Tucson, Arizona’s second largest city, has long had the reputation as a vivacious college town. Recently, however, the city has been gaining traction as a premier destination for a luxury getaway. With many hotels embracing the rich Southwestern history and tucking themselves away amongst the area’s jagged mountains and diverse cacti, there are many breathtaking properties to stay in. Here are our favorite resorts in Tucson.
Easily one of the most historic resorts in Arizona, the Arizona Inn has been in operation since 1930, back when Tucson was a town of about 36,000 people (it’s now closer to 536,000). Having been owned and operated by the same family now for four generations, much of the original look and feel of the Arizona Inn are still intact. That feel, for almost 90 years, has always emphasized “quiet, privacy, and sunshine”, an impressive feat to continue considering the resort is located in midtown. All guests have access to things like a large pool, clay tennis courts, and bicycles without any additional resort fee.Book Now
Set amongst the backdrop of rolling hills lined with cacti of various shapes and sizes, the striking Starr Pass Resort looks like a giant version of the traditional adobe homes that are common in the historic neighborhoods of Tucson. When it comes to Arizona resorts built in the sweltering Tucson desert, an important question is “how is the pool?” — luckily, the Starr Pass has one of the best to take take a dip. Built as a two-story pool, there’s plenty of room for everyone to cool off, but for the young and young at heart, the waterslide that empties into the lazy river means hours of fun.Book Now
Stereotypical of the Ritz Carlton name, their Dove Mountain resort is gorgeous. The main building — accented by dark wood features and in keeping with the look and feel of a hacienda worthy of the Sonoran Desert — is very easy on the eyes. While the main lodge is great, guests also have the option of renting their own casita. What makes The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain so special is the activities on offer. Golfers will think they’ve found a desert oasis as the hotel boasts 63 holes to tee-off. Those looking to take a less active approach to their stay can capitalize on Dove Mountain’s world-class spa. The spa, which has been named “The Best Spa in Arizona” and third best spa in North America by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, has unique therapeutic offerings like gemstone healing massages.Book Now
With a diverse range of accommodations across their 241 guests rooms, the Westward Look by Wyndham opens themselves up to travelers with various budgets. From the standard guest room, featuring balconies with amazing desert views, to the Stargazer Spa Suite complete with a private outdoor hot tub, everyone can find a slice of desert bliss here. Outdoorsmen can also take advantage of the nearby amazing hiking experiences in Arizona at Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park.Book Now
As soon as guests arrive to this resort they are welcomed by the arched entryway illuminated by a soothing blue light and accentuated with a babbling fountain and cacti garden — showcasing it as a clear place of luxury. Around the grounds of the hotel are seven different restaurants offering a diverse range of foods from the flavors from the Southwest to pub food to South American inspired cuisine. The pub food can actually be ordered and consumed at the pool’s swim-up bar.Book Now
Nestled against the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountain Range, Hacienda del Sol attempts to weave its architecture into the surrounding natural landscape as seamlessly as possible. The Casita Grande (yes, for those who speak Spanish it is an oxymoron) is arguably their finest suite, but for movie buffs it has some added appeal. Back in the day the two-bedroom getaway was a favorite spot for movie stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.Book Now
This Hilton Resort known as El Conquistador is considered to be one of the best experiential hotels in Tucson and it’s easy to see why. Besides the five swimming pools and wellness center, guests can enjoy mountain bike rentals for the rocky mountain trails around the hotel, play on the renowned golf course, take part in daily yoga and aerobics classes, or even listen to a Native American flutist play relaxing songs in the evenings. The 80 acres also have horse stables where guests can go horseback riding in the hills.Book Now
Located on a designated reservation of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, this resort is legally allowed to operate a fully functional casino. Open 24 hours a day, guests hoping to win big can always make a stop at one of the 1,300 slot machines, play live blackjack or poker, and “let it ride” on one of the table games like roulette. The carpeted allure of the casino floor isn’t the only appeal; dining options like the PY Steakhouse and an all-day buffet, golf course, and spa beckon to many traveler types. Oh, and the AVA Amphitheater hosts popular talent in both music and comedy, most recently including headliners George Lopez and Larry the Cable Guy.Book Now
Hard to miss considering they have been known to plaster the “Loews Hotel” logo on the hillside above one of their pools, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort does have the right to brag, as it is one of the most stunning resorts in the Southwest. Don’t believe us? Well, their 80-foot waterfall that cascades down a rugged, desert cliff side and past towering saguaro cactus is a pretty good indicator that this resort is unlike any other. Inside, the design is somehow able to weave modern and traditional Southwestern to create an arresting hotel that leaves guests eager to spend more time in the lounge areas sipping on a cocktail or two.Book Now
Another mouth-watering option for golf enthusiasts, the 36-hole championship course onsite at the Omni Tucson was been designed by golfer Tom Lehman and has hosted several PGA Tour events, seeing victories go to legends like Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer. For those more eager to sip Arnold Palmers (the refreshing mixed drink of lemonade and ice tea, and sometimes a touch more) than to play like him, reserve one of the private cabanas around the infinity pool.Book Now
Looking for a different kind of adventure? Then check out Mira Vista Resort, one of the best nudist resorts in Arizona.