Finishing Our Arizona Visit With A Pampering Stay At Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
We started our fall visit to Utah and Arizona at a crazy pace as we explored the National Parks of Utah. Then we moved on and explored Arizona from north to south. So it was great to finish our trip with a pampering stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.
We loved just relaxing on the resort by the pool. But there was also so much more to keep us entertained on our stay. And we even left the resort to enjoy a few of the fall things to do in Tucson.
Welcomed With The Ritz-Carlton Personal Touch
We loved the personal and proactive touch we found at the Ritz-Carlton resorts. So we were not surprised when we were contacted in advance of our stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. It was the first touchpoint. But it was definitely not the last.
When we went through the gate, we were asked for our name. That contact ensured that the staff were ready for our arrival. When we pulled up at the front door, we were welcomed by name.
Martin took us to our room and showed us around the resort on the way. He made sure to show us everything we needed in the room. When he reviewed the online menus for us, we commented about ordering the home made ice cream.
When the doorbell rang after dinner, we were delighted when room service showed up with two full tubs of ice cream with spoons. A hand-written note from Martin welcomed us.
A Sweet Suite Upgrade
We travelled a lot in 2019. Our year started with a luxurious stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal. And continued with a great resort stay at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Our travels in 2019 ensured we built hotel loyalty points and nights. With our stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, we hit Ambassador Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy.
With Elite status, we were always excited to see what suite upgrades were available when we checked in. We could not get an upgrade to a suite with the preferred view. But we got a great upgrade to the Executive Suite. This gave us lots of room to spread out. And a view out over the hills for the sunrise. And for the rise of the Hunter’s Moon.
The amenity at Ritz-Carlton hotels always had a local twist. We found the native art on the all-edible amenity to be delightful.
Our Executive Suite was a great way to relax as we finished our fall trip to Utah and Arizona.
The Perfect Office Away From Home
On the first day, we enjoyed a day at the pool. We took our computers and electronics down to work. But we found it easy to get distracted by the pool and the views.
We enjoyed a cabana on our first visit to the pools. We planned to spend the full day and a cabana provided space and shade for us.
The cabana had a stocked fridge and lots of cold water. Sun screen and aloe was available in the cabana and in the washroom. When lunch time came around, we ordered and had our salad delivered to the cabana.
When we got hot, we headed off to the pool and cooled down. We made several pool trips through the 6 hours we spent in the cabana. Who could ask for a better office!
Through our pampering stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, we enjoyed the pools several times. There were two to choose from. One of the pools had fountains and a massive water slide to keep children entertained.
The Nightly Flute Serenade
We wandered down one night to visit Rocky the desert tortoise. He very smartly kept himself hidden during the heat of the days.
Just before sunset, we sat by the fire pit. A ranger introduced the “The Legend of the Spirit of Adventure”. And signalled for the flutist on the hill to begin the serenade.
The flutist went through a series of numbers that told the story of a native Hohokam brave. She switched flutes a few times. And it was easy to hear the difference in the tones and melody.
This 30 minute interlude to enjoy some local folklore was a great part of our pampering stay at Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain. It reminded us very much of the calling of the conch on our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.
A Magic Show At Mixology Hour
The hotel Ignite Bar offered mixology demonstrations at 4pm. Every night a different concoction was created.
On our first visit, we were delighted to see that Butterfly Pea Flowers played a key part in the drink of the day. We first discovered the magic show that happens when Butterfly Pea Flowers are part of a drink when we tried the Empress Gin at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. For this first cocktail, we started with Silver Patron tequila mixed with the Butterfly Pea Flowers. This had the characteristic royal blue colour.
We then poured Cointreau, lime juice and some simple syrup into the shaker. When this mix was poured over the Pea Flower drink, we saw the magic show as the blue drink changed to purple.
It was fun to explore the mixology demonstrations on our pampering stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.
Award Winning Tips At Mixology Hour
The second time we joined the mixology hour there was a different bartender. We again learned how to make a tequila drink. We were in the land of tequila after all! Eduardo showed us how to made his award winning mix.
We started with 1800 Reposado Tequila. It was slightly aged to bring a smooth taste to the base. Pineapple juice, grapefruit juice and lemon added an interesting mix of flavours. Agave syrup was used to add a little sweetness before it was put in the shaker. We poured the mix over LaGavulin scotch. And then added a pinch of smoked sea salt.
On our first taste, all we got was the smokey taste of the salt. The second taste provided the interesting blend of flavours.
On our final visit to the nightly mixology demonstration, we tried yet another tequila drink. This one was mixed with Whistle Pig Farmstock Rye.
Our first introduction to tequila came when we met travel friends at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort. After several different drinks, we still did not become great fans of tequila. Although I really wanted to try the very expensive Don Julio aged tequila with its hints of caramel.
On our stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, we certainly had fun trying the mixology sessions.
Visit The Wine Cellar At Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
We always loved when a resort had a wine tasting hour. When we stayed at the Westin Bear Mountain outside Victoria, we had a great wine tasting experience. So when we saw it on the resort calendar of events, we knew we had to try this.
There was no sign up for this Friday evening event. And it was a big draw. Virtually every seat around the bar was filled. It kept the sommelier Jennifer hopping from table to table. The charcuterie plate was kept refreshed so that we could try different pairings with the wines.
The night we visited was a French wine tasting experience. We started with a bubbly wine from the Loire Valley. La Dilettente was made from 100% Chenin Blanc. It was the perfect way to start.
Two white wines were offered next. I tried the 2015 Pouilly Fuissé and David tried the 2018 Sancerre. Mine was too oaky and David’s was not sweet enough.
David and I continued to try different reds. The only one we agreed on was the 2015 Moulin-A-Vent Beaujolais. It was delightfully light and fruity with low tannins. A great wine even without food.
