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“Overrated resort that's more Marriott than Ritz” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

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The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   15000 N Secret Springs Dr, Marana, AZ 85658   |  
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Comfort & Joy Holiday
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Marana
Santa Monica, California
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
90 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
347 helpful votes 347 helpful votes
“Overrated resort that's more Marriott than Ritz”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

I'm really surprised by all the great reviews of this hotel. The Ritz is by no means a terrible hotel, but it doesn't look or feel like a 5-star resort. Maybe 4.5 stars? More like 4.
Its best feature is the location on Dove Mountain 20 miles outside of Tucson. Unfortunately, the resort kind of ruins the mountain. A beautiful cactus-covered peak in the desert... now with a large, not all that attractive hotel at its base.
Its worst features is also the location. To get to the hotel, you have to drive 5 miles on a residential street through several unimpressive desert housing tracts. This is after driving about 10 miles along the edges of suburban desert sprawl on what ends up being a bumpy 2 lane highway.
The hotel itself consists of a main hotel painted an ugly brown (when you see it you'll know what I mean), a smattering of casitas on the hill above (not especially pretty and oddly laid out), and the sprawling meeting rooms below. The main lobby interior is nicely done, and the room and bath were attractive, too. But the rest of the hotel is where this Ritz fall short.
You can valet or self-park. We self-parked. The walk up to the hotel is long (which is fine, we did self-park after all). Unfortunately, that's when you first notice the landscaping is not up to par for a 5 star. The plants all look scraggly. Quite a few are dead. All are planted in rocky terrain that is not groomed, but that has been clearly walked and biked over. I've never seen this kind of desert scape not raked before, and it looks unkempt and not special.
Uglier than the dark brown paint job was the 3 story high white steel and plastic structure that is plunked down below the "horizon" pool. It looked temporary... but was it? No one knew for sure. All I'm sure of is... it was UGLY. You certainly don't see it in any of the hotel's photos.
The staff was fine, I suppose, but there were never any greetings as we entered or left the hotel or walked past an employee in the halls. Again, where is the polished Ritz feeling?
Beyond the lobby is a large concrete patio with a view of the mountain, the pool and the casitas. Here's another problem with the outdoor areas. All the concrete paths and patios at the resort... once obviously stained a reddish color... have faded unevenly. As a result, the pavement everywhere looks cheap and old as a result... like someone's amateurishly done pool deck.
Walking down from the patio to the poolside restaurant, we could not help but see more dead plants and rock areas with additional bicycle tracks and footprints.
One afternoon, we had lunch in the pool restaurant. Tip... avoid the tacos at all costs. The pork ones have meat that's been sitting in an overly spiced, greasy and runny sauce that ruined a good shirt. Service was friendly but not at the level it should have been. I left for the bathroom to clean myself up and apparently the server stopped by and didn't remove or replace my sauce-riddled napkin or even fold it. BTW, it's not like anyone was too busy for the small touches. The restaurant was virtually empty.
The poolside restaurant overlooks... you guessed it... the "horizon" pool. It should/could have a spectacular view of the valley down to Tucson. Instead, our view was of the tops of the cabanas a level below, several large trees growing into the view and blocking it, plus that awful 3 story white steel building.
Below the horizon pool is a pool for kids, with a long slide and a weird "jumping water" feature in the middle of it. Looks really tacky. Forgot to mention, the lawns around both pools are half-dead.
The overall feeling I got was that any freshness the resort had when new (which is not that long ago) is gone and the current management doesn't have the flair or discipline to keep the hotel at a Ritz level. With brands like Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons, the devil is in the details and they are being overlooked here. Big time.
I can't recommend spending your time or money here... it's just not worth it. This place was a big disappointment, especially after the long drive down from Phoenix. The Four Seasons Scottsdale, though quite a bit older, is located in a similar suburban location bordering mountains and is a much more attractive and better run facility.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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615 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (194)
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Rotterdam
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Sure, the room is nice (but the bathroom has no separate showerstall), the staff is friendly and accomodating (but also intrusive during dinner, asking you time and again whether you would like wine, trying to take your glass for Red wine away long before the meat course of your dinner has arrived). The pools are lovely but also a chilly cold walk to your hotelroom once you have swam in the early morning as they are just that tiny bit too far from the hotelrooms / hotel lobby.
Dinners I took were nicely presented and tasted good, but (my eternal gripe with almost any dinner) lacked any real amount of vegetables.
I had taken the cans of beer and soda drinks out of my little fridge, put them on top of the counter above the fridge, and found a whopping $140 on my bill for those items. When I complained at check out (I had removed my milk and cheese from the fridge again and put the cans all back in), they were gracious about it and deducted the full $140 from my bill. Still, the maid must have seen the cans ON the fridge every day, easy to count to as I had kept them nicely grouped together.
Breakfast was so overpriced that it gave one of my colleagues nearly a hart attack, well presented, and a lot of it too, but as he put it "I would have been happy, very happy and satisfied if they had served me half the amount of everything at half the price". Valet parking put me back 46$ for the two days I stayed, without the usual tips to the valets; I definitely advise self-parking (and you can eat breakfast, once, as that costed $39)
I did not play golf, so I can not say anything against or in favour of the golf course. Nor did I use the spa as that is not my thing.
All in all, I have stayed in much better resorts around the world, (cheaper too) where service was very un-intrusive, constantly there, but hardly noticeble. As it should be if you pretend to be a resort of this stature.

