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“Pretty Good Stay with a Couple of Major Hiccups”

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Lodge on the Desert
Ranked #17 of 129 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 9, 2012

After doing extensive research on Trip Advisor, I booked a delux king room at this property to celebrate my birthday with my girlfriend. Soon thereafter and to my delight, I discovered a Groupon offering on the Internet, which saved us some additional $$. The customer service beforehand was excellent and transitioning between reservations because of the Groupon was a breeze.

One of the main reasons why I booked the room was for the 42 inch LCD. It was a huge Saturday for college football and I was looking forward to eating at the restaurant and enjoying the games. Before booking the room, I went so far as to call the property to make sure they carried the channels that I wanted to watch. I also reviewed the menu extensively online and called the restaurant to make sure they could accommodate any special dietary requests that we have - as we are both on restrictive diets.

Check-in was a breeze and we soon had our room with good views of the Catalina Mountains. Everything was great until I turned on the TV set. Right off the bat, the reception for CBS was fuzzy. I contacted the front desk and they had someone come right up. All the maintenance guy did was play with the remote control and adjust the brightness, sharpness, and contrast of the picture which I knew wasn't going to eliminate all of its static. I decided I could live with it as some of the channels seemed to come in acceptable enough (although none were in HD.)
After enjoying happy hour at the bar (where the TV reception was fine) we retired to the room to watch some more games. Unfortunately, the reception went from pretty bad on CBS to absolutely atrocious on ABC and NBC. I got a headache trying to watch TV. I couldn't even see the football.

Again, I brought this issue up with the front desk who told me that it was a problem with the cable company. (How come the reception was fine at the bar?) At this point in time, I explained this was unacceptable and asked for some form of discount compensation as this was one of the main reasons why I booked the room. The clerk offered to switch our room to one in a less desirable area of the property, which I declined. We were already settled in and this was a hassle. He said he would have to talk to the general manager and left us know at checkout if anything could be done. Unfortunately, I never heard from him again.

Well, I figured since I couldn't watch football we might as well go to the restaurant to have some dinner. The ambiance was lovely, but again, the service was bad news. Despite ordering only dinner (without drinks, salads, or appetizers) the server managed to botch both of our orders including serving me the wrong dish completely. What annoyed me even more, is that she knew they prepared the wrong dish, but she actually tried to pass it off on me anyways. Once I mentioned it to her, she acted like it was no big deal and said the correct dish would be right up. Needless to say that we didn't eat together at all. Meal pretty much ruined. Mine was comped (after I asked to speak to the manager) and the food was good, but certainly not great, nor original and for the quality it was most definitely overpriced. For the money, I would not eat there again nor do I recommend it.

Overall, we still had a nice time as I wasn't going to let anything ruin our experience. It is a very pretty property, the rooms are spacious, clean and very quiet, and happy hour was awesome. The beds were fairly comfortable and the ceiling fan and fireplace are nice touches. There were a couple oddities with the room: including light switches that didn't seem to operate anything, the remote control for the TV was sticky and unreceptive, a couple of lights were burnt out including my beds overhead reading light, and the light switch for the bathroom was located in an awkward area above the sink inside the bathroom so you had to enter in the bathroom in the dark to turn on the light. The mid town location is convenient, but the surrounding neighborhood and businesses are a little on rough side. The pool is smaller with limited deck space and exposure.

Overall, for the money, I rate the value and service as average and the restaurant as below average (except the happy hour.) It's a pretty good deal if you have a Groupon, but otherwise I'd explore my options before returning.

Room Tip: eastern facing room
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frank R, General Manager at Lodge on the Desert, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Thank you for choosing one of our promotions and joining us at the Lodge on the Desert. I recognize that we did not meet your expectations and for that I sincerely apologize. After investigating your comments I would like to offer an insight into the issues you noted. Your television reception was due to two factors: The television service in Tucson comes with two channels for each station. One which is analog and one with is HD. We do caring HD service along with HBO for our guests. Regretfully our Houseman did not point this out and I apologize for this mistake on our part. The reception was due to a bad cable which we have since corrected. Again, my apologies. We do not experience this problem and this was an isolated incident but unfortunately it impacted you.Our restaurant issues are understood and I hope that our comping your meal was satisfactory to your concerns. Thank you for your kind comments regarding our Happy Hour, it is very well received by our guests. Our reputation for food has consistenly been extremely positive for the great majority of our guests and our Chef is the reigning Iron Chef of Tucson for two years running. We are fortunate that our food quality, service and menu selections have been well received by our clientle but I apologize that we did not meet your standards. I would like to take a little issue with your comments regarding our location. The neigborhood includes two golf courses two blocks away along with a major tennis facility, we are only two miles from the University of Arizona and the homes in our area, along with the school, one block away are considered a upscale midtown neighborhood. I apologize for the length of my response but the rating of our hotel as the #5 hotel in Tucson supports our position. I would hope you would reconsider returning to the Lodge on the Desert and I am confident your will enjoy your stay.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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712 - 718 of 1,032 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2012

