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“It's an older resort, so if you get a good deal, it may be worth it.”

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Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Rio Rico
Chandler, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“It's an older resort, so if you get a good deal, it may be worth it.”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Visited on a getaway with my wife on an Amazon Local deal.

Here's the good:

1. Great mountain views. Ask for a room that faces north/northeast. We stayed on the 3rd floor (note: no elevators).
2. Quiet resort.
3. About a mile walk to a few restaurants (check out pizza place and Nickel's Diner. Both were good).
4. Pool and hot tub were kept up to date and were nice.
5. Bar served an Esplendor Draft that I had both days. Good happy hour prices. Free popcorn to munch on too.
6. Breakfast was good, but overpriced. Glad someone passed me a corporate voucher so it was free.
7. Staff was nice.
8. Tennis courts were not in resort shape, but playable.

The not so good:

1. Desperately needs more updates. This is an old resort and it shows.
2. The walking trails are not kept by the grounds crew.
3. Comfort of the bed was average. Sheets were nice.
4. Dinner was WAY over-priced and had no taste. For a 25+ dollar meal, Denny's would have been better (that hurts to type). NY strip lacked taste, baked potato wasn't very soft and Mexican veggie dish was bland. My wife had the 'manager's favorite' shrimp pasta dish and it was also bland.
5. While walking back from Nickel's diner for lunch, a car was chased in by the cops. Drug runners. They ditched the car in some bushes and one suspect got away. Watched the cops ATV around the mountain and search a nearby development from my balcony for about a half hour. I don't think they caught him. Epic story though!

Bottom line.

Choose wisely. If you can find a deal to come, it might be worth it to lay by the pool. Don't expect much from the restaurant or room though. Our Amazon deal was for 2 nights, $129. We had a free bottle of wine and $50 dining credit included. Totally worth it to us for 2 nights.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JandKScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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357 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
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English first
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014

I recently stayed 2 nights at Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico, as they were the host hotel for the 2014 Nogales Bicycle Classic.

First, I must say, that if Mayberry RFD had a Hispanic demographic, this is it. It was a great relief coming from Tucson to this wonderful, relaxed environment. While riding the bike event, I asked a local cyclist (a cattle rancher) why the motorists were so kind. He said, "We are not in a hurry, here."

The front desk staff were very friendly. They could chat it up with the best of the New Mexico folks that I've met. :)

My room was very clean and had a nice view of the rolling mesquite groves and mountains of the area from the outdoor balcony. The walls were solid plaster, and the floor was tiled. The living area had a nice rug over much of the tile. The bathroom had a beautifully painted sink, and unique "roadrunner" tiles placed in creative places.

The pool was well-heated and of olympic-sized length. The whirlpool was spot-on regarding temperature.

The fitness room appeared "normal," with various machines, but no free weights.

The room refrigerator actually worked, although I would recommend a cooler if one needs to keep food and beverages at a very low temperature. The TV was very old, beckoning for a spot in a museum.

The bed and pillows were awesome! They were close to my own, at home!

I am going to stay at Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico again, for sure.

Dave

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014

So, first off; I read the reviews other people left, and I'm wondering if we were at the same place?? The grounds were breathtaking, and our King Suite was absolutely divine! We got two full rooms for $145.00 AFTER tax (their BOGO promotion) on a weekend. The mexican tiles in the bathrooms (2 FULL bathrooms, btw) the spacious rooms, the artwork, the views from the patios (two of those too)… LOVED IT. Everyone was ridiculously awesome (my French boyfriend kept remarking on he couldn't believe how nice everyone was, lol)- the overnight desk clerk brought me eye drops to our room at 2am with a smile! I appreciated that there weren't a ton of people, or kids running around like tiny banshees everywhere- we wanted a romantic weekend away from our busy lives, and thats exactly what we got. The food at the restaurant was excellent, as were the drinks. Tubac, the lovely little hippie town of artists and workshops was 15 mins down the road, along with a fabulous Italian place that we ate at twice one day, it was so good. If you want some posh weekend at the W (which we have done), then this isn't the place for you. However, if you want a beautiful, Old Spanish charm hotel that is clean, spacious, and quiet so that you can decompress, then this IS the place for you. Side note- we have talked about this weekend/hotel more than we have our weekend in Sedona at the $350.00 per night hotel. We are excited to go back for another stay-cation very soon.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank azpyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Mountain Falls, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 30, 2014

We so thoroughly enjoyed our stay....all 5 nights of it. The resort has beautiful views and the grounds are well taken care of. We booked because they are pet friendly and that is certainly true. It's not like some places you stay where they put you in a smelly, torn up secondary room because you have a pet. The rooms were very comfortable and clean. The beds and pillows were top notch. We would definitely return again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aunttb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
phoenix
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2014

