The Wigwam is the official spring training resort of the (Wigwam Resort & Spa )
Sweeping in a windfall of more than $300 million annually, Cactus League baseball, including revenue generated by the Dodgers and Angels spring training facilities, may be the biggest reason March is the most popular month to visit Arizona. That's not lost on area hotels and resorts, which are offering a plethora of spring training specials.
The Wigwam Resort, at 300 Wigwam Blvd., has been in its same location for more than 75 years. The soaring and stately palm trees are testament to the resort's history, and the serene surroundings are reminiscent of what resort properties were before their own popularity turned many of them into 24-hour party palaces.
With more than 300 spacious casita-style rooms, the Wigwam, is most widely regarded as a golf resort. Its three courses, including two designed in the 1930s by Robert Trent Jones Sr., are among the early classic desert courses.
The Wigwam is the official spring training resort of the Kansas City Royals and preferred hotel of the Dodgers and White Sox, who play at Camelback Ranch. Special spring training packages include a two-night stay in an Oasis Terrace room or traditional Adobe Suite, a pair of infield tickets and game day parking for Dodgers and White Sox games at Camelback Ranch or Royals games at Surprise Stadium for $399.
The coolest place to go after a game in Glendale or Goodyear is Haus Murphy's German Restaurant & Beer Garden, 5739 W. Glendale Ave., in downtown Glendale. We sat in the beer garden outside and washed down sausages, pretzels and potato pancakes with huge steins of German beer. The dinner menu contains seven styles of schnitzel and nine kinds of sausages, as well as a variety of Haus specialties. You can get really comfortable here, and the owners encourage you to stay as long as you like. Dinner entrees range from $13.95 to $17.95.
About 10 miles north on Scottsdale Road and about 30 miles from the Dodgers Camelback Ranch ballpark is the Fairmont Scottsdale, 7575 E. Princess Drive. This is among the state's premier resort properties and sought-after golfing locales, boasting two 18-hole championship golf courses, one of which hosts the PGA Tour's Annual Waste Management Phoenix Open. Travel & Leisure last year ranked the Fairmont Willow Stream Spa as No. 3 among the top 25 spas in the U.S. and Canada.
The Fairmont's Windy City Duel package includes a pair of tickets to one of the Cactus League's premier rivalry games between Chicago's Cubs and White Sox at Camelback Ranch. The package also includes two specialty cocktails, either a "Soxtail" or a "Cubtini," at the hotel's Stone Rose Lounge and admission to other "Windy City Duel" activities in the lounge, including celebrity bartenders. Room rates for the package start at $299.
The nouveau-retro Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main St., within walking distance of San Francisco Giants Scottsdale Stadium spring training home, is a favorite among the ballpark crowd. Originally built in 1956, Valley Ho was a popular haven with the Hollywood elite, attracting such luminaries as Humphrey Bogart, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood held their wedding reception here in 1957. Its fluorescent hues still feel like a throwback to the '50s and '60s cocktail party days.
Spring training rates start at $199. Baseball fans can also receive a 20% discount on treatments at the hotel's VH Spa and at Café Zuzu and Trader Vic's restaurants by presenting any Cactus League game ticket stub (one stub per transaction can be used for an entire party).
Last-minute-deal(s)-of-the-month specials, such as March's "stay Sunday and Monday and get Tuesday and Wednesday free," are available only by telephone at (866) 882-4484. The hotel's Easter special has rooms starting at $159 from April 1-5.
The Major League Baseball network reality show, "The Club," which is to make its debut this summer, focuses on the Chicago White Sox and primarily on the team's its loose-tongued manager Ozzie Guillen. Scenes for the program will also be filmed during spring training in Arizona.
The slick and polished W Scottsdale, 7277 E. Camelback Road, is a see-and-be-seen kind of place. The second-floor pool party deck is a nonstop gathering place with a cool infinity-edge swimming pool surrounded by a sandy beach. It's a mile and a half from Scottsdale Stadium, and complimentary transportation is included in the W's spring training package.
Rates for the "Who's Ready for Spring Training?" package begin at $379 and include two "Baseball Bucks" worth $5 each at the ballpark, a box of Cracker Jack and a sack of peanuts, a W Scottsdale baseball hat and two spring training game tickets for the price of one. The "Who Scored a Home Run at W Scottsdale?" package also includes signed baseball memorabilia, access to an on-field practice and mingling with the team, and a "Cool Comer Suite" for $999.