The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain Resort is a very new property, and wow, what a property it is! Situated a mere 45-minute drive from the airport, its location right in the mountains of Tucson is magical. I arrived at night and entered the lobby to see all the saguaro cacti illuminated by up-lights and the glow of fire pits surrounding the pool are. It was a truly sensory experience. The hotel has done an excellent job of blending the building right into the desert surroundings, and you feel the Southwestern influence in both decor and beauty.
The lobby is sprawling with vistas that open right to the pool and surrounding mountains. There are plenty of conversation areas both indoors and outdoors off the lobby area–some featuring a fire pit, which makes sitting out at night with a cocktail quite nice. A small library off the lobby has well-stocked shelves with plenty of books on the Old West and the cultural heritage of the area.
There are five floors of guest rooms, with the fourth floor being the Club Level. All of the accommodations have mountain views, and some even feature the city lights of the Tucson skyline. The carpeting motif in the hallways reinforces the symbols of the Hopi tribe and what they bring to this area of the country. It was all so tasteful and rich!The guest rooms are very spacious with patios so you can enjoy a desert sunset from your room. Colors are warm earth tones with rich wood accents. Because is it such a new property, everything is pristine and state-of-the-art. The baths feature a large soaking tub with separate shower, and despite being constructed of all granite and stone, they are inviting without being cold.
There are three restaurants on site and an additional eatery at the country club (5 minutes away by shuttle). The premium restaurant is CORE, and it features a top-rated chef
who prepares American specialties. There’s also quite the extensive wine list, and Cakebread Cellars was even on-site for a wine presentation. CORE is akin to a five-star outdoor barbeque. You dine under the stars with spectacular food on your plate and feel at one with nature. (Outdoor heaters help to make this an even more lovely experience.)
The second restaurant you have to visit is Caytons
. Located right at the golf club, I would recommend this one for sunset dining. The atmosphere is rather clubby, but the views of the fairways combined with those of the cacti and desert flora and fauna should be enjoyed by both day and night light. Huge fireplaces provide warmth in both look and feel.
The spa is FABULOUS! It features a locker room, relaxation area, treatments rooms and MY FAVORITE – the outdoor steam/sauna/Jacuzzi area complete with glass walls and a kiva fireplace. I didn’t want to leave… There is also a pool located in the spa area which is nice and quiet – a perfect place for lunch!
The pool area is quite large with private cabanas and separate Jacuzzi area. There is a water slide to keep the kids engaged (I know this sounds a bit Disney) but you would never even know it is there…..it comes off the side of the mountain – same color scheme and looks like a waterfall that ends in the pool. Quite tasteful!
A big attraction in my book is the GOLF! The Dove Mountain golf outranks any other Tucson courses I have played. There are three nine-hole courses that all start and end at the beautiful clubhouse. Because there are five sets of tees, this course is challenging to both the novice as well as the low handicapper. I had a hard time focusing on my golf with the beautiful scenery. The course architect has left the cactus and desert surroundings intact – so it is more target golf with long luxurious fairways. A true treat!
There is ample meeting space (which is well disguised) so the leisure client doesn’t have to feel like they are in the middle of a huge convention.
I would recommend this property to anyone wanting a desert experience with all the comforts and luxuries of a first-rate resort and hotel.