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Vacation Oasis in Tucson, Arizona

By ilanawiles |

Last week, Babble sent me to Tucson, Arizona to stay at the Westin La Paloma.

My husband was away for work so I decided to take my two-year-old daughter, Mazzy and my mother. I’m not going to lie— the flight and the time difference were both tough on a toddler.

But once we arrived in scenic Tucson and Mazzy saw her first cactus, the exhaustion of the plane ride faded away.

“THESE! THESE! THESE!” she shouted as she pointed to a bunch of large cacti greeting us right outside the airport. “Don’t touch them!” I shouted back. (I’m such a mom.)

The excitement continued when we arrived at the Westin La Paloma and saw our accomodations.

For one thing, Mazzy couldn’t wait to get into one of the SIX POOLS (family pool, kiddie pool, adult pool, Olympic-sized lap pool, waterfall jacuzzi and waterslide pool).

But first, we had to unload our bags, which meant taking a golf cart to our room.

This was an exciting first for Mazzy too. From that point on, she requested golf carts to go everywhere (the property is large and quite spread out) and would yell “WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!” the whole ride.

The Westin provided us with an incredibly large suite (I’m not kidding when I say it was larger than my entire Manhattan apartment), complete with a living room, dining area, full kitchen, two bathrooms, balcony and a separate bedroom. Totally ideal for traveling with a child since it’s much easier if you can put them to bed and then have somewhere else to hang out and watch TV.

Next, we went to the pool. Mazzy had a blast jumping in the water and trying to escape me at all times— the girl thinks she can swim. And I, who usually try to stay dry, was more than happy to take the plunge in 100 degree heat.

One of the big moments of the pool experience was Mazzy’s first trip to the swim-up bar. The ability to order apple juice while sitting on a stool submerged in water was just too much amazingness for my toddler’s brain to comprehend.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about my experience at the Azul restaurant, the Westin Kid’s Club, the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa and of course, sleeping in the famously comfortable Heavenly Bed.

But for now, I’ll give you a sneak peak of our eventful three day stay at the Westin La Paloma.

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Westin La Paloma

Mazzy's First Cactus

Fun fact: Did you know that the Giant Saguaro plants (or what has become the universal image of a cactus) are only located in Tucson?

A big thanks to Westin Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts
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About ilanawiles



Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a humor blog geared towards new parents. She is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Blogs and one of The Huffington Post's top 20 women to follow on Instagram. She lives in NYC with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and a newborn baby girl. Read bio and latest posts → Read ilanawiles's latest posts →

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17 thoughts on “Vacation Oasis in Tucson, Arizona

  1. Colleen says:

    6 pools!?!? My kids would be in heaven!

  2. Alison@Mama Wants This says:

    That does look like an amazing vacation spot. So much fun!

  3. lisacng says:

    No, I did not know that about cacti. And LOL on your story about ordering apple juice at the swim up bar! The suite sounds divine. I woulda rather taken the golf cart too ;) . I’m sure the wine was a welcome treat after that tough flight! But couldn’t have too much since Mazzy wasn’t going to let you relax, eek! I love that story about Mazzy saying she was too small for the slides. How cute! Lucky for you, I can’t imagine the tantrum that’s going to ensue when I tell my son he’s too small for the giant water slide. He seems to have no fear. And after the articles on kids breaking limbs with parents on slides, I have not gone down another slide with him. Did Mazzy hang out at the kids club by herself? That musta been a nice break if she did! And wow, doing the stairs by herself. VERY awesome. That’s gonna come in handy when you have the baby. I can’t imagine holding a baby and helping a toddler up and down stairs! Great photo of you and Mazzy. I’m a believer, now, that no matter how badly I look in photos of me and my son, I’ll look back and thank myself for having them! And yay for a nap in the stroller!

  4. Molly says:

    WOW! That suite is larger than my first apartment. How special for Mazzy to get such a luxurious vacation with mom. Swim-up bars are the best.

  5. dadcamp says:

    Phoenix is a popular escape for people living here in Alberta, I’d never thought of Tuscon as a destination. A Westin resort with a Kids’ Club? Sign me up .. in the winter. I don’t think I could bear the summer temps :)

  6. Diana Stone says:

    I just about packed up my bags and headed out with my husband and daughter when I read the size of your suite. It’s perfect – one thing we always look for in a hotel is another room for Bella. She will not sleep in ours and we end up all going to bed at 8 and waiting in the dark till she passes out. We are in TX and may have to check this out if we head to AZ!

  7. emily says:

    I’ve just been so impressed reading all these Westin reviews. And 6 pools? Sign me up. I have 4 kids, and it just feels like Westin is so so so kid friendly.

  8. mommyfriend says:

    You had me at six pools. SIX POOLS! I love Arizona, it’s a great getaway destination (and so close by for me). I find the desert to be a great place to retreat and relax and Westin sounds like just the place for R&R, along with plenty of fun for kids! Adding Westin La Paloma to my list of must-do’s!

  9. caseymullins says:

    I love when people go on vacation to places that aren’t generally considered “super fancy.” I mean, Tuscon, Arizona?
    But I know from experience that those are they types of places that are the most relaxing and the least crowded (specifically by the drunk and childless.) Besides, SIX POOLS? That’s all I’d want to to do in Arizona anyway.

  10. Bobbi says:

    It sounds like you guys had a great time…and all those pools! Forget my kids…i’m jealous too!

  11. mackicayloma says:

    I’ve never thought about Tucson for a vacay, but you’ve sold me on the SIX pools and kids club. It’s an easy trip for us coming form Los Angeles so this is a must! Thanks for the new destination!

  12. Selena Mae says:

    6 pools. Absolute bliss. Also, I may never want to leave a suite like that. It looks like you had a splendid time!

  13. laurenjimeson says:

    Looks like you ladies had an incredible time! That hotel suite looks amazing! I’d trade that room over our NYC apartment any day! :)

  14. Just Heather says:

    SIX pools? My girls would think they’d died and gone to heaven. Looks like an amazing place.

  15. Meghan Gesswein says:

    Tucson is such a fantastic city, and the Westin sounds amazing! With six pools and a water slide, my kids would be in heaven!

  16. SunnyChanel says:

    I’m never wanted to go to Tuscon…until now. The resort sounds like a little slice of heaven and really who can resist a giant cactus. Oh plus all those pools sounds pretty epic!

  17. casi says:

    Mazzy is adorable! And oh my gosh, 6 pools! I love Arizona, this is def. a place we need to go! However, I don’t know if I could leave that suite — looks amazing! I would say you had a great time!

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