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The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
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Reviewed May 1, 2011

This is a beautiful place, set in a canyon and surrounded by scenic mountain views. It is a very new facilty and spotless.

Overall the staff is very customer centric.

The spa is first class and and there is also a fairly good fitness center. Top notch golfing as well. Very nice rooms and balconies.

The food was OK, bur the service a little inconsistent. They try to be a little too fancy at times.

Overall very peaceful place and I would go back again in the future.

Room Tip: Go for uppper floor
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bobk1717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2011

We decided to take a quick spring break trip with our two daughters (16 & 8) to a Ritz Carlton property. We wanted a short, non-stop flight from Colorado and Dove Mountain fit the bill. We weren’t excited about a non-club level stay (for reasons unknown, their club level is currently not in operation), but the resort looked tranquil, esthetically pleasing and offered the sunshine we were so desperately seeking! We arrived very early to take advantage of our first day and we were surprised that our room was ready. I had called ahead to have a special birthday surprise inside the room for my husband – and it was – just addressed to somebody else! Not a huge deal, we were happy to be in our room and in a fantastic (for us) location – first floor with the ability to walk out our sliding door and be on the sidewalk to “everything” in moments, while still maintaining a vast view of the cactus-lined hills. The room itself is large, nicely decorated and as comfortable as we had anticipated! We booked a pool cabana (nominal fee) for that day (we also had reserved two additional days later in the week) and went to find it by the lower, more “family friendly” pool. There are three pools total – two directly near each other, with the lower pool with the waterslide, making it a more kid-friendly choice. The “Turquesa” pool right above the waterslide pool is also available to families, but we gravitated to the bottom pool for the slide. The third pool is at the spa and is “adults only” and we never did get by there to take a look. The cabana reservations stated a whole array of things it included. The pool appeared to be understaffed and we only received about half of the items that the cabana stated it would receive. While not a huge deal, we did decide to cancel the other two days we had reserved. The cabanas could be a big attraction if they ever get the set-up right as a private place of shade can be priceless for a family with small children. The service you receive pool-side (sans cabana) is sufficient if not equal to the cabana clientele. We had lunch by the pool a few days (using Turquesa Grill) and while the menu isn’t huge, it’s suitable and was served timely and delicious. Drink orders were served fast and always with a smile. The pool staff walked around replenishing ice water as well as handing out small cups of flavored ice to eat. These folks work tirelessly and were really great; Craig is a standout here! We dined at the main restaurant “Core” our first evening where our meal was enhanced by the diligence of Peter! He continued to be a highlight for us during our stay as we proceeded to dine at “Core” every breakfast and Peter would see to it that we were well taken care of. Speaking of breakfast….this was a wonderful way to start each day. The buffet is amazing, but the breakfast burrito is not to be missed. We sat in Mark’s section that first day and came back to him every morning! Between Mark and Peter – we were spoiled with the best attention any Ritz Carlton restaurant can give. The rest of our dinners were spent outside at “Ignite”, the more casual/lobby bar and restaurant. Their small menu is sufficient in variety and delivers in flavor. The ambience of this outdoor area is wonderful; fire pits, views of the hills. If you’re waited on by Stacy, you’re in for a treat. She was lightning fast and efficient and we enjoyed our time best when she was serving us. The evening presentation of the small history of the Hohokam Indian tribe and the flutist playing on the mountain is a treat. Our first evening, the moon was rising just above where the flutist played…..magical. They set up a screen at one of the pools and played a kids movie one night (it was the week before Easter, spring break – don’t know if that is a regular event), s’mores kits were available for purchase to “cook” in a fire, etc. All in all – lots of lovely things to do and plenty to look at if you choose to do nothing at all. Having come off a flawless visit at the Ritz Carlton, Denver – I would have to say a small nuisance would be the housekeeping at this property. Had this department not failed, the stay would’ve been pristine (message me for details if you’d like further information) as it was an ongoing issue that disrupted an otherwise wonderful stay. Flying in and out of the Tuscan airport is easy as it’s pretty small – the drive to the resort is a mere 45 mins (or less) and the hotel recommends a car service that we used and it was seamless. All in all, it was a wonderful stay and very relaxing. I might consider visiting Dove Mountain again when/if the housekeeping department gets more aligned with the Ritz Carlton standards and in keeping with the rest of the amazing staff.

Room Tip: appears all rooms are great
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank Amy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2011

Our family has benefited from TripAdvisor reviews for many years. We have never contributed a review, despite our frequent travels. We felt compelled to write our first review after staying at this resort for a little over a week. We have stayed at 13 Ritz Carltons so far and this is now among our top three, along with Grand Caymen and Kapalua.

The level of service was tremendous. We ended up extending our trip by a few days, because we experienced some cold and rainy weather the first couple of days. Many of the staff knew us by name by the time we left the resort. We even received personal cards from two of the managers, Edward (CORE) and Matt (Ignite) and little care packages for us and our four year old daughter. That was a very nice gesture and much appreciated.

To begin with, we were a little nervous about spending a vacation in a more remote area such as Dove Mountain/Marana. When we drove up to the resort, we were astonished by how beautiful the resort is. It usually takes us a day or so after we travel to begin to relax and enjoy our vacation, but our enjoyment began right away. We used the lower swimming pool the first evening, despite the cooler weather. The lower pool which is very child/toddler friendly is heated to 86 degrees, so you can swim anytime, despite the conditions. It even has some very nice waterpark-like features such as a slide and a fountain splash area for the kids to run through.

