Stayed here for five nights in sunny, warm April. Location is excellent - in St Phillips Plaza which has several restaurants, shopping, and quiet. A nice place close to many of Tucson's attractions. I'll get to more on the neighborhood in a minute but first let's talk about the hotel.
Very clean, surprisingly quiet (it's off-street from Campbell Ave which has very heavy traffic at ties). Staff has taken friendly lessons from Linda Kollmeyer (those of you who watch WGN will recognize her as one of the Lotto Ladies) - they are extremely pleasant and very helpful. Room was a small suite - living room/small kitchen with doors that close off the bedroom area. Bathroom accessible from both which is not always the case with suites - I liked this feature. Microwave, small fridge and small sink in kitchen area. Open window between kitchen area and living room with bar stools and counter at the window, very nice. Openable window - yay! In Tucson this is a nice feature in the cool evenings. Pool area well kept up, with fresh towels, area clean and pool and hot tub very clean. Breakfast included scrambled eggs and sausage and/or bacon every day, along with the usual yogurt, toast, make-your-own waffles, fruit, juice, coffee and pastries. I'm not a big breakfast eater so this was sufficient for me.
St Phillips Plaza has several restaurants - Vivace is high-end Italian, very good. Union Station is a sports pub with good eats. LIV is open only breakfast and lunch, sandwiches and soups, also very good. All have outdoor seating. The Plaza area is quiet and shaded and very pleasant.
Two more neighbors worth mentioning - in the title of this review. First, Trader Joe's is just a quick walk to the south. You don't have to cross busy Campbell Ave - there are bike/walking trails on both sides of the RIllito RIver, which is just to the south of St Phillips Plaza. The paths go under the bridge so you don't have to dodge traffic to get your TJs fix. For those not familiar with Tucson, Rillito River really only runs in monsoon season, or perhaps some winters when it rain hard and long, most of the times its a dry wash. But --- it is home to thousands of bats, who live under the Campbell Ave bridge. I invite you to go out in the evening, near the bridge on the bike trail, and about 15 min after sunset they start coming out. It's not a big flurry of activity all at once but a steady stream of the cute little creatures. (However, I understand that in May, when they all come back from various migrations, there is a big cloud of them and it's spectacular!) Anyway, be assured that these little Mexican Fruit Bats will NOT hurt you, will NOT bite you. They're looking for food (they're the main pollinators of Sahuaros, IIRC) and they have their own sonar system and don't especially want to mess with you. If you feel particularly brave, stand *under* the bridge on the walkway during all this and you'll hear their little chirps (part of the sonar - in the range we puny humans can hear) as they fly all around. Pretty neat-o.
Back to the review. If there is any drawback to this hotel and it's nice location is the access to Campbell and River Drives. In traffic, getting out of the Plaza onto Campbell is, well, challenging. It'll take awhile. You'll have to turn right (to the north). I suggest using the "back way" and getting out of the plaza onto River Rd, heading eastbound. If you want to go south or west, you'll have to make some detours and u-turns (which are not only allowed, but seem to be encouraged in Tucson. Strange.) -- but you'll get used to it.
Really liked this place and would stay again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All-suite Tucson, AZ, hotel near the University of Arizona Located less than five miles from the University of Arizona's main campus, Homewood Suites by Hilton(R) Tucson/St. Philip's Plaza University places guests near sporting events and cultural attractions. This extended-stay hotel in Tucson, Arizona, is set in the beautiful St. Philip's Plaza in the Catalina foothills, with wonderful shopping and dining options just steps away, including a weekend Farmer's Market featuring Southern Arizona's largest market devoted entirely to locally grown and manufactured products. Our Tucson hotel by Rillito River Park offers 12 miles of riverside trails. Enjoy easy access to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Biosphere 2. Corporate travelers will appreciate our proximity to Honeywell, Raytheon, Ventana Medical and the University of Arizona Medical Center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Windmill Suites Of Tucson Hotel Tucson
- Windmill Inn Tucson