Room Tip: I would ask for a room with morning sun, but no midday sun (e.g. 2910 and around that area) as it ca...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, TN
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this resort right after it opened a few years back- I was so pleased w/ the place /experience that time , and never thought I'd be able to get back, that I literally had tears in my eyes listening to the music plying from flautist while sitting on our back porch in Casita at sunset - thankful to be so blessed to be here again:)

I would literally JUST come back to listen to him play-very spiritual to me. Hubby and I spent every evening at fire-pits so we could hear him play while really enjoying the scenery.

Our Casita was just like the first one we stayed in before-beautiful interiors , well taken care of. The whole resort is beautifully casual .

We stayed October 8-12th. The weather was up and down but we were prepared. Layers.

We biked one day down to and through one of the golf-courses there and had a good time. Saw some bulls right next to the beautiful greens/views. Spent a little time visiting one of the model homes on site -very nice.

Hiked one day (very windy) . Saw lots of wildlife while there- Rabbits, coyotes, roadrunners, quail...Havalinas- so cool .

Very PEACEFUL.

There was an issue w/ noise(loud humming, vibration noise) from what we think was an AC unit either on room next to us or under us- the staff did all they could and were very responsive in trying to get to the bottom of it- Luckily, even though the noise didn't get resolved while we were there(it was from the casita under us which was occupied)the noise couldn't be heard in our bedroom which was good because we were able to sleep soundly :)
We also were not there in casita most of daytime so we didn't have to hear it.

The food we ordered for room service was always good and plenty and delivered very timely.

We saw several havalinas every night on walk to and from resort and scared me to death one night, but it was cool:)

The staff in restaurant as well as the food was OUTSTANDING. The chef even went out of his way to prepare a sauce he thought I might have had on filet when I was there last time.

We saw Rick, the hiking guide we had last time, and enjoyed seeing him again. Did not use spa on this trip but did on last on and enjoyed it.

Overall- I highly recommend this resort to anyone wanting some peace and quiet.

Am hoping I can get back there again.

Room Tip: Try a casita backing up to the valley/wash.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bradenton, Florida
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is everything you expect from a Ritz. Exceptional service, beautiful surroundings, great food and nice people. The ambiance of the desert setting must be felt in person because words cannot describe it. A truly memorable experience. The golf course was in poor shape and a disappointment but being at the resort made up for the poor condition, slow pace and poor service at the course.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

This is a premium top notch hotel. The kids absolutely loved the hotel and its amenities. We loved the staff super attentive! They upgraded us because of my husbands status to a beautiful HUGE suite.!!!

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

A great property - if you can, get upgraded to a casita - it's a bit of a walk, but all the privacy and space make it worth it.
Pool staff was very friendly and attentive. We ate at the more formal restaurant at the ground level of the property: while expensive , both food and cocktails were excellent, and staff and atmosphere were top notch.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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West Orange, New Jersey, USA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

After a long drive from Tucson Airport you arrive at the property set in the desert. Wildlife abounds..beautiful sunsets staff eager to please...great food ...like Phoenix and Scottsdale used to be before development.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Address: 15000 N Secret Springs Dr, Marana, AZ 85658
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Marana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Marana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain 5*
Number of rooms: 250
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is Tucson's newest luxury resort, introduced December 18, 2009. Nestled in the high Sonoran Desert against the Tortolita Mountains,featuring a destination spa, adventure programs that can restore your soul, world class hiking, Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf, indoor and outdoor dining including True American Cuisine at CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar, and richly appointed accommodations in a striking canyon setting. This resort is a place where adventure and a gracious spirit come to life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Hotel Marana

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