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Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain , AZ-- Initial Observations

Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain , AZ-- Initial Observations

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Old Sep 27, 16, 3:54 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by lucycan View Post
CHOPCHOP, I assume you looked into Virtuoso rates for the best options here?
Or RC stars
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Old Dec 28, 17, 6:14 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Hartford, CT
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Trip report

I have to start off by saying this is the best hotel I have stayed at period.

I have to admit that I am a big fan of RC and this is the 6th property I have stayed at and this is the best of the lot.

At check in I was upgraded to a mountain-view room from a ridge view room, I enquired about suites and was told that they could offer one at a discounted rate as they could only give a one level complimentary upgrade. Since I had booked a virtuoso rate I let it slide.

The room had a bottle of champagne and a fruit bowl along with a handwritten letter from the general manager thanking us for staying. The champagne was arranged by my travel advisor.

Service was impeccable, I really wish all the RC's were like this, especially battery-park which pales so much in comparison now.

The resort is gorgeous, in the middle of nowhere, with plenty of hiking trails available, although I wish they were marked well as we got lost a couple of times finding our way.

The pool was amazing, though bit cold had a jacuzzi so we could heat up after a nice swim. The resort has mountain bikes which you can rent out (all included in the resort fees).

They give you a backpack with water bottles and a trail map explaining where all you can go based on your preferences. The pool service is also very good. Could not check the water slide though as it was a bit cold.

The rate I booked included breakfast at Core every morning. The first morning the waiter Javier had the chef prepare a special batch of pancakes for my wife without egg in them. From the next day they remembered what we liked for food and drinks and they asked do we want the same each day later. They remembered us by our names, always greeting as Mr. and Mrs. I have never experienced such level of service, had only heard of such things on FT from the chains like Aman, four seasons.

Now coming for best part, we stayed there to celebrate my birthday. We were on our way to the pool when we came across the F&B manager Raghu who just wanted to chat with us. My wife told him that it was my birthday, so he asked if we had any plans for dinner. We had our plans cancelled by El Charroís as it was closing early that day. When we mentioned that he took us to Core kitchen (the main restaurant of the resort), introduced to the chef Mani and asked him to take care of us. He took a special note of my wifeís dietary restrictions (she is a strict vegetarian who does not even eat egg) and made a reservation at 6 45 PM.

When we arrived the waiter let us know that the chef was preparing something special for us and that we could only order drinks as both appetizer and the main course were getting ready.

The appetizer was potato cutlet which is a famous delicacy in India and it was exceptional. The main course was rice with vegetable curry which was extremely good, one of the best I have ever tasted. It was almost as good as my mom cooks. The desert consisted of a rose sorbet, vanilla ice-cream and strawberries, which we could not finish as we were so full by that time.

The best part was none of these were on the menu and they prepared this specifically for us. We were blown away as we have never experienced anything close to this. They even took off a couple of drinks of the final bill. The chef even dropped by our table to say Hi and to see how we liked the food.

The next day when we asked the concierge for a couple of places to visit, he recommended Old Tucson, an old movie studio which was very very good.

I was so happy with the service that I did not even bring up the dreaded resort fee conversation, I thought I would rather pay this as a service fee for such an outstanding level of service.

I am so glad that I picked this resort. I would definitely recommend this resort in Tucson area over every other hotel.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 6:57 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 123
How was the vibe there? Family-oriented? Couples friendly? Thinking about taking a trip there and would love to know more.

How many nights were you there? Did you feel isolated from the rest of AZ?

Thanks in advance!

Originally Posted by Ksw299 View Post
I have to start off by saying this is the best hotel I have stayed at period.

I have to admit that I am a big fan of RC and this is the 6th property I have stayed at and this is the best of the lot.

At check in I was upgraded to a mountain-view room from a ridge view room, I enquired about suites and was told that they could offer one at a discounted rate as they could only give a one level complimentary upgrade. Since I had booked a virtuoso rate I let it slide.

