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Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain , AZ-- Initial Observations

Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain , AZ-- Initial Observations

Old Nov 5, 09, 12:52 am
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Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain , AZ-- Initial Observations

Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain -- Initial Observations

I headed over and checked out the new Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain last week. Unfortunately, my visit was slightly premature since they were in the middle of moving in all of the furniture, as well as putting the finishing touches on the guest rooms. That said, I still had a very good first impression. Overall (thus far), I am quite impressed.

I drove from the University of Arizona (central Tucson) at 3:00pm on a weekday (had regular, but not rush hour traffic), and it took me 30-minutes to get to Dove Mountain Blvd – the street upon which the resort is located off of. At the base of Dove Mountain Blvd, there is a new shopping center with a grocery store, a convenience store and a restaurant. (The shopping center is new, so I imagine that more businesses/restaurants will be moving in soon.)

The drive up Dove Mountain Blvd (a purely residential street) added another 10-minutes to my journey before I finally arrived at the gates for the Ritz Carlton. A pleasant gentleman gave me directions to the property and I was on my way through the gates.

My initial impression was that the resort was smaller than what I had expected. Perhaps it was due to the large mountains that surrounded the small valley into which the property is tucked. Then again, I probably should have simply managed my expectations better given that there are only 250 rooms. (Much fewer than some other Tucson-area resorts, such as Westin La Paloma w/ 487 rooms and Loews Ventana Canyon w/ 398 rooms.)

As you enter the lobby, the check-in desk is on one side, and the concierge desk is on the other. (Reminded me of how the Four Seasons Scottsdale arranges their entry area.) Beyond the check-in area is a large space with comfy looking (did not try sitting in one) chairs placed neatly around, a nice sized bar, and walls of glass (which can be opened up and hidden away) that lead out to 3 fire pits with seating around them – great for s’mores. The pool (and water slide) is just beyond the patio area, and the private casitas are just beyond the pool.

Most of the casitas are attached in clusters – largest being 4 2-br casitas that make up a building. There is also a private casita with no neighbors sharing its walls. The casitas each offer unique floor plans, and the property can work with casita guests in advance of their stay to help best identify which casita would be best suited to them. The casitas are not accessible by cars, so instead one must either walk or take a golf cart shuttle. There are no private swimming pools, however they thinking of installing a private outdoor spa at one of the casitas.

I only had an opportunity to see one of the guest rooms, and although it was not completely made up, it was obvious that the big windows and balcony (a standard for all rooms) help to make it special. The bathrooms are quite nice, too, and include a nice large soaking tub.

One of the big pluses of the property is that (other than casita reservations), they do not plan on limiting any of their rooms/suites from the upgrade pool. In other words, if the stars are aligned correctly, then a guest could receive an upgrade into their Ritz Carlton Suite.

Their largest suites are not bookable on-line (yet), and prices for them are still being determined. If you want to reserve their RC Suite right now, it requires going through their sales office.

There are Ritz Carlton Residences surrounding the property and their golf course, but those properties will not be part of the hotel’s inventory.

The spa looked very promising. They have a couple’s room, as well as a treatment room that has been designed to be rented out by the half (or full) day by a group. It would be stellar for a bridal party. Once guests are done with their treatments, they may relax at a private pool located beside the spa.

The resort takes advantage of its isolated location and surroundings. The public spaces rely heavily on walls of windows that provide views of the surrounding mountains. Nothing against the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix, but the view from they’re ‘Mountain View’ rooms are a joke when compared to the views from this property.

That said, the positives of being isolated can be a double-edged sword. The nearest off-site restaurant is a 10-minute drive away, and not necessarily worth the drive. I’d plan on spending at least 15-minutes (more like 20) to drive to an area where you get a choice of restaurants.

If you’re staying at the Ritz Carlton while visiting friends or family in Tucson, chances are that you’ll have to deal with a decent commute every day. However, if you’re looking for a great resort property with some stellar golf (when Tiger Woods returned to the PGA tour this past year, he kicked off his comeback by playing at Dove Mountain), then this place looks to be a great choice.

Last edited by MarshKing; Nov 5, 09 at 12:55 am Reason: Attempt to fix typo in title.
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Old Nov 5, 09, 1:43 am
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Thanks MarshKing^
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Old Nov 5, 09, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
RC dove mountain is taking reservations from dec 23, no XMAS / NYE premium
from $330 to $700
? ritz carlton suite
? 1BR casita / 2BR casita (might not be done yet)
bummer re residences. keep hope alive for no minimum lease.

Originally Posted by cintroncar View Post
Kagehitokiri ,

Thank you for your report. I am planning to stay at that propery next year.

Originally Posted by MarshKing View Post
Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain -- Initial Observations
http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Proper...on/Default.htm
resort map (^^) shows 2 standalone casitas - 6101 & 6722 (other casitas are 2 > 4 units)

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Mar 16, 10 at 12:11 am
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Old Nov 5, 09, 10:49 pm
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Kagehitokiri ,

Thank you for your report. I am planning to stay at that propery next year.
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Old Nov 12, 09, 7:42 pm
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They are now offering STARS clients an upgrade at the time of booking. ^

T&C: Book a reservation before December 31, 2009 for a stay between December 18, 2009 and March 31, 2010 and receive a guaranteed upgrade to the next room category at time of booking.
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Old Jan 7, 10, 7:51 pm
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How do I book a STARS stay?

