Set in the high Sonoran desert against the Wild Burro Canyon, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain requires that you expend a little effort to get there – it is a 45-minute drive from downtown Tucson, or in our case, a scenic 2-hour drive south from the Phoenix airport on I-10 that passed more dust devils, speed traps, and “adult boutiques” than we would have expected.

The Ritz-Carlton is comprised of a main hotel, spa, pools, and a group of more private villas set a short walk from the main buildings. The resort caters both to those on vacation as well as corporate events alike, with 209 guest rooms (plus 44 additional individual and casita suites), two main pools, a separate spa area (with yet another pool, adults-only), and four dining areas plus a “to-go” coffee and snack bar at the main resort. The golf course, featuring 27 Jack Nicklaus-designed holes, is located just a short shuttle ride away. The resort has more of a corporate feel than a cozy one, though it is certainly comfortable.

Our room was up-to-date and in good condition, with some minor quibbles, and of a good size. Rooms are available with different desert views, though be warned that what you select might not be quite what you expect (“Canyon View” = resort/pool view with canyon surrounding). Also take note of the restaurant areas when selecting your room as you might find, as we did, that having the Ignite restaurant and bar just below your room can mean noise later into the evening than you might want if you have an early tee time.

The adjoining spa is a well-maintained 17,000 square foot facility that features 10 treatment rooms, a full salon, fitness center, private pool and cabanas. Visitors who aren’t receiving a treatment can also pay a daily fee for use of the facilities (which we recommend). The spa pool isn’t to be missed, and is particularly enjoyable at sunset when you may have the run of the place prior to closing. The treatment rooms were, disappointingly, far from being as quiet as desired (see details under ‘SPA’).

The Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain is somewhat remote, and as a result will have greater appeal to certain people and less to others. With the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain you get an exceptionally attentive and obliging staff, with very good accommodations. Some may prefer a resort that is within striking distance of more activities and dining options, but for a long weekend of golf and spa treatments, the Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain could be all that you need.

Fitness Center
Pro Shop

Expedia: View Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain offers



94/ A


The service at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain is what makes the resort stand out. The staff was exceptional throughout our trip, and all of our requests were met with a smile and willingness to help.

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort

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95 / A


The rooms we will describe as “Contemporary Southwestern”, and featured dark woods, rich fabrics and light stones. The guest rooms are all 450-511 square feet in size, and all include the same set of amenities. Suites are available with approximately double the space. And if you would like something a bit more exclusive, consider the Casitas (from one to multiple bedrooms), which are short walk from the main hotel and are a nice option for those looking for a bit more privacy. The balcony (included with all guest rooms), is more than large enough for a table and two chairs, and we found a wonderful place to start the morning with breakfast, as well as relax at the end of the day as the sun set and the flautist played in the distance. Oh, and watch the bats fly around.

Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain Resort

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If you are thinking “Canyon View” means a view of wilderness, you may be surprised to find yourself having to first look past the pool area and villas before reaching the view of the surrounding canyon. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still a nice view…but it might be more reasonably be called a “Canyon and Resort View”. The Canyon View rooms cost a bit more than the other views, which are of the mountains, partial resort, and the resort entry. Though we requested a quieter room at the timing of booking (which they can never guarantee), our room was above the Ignite restaurant and bar, which made it louder than we would have liked in the evening (hey, you have to get drunk and tell your golf stories somewhere I guess…). If you are looking for something more tranquil, be sure to request a room at the end of one of the wings of the hotel (learn the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain hotel map), or consider a room with a different view (though we did pass on a Mountain View room that overlooked the men’s hot tub area in the spa (not kidding)).

Other features included:

88 / B+


The pools are the main hub of the hotel during the day, and are open 24 hours a day if you are looking to cool off in the evening as well. The main pool is occupied mostly by adults, complete with chairs that sit in a shallow end, which is just the ticket for a relaxing afternoon. The second pool, located in a lower level of the resort adjacent to the main pool, is more family-friendly, featuring a water slide (fun for adults too) and multiple pool areas for kids and adults, along with surrounding cabanas. We found the staff slightly less attentive by the main pools, though we did appreciate the complimentary crushed ice treats they would offer. Both pool areas can get reasonably full during the days, and though we always found chairs available, the adults-only pool at the spa (see ‘SPA’, below) is worth considering if you want something quieter.

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort

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The hotel has a basic fitness center, consisting of an equipment room with cardio machines and weights, and an exercise room next door, both located just off the main lobby of the hotel and open 24/7 (not staffed). The equipment room is quite simple in look and feel, and is made up of 6 elliptical machines, 6 treadmills, 3 stationary bikes, 8 Precor machines, and dumbbells. Private personal training and yoga sessions are available (reservations required). Classes in the fitness room includes pilates and yoga, with water aerobics classes available in the pool. Neither the equipment room or exercise room offers much in the way of views. No locker room is attached, but the spa (and its locker room) is just a few steps away.

In addition to the fitness center and pool, there are also four tennis courts located next to the golf course just a short drive from the main building. Both the fitness center and tennis courts are part of the required daily “Resort Activity Package” fee (see details in ‘Value’, below).

92 / A-


The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain spa, while adjoining the hotel, has an independent entrance accessed by first exiting the hotel. The full use of spa facilities is available to guests who are having a spa treatment on that day or can also be purchased for $25/day. The staff kindly waived our fee for day use of the spa facilities the day following our treatment as we had booked the last massage time before close.

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort

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The spa features an entryway with a reception desk for checking in for appointments – a small assortment of retail goods are also available for purchase. The locker room includes both wet and dry saunas, an outdoor hot tub (with fireplace), and a quiet area with lounge chairs where patrons can relax and wait to be called for their massages. The hotel is curiously designed such that parts of it overlook the hot tub and spa areas. As a result, bathing suits are required in this area, even though it is not coed.

Outside of the locker room are the coed waiting area, treatment rooms, and a beautiful pool and hot tub set against the mountain. If you are looking to get away from the busier main pools, this is a wonderfully relaxing place to spend the day and we highly recommend it even if you aren’t having a spa treatment. It was also phenomenal at sunset, when we had the place to ourselves just prior to closing. The spa has a limited food menu available, which allows guests to build their own lunch of a salad, sandwich/entrée and dessert, from a selection of light and healthy options.

Our largest complaint was the amount of sound that could be heard during the massage. All of the treatment rooms are unfortunately directly accessed directly from a small courtyard that guests pass through when leaving the locker room and walking to the spa pool. We could hear people talking right outside the room throughout our massage as they either stood in the courtyard or walked past. Though our massage was above average in quality (50 minutes for $150 or 90 minutes for $210), the noise was distracting throughout. The design seems very poorly thought out and is unlike any other spa we have visited, where treatment rooms are generally accessed through dedicated quiet hallways to minimize ambient noise. Compare this to our experience at the Encore spa in Las Vegas for example, which is significantly larger and has far more guests, but at which we could hear not a peep from adjoining rooms or hallway during our spa treatment.

90 / A-


Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain

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The Pro Shop, located within the Clubhouse is a good-sized facility with flat-screen televisions, a fireplace, and a good selection of hats, balls and clothing with the Dove Mountain logos. The Pro Shop seemed relatively lightly staffed during our stay, so there can be a bit of a wait to check-in for your tee time if other guests are loading up on Dove Mountain gear.

91 / A-


Within the resort there are four main dining areas. This includes two restaurants within the hotel, (as well as a “To Go” bar), one just off the main pool, and another restaurant at the golf course. The environment, food quality and service among the restaurants varied widely, from the exceptional to the mediocre.

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