The reviews on this resort where all over the place, so when my wife told me she had a Groupon for 2 nights we headed down for for a little "staycation"... weather was great, very scenic venue. We took our two boys and little dog with us, for $25 one-time fee pets are very welcome. The room was fine if not dated/tired but clean, had mini-fridge, mini-TV (not the big flat screen but good enough). Front desk staff really sweet...pool was lovely and HEATED (which means it is warm enough to swim during winter months) and the hot tub was HOT. Nice rambling grounds, layout relative to lobby is goofy, many stairs if you don't ask for "lobby-level". Parking sort of around south side, but be ready to hump your bags up couple flights of stairs. Overall, we had no issues with the room/grounds/parking. But if you want something, don't call, walk over to the front desk and ask. Same for poolside drinks, get these yourself at the bar. Bar was fun.

Big negative: the food quality was very poor. Wait-staff competence sort of hit or miss, clearly the place is being run by the locals, which isn't a bad thing, but I think the dining could use some "big city" refinement. Dining room was deserted, now we know why. We had a coupon so we tried dinner on arrival and were very disappointed...do NOT get the Friday fish fry... don't get anything, rather head down the hill to little pizzaria near grocery store (do not by groceries there, killer prices, stock up your cooler at Costco for the weekend instead). If the management of this place were serious, they would get a new chef and kitchen/waitstaff team and really make the dining experience fun. Not hard. We were not greeted at the restaurant, rather we sort of wandered in and found a table... the seating gal was over in the bar, I think she was doing two jobs at once. Our poor waiter, must have been his first day on the job... I felt bad for him.

I mean we had a nice time overall, but the memories of the first and only meal there were hard to shake... I would probably go back with the kids, it is a great place to chill and relax for regular families, nothing high-end or shi-shi here, but there has to be a decent restaurant because it is a resort and it is far away from other food choices. I think the place is hurting financially, hard to get momentum with a bunch of discount (Groupon) campers like us...we are not helping!

Room Tip: ask for a room at lobby level. don't cut across grass cuz lots of dogs do their thing there
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank clumsy_phx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Townsend, Washington
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2014 via mobile

Pics look great but hotel doesn't live up to it. Well worn & untrained staff. Checkin is 3 and it took until 5 pm for room to be ready, desk said they were short of help.
I ask for hot tea & hot water was served in large styrofoam cup. Tortilla soup night before was cold.
Pass on this one, even though price was good at $80 night. Place was empty & I see why. Heritage Hotels?

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank BrentfromPT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Rio Rico hotels

Sahuarita, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
52 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

My family and I visited last weekend for a long weekend "staycation." Similar to other reviews, the photos are beautiful and there are some great things about the resort BUT the rundown and deserted "feel" to the place is a bit off-putting. LOTS of stairs and no elevator. The pool was by far the best feature -- huge and sparkling, very beautiful with a nice hot spa. The lounge areas around the pool were great, too. But there were no towels and the towel area was closed. In addition, the grounds and gardens were very pretty, but they just didn't seem to utilize the spaces well.

Our room was a double. We requested a microwave in our reservation, but still needed to ask for it and it was brought later. The beds were basic -- no extra pillows or blankets in room -- but still comfortable. And of course, a VERY QUIET location -- which was great!

We were using the hotel as a homebase while we toured Tubac, Patagonia, etc. We were gone the entire day on Sunday and never had maid service. When we remarked on it at checkout, the hotel desk said "Oh, they are around on Sundays....." No apology was offered.

Food was good, but very overpriced. Staff in the main dining room was very friendly, as were room service attendants, but the "saloon" area seemed overwhelmed and staff didn't give very friendly service. Again, good food once we got it, but $142 for 3 for dinner was exorbitant....and not a value for what we received (no alcohol included in that tab).

Lovely location -- we really wish that someone would take over the property and help it fulfill its potential. Did not feel Spa or Resort-like at all......We won't be returning unless we hear that a major overhaul is done. Too bad -- used to be a GORGEOUS destination.....a bit past its prime now.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that overlooks the pool. We asked for a first floor room, but didn't understand...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Linda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico

Property: Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico
Address: 1069 Camino Caralampi, Rio Rico, AZ 85648-1610
Location: United States > Arizona > Rio Rico
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Rio Rico
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico 3.5*
Number of rooms: 179
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover simplicity, beauty, and understated elegance. The Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico combines the essence of the Old West with spirit of Old Mexico. With its acclaimed cuisine, championship golf, and memorable vistas, Esplendor Resort offers an exciting place for travelers to enjoy the beautiful scenery and history of southern Arizona. The 179 comfortable guest rooms are adorned with evocative Southwest furnishings. Just 40 minutes south of Tuscon, Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico will transport you to another world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esplendor Resort At Rio Rico Hotel Rio Rico
Esplendor Resort Rio Rico
Esplendor Hotel Rio Rico
Rio Rico Resort

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