I found this gem of a place on the Internet. Not ever being in Tucson and knowing no one there, I was taking a chance. What a delight The Azure Gate turned out to be!
Dennis met us upon arrival, after first providing us with detailed, excellent directions from the airport. He showed us around the 5-acre Sonora cacti garden and the main house, including a very-well stocked library of books and DVDs.
He then showed us to our separate 2-story bungalow (does one say "bungalow" in the southwest?). We opted for the Catalina and were quite pleased with our choice. A separate kitchen with full refrigerator, microwave, coffeepot, dishes, towels, everything that one needs in a kitchen. There was coffee, tea, FRESH cream in the refrigerator, a bowl of chocolates and another of mixed nuts. There was also a vase of roses on the white lacey tablecloth which I thought was fake until some petals dropped. And a divine bottle of cabernet. I don't know if the roses and wine are the usual or because I mentioned I was celebrating my birthday when I made the reservations.
The Catalina was tastefully and thoughtfully decorated. Everything from nightlights (two), stationery with pen, current Tucson magazines, hair dryer, terry cloth bathrobes, just everything was provided. We slept in a comfortable bed in a loft which overlooked the living room. There were a lot of windows which gave the bungalow an airy feel.
In the main house, Dennis and Christine had not only binders with restaurant and tourist recommendations, but directions to everyplace turn-by-turn. When we came into the main house in the mornings for breakfast and tell them of our plans for the day, they would give us directions from site to site.
Now the best part: BREAKFAST! I usually get by on coffee and something quick. Well, one does not want to be quick at The Azure Gate. I have traveled extensively and have stayed at the best hotels (Ritz, Four Seasons, blah blah) on six continents (okay, on one of the continents there are no hotels), but Dennis's breakfasts have beat everyplace everywhere. My camera was out all five mornings and took pictures of both courses each morning. (I have ten photos in all.) Michelin should come and have breakfast here. No kidding.
And, Christine set the breakfast table (and dining room) with lighted candles and arranged flowers every morning. Always a colorful dining table runner and placemats and pretty dishes and crystal stems for the mango with lime? or guava with ?, I can't remember because I was in a state of bliss.
I usually don't post on sites like this, but I'm thankful for my time at The Azure Gate and thankful for having met Dennis and Christine.