Traveling with another couple, we had an ambitious itinerary to see Kartchner Caverns and visit some wineries and we wanted to do it over a short weekend with just one night in Tucson. I found Lodge on the Desert on hotel.com. I was looking for something centrally located with some SW charm rather than a modern hotel. The reviews and pictures looked good and the price was right so I took a chance and booked two rooms. We arrived, after a very early start in Phoenix, a cave tour, several winery stops, and a one-hour detour to get around an accident on a road north of Sonoita. I always wonder, when we book on hotel.com, whether we will get second rate rooms but we were very, very happy with what we saw when we arrived. The grounds are lovely and the property is small enough that you can easily navigate. Our rooms were in the back, where it was quiet and the rooms, both Deluxe One King Bed, were spacious and clean and very comfortable. We had a huge bathroom, a fireplace, a balcony, and plenty of room to spread out. We even had a small refrigerator in the room. There is no elevator so keep that in mind if you have trouble with stairs but the hotel is only two stories so it is not a long walk up. The property has a beautiful, small restaurant with a creative chef. We had drinks and dessert in the bar after dinner at another restaurant on Saturday night and then we had breakfast on Sunday morning. The menu is a mix of unique/creative and standard dishes and prices are reasonable; always a consideration at an upscale resort. The only thing that Lodge on the Desert could have done better was let us know, when we checked in, about the restaurant happy hour. A sign and menu at the front desk would have been helpful and we would have been down there for happy hour right away! They have some restaurant signage but it was much too subtle and not right at the front desk. We took a chance on breakfast on Sunday morning without knowing if the restaurant would be open. Fortunately, it was and we ended up spending a very enjoyable morning there eating and talking. The food was fresh and delicious, the service was great, and the ambiance was lovely. This hotel is a great place to stay if you don't care for huge properties with a lot of noise and activities. The pool is small but very comfortable and parking is close to your room. We will go back next time we are in Tucson.
While you are in Tucson, check out the International Wildlife Museum. Even though I grew up in Phoenix, I had never heard of it but our friends had been there. It is an amazing collection of animals and insects; from Woolly Mammoths to bears and birds. Just about everything creature you can think of, and many you can't, are beautifully displayed. Great for kids but we adults spent a happy hour-plus wandering through the rooms before we headed back to Phoenix. It is an inexpensive museum and supports conservation through education. It is located west of 1-10 on Speedway so it is easy to get to. It is a worthwhile stop while in Tucson.
- 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