longer a part of the Starwood family, the Wigwam continues to improve.
UPDATE 2/2011: The new owners of the Wigwam have really given the resort some major TLC. After extensive renovations that topped $7 million, the improvements at the Wigwam are astounding. They include:
– A significant renovation of the Wigwam’s entrance to make it look like it when the resort first opened 81 years ago.
– New outdoor courtyards, grass lawns and fire pits.
– The lobby has been shifted so guests enter the property as close as possible to the original building.
– The new lobby pays has a check-in room with historic photographs depicting the history of the resort adorned on the walls. The original fireplace has also been left intact.
– The pool was moved away from the main building to allow for more outdoor dining and entertainment space.
– The new pool area is separated into two areas: an adults-only area and a family area. The family area has a new water features for kids, including sprinkler-type fountains. The two pools are connected, though.
– The new signature restaurant, Litchfield’s, features farm-to-table dinner fare with menus with a focus on locally grown ingredients.