Last Updated on March 30, 2024

Tucson is one of my family’s favorite Arizona cities. My husband and I were fortunate to live here from 2006 to 2008, offering us the chance to get to know this amazing Southwestern destination.

Tucson is situated in the high Sonoran Desert surrounded by five rugged mountain ranges. It’s also known for its abundant sunshine – over 300 days of annually. Though summer temperatures can regularly exceed 100-degrees Fahrenheit, the climate is arid, and the other seasons here are splendid.

On return visits to the Tucson area, we have some favorite places to stay, but on a recent trip, we chose the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana (a Tucson bedroom community).

About the Ritz Carlton Tucson Resort

Sunrise from our casita at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain in Arizona.
Sunrise from our casita at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain in Arizona. Photo by Noreen Kompanik

Set against the Tortolita Mountains, this stunning resort provides a secluded escape with many opportunities for outdoor adventure. This was Arizona’s first Ritz-Carlton property when it opened in 2009, and the first southern Arizona hotel to receive a five-star Forbes rating.

The resort boasts 253 luxurious guest rooms including 44 expansive suites. Though we’ve stayed in the resort’sguest rooms on past visits, this time we were upgraded to a casita which was a completely different experience.

Accommodations pay tribute to the culture and history of the area. Indigenous textiles, natural materials, and Earth tones compliment the desert surroundings. Guests can choose between queen or king resort, canyon, or mountain view rooms, all including a balcony. Fireside mountain view rooms on the ground floor also have a private fire pit. 

Suites offer a balcony with a private sofa bed, and then there are the casitas. These amazing one-bedroom private suites feature mountain views and offer 1100 square feet of living space. Fireside casitas also feature a private patio with a fire pit.

Guests may also select two-bedroom executive suites or casitas and for special family or friend gatherings, the Ritz Carlton is a four-bedroom casita with 3,950 square feet of space.

Our fireside casita room featured a king bed, sofa bed in the living room, floor-to-ceiling windows, one-and-a-half baths with marble floors and countertops, an oversized tub, and a separate bathroom and shower in the master bath. The outdoor space included two patios and a fire pit with loungers, a table and chairs.

We loved the nightly turndown service that always included sweet treats left by the housekeeping staff.

Dove Mountain Resort Amenities Abound

Hohokam flautist playing at Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain resort.
Hohokam flautist playing at Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain resort. Photo by Noreen Kompanik

Forbes Travel Guide not only awarded The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain another five-star rating for 2024, but the Ritz Carlton Spa received equal accolades. The spa offers a variety of holistic body treatments which include hot stone, aromatherapy, mindful crystal healing treatments, and a spa serenity pool along with therapy baths and a steam room.

Other amenities included in the resort fee provide access to the Guided Morning Nature Walk, a Street Cycling and Mountain Biking Experience, wellness classes, two hours of pickleball or tennis court rental with rackets and balls, a golf club driving range with equipment, and high-speed Wi-Fi internet.

The resort boasts three picturesque pools including the spa pool, Turquesa infinity-edge pool, and the Adventura Swimming Pool which includes a 235-foot water slide and dancing fountains popular with both big and little kids.

At night, the pool areas are dimly lit and surrounded by blazing fire pits that do not detract from the star-studded dark skies this area is famous for.

The Dove Mountain Fitness Center offers a variety of equipment, mind and body classes, and personal training on request. The center is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Hiking enthusiasts will love the 26 miles of impressive trails surrounding the resorts with stunning views of the Tucson area.

For those who love to golf, The Golf Club at Dove Mountain offers three courses designed by Jack Nicklaus for players of every level. Don’t be surprised if you have to share the course with the local wildlife. You may see bobcats, mountain lions, javelinas, jackrabbits, quail, roadrunners, Gila monsters, rattlesnakes and even free-range grazing cattle on the course. We’ve seen some of these local critters ourselves.

In honor of the rich indigenous Hohokam Indian history of the region, a Spirit of Adventure Celebration takes place nightly at 5:15 pm in which a flautist plays hauntingly beautiful tunes for a full 25 minutes while perched high on the rocks of the desert.

Dining at the Resort

Though the area has some amazing restaurants you might want to check out, it’s always nice to have the option to dine at the resort itself, either on arrival or after a busy day of exploring and adventuring.

Ignite Lounge & Bar is a bustling hub for classic cocktails or afternoon iced tea with dishes from the Southwest and Asian culinary traditions and is ideal for light bites surrounded by mountain views and the warmth of the resort’s many firepits from 12 pm until 9:30 pm.

Turquesa Latin Grill (Spanish for turquoise) is located at the infinity edge swimming pool offering patio dining from 11 am to 4 pm with starters, salads, street tacos, burgers and accompaniments. As pool menus go, this one is impressive.

Core Kitchen and Wine Bar features six dining venues that include three outdoor terraces with stunning desert and mountain views. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday, but is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7 am to 11 am and then again for dinner.

Located at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, Cayton’s Restaurant serves rustic and refined cuisine influenced by Southern tradition along with an extensive selection of regional craft beers. They are currently closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open other days of the week from 11 am to 8:30 pm.

With its unwavering commitment to service, the Ritz Carlton Dove creates a five-star experience with its renowned Gold Standards, careful employee selection, training, empowerment, and innovation.

What this means for guests is that you get what you pay for, and then some. A stay at the Ritz Carlton in Dove Mountain is always a joyful, warm, relaxed, refined experience – a special treat we always look forward to.

What do you think?

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2 Comments
  • Bob H
    March 30, 2024

    SHHHHHHH….. we don’t want this information getting around !!!!

    We live 5 minutes from the Ritz Carlton and LOVE stopping at the Ritz for dinner, lunch or drinks! We have been doing this since it opened! Caytons at the golf club is so relaxing for lunch or dinner.

    • Noreen Kompanik
      March 31, 2024

      You live in a gorgeous area, Bob! Thanks for reading the article.