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The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, AZ [Master Thread]

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, AZ [Master Thread]

Old Jul 29, 19, 5:27 pm
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The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, AZ [Master Thread]

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Map| 3 Reviews | 67% Recommended

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

15000 N Secret Springs Drive Marana, AZ US 85658

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain (13 Photos)

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Having never stayed at a true 5 star resort, I was quite excited when I came across the The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, while looking at American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts list close to me. Located less than two hours from Phoenix, and a quick drive to Tucson, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain was a perfect location for a weekend staycation for my wife and I. 

Back to booking the property. The listed price on the Fine Hotels & Resorts booking page for a Saturday night in the summer, was $139. This came with a $100 resort credit, good for anything at the resort except for room price and golf, a $65 breakfast for two at CORE KITCHEN & WINE BAR, as well as 12:00 noon check-in (when available) and 4:00pm checkout (guaranteed). 

Booking through the AMEX travel portal gained me 5x AMEX points and allowed me to put in my Marriott Bonvoy number for Gold status perks.

Check In

Staying one night, and having booked through the Fine Hotels & Resorts website, we wanted to arrive early, to soak in all the hotel amenities. We arrived around 1:00pm. Upon entering the property grounds, you go through a security guard at a gated entrance. Simply give your last name and you will be allowed to enter the property. The hotel is about one mile up the road from the gate. 

Entering the area, valets are quick to greet you. Valet is included in the hefty $50 (plus $7 tax) resort fee. I had read online that the property will happily subtract $21 from your resort fee if you self park. I asked the valet if any self park option was available, he said there was, but it was a five minute walk away. Seeing as it was 100+ degrees and I had my wife with me, I decided to just eat the valet fee. 

Entering the lobby the doorman and valet were polite and helpful in directing me to the check-in area. We were told our room was not ready and the hotel was at full capacity. Although the noon check-in is never guaranteed, this was an unpleasant way to start the trip. The front desk offered us cold water while we waited, and went over the hotel amenities. We were thanked for being Bonvoy gold members, and offered 500 bonus points and a 2:00pm late checkout, which we did not need. 

About an hour after check-in, we were called by the front desk and told our room was ready. It was a little weird in the waiting time. Wasn't really a bathroom that was convenient to check into. One thing I'd advise hotels to do when rooms aren't available with members with status to check into is, offer some sort of drink. Even a buy one-get-one drink at the lobby bar could go a long way. 

Check-In: 3 out of 5

Room

We were upgraded (I think) to a CANYON VIEW ROOM. The view overlooked the front valet area of the hotel and the Canyon of Dove Mountain. The view was good, but nothing spectacular. The room has a southwestern design. 

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The room featured a king bed with 400-thread count linens by Frette. Chair and otter-man. Table with two chairs. 55 inch TV. Six Nespresso coffee pods. Two bottles of water. Refrigerator. Large walk in closet. And a balcony with a table and two chairs. 

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The bathroom was large with full marble, a separate bathtub and shower, Rainforest Shower Head Oversized soaking tubs Double sink and a Lighted shaving/make-up mirror.

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Room: 4.5 out of 5  

Service

The service at the hotel is excellent. All employees greet you by your last name when known. They are down to earth and not pretentious. The concierge desk was very helpful in making reservations, helping you find resort amenities and anything else that you need. 

The only thing I overheard while at the resort, were people at the pool complaining about pool side service. The pool was packed due to a conference and families taking one final trip before school starts. One person I overheard said he was waiting over 30 minutes for his drink to arrive. The servers were doing the best they could with what they had. But, I suppose people at a 5 star resort expect instant service. On Sunday pool side service was instant when we needed it, and we had zero complaints. 

Service: 5 out of 5

Pool

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain features three pools. We only saw two, so I assume the third is at the spa, which we did not go to. 

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The Turquesa Pool is the main resort pool. The views around this area fantastic, overlooking desert mountain landscape and the resort itself. There is plenty of shade around this pool. When we went on Saturday, it was a bit full, but not impossible to find a seat. Towel service is available along with water. This pool, though not exclusive to adults, served as the more adult pool.

The Water slide pool was geared more towards family and children. This pool featured, you guessed it, a water slide. The slide was surprisingly pretty good and kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. There is a splash pad also featured at this pool. 

