Best Staycation Resorts in Arizona – The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Arizona summers are notoriously and reliably hot – downright phosphorescent.  Arizona residents do whatever they can to stay cool, and try to enjoy the outside despite the heat. One of the most popular things to do during Arizona summers, is to take a “Staycation” at a local resort. So when I thought about writing topics for this summer, it made perfect sense to do a Blog Series called “Best Staycation Resorts in Arizona.”

I didn’t want to limit my blog coverage to only resorts in the PhoenixScottsdale area (or what locals refer to as “The Valley”) so I decided to visit The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, and wow.

The resort is featuring a number of summer offerings, events, and experiences in its “Summer of Adventure” promotion.  Click here for more information.

How Do I Get There?

The resort is in Marana, Arizona – a town so named after the Spanish word “marana” (which means thicket) “by 19th Century railroad workers who had to clear a line through the area” (Credit to Wikipedia). The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is approximately 30-40 minutes (slightly to the Northwest) by car from downtown Tucson, Arizona (click here to view a Google Maps image); and approximately 90 minutes by car from the greater Phoenix area (another Google Maps image).


As you may presume, the property is grand and stately.  Here is a small photo gallery of our arrival and some of the initial interior views – simply luxurious:


We enjoyed a fifth floor Resort Room (the resort’s top floor) with a Front Drive View, and that view is stupendous. Here’s one of my favorite pictures from our room:


First impressions of the room are stellar.  The room was very well-appointed and the views sublime.  Here’s a photo gallery of the room and its lovely appointments:


I love water – showers, pools, steamrooms, you name it. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has some seriously cool pools.

Here are a couple of my favorite pool panoramics:


There are a multitude of exceptional dining options at the resort, and certainly more than I could enjoy during my stay (Click here for a full listing). The signature dinner at the resort experience is CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, which I was most fortunate to enjoy.  I loved my experience at CORE so much that I’ve decided to write a separate article following the posting of this article, for the simple reason that my dinner at CORE deserves a separate, dedicated blog piece. It was divine. Here’s the link to my full article on CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar.

We did order breakfast through room service, and it was stellar. My wife enjoyed the Egg White Frittata and I devoured the Dove Mountain Breakfast. Here are some pictures:


The Serenity Spa is everything you would expect to experience at a Ritz Carlton – elegant, serene, well appointed, picturesque, and decadent. Click here to read more about the Serenity Spa.

Please note that I did not experience a Serenity Spa treatment. I simply toured the spa, and enjoyed the pool. I included many of the spa images below, but I have to post my favorite spa picture – a panoramic of the pool!!

 Spa Pool

For the Kids

As you’d guess, there are a lot of things for the kids to do at the resort, but aside from the obvious (pools, water slide, etc.) there were a couple of really neat things to mention.  The Ritz Carlton has a huge focus on kids with its Ritz Kids program. There’s a lot of information on the program, just click here for more.

One of the coolest things I’ve seen is this Check In area for kids with a stool!


The resort also offers its “Dove Mountain Rangers” program where kids can interact with wildlife and nature, including Rocky the Desert Tortoise. Click here for more information.

I Need My Tech!

Technology is becoming such an important part of travel, and even more so for Staycations since many professionals are working remotely while they travel with their families – phones, computers, tablets, etc. The resort has two really great pieces of technology in the rooms that I want to highlight: a media bar with charging ports, and a fabulous external outlet with USB ports on the nightstand. I absolutely love these, and you’d be surprised to know that many high end resorts don’t have extra charging areas:

Cool Stuff

I always look for cool and interesting aspects or features of high end properties, and a couple stood out. First, if you’re looking for a unique dining experience (and you call ahead to organize it), the resort offers a “Splash Dining” experience where you actually are seated in the shallow pool deck. How cool is that? I’m definitely doing this next time!


The second thing I’d like to highlight is the use of woven leather in both the room and the elevator. I love this attention to detail.



Let’s face it. Expectations are high when staying at luxury resorts, and my experience with the staff was consistently and dependably superlative. Each and every staffmember I met was amazing – nice, helpful, courteous, engaging, and just incredibly pleasant to meet. One shout out to Cesar at the Serenity Spa. He noticed that I was barefoot, and immediately asked me if I wanted spa shoes. He could have easily not mentioned anything, and I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Also, Reyna and Raquel in the Serenity Spa couldn’t have been more gracious or helpful.  But everyone was like that, and it just capped off an exceptional visit.

Final Thoughts

There is a very good reason that The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain recently earned Five Stars from Forbes Travel Guide, one of only 115 properties in the world, and only 2 of which are in Arizona. The resort is an incredible gem, and while it may be a little bit of a drive, you will not be disappointed. It will in all likelihood be the best resort experience of your life. Go as soon as you can.

Property Information

The Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain (click here for the website):  15000 N Secret Springs Drive, Marana, Arizona 85658


Twitter: @RitzCarlton (#DoveMountain for postings)

Instagram: @ritzcarlton (#DoveMountain for postings)

You may also search #RCMemories on these social media outlets for more postings.


Thanks very much to the Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain for allowing me to visit and write about this glorious property. I am so grateful, and I will count the days until I can return for the Splash Dining!

Happy Traveling!



More Pictures