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“Desert Mirage”

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Lodge on the Desert
Ranked #19 of 129 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I stayed a week at the Lodge on the Desert (LOD) along with a professional group. "Disappointed" does not cover it. I am from New Orleans, originally. What happens there is a number of hotels and restaurants dress up a place to have a French Quarter look to entice visitors who think that look equals quality and a cultural experience. A lot of those places are all style with no substance. Such is the case with LOD. This is basically a low-end establishment, like a Scottish Inns or Motel 6, but dressed up in the Santa Fe adobe look. Its not near the mountains as advertised, which are 40-plus miles away. It is downtown, and not in the most exclusive part of Tucson either. Rather its in a lower middle class neighborhood on crowded stretch of road through the suburban sprawl. Two blocks south of LOD begins the industrial, poor, urban blight part of the Old Pueblo City. But, to the rooms: Cheap, poorly appointed, e.g. corroded shower head, plastic garbage cans, no tables on the balconies (but no issue - the mountains far far away can only be seen from one side of the hotel - and not clearly). They have exposed pipes in the bathroom and the furnishings are cheap, uncomfortable and sparse. They don't have any hooks on the bathroom door or anywhere else. There is no laundry service and no bag or bellman service. You drag your own bag. The strutting property manager, has cut corners in these rooms until there are no corners. No mini-bar and just a dorm room fridge on the floor. The little Kiva fireplace works - works like a pizza oven. It will roast you. It is unusable -- unless you like to push the thermostat to 82. It has two settings - on and off and that is controlled by a light switch. I could go on. This place is not a bargain; its not an experience -- well a bad one, yes -- and its not worth half what they are charging. It is insulting to be taken for a rube by people who put "lipstick on a pig," as the saying goes. Best deal in town is in Ventana Canyon. Look it up...right IN the mountains and truly delivers what you expect and expect to pay. Avoid the LOD. Its not any more in the Desert than all of Tucson, and this is no "lodge." Its a mirage on the desert.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank le_meridional
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 April 10, 2013

We recognize and appreciate reviews of our hotel by any and all of our guests. I met with you frequently during your stay and addressed your concerns, some of which you did not mention, perhaps due to their inappropriateness. Your previous review was removed by TripAdvisor as it was agreed that it had an agenda which was not shared by any of your collegues of the large group you were a part of or the vast majority of previous guests of Lodge on the Desert. The reputation of our hotel has been consistently reviewed as a quality service oriented facility. If one wishes to purposely attack a business we can all find flaws in any business. Taking situations out of context and attempting to publicly damage a business in a manner which does not truly reflect actual conditions or the advertised descriptions of the hotel is an unfortunate reflection on the reviewer. Again, the fact that you wished to pursue this agenda a second time clearly identifies your reviews as suspect. One additional point, when Lodge on the Desert began as a private residence and then became a small southwestern lodge, it was in the desert and Tucson grew. The golf courses two blocks away, the most popular family and work out trail and restaurants, movie theaters and shopping are within 5-10 minutes more properly describes our location. I wish you well in your future travels and hope you enjoy your future hotel stays.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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615 - 621 of 1,009 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2013

A beautiful property in a good location. The rooms are modern, clean, well appointed and very comfortable. The restaurant was excellent and the food enjoyable. The pool area and pool were very clean even tho we didn't use them.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank pcleavitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We loved our stay here, convenient to the city but tucked away in a residential neighborhood with a view of the mountains. Around every corner of the the lovely grounds and adobe village atmosphere are quiet seating spots and little fountains where you can enjoy relaxing in the shade or soaking up the sun. We stayed in one of the historic casitas- a very spacious room with lots of character-kiva fireplace, hand painted folk art trim. Don't miss the restaurant-meals fabulous, inventive young award winning chef. We ate there for convenience the 1st evening and loved it so much we ate every meal there the next 4 days. The restaurant is also a lovely spot with outdoor dining and a glowing fireplace to gather around on cool evenings and indoor dining with floor-to-ceiling glass that feels like being right out on the patio. Excellent drinks with fresh juices (like watermelon), both cocktails and non-alcoholic.

Room Tip: The single story historic casitas are large and character laden and have a shower and tub.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ECandC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We decided to stay here rather than a chain on a recent visit based on past experience. Fortunately we were not disappointed. It was just as nice as before. We had a second floor room with a single King bed. The room was quiet, the A/C worked great, they had a small gas fireplace in the room.

The bathroom is large, with a very large shower but no tub, which isn't an issue for me. The front desk was very nice and friendly. All in all, I really liked the atmosphere...you couldn't tell you were in the city at all.

We also tried breakfast at the restaurant this time and were very pleased. Good prices, and very good quality food. I tried the Huevos Rancheros and they were really good.

While it didn't bother me, and wasn't an issue in any way, for some people it will matter. Our second floor room only had stair access.

Room Tip: No elevators to rooms on the second floor, so if this matters, make sure you are on the ground level...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Apljavaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

If you're looking for a place to stay with some character then, you won't be disappointed. We had a great stay here, which was helped considerably by the quality of the food in the dining room. We ate in the restaurant for 2 nights and would say that the food is some of the best we've had in Arizona. That's why it costs a little more.

The rooms were nice, but some attention needs to be paid to maintenance and cleaning. A few carpet stains, handmarks on doors and windows, could easily be addressed and make the rooms perfect.

We will be returning to Tucson next year and hope to stay here again

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank frankCentralScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We stayed in one of the historic casitas, super cute vintage feel. Great bed and bedding! Room needed a slight touch up/ dusting but understand it is a vintage room, over all great room. The grounds will really wow you. Great staff, bar is nice. I did tour one of the newer casitas on check out and was really impressed, nearly every room has private balcony or outdoor seating areas which were just so amazing for morning coffee. This place is a definite spring, winter, & fall gem. You just want to stroll the grounds and sit out and soak in some rays. I would suggest they promote the bar/restaurant more. We will be back, would love to stay in one of the deluxe new casitas. We live in AZ but were still impressed with the landscaping. The two male bartenders are a real asset. No menu in the room or mention of the restaurant - or book of the hotels ammenites so that would be helpful, but the desk was very helpful. Look forward to another stay. We are season ticket holders for UA football, so I see many Saturdays at the lodge next year.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Rabbott1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

A quiet oasis in the midst of a sprawling city. The architecture and decor suited our taste for understated Southwestern style. Our accommodations were inviting and comfortable for a five night stay. The hotel was centrally located enough for our far ranging activities, and after a busy day it was nice to go down the street for dinner at the Old Pueblo Inn.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank b13w
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
Phone Number:
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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Tucson
#9 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#14 Family Hotel in Tucson
#24 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range: $131 - $291 (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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