When we saw a rosé wine brought out, we knew we wanted to try the wine in the interesting bottle. The 2017 L’Etre Magique was from the Provence region. We made sure to get a picture of the label so we could find this one again!
Our wine tasting session with the sommelier on our luxurious stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain created a desire to learn more. The next day we headed out for a day trip to sample more Arizona wines.
A Sunset Hike With Ranger Steve
We were excited when we booked a sunset hike. After a busy day exploring Tucson, we arrived out of breath at the Concierge for our hike with Ranger Steve. We wished we had rested before our hike!
Ranger Steve took us on one of the many paths around the resort. He wanted to take us high above the hills for the sunset. The path up was rocky and relatively steep. But he had other paths for us to discover.
As we hiked, Steve provided great insight into the flora and fauna native to Arizona. After we visited the Seguaro National Park, we were intrigued with the local cactus. And Steve answered the many questions we had. We caught sight of a woodpecker drilling a hole in a saguaro cactus. This then became a resting spot for the cactus wrens.
When a group of Javelina pigs scurried along in the underbrush, we were off to get a close look. We first heard about these animals when we went wine tasting in Sedona at Javelina Leap.
The sun set over the valley and cast a great orange light. A ranger hike at sunset was one of the fun things we did on our visit to Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.
We Visited The Golf Course But Didn’t Golf
We are not golfers. But we could not pass on a visit to the golf course in the desert. We cannot comment on how good the course was. But we can say it was a lovely oasis in the middle of the desert.
Around the club house we found lots of shrubs and flowering plants. The local roadrunner Phil enjoyed running around the plants and entertained the guests.
The greens were brilliant green patches in the dry arid landscape. It was quite fascinating to see rows and rows of saguaro cactus right behind the putting green.
We enjoyed a tasty lunch at the club house. Clayton’s was known for its hamburgers. And our loaded wagu burger with a side of mac and cheese was a delicious meal. David tried a flight of local beers and was pleased to find some dark beers. I was delighted to find the L’Etre Magique rosé on as the happy hour special.
Our first visit to the golf course was a wonderful treat on our stay at Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain.
Great Day Trips From The Resort
We enjoyed many days relaxing at the Dove Mountain resort. And enjoyed many of the activities put on by the resort. But we also took the time to enjoy some of the fall things to do in the Tucson area.
During our stay in Arizona, we developed a fascination with cactus. A visit to the Seguaro National Park educated us on the variety of cactus found in the area.
We loved to get high for awesome panoramic views. In the Tucson area, the drive along the scenic route up Mt Lemmon provided fascinating views at every stop.
One day we headed towards the Willcox region for wine tasting. At our wine tasting session at the hotel, we talked with other guests who suggested we try the Sonoita region for wine tasting as well. We enjoyed the chance to move through a few wineries. Even if we never made it to Willcox on this trip!
We enjoyed a few opportunities to venture off the resort and enjoy the things to do in the fall in the Tucson region.
We Ate Well At Every Opportunity
Breakfast was not provided to Marriott Bonvoy Elite members at Ritz-Carlton hotels. But we were very glad we booked our room with breakfast. The breakfast buffet had a great variety of hot and cold foods. Our breakfast package got us a full breakfast buffet each day. But we were happy when we learned we could order from the menu and $40 per person was applied towards the bill. We could eat a lot for that amount!
There were several options for dinner at the resort. One night we headed to Core for dinner. I was craving meat. But was not prepared for the meat-fest I got when I ordered the special surf and turf. David was assured that the jambalaya could be ordered with no spice. But no spice was always relative!
Several times we enjoyed room service. One night we were too exhausted after a full day of activities. And other nights we just wanted a lighter meal. The room service team was always great.
A table was set up in our room. Our dinners came with a personal note. Every time we were pleased that the food came when promised. And was piping hot. Definitely a treat when you want to be pampered at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.
Great Shows In The Sky Ended Perfect Days
From our suite we could not see the sunset directly. But as the sun went down, we caught the pink sky over the hills.
On our stay in Scottsdale, we went to the top of the South Mountains at Dobbins Outlook for sunset. When we asked about the best spot to catch the sunset on the Dove Mountain Resort, we were told that the first hole at the golf course was the spot to be.
We headed down to the golf course and scouted out the best location. We moved deftly to avoid the automated sprinklers that watered the greens.
The first hole looked like it had a view with saguaro in the foreground. But we kept looking. We finally headed off to higher ground to get the perfect view of sunset over the cactus.
We are always surprised when we hear booms in the night. Only to discover a fireworks show out our window. So when we heard a series of sharp noises, we looked out at the fireworks from our balcony. The show went on and on until it built to a crescendo. Such a great way to say goodbye to the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain resort.
It was awesome to finish our relaxing days at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain with beautiful night shows.
We Loved Our Pampering Stay At Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Tucson
We loved our visit to Utah and Arizona. But for much of the trip, we were very active as we visited the National Parks and great outdoor sights through Arizona. So we were very glad we booked a pampering stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain to finish our vacation.
There were so many different activities available on the resort. We enjoyed many of these on our stay. But we also enjoyed the pool and some relaxing downtime.
While we spent much of our time on the resort, we headed out several times and explored some of the things to do in Tucson. Our schedule was busy enough that we did not even get a spa day! But we left Tucson with a long list of things to do on a return visit. And a definite desire to re-vist the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.
Have you experienced a pampering stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain? What was your favourite part?
Notice: Our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain was paid for entirely by us. Certainly during our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, we received special perks based on our Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status. It would be silly to say that the wonderful treatment we received at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain did not influence our opinions. But that experience is part of the Gold Standard the Ritz delivers. And the comments and opinions expressed in this post truly represent the delight we felt during our 6 day stay.
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