I have been a fan of hotels ever since I was a little boy. I remember staying at a hotel by Disneyland in California thinking it was indeed the most magical place. You don’t have to make your bed and you get food delivered to your room. Sounded like a slam dunk to me.
The older I grew in my years, the more luxurious my taste in hotels grew. I am humble to say that I’ve had a great life when it’s come to traveling. From the Four Seasons to the Peninsula, I have laid my head on some of the coziest and finest hotel bed pillows.
One place five star hotel I still had to check off my bucket list was The Ritz Carlton. “The Ritz” name grew to popularity with a strong reputation in the hotel industry as the “king of hoteliers and hotelier to kings.” Did you know the very first US Ritz opened in 1911 off 46th Street and Madison which was than followed by my hometown of Philly in 1913 (on Broad and Walnut Street).
The ritzy hotel empire has grown to over 29 countries and counting. So, I guess you can say I have many places to visit in the years to come. One hot spot and I mean – – HOT, I wanted to really experience was The Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain. For me, it was a random choice for a weekend getaway as the property is located outside of Tucson, Arizona in a town called Marana. The Dove Mountain Community is a huge 800 acre community where the 253 room resort and spa sits. For all your golf fanatics, you would totally appreciate the Jack Nicklaus Signature courses. It has a very casual vibe yet sophisticated architectural the blends into the Arizona southwest.
I am one of those dudes that goes on Trip Advisor and checks out the real pictures of hotel rooms and amenities from actual guests. I’m all about an honest review and a star rating. The Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain was rated one of the highest resorts in all of Arizona. It also raked up a ton of awards from Travel & Leisure Magazine and Conde Naste. I could not wait to get my weekend booked!
From the Phoenix area, it is about an hour and half (maybe shorter if my fiancé was to drive you) to the grand entrance of The Ritz at Dove Mountain. The drive down you could do with your eyes closed, as it is nothing but open roads and dry desert as far as the eye can see.
But, thankfully after a turn off Tangerine Rd, you start to see the sign you’ve been waiting for!
THE DOVE VALLEY COMMUNITY ENTRANCE.
At first I was not sure what to expect, the long drive up was sprinkled with residential homes, some spiratic large custom beauties, but mostly desert landscape at its finest. As you followed the signs through the windy roads around around the last circle, you are presented again with the very monument you want to see…
As you continue another short drive up the mountain, you start to see glimpses of the unique Arizona-esque architecture. Paining a color that that blends beautifully into the surrounding mountains but pops just enough to know it is the to serve and welcome you.
At first, the tall building reminded me of a Disney-inspired resort tucked into the most breathtaking mountain landscape But, as we pulled up to the valet that Ritz Carlton customer experience charm kicked right in. If you have not heard, The Ritz is known for their top-notch, “we are here to please” service.
That is exactly what we got when you walked through the grand lobby that really captures you at first sight. The tall glass windows framing out the most stunning desert views with a glimpse of a sparkling oasis in the distance.
Did I happen to mentioned they have an amaze-ball coffee bar?
The Ritz at Dove Mountain has a variety of rooms, suites and bungalows to choose from so we opted for the Mountain View Room.
I am all about a mountain looking right into my window – and, that is JUST what we got!
Can I get an “AMMMMEEENNNN” for privacy.
Now, the room at first sight is not going to blow your socks away if you are use to blingy-New York-modern styled boutique resorts. However, the bed was not too soft, not too firm and the patio out side definitely had a “WOW” factor in regards to its picturesque view. My favorite part was seeing this furry fella at our door stop. I guess he wanted to say hello and welcome us to his part of the world. Mr Bunny sat out there for a good 30 minutes, just chillin like a villain.
Wild life at The Ritz Dove Mountain is nothing unusual. It is something guests should actually get use to when they visit the property!
I mean let’s face it. We are in the middle of the desert! Surrounded by absolutely nothing. You better get use to seeing some desert critters while on a hike or out for a bike ride.
The look on my face says it all.
It was not that bad though and the very kind ranger was an all star when it came to making us feel comfortable. And by us, I’m talking about me and the group of six year old girls gathered around me.
But, don’t get alarmed – this snake was harmless. The Ritz really does know how to do it right when it comes to adding that extra something “special” to guest experience. They even have a resident tortious name “Rocky!”
After some creepy crawly petting zoo style fun, Nick and I made our way to one of the main pools (yep, there are a few on the property – including a water slide!!)
As the night started to cool down, we made our way back to our room for some grub. I give the room service team an A+ because they could not have been any nicer and they give you the exact minutes over the phone when your food would be delivered.
Take a peak at the spaghetti bolognese we ordered (hey, we are two Italian dudes – we cold not help ourselves!).
For the record it was perfect. One of the best things to order on their menu.
And, look at this sweet hand written card! Now, that is what I’m talkin about.
The Ritz nails it when it comes to making their guest feels extra special.
Don’t judge us – we are on vacation.
This round we went for the tortilla soup, cheese quesadillas…oh, and did I mention the hod fudge sundaes?
The tortilla soup was incredibly unique and worth every bite, same goes for the sundae. I am not sure what was in that cold concoction but it was a chocolatey smooth delight with an extra kick at the end.
After our last bite, we ended up in a heat and food coma.
That even met passing up this bad ass looking breakfast buffet. How could I say no to pancakes!!!
So, we decided to work off the bricks of food we devoured in our stomachs the night before and go for a much needed cruise around the area. The Ritz provides free bikes and helmets for the whole family! You can stick to an easy ride down a street or get your mountain man bike ride-on through the hilly trails.
We voted for the sleek (pre-school) ride down the street.
Side note: It was 110 degrees outside.
The Ritz spa itself is a completely separate building with a his and her side, a ton of treatment rooms, lovely smelling products and a private pool and hot tub area for JUST spa guests.
Can you say no kids??!
Nick chose a deep hydrating facial which he raved about!
I had a massage which was just ok.
I’ve had MUCH better.
However, the overall envious, first class customer service and one of a kind landscaping made our trip so very special. We would definitely recommend The Ritz at Dove Mountain to anyone looking for a luxury, lodge-like, private, sophisticated, and PEACEFUL getaway.
Besides, we may just add this hidden gem to our potential wedding location list!
Not too shabby of a place to say “I DO!!”
It is clean, well maintained and a secret summer getaway that you must take advantage of!
The Other Hubby