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Monday, April 1, 2019

Review of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort in Tucson, Arizona: Luxury, History and Beauty

LTD had the opportunity to stay at the Hacienda Del Sol at the end of our Vermont Bicycle Tour through the Sonoran Desert and Saguaro National Park.  There is a reason that Hacienda Del Sol is ranked among the top hotels in Tucson.  


Hacienda Del Sol’s story began 90 years ago in 1929 when John and Helen Murphey created this beautiful desert retreat. 






Hacienda Del Sol is included in the National Registry of Historic Places in Arizona and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.  It is one of the Forbes Travel Guide 2019 Star Award Winners and is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Before the property was one of Arizona’s top guest ranches, it was a prestigious ranch school for the daughters of some of society’s most elite families. Walking through the inner courtyard today, you can still see some of the names of these families forever memorialized above the doors of the historic guestrooms. Some of these well-known names include Pillsbury, Maxwell, Westinghouse and Vanderbilt, to name a few.





1. Check in 


The reception area is small but service was immediate and thorough.  Our iPrefer number was added without difficulty even though neither of us could remember it.  Fruit infused water and coffee were available.  Our luggage was moved to our room earlier in the day before we arrived - a nice VBT touch.

2. Rooms 


Wow!  We enjoyed one of the newly-built King Catalina rooms at the rear edge of the property.  The room was spacious with a very large television, a wing back chair with ottoman, closet with dresser, refrigerator, safe, desk and chair as basic amenities.  There are large sliding glass doors with a screen door opening onto a gorgeous view of the Santa Catalina mountains, desert scenery and a golf course. A lounger, table and chairs are on the patio with a lovely private out door shower to enjoy the fabulous March climate.  Bathrobes, sandals, washcloths and toiletries are provided in the shower ready for use.  Hand-crafted furniture, beautiful wood-beam ceilings and colorful Talavera tiles are sprinkled throughout the room.













3. Bathroom 


The bathroom is large with a huge walk-in shower and two vanities.  Toiletries are by Tarocco.  Additional robes and sandals are provided in the closet outside the bathroom.  The robes are some of the best quality we have ever seen — thick terry cloth lining.  Large plush towels and bath mats are under the vanities with more than enough provided.  Turn down service is standard with every room.









4. Grounds


The grounds and botanical gardens at the Hacienda Del Sol are fabulous.  Desert plant life abounds with many varieties of cacti, flowers and fruit trees labeled for your education.  Colorful pottery, iron and stone sculpture and mosaics are located throughout the property.









5. Pools 


There are two pools and hot tubs located on property, each with fabulous views of the Santa Catalina mountains, grounds and golf course.  Cushioned and sling screen chairs and chaise loungers are available.  Open or clear barriers allow you to enjoy the view even when reclining.





6. Restaurants 


There are two restaurants and a bar on property.  The Grill is the more upscale dining option with outstanding service and food.  Executive Chef Bruce Yim and his talented team craft flavorful, inventive dishes. The wine list is outstanding with many selections by glass or bottle.  With a selection of over 700 wines, they have earned the "Best of Award of Excellence" designation from Wine Spectator for 19 consecutive years. Presentation is a production and makes the patron feel special.  We enjoyed outstanding bread, gnocchi, salmon, and spiced chocolate mousse (yes we ordered the same meals!).  Amuse-bouche was provided by the chef as well as home made truffles after the meal.  Organic herbs, fruits and vegetables are grown on property for use in the restaurants and bar.  You can view the greenhouse and trees when walking the grounds.

If you have transportation and can leave the resort, for authentic Mexican food in Tucson, we recommend:

2.  El Charro Cafe where many famous individuals have dined 
3.  Elvira's Tucson for more a "Americanized" Mexican flair.





7. Fitness 


This is the weakest part of the Hacienda Del Sol.  Yes the Tucson area abounds with healthy activities like cycling and hiking, but there are no walking trails on site or nearby the hotel.  The closest area for walking is 1.5 miles from the hotel.  The fitness room is very small and hot and this was a surprise from an otherwise luxury experience.  Cold water was available in the gym.




8. Location 


Secluded and peaceful in a lovely residential area.  If you have a car this would not be a problem.  Otherwise an Uber would be required to get anywhere off property.  Of course we were cycling with transportation provided by VBT.



For our cycling journey, Michelle received many compliments on her new cycling jerseys found on Amazon.  For the cost, the quality was great for each.  The long sleeves and lightweight material was perfect protection from the intense sun found in the Southern Arizona!  To see more about these jerseys, click on the images below.





9. Amenities 


A spa is located on site and uses Eminence of Hungary Organic Skin Care.  Horseback trail riding is offered as well which someone in our group enjoyed thoroughly.




Bottom line:


There is a reason the Hacienda Del Sol is rated among the top hotels in Tucson out of 131 total hotels: tranquility, beauty, quality and service. We truly recommend this property for your next trip to Tucson.  With the exception of the on-property fitness options, we could not find one thing that was not true luxury.

Stay Tuned for more entries and videos from our VBT tour of the Sonoran Desert and Saguaro National Park!










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