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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Seguaro National Park looks ethereal, more so during sunset. the myriad styles of cactus vaguely reminds me of Namibia Africa. Ritz Carlton, what more can be said about this beautiful property? Truly a world class hotel provides exclusive service and they are lauded for a particular reason. The wine seller is the biggest draw for me.
Madhurima, We loved the chance to catch the cactus at sunset. The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain was a great relaxing retreat after being on the road. Linda
Ok, first off, take me to the bar! Ok, I am not much of a drinker than I use to be in my younger days but I love the feel for the bar. I could seriously see myself staying here, its looks calm and located in a quiet area. I bet the pool is used quite a lot due to the hot weather, which would be ideal for me at the end of a long day hiking in the area or doing a road trip nearby. I am loving your cactus photos, I am really hoping I can do capture something like this when I get to this part of the country.
Danik, We just loved our pampering retreat at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. It was fun to go to the mixology demonstrations. We are not big drinkers. But the show was always entertaining. We found so much diversity in the scenery around Arizona. And the cactus were always photo ready! I hope you get to visit. Linda
The breakfast is so attractive and luxury! I always like to stay in the hotel with wonderful breakfast since I cannot just eat the bread and cheese. The cooked breakfast helps better to start my day…especially in the holiday time! You guys had a good time!
Mijia, We had an amazing time at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. It was the perfect relaxing retreat. And yes, we had so much good food too. Linda
The Ritz-Carlton Brand is known for their high standards of hospitality and service throughout the world. This hotel too seems to offer the best of personalized services. Love the location of the property, it is so beautiful. The sunset hike really piqued our interest and the sunset looks out of this world. All in all a great place to wake up in.
Sandy, We were delighted with our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. Always love when we get personalized service. A great property with so much to see and do. Linda
What a great spot to be pampered! That cabana sounds like an amazing office for the day. I can see why you became fascinated with cacti, they are really spectacular. And those sunsets! Wow! The little touches, like handwritten notes, certainly made your hotel stay very special.
Cynthia, This was definitely a great spot to be pampered! We too were fascinated by the different varieties of cacti. And happy to see a few in bloom. Sunsets were the perfect way to finish the day. We will definitely go back! Linda
I really do miss the amazing Arizona landscape! Your pictures are fabulous as always, but that Hunter’s Moon is incredible. What a fabulous stay!
Lynn, We were so happy we visited Arizona for the first time last fall. It was an amazing discovery. And I know why people are recommending it. We loved our pampering stay to finish off this trip. Linda
Great review!! This resort looks really posh and comfy, personally I have never book any of stay from The Ritz-Carlton Brand before but your review made me want to book some of my upcoming stays with them. I really think that the location of the resort was really well suited too. At last I love the sweet note you received from the staff, it says a lot about how much they value their customer unless like other the other stays I have stayed in.
Daniel, We did love our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. A great spot to just relax. Or take advantage of the great range of activities they offer. We love that Ritz attention to detail and focus on customer service. Although it does spoil you. Hope you get to visit. Linda
You’ve been really pampered, I love it! The little touches like the handwritten notes and the treats really make a difference. The pool is stunning and the cocktails prepared by the mixologists look really good 🙂 I’m definitely taking note of the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain!
Val, We were indeed pampered on our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. It was a great way to finish our travels in Utah and Arizona. Linda
Wow you know how to spoil yourselves. It’s a great resort by all accounts, they have so much going on. Love your photography throughout, but that moon rising with the cactus, was incredible. The personalised touch was the icing on the cake. Nice reading.
We really did get spoiled at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. There was so much to see and do on the resort. And it was a good base to explore from. We do love the personal touch we always find at the Ritz brand hotels. Linda
Need to spoil myself a little more often for sure. ?
Looks like such a nice place to stay, especially with your upgrade. What is Butterfly Pea Flower? The drinks look funny?
It was a great spot to stay. The Butterfly Pea Flower lets off a purple colour that changes when it mixes with certain other liquids. A cool drink effect. Linda
I love the Ritz Carlton Brand. Your photos are fantastic and really showcase your luxurious stay. It looks like you got the best seat at the pool too!
