"Human beings," author Tom Robbins quipped, "were invented by water as a device for transporting it from one place to another."
And the swimming pool? Well, that's clearly an invention by us humans to get chummy with our creator. And Scottsdale? A regular holy land, blessed with some of the country's most lavish temples of water worship.
With the sweltering summer months driving parched Arizonans to the sanctuary of temperature-regulated H2O, why not take advantage of off-season rates and renew your faith in one of the area's amenity-rich resort pools? Here are the local spots that perform, in a manner of speaking, most swimmingly.
HOTEL VALLEY HO
The Ho’s throwback, Rat Pack vibe is alive and well at the OH Pool Bar + Cabanas. Every Saturday this summer, local beatsmith DJ P-Body spins tunes for the hotel’s martini-sipping clientele, and cabana rental is available for guests ($99 to $199) and nonguests ($149 to $249).
The one decidedly non-’50s thing about the OH: a bikini-to-skin ratio that decisively favors the latter. Human scenery-wise, this Old Town lagoon is unlikely to disappoint.
Information: 6850 E. Main St., (480) 248-2000 or hotelvalleyho.com.
HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE RESORT AND SPA AT GAINEY RANCH
Spread over 2 1/2 acres of fussily manicured Scottsdale real estate, the Hyatt’s “water playground” stands alone among the Valley’s poolside destinations. There are 10 pools — six of which are connected by a swimmable aqueduct — plus a 20-foot waterfall, more than three dozen waterspouts, a white sand beach and something called a “Grecian-style water temple.”
The resort also organizes volleyball games and the like, making the Hyatt the one pool facility that can realistically entertain guests from dawn to dusk. And maybe beyond — there are gondola rides at night.
Information: 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, (480) 444-1234 or scottsdale.hyatt.com.
The resort’s negative-edge Main Pool and circular Serenity Pool attract celebrities by the Hummer-load (witness Matt Leinart’s famously hedonistic birthday party last year). If there’s a true poolside “scene” in Scottsdale, this is it.
Still, if you go on a weekday or off-season during the weekends, there’s a high probability that you might actually enjoy a peaceful moment. Masseuses and masseurs are standing by.
Information: 7353 E. Indian School Road, (480) 308-1100 or mondrianscottsdale.com.
JW MARRIOTT DESERT RIDGE
Yeah, it’s technically in Phoenix, but who says you can’t slip over the border for a little outer-municipal fun? Prepare thyself for the enticing spectacle of a sinuous 1,600-foot lazy river — making Desert Ridge a veritable Shangri-La for family crowds.
There are also two absolutely gigantic swimming pools and an 80-foot water slide.
Be warned: Admittance to the pool compound is strictly limited to guests with a wristband.
Information: 5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, (480) 293-5000 or jwdesertridgeresort. com.
SANCTUARY ON CAMELBACK
The views from this Camelback Mountain resort are, in a word, sick. And you can drink them all in, along with a few cocktails from Sanctuary’s classy elements restaurant and bar, while taking a dunk in the spectacular negative-edge pool (reputedly the largest in Arizona).
The one ding, or virtue, depending on how you view it: not much of a party scene. It’s like the symphony at the Met to Mondrian’s Wembley Stadium rock concert.
Information: 5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, (480) 948-2100 or sanctuaryoncamelback.com.