The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
Why We Love This Hotel
- A recipient of the prestigious (and rare) AAA 5-Diamond award and Forbes Travel Guide 5-Star award since 2015
- A cacti-filled, middle-of-nowhere vibe -- 35 minutes north of downtown Tucson by car
- Good for both couples and families -- there's plenty to do (golf, spa, waterslide and more)
- Expect Ritz-style prices (resort fees alone are an extra $50 per night, which includes valet parking), but the service is exceptional
In a state dotted with lavish desert resorts, only a few have received the prestigious AAA 5-Diamond award. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is one of these winners, and likely the most unique, with a remote location amid a sea of giant cacti.
It's a 35-minute drive north of downtown Tucson by car (or 45 minutes from the Tucson airport). The property set-up is more like a modern mountain lodge compared to the Southwestern casita style that dominates much of the Arizona resort scene. While the design is sleek with clean lines, it blends well with the surrounding natural landscape. Rooms are high-end but comfortable -- each includes a deep soaking tub and private balcony.
Couples and those traveling as a family will be happy here. For adult peace and quiet, there's poolside cabanas, fire pits, 27 holes of manicured greens and treatment rooms within the spa. There's an on-site kids club, splash pad and 235-foot waterslide that shoots down the mountain through boulders and cacti.
Past guests rave about the impeccable service and friendly staff. In return for pricey rates and resort fees, guests can expect 5-star treatment. Resort fees are $50 plus tax per night and cover fitness classes, valet parking, Wi-Fi, use of mountain bikes, tennis courts, guided walks and more.
Guests should know that the resort's serene location means that the closest shopping and dining is at least 20 minutes away by car. The hotel offers a solid variety of excellent dining and drinking options, with five restaurants ranging from sushi to pub grub to Latin fare.