Has anyone stayed at this hotel in the past 2 months? Im planning a trip in May.
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Old Jan 7, 10, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by lucycan View Post
How do I book a STARS stay?

Has anyone stayed at this hotel in the past 2 months? Im planning a trip in May.
The STARS upgrade at booking offer was through 12/31. Rumors still have it that this will become a standard STARS amenity, but apparently this development is taking longer to negotiate than I had thought (as it will be capacity controlled).

You can book a STARS stay through any STARS TA (i.e., one of RC's 50 largest producing agencies).
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Old Jan 7, 10, 8:43 pm
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Originally Posted by lucycan View Post
How do I book a STARS stay?

Has anyone stayed at this hotel in the past 2 months? Im planning a trip in May.
I celebrated NYE at the RC, Dove Mountain. I was unable to stay the night, but I did enjoy dinner at their formal restaurant, followed by partying down at a charity event in one of their ballrooms.

The property continues to impress me -- the most striking feature is its location. Its Southwestern desert setting is as good or better than any other resort in Arizona (imho). The only problem with its locale is that it is not convenient to Tucson. (The New York Times just ran a story on visiting Tucson -- might be worth a look.)

Another thing to note -- the property is now part of AmEx Fine Hotels & Resorts. In the summertime, the FHR amenities almost out value the actual cost of the (entry-level) room. Of course, not many people want to visit Arizona in August.

Last edited by MarshKing; Jan 7, 10 at 10:41 pm Reason: Fixed a small typo.
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Old Jan 8, 10, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by MarshKing View Post
I celebrated NYE at the RC, Dove Mountain. I was unable to stay the night, but I did enjoy dinner at their formal restaurant, followed by partying down at a charity event in one of their ballrooms.

The property continues to impress me -- the most striking feature is its location. Its Southwestern desert setting is as good or better than any other resort in Arizona (imho). The only problem with its locale is that it is not convenient to Tucson. (The New York Times just ran a story on visiting Tucson -- might be worth a look.)

Another thing to note -- the property is now part of AmEx Fine Hotels & Resorts. In the summertime, the FHR amenities almost out value the actual cost of the (entry-level) room. Of course, not many people want to visit Arizona in August.
I am curious to know which is their 'formal restaurant' as all I can find on their website is 'approachable American cuisine', 'comfort food' etc etc. Which one is fine dining?
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Old Jan 8, 10, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
I am curious to know which is their 'formal restaurant' as all I can find on their website is 'approachable American cuisine', 'comfort food' etc etc. Which one is fine dining?
I should have been more specific. I ate at CORE. (I'm not yelling the name -- they spell it with all caps.)

Their menu (for that evening) was somewhat similar to the Valentines Day menu on their site. I am admittedly not a foodie, so I don't have much to compare some of choices to. Our table ended up with a variety of things, including caviar, fois gras, quail eggs, etc. (I wimped out on trying some of the items, but I did enjoy many of the more tame options, such as the duck.)

CORE also has a good sized wine collection -- nearly 3,000 bottles.
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Old Jan 8, 10, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by MarshKing View Post
I should have been more specific. I ate at CORE. (I'm not yelling the name -- they spell it with all caps.)

Their menu (for that evening) was somewhat similar to the Valentines Day menu on their site. I am admittedly not a foodie, so I don't have much to compare some of choices to. Our table ended up with a variety of things, including caviar, fois gras, quail eggs, etc. (I wimped out on trying some of the items, but I did enjoy many of the more tame options, such as the duck.)

CORE also has a good sized wine collection -- nearly 3,000 bottles.
Thanks, MarshKing - that menu sounds 'very approachable'.
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Old Jan 8, 10, 1:20 pm
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Im booking a stay in May and look forward to it, especially with the growing number of positive statements here.
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Old Jan 22, 10, 11:13 am
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New GM for Dove Mountain!!

Dove Mountain is becoming more and more interesting as Allan Federer, who is without doubt Ritz-Carlton's best ever GM, has just moved there from R-C Powerscourt.^
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Old May 13, 10, 5:13 pm
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This is actually fairly convenient to a close friend of mine who lives in the area. The $139 summer rate caught my attention, but it was pricing at $600+ all-in for 3 nights which means the resort fees and taxes must be astonomical.
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Old May 13, 10, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
This is actually fairly convenient to a close friend of mine who lives in the area. The $139 summer rate caught my attention, but it was pricing at $600+ all-in for 3 nights which means the resort fees and taxes must be astonomical.
on RC site im getting
139.00 > 158.53 = 14.05% (x 3 = 475.59) ... ("600" - 475.59 = 124.41) (124.41 / 3 = 41.47) (41.47 = 30% of 139)
199.00 > 226.96 = 14.05%
etc

http://www.elitemeetings.com/propert...dove-mountain/
Resort Fee 0.00
Room Tax 5.95%
Sales Tax 8.1%
(total = 14.05%)

i paid 12% in scottsdale last summer. back then sanctuary had locals rates even lower than $139.

Originally Posted by lucycan View Post
Just found out the Club Level is shut down for the summer
lots of RC have been doing this. although WAS is not closing this summer, at least so far.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; May 13, 10 at 6:43 pm
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