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“Hidden gem in Tucson.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lodge on the Desert

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Lodge on the Desert
Ranked #22 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
tempe, az
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Hidden gem in Tucson.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2009

Lodge on the Desert was such a nice surprise. I found it on an online listing of "hotels near UofA" and after reading some of the good reviews on tripadvisor decided to check it out. So glad I did.
My boyfriend and I stayed there one night and I wish we could have stayed longer. The front entrance was very understated. At first I wasn't sure we were in the right place but when we opened the door we discovered it was in fact the lobby. We got a king room in one of the new buildings. We were on the second floor overlooking the pool. It was obvious they were still finishing the construction as the lights on the stairs weren't on, one side of the pool area was missing a door, and the room had that "new room" smell to it, which was actually kinda nice.
The room itself was really big with a fireplace and a small patio (not big enough to sit on). There was a gigantic TV and the bed was SO comfy. I slept really well.
The bathroom had two sinks and a shower, no tub, which was fine. Everything was very clean.
We turned the fireplace on for a little bit but it made the room really warm. Would be best on a chilly night, it wasn't that cold out when we were there.
We swam in the heated pool and relaxed in the hot tub as well. The pool area was very nice and everything was really clean.
The only weird thing was that there was that it seemed like there was nobody staying there! There were barely any cars in the parking lot and most of the rooms were dark. It was a Friday night so we were surprised it was so empty. We didn't have any noise that's for sure!
The hotel is not really near anything so it would be good to have a car if you stay here so you can get to more populated areas. It's pretty much just houses around there.
I would certainly stay at Lodge on the Desert again, I really enjoyed my stay.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank trippin76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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922 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (321)
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English first
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2009

OK, so Ive been spoiled by staying at the Arizona Inn when Im in Tucson(so amazing there), but I wanted to save a little money this trip.
So I checked out this recently rehabbed hotel.
The renovations were over when I was ther e(late October) and the restaurant was open. I didnt eat there because they charged me $3 for the worst cup of coffee Ive ever had, but the staff seemed really nice.
The property has brand new rooms and then rehabbed vintage rooms. I opted for an older room because I love the character. You can tell the resort was once really charming with meandering gardens and great old adobe casitas.
The problem I had was the room they put me in was really, really dirty. Peeling paint on the ceiling, heavily stained carpet, dirty dusty molding and sills. A large living room with fireplace (which could have been amazing) was outfitted with two sad chairs and a coffee table that Im pretty sure was from Goodwill. It was mosly empty. The bathroom was really old and had a constant vibration from the AC unit next door to it that was challenging to deal with.
Im NOT a clean freak by any stretch, but it was one of those rooms that when you walked in you just didnt want to sit anywhere or touch anything.
The other issue is the pool is right in fromt of a glass window that overlooks the reception area. Its the first thing you see when you walk in. I was tempted to lay out and go swimming, but I didnt really want to be on display. If your an exhibitionist, I guess it would be more to your liking.
I did like the central location, and the staff was very, very nice. Also the beds were new and extremely comfortable. All in all for the price it wasnt that bad, and Im sure all the rooms arent that dirty. I was there to spend time with family and only ended up sleeping there, so it wasnt that big of a deal for me.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank royald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

We were booked into one of the older suites because we were told it had a pull out sofa which we needed. When I called reception I was told her would get back to me - which Manuel did right away. They upgraded us to the new rooms and gave our sons one room and my husband and I another room - the boys were pleased! They could not have been more helpful. The bed was so comfy - we are trying to find the same make and model at home to buy. The pool was very nice and so was the library. This lodge had such a great feel to it .. we would definitely stay here again if we ever come back to Tucson but I would ask for the refurbished rooms.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 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 MrsC32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natick, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
78 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2009

Being from Tucson, The Lodge on the Desert has always had a certain cache - a hotel built in the 1930's on what was then the edge of town, and whose guests included Martha Graham and other notables, who stayed in lovely, private studios on lush grounds. I had stayed there once many years ago as a MAJOR splurge. So when I saw there was a 'Summer of '69' special - rooms for only $69 a night - I cut short our travels in Northern Arizona and headed right for Tucson. The reason for the special is that the hotel is undergoing major renovations, The restaurant and bar won't open until the Fall. So, of course, there were some rough edges.
The old hotel - with one story studios along meandering paths and lovely little nooks - remains and has been updated, but there is a large two or three story addition right next to it and a new lobby and pool etc. There has been some effort to maintain the style with minimal success, but it's fine. That part looks somewhat like other high end hotels in the Southwest. We asked to look at both a 'historic' room and a new room. The new rooms are great. Large rooms with plasma TV's and a truly luxurious bathroom, carefully decorated. But we opted for a 'historic' room. We had to grab a cart and tow our luggage down the meandering paths, into a small courtyard we shared with three other rooms. We had a very nice sitting room, comfortably decorated, retaining some of the nice older furniture, a gas fireplace - not that important during July in Tucson - and then a large bedroom, a huge closet and a bath. A lot as been updated. The bed and bedding were high end with extra pillows in the closet and we slept well; the bath had been updated, but was still basically small by today's standards but more than serviceable. The toiletries were 'spa' quality and the robes were the nicest we've ever had. The room had aspects of a work in progress - one of the shelves in the bath was plywood but was likely a temporary fix and the bureau in the bedroom was rather cheap. The towels were adequate - I am assuming there's a plan to upgrade those to the quality of the bedding. When in Tucson, we always have a lot to do, but we could not wait to get back to our casita at the Lodge. Because the restaurant wasn't open the complimentary breakfast was lacking, but there was a drive through Starbucks nearby and we lingered over coffee on our porch each morning, enjoying our surroundings and the lizard and birds that hung out in the cactus by our door. Everyone who worked there was helpful, even anxious to be helpful, but almost everyone seemed new and learning the jobs. But they went to great lengths to be responsive.
As noted, this is a work in progress and for $69 we got MORE than our monies worth. But once the renovations are completed, this will be a destination hotel with wonderful rooms whether you chose historic (my recommendation) and give up a few amenities, or new.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carol119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
US/NZ
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2009

I had read several reviews of this Lodge saying that the new rooms are far better than the old. I disagree - the new are great, but very much like a nice hotel anywhere. We stayed in the old section and really loved it. Incredible old cactus gardens, very private with shared courtyards and small, private patios. Our room (a king) was huge, well appointed, perfectly chilled. The bathroom was older, for sure, but fine, just fine. Could have used some extra hooks is about my only mild comment. Summer rates were absolutely incredible values. Note, though, that the restaurant is not open at this time, though they serve a very light continental breakfast. We'll be back!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dgoanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sierra Vista, AZ
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2009

We were not sure when we first pulled up to the lodge. It was just off a busy street and the parking lot was crowded with work trucks. This soon changed. The construction for the most part is complete and there was little or no noise from the street. We were upgraded to one of the new rooms (70+ new, 30+ refurbished). It was gigantic and extremely clean. The walking/park area is clean and very airy. The restaurant serves excellent meals and wines. It is a bit pricey, but worth it. There were several tables with locals who come for the food and atmosphere.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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?
1 Thank BobJohnson21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingsport Tennessee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2009

.A four night stay. Paid $105 per. First given an old room, very tired. About to move to Arizona Inn (at considerably more), said so at front desk, and was promptly moved to a new room. Rest of stay was excellent, room was great, restaurant was ok first night, slow the second night. Ate elsewhere rest of time. Location is great for various locations in the Tucson area. Would return, but only if the room is new.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank uttom
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

Property: 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
#14 Family Hotel in Tucson
#24 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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