While Tucson is known for its wellness retreats, this other Arizona resort city is home to the University of Arizona, top golf courses, the rugged beauty of Saguaro National Park that attracts hikers and bikers, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum with over 1,200 plant species. Aviation fans will want to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum. And if stalagmites are your thing, there’s Colossal Cave National Park, one of the largest dry caves in the country.
1. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
The only Forbes 5-star resort in this southern Arizona city, the guide’s inspectors say, “Surrounded by saguaros at the foot of the Tortolita Mountains just outside Tucson, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is a luxury camp in the high desert. The sprawling resort is a destination in its own right, boasting more than 20 miles of hiking trails, three pools, an idyllic spa featuring eco-friendly and holistic treatments, and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course.”
They add, “Thanks to a recent $10 million renovation, the Tucson resort is more luxurious than ever. With 14 brand-new, mountain-facing fire pit rooms; an arcade complete with video games and theater chairs; and a completely refreshed pool deck, there’s really no reason to leave the property. The Sonoran Desert is the attraction in this harmonious place where you’ll find every amenity under the sun.”
The Ritz-Carlton Suite
Located on the fourth floor, the 2,072 sq. ft. Ritz-Carlton Suite features dark Mesquite woods and richly-hued fabrics with Southwestern décor. The separate living room includes a sleeper sofa and a half bathroom. The dining room features a table for six. Enjoy two balconies with scenic views of the Wild Burro Canyon. The bedroom features a separate shower and oversized soaking.
See more suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.
2. Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
With four stars from Forbes Travel Guide, its inspectors write, “The quiet service and style of Tucson’s Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort are reminiscent of a genteel, bygone era. Set on a desert ridge in the foothills of the craggy Santa Catalina Mountains, the building opened as a boarding school in 1929 for girls from prominent families, including the Pillsburys and Vanderbilts.”
They continue, “In 1948, the property — designed by noted Tucson architect Josias Joesler — became a guest ranch, where the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and John Wayne came to ride horses past saguaro cactus and mesquite and to immerse themselves in the relaxing Western lifestyle. Today, you’ll find that the 34-acre resort’s historic architecture, lushly planted courtyards, and killer mountain views make for a million Instagram posts. Once you stop gazing at the setting, you’ll encounter gracious service, modern amenities, and lots of extras that make this a great place for a sun-drenched escape.”
Tracy-Hepburn Casita Grande
Unwind in the casita where Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn stayed and enjoy the sweeping desert views. The 1,500 sq. ft. Casita Grande comes with two bedrooms, two patios, a fireplace, and a full-sized kitchen.
See more suites and casitas at Hacienda Del Sol.
3. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Rated by U.S. News as best in Tucson, the website writes, “Flanking Sabino Canyon in Tucson’s upscale Catalina Foothills district, the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is home to 398 spacious guest rooms, each with its own balcony with sweeping desert mountain views – not to mention Keurig coffee makers, flat-screen TVs, and minibars.”
It adds, “Many praise the resort for its two sprawling pools (one for adults only), as well as its Lakeside Spa + Fitness center. And thanks to two 18-hole PGA golf courses, multiple tennis courts, and a scenic walking trail, you can experience the property’s stunning environment and burn calories at the same time (which means you can indulge in all of the flavorful Southwestern cuisines you want at the Flying V Bar & Grill without feeling guilty).”
The 2,000 sq. ft. one-bedroom Presidential Suite offers spectacular mountain views from your private terrace with an outdoor hot tub. There is a separate living area with a stone fireplace. Inside there is a dining table that seats eight, an oversize master bathroom, and a guest bath, making the suite ideal for family gatherings.
More suites at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.
4. Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
A Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice selection, U.S. News writes, “Flanking the edge of Catalina State Park, guests say the Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa offers a calm, soothing environment, perfect for those seeking some serious R&R. With a focus on wellness, the resort’s offering numerous opportunities for getting active, including Pilates and yoga as well as mountain biking, to name a few.”
It continues, “Outfitted with soothing neutral color palettes and plush furnishings, the guest rooms provide a comfortable setting in which to unwind, while amenities like LCD TVs, Wi-Fi access, and signature bath products make the accommodations even more inviting. Because this is an all-inclusive retreat, meals are included in the price of your stay, and many packages also include spa services.”
The Gratitude Retreat
The Gratitude Retreat spans 3,120 sq. ft. and includes three bedrooms, making it perfect for girls’ or guys’ getaways. The master suite offers a walk-in closet, seating area, spa bath with free-standing soaking tub, indoor to outdoor shower, and double sinks. Two additional bedroom suites come with king and two queen beds, each with an en-suite bathroom, powder, and laundry room. You’ll appreciate the full gourmet kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining seating for eight and the expansive living room with floor-to-ceiling retractable glass doors. Enjoy the large patio with reflection pool, fire pit, and lounge
More suites and residences at Miraval Arizona.
5. JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
U.S. News says of this AAA 4 Diamonds recipient, “Sitting on the edge of Saguaro National Park’s Tucson Mountain District, the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa combines the peace and quiet of a secluded getaway with the convenience of a suburban location.”
It continues, “Guests appreciate having plenty of opportunities to enjoy Tucson; plus, the resort is surrounded by hiking and mountain biking trails, while the views from the Starr Pass Golf Club are worth the few extra minutes you’ll no doubt spend on the tee box.”
The 2,220 sq. ft. Presidential Suite offers separate balconies from both bedroom and living areas. Host up to six guests for a private en-suite dinner.
See more suites at the JW Marriott Tucson.
6. Canyon Ranch Tucson
U.S. News says of the iconic retreat, “This all-inclusive health resort and spa provides more than just a vacation, but a retreat. And guests say if you’re looking for a large helping of rejuvenation with a pinch of transformation, Canyon Ranch is the place to go. The 150-acre property offers a plethora of fitness classes, health programs, and wellness consultations on top of various other amenities in-room and out.”
It adds, “Much like the mantra of the ranch, rooms help travelers relax with feather beds, Italian linens, pillow menus, and sound machines, not to mention impressive views of the mountain and desert from oversized windows. According to some recent guests, however, the most standout aspect is located outdoors. Visitors can hike around the surrounding Sonoran Desert, bike on rural country trails, or play a round of golf. And still, other guests say the 80,000-square-foot spa — equipped with a salon, private sunbathing decks, and a footwear analysis center — is the real treat.”
Casa Grande at 2,700 sq. ft. is a complete, freestanding home with luxurious accommodations for up to six people. There is a large living room, full kitchen, dining area, washer/dryer, and private patio. Additional amenities include a computer, printer, and fax.
More suites at Canyon Ranch Tucson.
7. Arizona Inn
My favorite place to stay in Tucson, U.S. News writes, “Sprawled across 14 acres of verdant lawns and manicured gardens in central Tucson, Arizona, (just east of the University of Arizona campus), the Arizona Inn has been offering guests a taste of the Southwest since 1930.”
It continues, “This boutique hotel blends the friendly ambiance of a bed-and-breakfast with the all-star service of a high-end hotel. Guests applaud the Arizona Inn for its spacious, casita-style guest rooms, which are simple and elegant in decor and come equipped with free Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TVs. Many visitors also call out the inn’s delectable dining, which includes the Main Dining Room and the Audubon Bar & Patio. Others note that an alfresco lunch by the pool is a must.”
House 6 is a 1,500 sq. ft. two-bedroom, two-bath house with a full kitchen, a fireplace, and two private gardens, making it perfect for vacationing families and groups.
View more suites and casitas at the Arizona Inn.