The room had a bottle of champagne and a fruit bowl along with a handwritten letter from the general manager thanking us for staying. The champagne was arranged by my travel advisor.

Service was impeccable, I really wish all the RC's were like this, especially battery-park which pales so much in comparison now.

The resort is gorgeous, in the middle of nowhere, with plenty of hiking trails available, although I wish they were marked well as we got lost a couple of times finding our way.

The pool was amazing, though bit cold had a jacuzzi so we could heat up after a nice swim. The resort has mountain bikes which you can rent out (all included in the resort fees).

They give you a backpack with water bottles and a trail map explaining where all you can go based on your preferences. The pool service is also very good. Could not check the water slide though as it was a bit cold.

The rate I booked included breakfast at Core every morning. The first morning the waiter Javier had the chef prepare a special batch of pancakes for my wife without egg in them. From the next day they remembered what we liked for food and drinks and they asked do we want the same each day later. They remembered us by our names, always greeting as Mr. and Mrs. I have never experienced such level of service, had only heard of such things on FT from the chains like Aman, four seasons.

Now coming for best part, we stayed there to celebrate my birthday. We were on our way to the pool when we came across the F&B manager Raghu who just wanted to chat with us. My wife told him that it was my birthday, so he asked if we had any plans for dinner. We had our plans cancelled by El Charroís as it was closing early that day. When we mentioned that he took us to Core kitchen (the main restaurant of the resort), introduced to the chef Mani and asked him to take care of us. He took a special note of my wifeís dietary restrictions (she is a strict vegetarian who does not even eat egg) and made a reservation at 6 45 PM.

When we arrived the waiter let us know that the chef was preparing something special for us and that we could only order drinks as both appetizer and the main course were getting ready.

The appetizer was potato cutlet which is a famous delicacy in India and it was exceptional. The main course was rice with vegetable curry which was extremely good, one of the best I have ever tasted. It was almost as good as my mom cooks. The desert consisted of a rose sorbet, vanilla ice-cream and strawberries, which we could not finish as we were so full by that time.

The best part was none of these were on the menu and they prepared this specifically for us. We were blown away as we have never experienced anything close to this. They even took off a couple of drinks of the final bill. The chef even dropped by our table to say Hi and to see how we liked the food.

The next day when we asked the concierge for a couple of places to visit, he recommended Old Tucson, an old movie studio which was very very good.

I was so happy with the service that I did not even bring up the dreaded resort fee conversation, I thought I would rather pay this as a service fee for such an outstanding level of service.

I am so glad that I picked this resort. I would definitely recommend this resort in Tucson area over every other hotel.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 6:14 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Hartford, CT
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I would say both family and couple friendly.

We stayed for 3 nights. It is pretty isolated as the nearest anything is about 20 mins drive. I would avoid the peak seasons, christmas and feb as the F&B manager said the resort would be very crowded.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 11:18 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 123
Thanks for the reply. Thinking of spending 5 nights there for some r and r . Assuming food and amenities are good enough hopefully we wonít be bored. Iíll being my backgammon set!
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Old Jan 15, 18, 8:34 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Hartford, CT
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Originally Posted by senzer View Post
Thanks for the reply. Thinking of spending 5 nights there for some r and r . Assuming food and amenities are good enough hopefully we wonít be bored. Iíll being my backgammon set!
I would book a virtuoso rate if not using points as RC does not give breakfast even for platinum members.

The virtuoso rate includes a full breakfast, the spread is quite large and includes made to orser omlettes as well. We had only nreakfast and dinner on all the days as we were quite full (my wife does not even eat egg but she filled up on fruits and oatmeal).

There is plenty to do around the resort and if you like hiking and or cycling you will not be bored.

Food wise we only ate at core but the other options are good too from what I heard.

Enjoy your stay, I am sure you will love it.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 9:20 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Since there haven’t been a lot of recent reviews of this property on FT, I wanted to share a review of my experience. TL;DR - the Ritz Dove Mountain is a fantastic place to get away, relax, and enjoy outdoor activities of all kinds.