The hiking in the area is incredible. We loaded up our daughter in a backpack every day and explored the many wonderful hiking trails in the area. The mountain and desert scenery is amazing. Fortunately, we did not encounter any snakes during our hikes, only rabbits, a road runner and a javelina. The resort also has local park rangers on site that offer guided hikes each day. The hikes range from basic walking to strenuous mountain climbing.

As far as dining is concerned, the resort is somewhat isolated, so you don't have a wide array of dining choices. The hotel itself has several restaurants to choose from. We found that the evening dining selection at the resort is somewhat limited, i.e. either higher-end or appetizer fare. They do offer sushi on limited nights as well as evening golf course dining. Be sure to check with the concierge on arrival about which nights these options are available. We missed the sushi night, thinking that we could eat sushi on another night and we were mistaken. The smores roasting is also limited, so be sure to check on which evenings that is offered as well. Another travel tip that we learned is that the lounge/restaurant "Ignite" will prepare anything that is also on the in-room dining menu. We ended up eating at Ignite more often, once we learned that we were not limited to what is posted on their menu. We used the "To-Go" cafe quite often for breakfast, coffees, smoothies, etc. We only wished that they would have been open later in the day for evening gelato for our daughter. We did visit a local Italian restaurant down the mountain called "Vero Amore". They have awesome pizza, pasta and salads if you would like to go outside the resort for some variety.

The resort spa is beautiful and it has its own swimming pool. The fitness center rivals a commercial gym that you might belong to. It has the best equipment, a nice selection of free weights, universal equipment and a large number of treadmills, elipticals, etc.

As far as other entertainment options in the area, we went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum which is a very nice indoor/outdoor living desert museum. The Ritz also arranged a pony ride for our daughter at the nearby White Stallion Ranch. We couldn't have received better service at the Ranch. They even have a nice petting zoo on site for the children. Marana is close by if you want to go to a movie, grocery store, chain restaurant, etc. We did not venture out much beyond dinner at night, but those options are also available.

Altogether, this is one of the best vacations we have ever taken. My compliments to all of the Ritz staff for a wonderful time. I think that the resort has a very wide appeal for families and couples alike. You can be as adventurous as you like, or just hang out at the resort in the pool, spa, etc. One of our favorite things to do in the evening was to sit out on the upper veranda next to a fire pit, gazing at the mountains and stars. The resort also has a flute player every evening that plays beautiful Native American music from the mountain.

One tip that we would provide to future travelers is to consider your air options into and out of Phoenix. We found the direct air options into Tucson are very limited and expensive. We would have traveled into and out of Phoenix if we had known that it was fairly close to the Ritz. Another tip is that the dress is fairly casual at the resort, probably due to the outdoor environment. You can really dress as casual or as sophisticated as you prefer and blend in quite well. Finally, it would seem to us that most of the rooms would provide great views from the veranda. We did ask to change our room location upon arrival to a more direct pool/mountain view, which was quickly accomodated.

Room Tip: Visit your room first and request to change rooms
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank MNSnowtravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2011

My husband and I stayed at Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain with only 2 regrets -
1. The weather could have been warmer and less windy...
2. Our stay could have been (much) longer.

Seriously - the location was a bit off the beaten path but we were there to resort and that is just what we did...The property was lovely - well laid out, the pool was clean and marvelous as was the jacuzzi. The Turquesa lunch restaurant was marvelous - Marguritas and all. The CORE restaurant provided a wonderful breakfast (included in our package) and delicious dinners. We cancelled Caytons' after eating there the first night so that we could return to CORE

The Spa was a practically religous experience. The private pool was filled with warm salt water and the outdoor pool jacuzzi had a waterfall that poured hot water all over your back and shoulders - better than a massage. Fabulous steam and saunas. Quiet and laid back.

And where do I begin about the service? Everyone addressed us by name and was so friendly. And our wish was their command. By the end of our stay, I was totally convinced that if there had been a puddle in my path, someone would have thrown their jacket over it so I would not have to get my feet wet. YES - the service was that good. there was no nickel and diming for resort fees, water, or any other amenitieseither . Entrance to the spa was included with your treatment or cost $25 without it . Worth every blessed penny...

At night, things were really mellow. Each evening, we first listened to the story of the Spirit of Adventure - complete with a recital from a Native American flutist standing on a mountainside - playing songs to the sunset. Cocktails at Ignite took place around these huge, wonderful firepits. We sat around these again after dinner, listening to a fabulous jazz duo the first night, and a fantastic guitar player/singer the second. It rained the day we left which took some of the sting out of having to make our way back up to Scottsdale...but part of me really wished we could have stayed longer. Maybe next time....

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank topiarylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2011

We just returned from our fourth anniversary celebration. This is a terrific, tranquil and restorative place to go. The staff are almost amazingly friendly and polite yet also genuinely interested in giving you the best experience there. The spa is terrific, easily comparable to the R/C @ Grande Lakes ( Orlando ) in quality. Very serene, even sublime. The setting is spectacular and needs to be b/c you are a bit away from the city of Tucson. The golf course is immaculate, well-staffed and frankly awesome- bring the proverbial " A-game ". We will likely return at least on a yearly basis. Bravo!

Room Tip: Go for shoulder season.
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MalcolmOrlando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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