Pools: 5 out of 5

Dining

There are several dining options at the resort. CORE KITCHEN & WINE BAR served as the signature restaurant with SUSHI BAR & SAKE attached to it. IGNITE was a lobby lounge that had a great feel to it. TURQUESA LATIN GRILL served as the poolside bar and restaurant. CAYTON'S BURGER BISTRO was attached to the nearby golf course.

We decided in a quest to try as many of the resorts dining options as possible to have dinner at CAYTON'S BURGER BISTRO. There is a continuous shuttle that will take you from the resort to the golf course. This shuttle is never hard to catch.We had a waguburger, which is not on the restaurant website menu, pull apart rolls, a side of crispy cauliflower and mac anc cheese, two drinks and a desert. In total with tip, our bill came to about $80. All options were great and we ordered way too much food. When the server brings you your bill at the end, they will ask if you need a shuttle back to the resort, the shuttle arrived quickly which minimized any wait times. 

The next morning we used our $65 breakfast credit at CORE KITCHEN & WINE BAR. I ordered BRAISED SHORT RIB & POTATO HASH with orange juice and coffee and my wife had HUEVOS RANCHEROS. Both were really good. The bill came to about $45, and we left the remaining $20 credit as a tip to our server. 

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Breakfast was very filling and left us quite stuffed despite biking and hitting golfballs in the afternoon. Before we checked out and while we were at the pool, we tried poolside service at TURQUESA LATIN GRILL. We ordered three steak tacos and a side of chips, salsa and guacamole. This was an excellent snack. In total, our bill came to $40 including tax. This put us $20 over the $165 credit we received for our stay. Not bad for three meals for two people. 

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Dining: 5 out of 5

Location

The location of the resort was in the planned community of Dove mountain. About one hour and 30 minutes from phones and 30-40 minutes from Tucson. There is not a ton sourrounding the resort, so if you're looking for a getway from the hustle of big cities this is your spot. If you want to be closer, and try off site dinning, other hotels suit you better.  

Location 4.5 out of 5

Resort Fee Value

The amenities you receive for the $50 (plus tax) resort fee will be debated.  I personally didn't mind this fee, but I'm sure others will. If I were paying $300+ I'm sure the fee would be more annoying. 

The website lists resort fees covering: 

  • Overnight valet parking
  • Unlimited and enhanced guest room high-speed Internet access
  • Daily group fitness class located in Movement Studio (i.e. Yoga or Pilates)
  • Access to golf driving range and putting green (club rental included)
  • Unlimited use of specialized mountain and road bikes
  • Recreation activities such as Guided Morning Walk, Desert Friends Experience, family board games, bocce ball, horseshoes and more
  • Unlimited use of tennis courts (equipment rental included)
  • Evening mixology class
  • Selection of daily newspapers
  • 24-Hour use of computer and printing services in Business Center

We took advantage of valet parking, the driving range and putting green along with club rental and use of mountain bikes.

The valet parking, meh, not worth $21, but better than walking 5 minutes with luggage.

The driving range and putting green was a cool features. The golf course once played host to a PGA event. So to hit golf balls and putt on a pga course, was pretty cool. The course was much to nice and hard for a person of my skill level. Still, provided a good activity for my wife and I to do. 

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The mountain biking was fun. The trails are very well kept and moderately hard. 

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There is also a ranger station that includes a tortoise. The tortoise is usually out and about in the evening and cool addition. There are snakes, lizards and scorpions that you can view from a safe distance. 

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One thing not listed, was a star gazing telescope the hotel offered every Saturday night. Though it was very cloudy that night, we could still see Jupiter and the moons around it. Pretty cool.

Another amenity not listed but perhaps should be, was the access to bottled water at the resort. You could always find someone offering you a cold water. From the valet, to concierge desk, to the check-in staff, to the house keeping, bottled water was constantly being offered to you for no charge. I thought this was a very nice touch and maybe something they might want to list as a good add on to make other people okay with the resort fee. 

 

Resort Fee Value: 4 out of 5

Overall

This hotel met all of my expectations for a 5 star resort. The rooms were comfortable and the service was nice. Outside of a check in that I wish could have been more favorable for me, I can't complain about anything... Now, with that said, I have stayed at 4 star resorts which offer the same if not better comfort and service. For instance, the Westin Hapuna Beach in Hawaii, I thought exceeded this property. But I am just splitting hairs at this point. From golfers, to families, to a couples weekend out, this is a fantastic place to stay. My total bill, including room, food, resort fee and tax, came out to $191! Exceptional value for a 5 star resort. We will be back.  

Overall 4.4 out of 5

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

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