By Donna Hull –
When Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain opened in December 2009, guests at the destination resort near Tucson, Arizona, discovered an enticing blend of luxury and adventure. Located in Wild Burro Canyon of the Tortolita Mountains, Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain offers twenty miles of hiking and biking trails in a Sonoran Desert setting that invigorates as well as soothes the spirit.
Long before resort guests walked the canyon trails, prehistoric people left their mark in the mortar holes of rocks, where they crushed mesquite pods in order to harvest the seeds for a rich dietary source of protein. Later, the Hohokam inscribed petroglyphs onto nearby boulders, still visible today, if you know where to look.
And the stately saguaros that march down the hillsides are well over 100 years old. Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain pays homage to this extraordinary natural setting with interior spaces featuring the extensive use of natural materials like flagstone, copper, leather and Arizona minerals. And, always, the Sonoran desert beckons through large expanses of glass windows and doors. Luxury accommodations include deluxe guestrooms (450 – 511 square feet). A king-sized feather bed with down comforter provides a peaceful night’s sleep while comfortable seating on the balcony makes an enjoyable spot for morning coffee. Luxury touches include dimmers on all of the light switches and a large bath with glassed-in shower and extra-deep soaking tub. The 17,000 square foot Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Spa provides a peaceful setting for adventure seekers to recover after an active day in the Sonoran desert. Spa goers are treated to a separate pool area that feels is if it’s been wedged into the boulders of the Tortolita Mountains. Be sure to look closely to discover some of those Hohokam petroglyphs. The spa offers a wide selection of body treatments, facials, massages, manicures and pedicures focused around an eco-holistic theme. If budget allows, indulge in one of the signature treatments. Balance Your Elements (90 minutes at $245) is based upon the natural elements – water, fire, wood, metal and earth. The treatment is tailored to your specific elemental need, determined by your birth date. After a customized aromatherapy bath, skin brush application, mask, scalp treatment, specialty massage and subtle energy balancing, both body and spirit are soothed.
Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain’s five dining venues offer pampering of another kind with an emphasis on sustainable, organic and regional cuisine.
CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar serves breakfast and dinner focusing on American dishes that have been inspired by Sonoran and regional influences. CORE’s design encourages a relaxed and quite atmosphere with six dining areas. Chef Joel Harrington presides over an American menu with southwestern touches focusing on regional sustainable cuisine using local growers. Ignite offers lunch and dinner with views of Wild Burro Canyon. Enjoy nature’s inspiration with a handcrafted cocktail and selection from the pub fare menu around one of the fire pits on the patio. Turquesa Latin Grill, featuring traditional Latin fare and Tucson favorites, serves lunch beside the resort’s negative edge swimming pool. Cayton’s, located near the clubhouse of the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club (home to Accenture Match Play Championship), serves “American Comfort Cuisine with a Southwestern Flair” at lunch and dinner, either inside or on the patio. ToGo provides quick meals at breakfast and lunch, including healthy smoothies, pastries, coffee and backpack meals for a picnic on the trail. For a sunset experience to beat all sunset experiences, claim a seat on the patio at Ignite. As the sun paints the Tortolitas with its last pink glow, a Native American flautist serenades from a rocky outcropping across Wild Burro Canyon. Take a deep breath then relax to the soothing notes that drift your way. If you go: Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain 15000 North Secret Springs Drive Marana, Arizona 85658 520.572.3000 As is common in the travel industry, Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain provided the writer with a complimentary spa treatment for the purpose of writing this article. While this did not influence this review, LivingBetterat50+ believes in full disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest. Freelance writer Donna L. Hull specializes in travel and human interest content for online and print publications. At My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel, she encourages boomers to get up off the couch and go.