My fiancť and I visited for a long weekend, staying on points (40K/night). The property is 90 minutes SE of PHX off I-10, so we rented a car and made the boring but easy drive. The resort is 10-15 minutes off the interstate at the very top of the large, luxury development called Dove Mountain. I assume development kicked off in the late 2000s as it’s still largely unbuilt. You reach a guard house and continue up the mountain, past the golf club, into the upper reaches of the valley before coming to the hotel, nestled between two mountains, boasting views for miles across the valley. The facility is not pretentious, but it’s beautiful - the vibe is understated “western” luxury. The crowd is an even mix of families with kids, childless couples of varying ages, and some business/group travelers.

Check in was seamless - makes sense as you speak to the guard driving up - and everything we’d discussed with the concierge was as requested (thanks Marcela, she was terrific). They had a kind note and gift for us in the room as we were celebrating a special occasion. The hotel consists of the main 5-story building, a connected spa facility, the pools and grill area, and a cluster of villas beyond, deepest into the valley. We were upgraded to a superior king on the 5th floor. The room was spacious, tasteful, and showed no signs of wear whatsoever. My only two complaints would be consistently inconsistent shower pressure (it literally stopped running for about ten seconds on two separate occasions), and the inexplicable choice by the designers not to separate the balconies. When you step onto your balcony, you can see every other balcony on your floor, and the adjacent ones on adjacent floors. No privacy at all, making you not want to use the balcony!

The name of the game at this resort is outdoor activities. The property is surrounded by hiking trails, which we explored several times. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful it is - what a treat to walk out of the hotel and enjoy 20+ miles of jaw dropping scenery. We hit the pool, enjoyed sunset trail riding at Tucson Mountain Stables (booked by concierge), and went on a sunrise hot air balloon ride with Foolish Pleasure Balloons (booked by concierge). All were fantastic. I also hit balls and practiced at the extensive facility at the Dove Mountain Golf Club, which was a treat. The fitness center is great, brand new equipment, and was empty whenever I went. Other available activities we didn’t have time to enjoy include tennis, group fitness classes, mountain and road biking, and stargazing.

We had a couples massage one day and went a few hours early to the spa. The massage was perfect (I really needed it) and our treatment room was larger than my living room and also had a tub (!?) that we did not use. The spa daily fee is waived when you have a massage booked, so I’d recommend going to use the whole facility if you are getting a treatment. It has a sizable private pool with hot tub and cabanas that are first come, first served. They serve food and drinks at this pool and it’s very quiet and relaxing. There’s also a large indoor-outdoor hot tub/sauna/steam room in each locker room as well. One small gripe here, the spa areas seemed a bit understaffed in terms of attendants considering the price.

As for food and drink - excellent all around. There’s a lobby bar and restaurant (also has sushi Friday and Saturday night) with a big patio and fire pit, a poolside bar and grill, a breakfast/coffee joint called ToGo, and Core, which serves sit down breakfast and is the fine dining outlet at night. Cayton’s is a burger restaurant at the golf club. Our favorite was Cayton’s, and also the breakfast at Core. Pro tip: if you want the breakfast burrito, get it for $10 at ToGo instead of $16 at Core. The omelette with hash browns and toast is a much better deal at $19 than the full buffet breakfast at $32 unless you’re truly starving. Another pro tip - if you like sushi and you’re there on a Friday or Saturday night, don’t miss eating it at Ignite. If you didn’t know they served it, you’d probably never know since it isn’t heavily advertised. As is always the case at this type of hotel, the F&B is very expensive, but with the exception of the burrito mentioned above and the tacos at the pool, I never felt as though the value proposition wasn’t there.

A final note about the resort fee, about which there are several comments in this thread: when you pull up to check in, simply insist on self parking - the valet will eventually give in. The lot is about a 3-5 min walk from the hotel entrance. Then on checkout simply ask them to remove the valet portion of the resort fee from your bill, stating that you self parked. Boom - $50/day resort fee becomes $21/day. Since it includes unlimited bottled water, sunscreen, backpacks for hiking, golf club rental, tennis racquet rental, fitness classes, etc, it goes from being a rip-off to a real value. Well worth it in my mind.

