Last Updated on April 3, 2023
Just the mention of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort Tucson and those who’ve stayed there exclaim, “Oh, my gosh, we love that place.”
It’s not hard to see why. This is true-blue Tucson, Arizona at its finest. You won’t find a better, more unique place for a weekend getaway.
History, luxury and Southwest charm all seem to magically mix at the amazing Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort Tucson, situated on 34-acres in the panoramic foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The ranch is so alluring that it’s tempting to never leave the property.
History of Hacienda Del Sol
Hacienda Del Sol opened in 1929 as a boarding school ranch for girls. Some of America’s most elite families from the East sent their daughters, along with their horses, to this prestigious hacienda. Photos of these historic throwback years line the walls and alleyways of the resort.
The ranch closed briefly during WWII due to a shortage of teachers, but in 1948, was converted into a guest ranch attracting Hollywood’s leading stars like John Wayne and Clark Gable. Casita Grande, the resort’s two-bedroom casita, was rumored to be the favorite secret hideaway of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Howard Hughes, who owned a film studio in Tucson at the time, also found immense privacy and comfort in the Hacienda.
Renowned as an authentic Spanish-Colonial Revival property, Hacienda Del Sol Tucson, Arizona was named one of the distinctive Historic Hotels of America.
Exquisitely preserved and maintained guestrooms, meeting rooms, lobby, and sitting areas blend into the awe-inspiring desert landscape. Gardens, fountains, sculptures, and colorful Mexican hand-painted pottery abound throughout the property.
Best Resort Tucson
Guests will experience luxury steeped in historic charm in the Hacienda’s elegantly styled hacienda rooms, suites and casitas. Some surround a twinkling-lighted courtyard and lush landscaping. The newer Catalina rooms elevated on the hillside offer stunning mountain and city views, and some first-floor rooms offer outdoor showers.
My husband and I couldn’t have enjoyed the serenity and privacy more in our king Sonoran Room featuring ten-foot ceilings, handcrafted furniture, wood floors and a private outdoor patio.
Baths feature colorful Mexican Talavera tiles and luxury bath products. Just stepping out onto that patio surrounded by the exotic desert landscape was a joy.
Hacienda Del Sol Tucson, Arizona
Relaxation is paramount at Hacienda Del Sol. It comes easy with the loungers and comfy seating areas dotted among the courtyards, grounds and desert flora.
Across the resort, we found exquisite sculptures, paintings, pottery, photography and tile work representing Tucson’s stunning Sonoran Desert landscape. Guests can even pick up an art guide and stroll through the property to see how many pieces of art can be found throughout the resort.
Desert botanical gardens highlight desert blooms, whimsical sculptures, fountains, and colorful, hand-painted pots.
Three outdoor swimming pools offer stunning vistas of the Catalina Mountains and surrounding valley. The Catalina pool features a Jacuzzi and fire pit, ideal for sunset viewing. Sunsets at Hacienda Del Sol are legendary and unforgettable. The horizon bursts in a kaleidoscope of color and the surrounding Catalina Mountains are cast in a multi-hued glow.
Our evening spectacle was even more special accompanied with one of our favorite desert libations: the prickly pear margarita.
You May Have Unexpected Guests
As we had previously lived in Tucson, we were aware that in the desert, there’s always the possibility of running into local wildlife. Signs on the resort grounds inform guests of these possible visitors which can include snakes, coyotes, javelina, and bobcat.
We didn’t see any of these desert creatures, but we enjoyed a friendly little roadrunner who showed up various times throughout our stay and were in awe by an impressive red-tailed hawk soaring above in the bluebird skies.
Spa at Hacienda Del Sol
Guests at the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort Tucson can book skin care and body treatments at the spa, or in my case, I opted for a private Zen-like in-room treatment featuring a 60-minute Swedish massage. This was especially welcome after a busy day of hiking and horseback riding.
Hacienda Del Sol Restaurant in Tucson
No other restaurant in the Tucson area can match the spectacular views, cuisine and service of The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol. The restaurant exudes Old World charm with casual Southwestern elegance surrounded by flickering romantic candlelight.
Entrees here are creative and driven by an award-winning culinary team. Most ingredients come from the organic gardens of the resort and select local purveyors and growers.
Hacienda Del Sol dining is accompanied by an impressive 800 wines from their cellar, the most extensive wine list in Arizona. We were more than happy when the director of wine and spirits assisted us with his recommendations for dinner pairing.
Entrees range from seafood to lamb, beef, and pasta dishes. Save room for dessert as the dedicated pastry chef’s creations here are delectable.
Hacienda Del Sol Terraza
Casual al fresco dining, specialty drinks, and live music set the stage for a great experience in this open-air garden restaurant.
From tapas to tacos to other Southwestern-inspired dishes, Terraza offers innovative cuisine and cocktails in a picturesque desert setting.
Following our visit to the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort Tucson, we can truthfully state that this historic jewel in the heart of the Sonoran Desert was one of our most memorable getaway experiences in Arizona. Setting, service, and its storied history makes Hacienda Del Sol a special place to relax, rejuvenate and celebrate the unique beauty of the desert landscape.
Strolling back to our room on our last night after a spectacular dinner under a star-studded moonlight sky was the proverbial topping on the cake.