Thanks Dana. It was a great stay. Loved how much the resort offered. And lots of down time too. Great mix. Linda
I’m sure I could get used to ‘work’ too, if it’s in a setting like that, haha! While the hotel amenities and facilities look wonderful (as does the food!!), the natural attractions are also appealing. Your sunset hike sounds great, and those great pix of the cacti against a glowing night sky look amazing. But those drinks would take some beating too 😀
It was a great resort that offered something for everyone. We certainly kept busy. But found some down time. And it was a great spot to work! Linda
Loved the personal note! Did you have to pay for the upgrade? (I’m always curious how that works.) The Ritz always seems to have amazing properties and I’m not surprised you were too distracted to work at the pool hahaa. What a perfect way to end your trip with a firework display though!
Jas, We do love the personal touch. It seems ingrained in the Ritz culture. Our upgrade was because of our Marriott status. One of the benefits of brand loyalty. It was a great spot to relax. Or participate in one of the many things on-site. Linda
Looks like such a great stay. So much to do and see, I’m intrigued by the color changing drink!
Samantha, We were delighted with how much there was to do at this resort. We had seen the magic of the colour changing drink before. But it was still fun to see again. Linda
I opened the Ritz-Carlton and was the spa lead for my time living in Tucson. They still give the signature ‘Gemstone’ treatment I developed. I would have to say my favorite part of the property is the spa, but the burgers at the club house are a close second.
Jenn, How cool to have developed a signature treatment for the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. We loved the variety of the things offered to do at this resort. And will definitely go back. Linda
Very few hotels escort you to your room and show you around the resort so it’s a lovely touch when you find one that does.
The Cabana would be perfect for us too. Did you have to pay to hire them?
I could do with some of that pampering and a couple of those cocktails too 🙂
Wendy, We loved the whole experience and customer service at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. The cabana was an extra treat for us because we did not get the upgrade our status required. There was so much to do. Or lots of time to do nothing. A perfect way to finish our visit to Utah and Arizona. Linda
Ritz Carlton has a standard and it’s no wonder that Dove Mountain was also as stunning as the rest around the globe!
An upgrade to the executive suite with mountain, sunrise and moonrise view? Wow! That’s perfect way to get pampered!
Look at you, working on the laptop, in the middle of the pool, on a lounge chair. Hahaha… Yeah, I’d be distracted too with that environment!
Mixology, magic show, guided sunset hike??? Wow, that’s a complete package!
Bhushavali, We do love the perks that status bring us. The upgrade was great. And Ritz never disappoints with their amazing focus on customer service. So much to do at this resort. Linda
RC are all about the customer service and experience! I love the personal touches and they are all about the details. The location looks great, so scenic, and your room views are fantastic! The mixologist at the bar, yes please!
Renee, We do love being spoiled by the great RC customer service. And this resort had so much to offer too. A little bit for everyone. Linda
Sounds like a fantastic stay! I love the tortoise – so awesome! I want to visit Saguaro Natl Park one day, and would love to stay somewhere like this and do a day trip!
Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain was indeed a great spot to use as a base to explore the Tucson area. Hope you get to visit the Saguaro National Park. We loved the variety of cactus we found. Linda
First of all, I just want to say that I love your photos. Especially your sunset and low-light photos. They are beautifully shot! Second, the scenery around the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is reason enough to book a stay there. I haven’t been to Arizona yet and this makes me want to book a plane ticket and go right away. Add in mouth-watering cuisine and bartenders who turns making drinks into a show for guests? I’m sold.
Kevin, Thanks for the feedback on our photos. It is a big part of what we try to capture in our blog. We loved our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. A great base to explore Arizona. Hope you get to visit. Linda
I lived in Tucson when they were first building DOve Mountain and it has always been a remarkable hotel. I am so glad you enjoyed not only the hotel but the beautiful desert around it. Love that you spotted a javelina.
Alice, We really did love our stay at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. We will certainly go back. We chased the javelinas. But made sure to stay back. Those claws looked nasty. Linda
Oh my, this place certainly looks relaxing! It’s nice that you got the upgrade too. That’s amazing that there are so many things to do there, too. Looks like the perfect holiday.
Astrid, We loved the chance to relax and be pampered after our long road trip through Utah and Arizona. It was the perfect finish to our trip. Linda
The timing of this post is perfect as we are actually considering going here in December! Thanks for the great review.
I hope you do get to visit Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain. It was a nice break for us. A bit out of the way but great if are looking for a resort property. And plan to visit the golf course restaurant. A great spot for something different and the place for awesome sunsets.
I love that you spotted the road runner! And that sunset was just amazing. The service sounds fantastic and it was just the break you needed after being very active previously.
We were glad to slow down and enjoy some pampering when we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. Lots of great things to do with great views too!