We stayed here for two nights. And had a ground floor room. A very big room! Just like our own little house! It was extremely comfortable and quiet. The layout of the hotel is fantastic, get a map when you arrive! But it really is like being in a little oasis in the middle of the city. beautiful walkways with cactuses and flowers. All the staff were extremely helpful and the restaurant is fantastic, if breakfast is anything to go by, the evening meals must be delicious, we didn't eat here in the evening due to other engagements. It also has a reading room with free internet for all guests. Yes, I highly recommend this hotel, it is one of a kind. So I am giving it allround top marks.

Room Tip: Our room was a single ground floor unit but was fantastic. It was away from the pool and very quiet.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank emporerpenguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Perfect romantic getaway for my husband and I. Great location in the center of Tucson. We had a Traditional fireside King room. It was very large, very clean, and just perfect. We also enjoyed the bar on property with half price bottles of wine on Sundays and Mondays. We will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kyla M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Lodge on the Desert for a one-night stay during our honeymoon trip. The hotel's staff and service were superb. They helped my husband surprise me with a specially decked out room as well as champagne and strawberries. They were great to accomodate other special requests as well (early check-in, late check-out).

Our room included the luxurious spa tub. The room was very large and spacious.

We were surprised by their on-site restaurant as well. I usually expect hotel food to be overpriced and sometimes mediocre. Our meal was fantastic, the service was top-notch and it was a good value. We ate dinner and returned the next morning for breakfast.

We will definitely plan to stay there again on our next visit to Tucson.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank HNLMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

My wife and I chose The Lodge on the Desert for a recent trip to a wedding in Tucson. We were thrilled by our choice! The design of the hotel makes it feel like a small village. Because it is a smaller hotel, it didn't feel like a hike to get to any of the amenities, including the pool and restaurant. The staff was friendly and professional, and we enjoyed the fact that the pool was open 24 hours, so we could take a late night dip. Our last morning, we had breakfast at the hotel restaurant before leaving, and the meal was wonderful (try the Breakfast Tamales!).
We are both looking forward to our next Tucson visit!

Room Tip: Ask for one of the rooms in the newer part of the hotel. They're a little larger. Wifi is free...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brandon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012

My first visit to Tucson and found Lodge on the Desert through an Internet search and loved the look, exactly what I was expecting in Arizona. I was very, very pleased. I was in town to move my daughter who was going to attend U of A, expected to stay at the Lodge for one night but due to her apartment not working out we had to stay several nights. While searching for another apartment we had to keep changing our reservations and everyone was so nice and accommodating, even suggesting good areas to live and apartments to check out which is how we found the one she lives in now. We had 2 cars with a trailer, plenty of parking. The Lodge is very clean, pool is great, and very pretty landscaping. I would highly reccomend!!

Room Tip: Recommend rooms that do not face the busy street, better views and seem secluded. Also all rooms ha...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank TravelingM0m_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I spent three nights at this very nice hotel. The room was large and clean as was the bathroom. The pool area was also nice and I liked the landscaping. The front desk staff was helpful and friendly. I did not have a car, but it was easy to get to the city center with local bus. Two bus lines have stops close to the hotel and the day pass was only 3,5 dollars. I would definitely use this hotel again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Pegasos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lodge on the Desert

Address: 306 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711-2855
Location: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#9 Spa Hotel in Tucson
#11 Family Hotel in Tucson
#24 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range: $134 - $282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Lodge on the Desert 3.5*
Number of rooms: 103
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lodge on the Desert is a Tucson classic and guests experience the authenticity of the Old Pueblo blended with the modern southwest charm that has evolved throughout the Lodge's storied 80 years. This 100-room boutique hotel is situated on five acres in mid-town Tucson, AZ and appeals to leisure and business travelers alike. Plus with event spaces for up to 175 guests, Lodge on the Desert is popular for small to mid-size meetings and intimate social gatherings. An Arizona landmark and Tucson tradition renowned for its intimate residential setting and genial hospitality, here guests discover pathways meandering among regal palms, native cacti and manicured lawns wrapped in ribbons of seasonal flowers. Charming hacienda-style accommodations afford guests a sanctuary in which to retreat and relax. It is truly Tucson's urban oasis. And considered by many to be the Old Pueblo's mid-town masterpiece. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lodge On The Desert Hotel Tucson
Hotel On The Desert
On The Desert Tucson

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