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The questions pour in as soon as the calendar flips to May, when temperatures creep past 100 degrees and summer-vacation season is in sight.

“What are the best resort deals this year?”

Deal is a relative term, of course. Travelers who crave luxury, exclusivity and over-the-top pampering don’t flinch at paying $250 or more a night at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain or Canyon Suites at The Phoenician on a sweltering summer weekend because that’s a fraction of the price tourists pay in March.

But if your budget is tight or you want to check out a few resorts this summer, it’s all about finding the cheapest rates.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a new this year: the cheapest summer getaways in metro Phoenix. These are resorts (and a couple of hip hotels) with rates starting at $100 or less a night between late May and Labor Day. (One starting rate is $129 but it comes with so many perks that it’s the best deal of the summer for bargain hunters.)

Tips for bargain hunters

• These deals are starting rates and generally won’t be available every night or during busy periods including holiday weekends. The lowest rates are generally found for weekday stays.

• Resort fees, which run $25 to $30 a night at many resorts, taxes and other charges are extra. See a roundup of resort fees at Valley hotels here.

• Can’t find a deal you like? Keep an eye out for local bargains on Travelzoo, Groupon, Living Social and your favorite resort’s Facebook page throughout the summer.

• August deals are especially plentiful because Arizona students return to school in early August.

•  If your budget is flexible, check out these 26 deals at a variety of price points.

1. The Wigwam: $89

Scene: Family-friendly resort in Litchfield Park with a rich history and a bundle of poolside activities, golf and spa treatments. You don’t stay in a room, you stay in a casita.

Details: 623-935-3811, Book the Spring Fling package by June 30 for $89 rates Sundays through Thursdays all summer. The corporate/promotion code is SFSJ17.

2. The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch: $99

Scene: The tucked-away resort, formerly known as the Scottsdale Resort & Conference before a recent $10 million makeover, is centrally located and has a lively weekend pool scene with movies and live music. This year’s movie theme: rock ‘n’ roll with features including “The Buddy Holly Story” and “Walk the Line.”

Details: 480-991-9000, The corporate/promotion code is DDFLT7.


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3. Clarendon Hotel: $79

Scene: Hip hotel in midtown Phoenix with a lively pool complex, rooftop deck, wine…