Overall (along with their Kyoto hotel) this is one of the best Ritz Carltons I’ve ever visited. Everyone remembered our names and took great care of us, the scenery is stunning, the facility is top notch, and the opportunities for fun activities both on property and off are extensive. The only reason I can think of to not go would be if you’re a city type and/or have to be in the heart of the action. Since this property is a 30 min drive from essentially anything else, you’d go crazy.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 7:17 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Thanks for the great review - I sent you a PM with a few additional questions. Look fwd to your reply!

Originally Posted by Nash_Andrew View Post
Since there havenít been a lot of recent reviews of this property on FT, I wanted to share a review of my experience. TL;DR - the Ritz Dove Mountain is a fantastic place to get away, relax, and enjoy outdoor activities of all kinds.

My fiancť and I visited for a long weekend, staying on points (40K/night). The property is 90 minutes SE of PHX off I-10, so we rented a car and made the boring but easy drive. The resort is 10-15 minutes off the interstate at the very top of the large, luxury development called Dove Mountain. I assume development kicked off in the late 2000s as itís still largely unbuilt. You reach a guard house and continue up the mountain, past the golf club, into the upper reaches of the valley before coming to the hotel, nestled between two mountains, boasting views for miles across the valley. The facility is not pretentious, but itís beautiful - the vibe is understated ďwesternĒ luxury. The crowd is an even mix of families with kids, childless couples of varying ages, and some business/group travelers.

Check in was seamless - makes sense as you speak to the guard driving up - and everything weíd discussed with the concierge was as requested (thanks Marcela, she was terrific). They had a kind note and gift for us in the room as we were celebrating a special occasion. The hotel consists of the main 5-story building, a connected spa facility, the pools and grill area, and a cluster of villas beyond, deepest into the valley. We were upgraded to a superior king on the 5th floor. The room was spacious, tasteful, and showed no signs of wear whatsoever. My only two complaints would be consistently inconsistent shower pressure (it literally stopped running for about ten seconds on two separate occasions), and the inexplicable choice by the designers not to separate the balconies. When you step onto your balcony, you can see every other balcony on your floor, and the adjacent ones on adjacent floors. No privacy at all, making you not want to use the balcony!

The name of the game at this resort is outdoor activities. The property is surrounded by hiking trails, which we explored several times. I canít emphasize enough how beautiful it is - what a treat to walk out of the hotel and enjoy 20+ miles of jaw dropping scenery. We hit the pool, enjoyed sunset trail riding at Tucson Mountain Stables (booked by concierge), and went on a sunrise hot air balloon ride with Foolish Pleasure Balloons (booked by concierge). All were fantastic. I also hit balls and practiced at the extensive facility at the Dove Mountain Golf Club, which was a treat. The fitness center is great, brand new equipment, and was empty whenever I went. Other available activities we didnít have time to enjoy include tennis, group fitness classes, mountain and road biking, and stargazing.

We had a couples massage one day and went a few hours early to the spa. The massage was perfect (I really needed it) and our treatment room was larger than my living room and also had a tub (!?) that we did not use. The spa daily fee is waived when you have a massage booked, so Iíd recommend going to use the whole facility if you are getting a treatment. It has a sizable private pool with hot tub and cabanas that are first come, first served. They serve food and drinks at this pool and itís very quiet and relaxing. Thereís also a large indoor-outdoor hot tub/sauna/steam room in each locker room as well. One small gripe here, the spa areas seemed a bit understaffed in terms of attendants considering the price.

