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“A most pleasing experience from start to finish.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Inns at El Rancho Merlita

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The Inns at El Rancho Merlita
Ranked #9 of 48 Tucson B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Silver City, New Mexico
Level Contributor
67 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A most pleasing experience from start to finish.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2012

This B&B is one of the nicest we have ever stayed at. It is clean, well cared for and well staffed by great people. Patie is quite helpful and provides a great breakfast that is second to none.
The grounds are well designed and very well cared for. The buildings look great and provide a really comfortable experience.
We visit Tucson regularly and the Inns will be our place to stay from now on.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pat0110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    179
    5
    2
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lake Forest Park, WA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2012

This is a fantastic B&B but, frankly, it's more than that. Or at least more than any other B&B we've ever visited. We honestly felt like we were at an exclusive Hollywood-ish retreat, perhaps in Palm Springs. Maybe it's because it was built by Merle Norman, but whatever it is, they make you feel—very—special.

• It is very, very private. Entrance is gated and the road winds back a few hundred yards to immaculately kept grounds where the paths are raked to look like zen gardens, flowers are blooming, and nooks to be discovered. It is a peaceful, relaxing escape.

• It is elegant in an old money, Arizona way. Leather. Textiles. Paintings and sculpture here and there.

• There are numerous sitting areas and alcoves tucked-in across the grounds as well as several firepits, horseshoes, labyrinth, etc.

• The breakfasts are outstanding with many organic and locally sourced foods and can be eaten inside adjacent to the kitchen or outside in a neat patio area. Full, hearty and different, but always tasty. They easily accommodated our dietary concerns. And it was nice to discover a mid-afternoon snack with prickly-pear lemonade or ice tea.

• The attention to detail is very high. The grounds and buildings are immaculately kept. The rooms are beautiful and spotlessly clean. Ours included a safe, TV, small fridge (with 2 stainless water bottles), extra little touches like Q-tips and cotton balls in the bathroom, etc. The touches of the innkeeper (Pattie), the architect/owner, and an interior designer are everywhere and were a pleasure to find. (For example, lockable, beautiful iron screen doors so you can let the cool evening breezes in while you are out to dinner.)

• Stunning pool and hot tub with loungers, tables and plenty of shade (if desired).

• It takes a short drive to get there from the major highways (30 minutes or so), but it is worth it. And it is convenient to quite a few terrific golf courses (Arizona National for one), the eastern segment of Saguaro National Park and hiking in the Catalinas and the Rincons. And there are a number of good restaurants within 15 minutes and many within 30.

• Very nice to wake up to doves, road runners, hummingbirds.

• Pattie is a special inn manager. She is gracious, professional, quick with recommendations, but it is her attention to detail and experience that really helps set El Rancho Merlita apart.


This is simply a stunning southwestern inn. After 4 days we really, really didn't want to leave. That tells you how much we loved El Rancho Merlita. And it is an an outstanding value, particularly in the shoulder or off seasons. We give it our—very—highest recommendation.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MEsteban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
137 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2012 via mobile

This was such a beautiful place...an incredibly relaxing and comfortable historical ranch property that has been carefully restored. The Merle Norman suite was perfect and very spacious. Cindy and Amy were so wonderful, helpful and gracious. The grounds are beautifully maintained, including the large pool which was very refreshing in the 100 degree heat. The breakfasts were amazing. Peaceful relaxation and warm hospitality in a serene setting.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Local50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2012

the desert setting is spectacular. The elegant main building was built in the 20s and has larger rooms; the second building is fine, but the rooms are smaller. The sense of peace, the hummingbird garden and the lovely setting make this an ideal destination for those who want to "get away from the bustle." Do not try to check in before three with out prior arrangements.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank calliope026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermilion, Ohio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2012

My husband and I returned from The Inns at El Rancho Merlita a week ago and had a wonderful time. The positives about this B&B are:
-The beautiful grounds
-The relaxing environment
-The wonderful breakfasts
- The historical and lovely main house
- Proximity to many destinations

I would recommend staying in one of the larger rooms in the main house, its easy to grab a cup of their delicious coffee in the morning and walk outside to soak in the sun, and watch the quails and hummingbirds Having only eight rooms means you sometimes feel you have the place to yourself, which added to the relaxing atmosphere. Amy and Pattie were helpful and saw to any small problems we had.
If I would list any negatives....even though it was 90 degrees the pool was still too cold to swim in, although lounging around it and dipping my feet in were a treat! The TVs in the rooms are really small but there is a large one in the main house. Don't know if we will travel to Tuscon again but if we do this is the place we would stay!

Room Tip: some rooms are quite small, ask for a larger room....worth the money and the comfort.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BonnieVermilion_Ohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2012

My girlfriend and I recently had a short, two-night stay at the Inns. It was a perfect experience away from work and school. We just wanted to kick back and relax. The grounds were so peaceful and spread out that we just ended up staying on the premises all day, laying out by the pool and having a picnic at one of the many cozy tables strategically placed under an sheltering and shading tree.

And, of course, breakfast was important and wonderful. Fresh juice and coffee every morning and Pattie's cooking is incredibly flavorful. The first morning we were treated to chilequiles, an amazing baked egg dish with corn tortillas and green chiles all mixed together, served with salsa and sour cream complimented by fresh banana bread. The next morning, she baked us bread pudding using fresh pretzel bread from a local bakery complimented by a side of fresh fruit salad and savory bacon. The breakfasts might seem modest at first, but the flavors totally own up to a 5-star meal.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2012

We spent 3 nights in March 2012 to tour the Tucson area and do a little cycling. This is a beautiful property, tastefully developed and renovated. The decorating was really gorgeous and no detail has been missed. The breakfasts were tasty and nutritious. Its the type of property where you just want to hang around and soak it all in. Our innkeeper was friendly, thoughtful and very helpful. When we go back to Tucson, we will definetly stay there again.

By the way, its very well located to the bike ride up Mt. Lemmon!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank daleinclagary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inns at El Rancho Merlita

Property: The Inns at El Rancho Merlita
Address: 1924 N Corte El Rancho Merlita, Tucson, AZ 85715-4493
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 48 B&Bs / Inns in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay at the historic 1950’s Merle Norman Ranch House and estate. Carved wood beams, rope trim, and hand hewn local rock fireplaces define this home. Outside, relax under deep shaded porches, and enjoy the swimming pool and spa. At night, cuddle up in our soft Egyptian cotton sheets and luxurious Museum of New Mexico Collection bedding. Every morning Innkeeper Pattie Bell will greet you with her freshly prepared breakfasts, inspired by southern Arizona local flavor. ... more   less 

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