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“Astonishing Refreshment!”

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The Inns at El Rancho Merlita
Ranked #9 of 48 Tucson B&B and Inns
Wellington, Missouri, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Astonishing Refreshment!”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

This review is long overdue, but our experience was soooo good, I just have to share it. My wife and I were in town to visit one daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter while moving the other daughter and her family into Tucson. We needed a getaway for ourselves and my wife found El Rancho Merlita. A housekeeping problem forced an upgrade to the Merle Norman Suite. What a delight! The suite is beautiful, spacious and well equipped for relaxation and refreshment. Pattie Bell made us feel welcome and treated us like old friends. The pool was unbelievable and an after sundown swim was the perfect way to unwind after a hot, summer day in Tucson. And the grounds truly transport you to another era. It was easy to imagine Merle Norman's extravagant employee getaways. Our only regret was that we only had 24 hours for our getaway. I can only say ditto to the other five-star comments. Their reviews are not exaggerations, as hard as it is to picture an experience like this.

Room Tip: The Merle Norman Suite is definitely worth the extra price. From looking at some of the other rooms...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ChristopherBarnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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English first
Florence, AZ
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

We are so glad that we chose this B&B for our two-night stay. Our room was great, but the community rooms were awesome. Everything is decorated in a beautiful Arizona-style. The fabulous view of the Catalina Mountains can be enjoyed from the living room, the front veranda, or our guest room. The gated expanse of mature desert, a lovely front lawn, relaxing swimming pool and hot tub add to the feeling of being tucked away in a beautiful estate all your own. There are trails to walk, a labyrinth, outbuildings, and lots of places to sit and enjoy the views. Each morning we had breakfast on the back patio with the hummingbirds and small birds providing the entertainment. The terrific blue corn pancakes with prickly pear or mesquite bean syrup were delicious. The next day we had fresh fruit smoothies and delicious chilaquilles baked in individual bowls locally made with the Inns logo. We set out to visit the Tucson area each morning with cold water bottles provided for our use. We returned after a hot day to refreshing pricky pear lemonade and ginger-cornmeal cookies before we cooled off in the pool. We hated to leave, but we'll be back.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Arizona Territory room that had a separate entrance out to the front veranda. It w...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Florencex2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Our first time in Tucson, we stayed in the Arroyo at the Inns of El Rancho Merlita from Sept. 20 through Sept 25, 2012. Located immediately east of Tanque Verde Blvd. on the northeast side of Tucson, the main house is the former home of cosmetics queen Merle Norman, and was the 2009 Decorator Show House for the Tucson Museum of Art. Our primary hostess, Pattie, was a terrific resource for local sites and restaurant recommendations and she also prepared wonderful filling breakfasts. The rooms are very comfortable and well-laid out. The pool was quiet and relaxing, and included a spa. Homemade cookies and prickly pear lemonade were provided throughout the afternoon, as were tea and coffee. Though we didn't partake, massage was available by appointment. We easily filled four and a half days in Tucson and there are still activities to experience when we return. Even our fellow guests were varied and friendly. There is no doubt we will return to both Tucson and The Inns at El Rancho Merlita!

Room Tip: The Merle Norman suite is lovely and extensive, but the smaller rooms are also very comfortable.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GriffinzMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 10, 2012

We decided to stay at Rancho Merlita while in Tucson for a wedding despite living just outside of town. Boy, were we glad we did! My family lives just south of Tucson and we come once a year. Staying here will become part of our visit!

We were the only people at the rancho and what a wonderful experience. Pattie was very generous and upgraded us to a beautiful room. The Inn is small and with this comes an attention to detail that denotes a pride in the establishment. The room came with bathrobes and house slippers. The best surprise were the chilled aluminum water bottles in the in-room fridge. It was a terrific idea in the summer desert. The bed was wonderful. Outside there were ample nooks to sit and relax while watching the desert. We took a dip in the gorgeous pool, which is saltwater so better for your skin and hair. Our breakfast was amazing, distinctly local and delicious! I only wish we could stay an entire week! We ran out of time to explore the library, relax in the living room, sit on the expansive porches, do yoga in the studio, play ping pong and sit under the stars.

Do yourself a favor and book a room.

Room Tip: Stay in the summer and you will have the place to yourself!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AlexisG357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montana Rose
Level Contributor
954 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 435 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2012

I no longer have to wonder about where to stay when I come to Tucson. This place is great. I'm a Tucson native, and I come here quite a bit to visit family and friends. Sometimes I stay with family, other times I like to hang out with my husband in a quiet place and escape all the drama. This place is quintessential Tucson....a lovely ranch house, a pool, some lawn, desert space, and all the southwestern touches...done tastefully. It's on the west side of town which may not be convenient for everyone, but this is my favorite side of town - low key and close to the mountains. The view is lovely, everything was well maintained and clean, and fantastic breakfasts to boot. We hung out on the porch a lot, used the pool, and watched (and listened) to lots of the local wildlife everyday. Patti was very sweet. She made breakfast early one morning so we could meet my mother early and she also made us a 'breakfast to go bag' so we had something to eat on our 7am flight. She also recommended great places to eat nearby. She really went out of her way to make us feel welcome. The 4 days we spent there were some of the most relaxing days I've ever had in Tucson. We shall return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MTRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ERMPB, Manager at The Inns at El Rancho Merlita, responded to this review, August 9, 2012
Thanks for the great review. Just to clarify, we are on the EAST side of Tucson, not the WEST. We are 5-10 minutes from plenty of dining, shopping and area attractions and 25 minutes from Downtown. You will find good map and directions at our website.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver City, New Mexico
Level Contributor
46 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

This is a great place to stay and off the beaten path, at least it seems that way when you arrive as you don't hear road noise and you get to hear the birds. What a joy. Lovely view of the mountains from the front of the ranch and nice bird watching. Also good bird watching during breakfast. Our innkeeper, Amy, was very friendly and helpful and the breakfasts were great. We were treated to a coyote trotting along the back path while we enjoyed breakfast. Also, numerous quail, hummingbirds, cooper's hawk, cardinals, bunnies, prairie dogs, etc. A very enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank znewmex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Ronkonkoma, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2012

Looking for a 5 star retreat from the ordinary?, then look no further. Although I stayed here in October of 2011, I am a bit of a procrastinator, but wanted the time to be able to review this wonderful place when I had the proper time to do so.
I had acquired BedandBreakfast.com gift cards, and wanted to use them on my vacation to Arizona. I spent time researching different places, and was drawn to the beauty on their website. This retreat was once owned by the cosmetic giant Merle Norman. There is a main house, and an addition, private, and just as nice. The manager, Pattie, was terrific, and offered lots of information about the estate and surrounding area. She was able to recommend a great restaurant for dinner, and a beautiful park to sightsee. The gardens are especially pretty. Everything is so beautifully landscaped, and up kept. There were fire pits, where we could have our own night time fire. They even supplied the wood, papers and matches. The rooms were decorated with the best of everything. Nothing about these rooms and stay was bad in any way. The needs of everyone were looked after, and the breakfast was delicious. I felt like I was at a celebrities home, and that I was catered to every minute. The views of the mountains, the starry night skies, and the peace and quiet I experienced, were something I will always remember. I look forward to visiting The Inns at El Rancho Merlita again. It was something out of the ordinary, a great bed and breakfast retreat, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Room Tip: We stayed at the Arroyo Bonito room D in the addition. It was private, with it's own patio. You...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Timebanditts
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
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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