As for food and drink - excellent all around. Thereís a lobby bar and restaurant (also has sushi Friday and Saturday night) with a big patio and fire pit, a poolside bar and grill, a breakfast/coffee joint called ToGo, and Core, which serves sit down breakfast and is the fine dining outlet at night. Caytonís is a burger restaurant at the golf club. Our favorite was Caytonís, and also the breakfast at Core. Pro tip: if you want the breakfast burrito, get it for $10 at ToGo instead of $16 at Core. The omelette with hash browns and toast is a much better deal at $19 than the full buffet breakfast at $32 unless youíre truly starving. Another pro tip - if you like sushi and youíre there on a Friday or Saturday night, donít miss eating it at Ignite. If you didnít know they served it, youíd probably never know since it isnít heavily advertised. As is always the case at this type of hotel, the F&B is very expensive, but with the exception of the burrito mentioned above and the tacos at the pool, I never felt as though the value proposition wasnít there.

A final note about the resort fee, about which there are several comments in this thread: when you pull up to check in, simply insist on self parking - the valet will eventually give in. The lot is about a 3-5 min walk from the hotel entrance. Then on checkout simply ask them to remove the valet portion of the resort fee from your bill, stating that you self parked. Boom - $50/day resort fee becomes $21/day. Since it includes unlimited bottled water, sunscreen, backpacks for hiking, golf club rental, tennis racquet rental, fitness classes, etc, it goes from being a rip-off to a real value. Well worth it in my mind.

Overall (along with their Kyoto hotel) this is one of the best Ritz Carltons Iíve ever visited. Everyone remembered our names and took great care of us, the scenery is stunning, the facility is top notch, and the opportunities for fun activities both on property and off are extensive. The only reason I can think of to not go would be if youíre a city type and/or have to be in the heart of the action. Since this property is a 30 min drive from essentially anything else, youíd go crazy.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 1:26 pm
  #54  
 
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Just an FYI - The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain will be completely closed from June 25th - September 3rd for extensive renovations.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 2:49 pm
  #55  
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This shows me thatís a long time since I visited. I loved the design and it will be interesting what they change.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 4:10 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by bcosinteno View Post
Just an FYI - The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain will be completely closed from June 25th - September 3rd for extensive renovations.
I'm shocked they won't complete the construction prior to the Labor Day holiday.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 11:46 pm
  #57  
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Has anyone stayed since the renovations? Do they still reduce the resort fee if you self-park?
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Old Dec 5, 18, 1:00 am
  #58  
 
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I just found this thread, I usually live in the Marriott forum.

My wife and I got married at this hotel. Not a hotel package, we bootlegged it, hired an officiant and stood in front of a cactus. It was great. During the day before the ceremony we rented a cabana in the spa, and basically had the entire spa pool to ourselves for the day. It was amazing.

The service here is top notch. The pool attendants remember our names and our drinks from day to day.

I love this hotel, and I am curious about the renovations. In my mind it really did not need anything.

Someone asked about the vibe, I’d say couples. I have seen kids here, but its not a “kids” resort.

Also, they have a desert tortoise here, and tons of bunnies everywhere.

Final thought, on saving some bucks on self parking. Sure, you can do it, but why? The whole idea of this place is indulging in luxury and being pampered. Is saving $100 really worth it over 4 days? Just my .02.
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Old Dec 6, 18, 9:23 am
  #59  
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
I love this hotel, and I am curious about the renovations. In my mind it really did not need anything.
My stay is quite a few years ago so canīt judge the actual state. Nevertheless I thought the same as furniture was top notch and I see no need for a new style.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 12:02 am
  #60  
 
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Staying at Dove Mountain right now. All of us love this property.

We received mountain view room with outdoor fire-pit. The new is in excellent condition and very comfortable. The staff and room service are top quality. We ate at Core and the quality and service are very good. Its golf court is huge and it is great to have it in the middle of the desert and the mountains.

The only thing is the rather cold weather this year. It is hard to use the pool and slide in the cold weather.

Even during the holiday season, the hotel seems very quiet. We do not hear much noise from kids etc. The guests are very much mixed and we see more families and older couples than young millenials.

Definitely we want to come back to explore more. Highly recommend this hotel.
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