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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Marriott, Booking.com, Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, Odigeo, TripOnline SA and Tingo so you can book your The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Hotel Marana