10 Best Hotels in Tucson: Top Stays in the Old Pueblo

Whether you come to Tucson to indulge in a long weekend of relaxation at one of the city's premier spas, or you just happen to be passing through town, the best Tucson hotels offer a pleasing blend of traditional southwestern ambiance and modern amenities.

One of the oldest hotel resorts in town, the Westward Look Resort, is still one of the best. Located in the exclusive Casas Adobes area of the city, the Westward Look features nature trails and great views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Rooms are spacious and most come with a private balcony.

For the ultimate in desert luxury, there is Miraval Spa, a hotel resort specializing in providing guests with a total mind-body rejuvenation. The hotel offers daily physical activities designed to challenge both mind and spirit, wholesome daily meals, and a full-service spa offering the latest in holistic treatments.

If you're looking for a taste of historic Tucson, head to the Arizona Inn, one of the oldest and most beautiful hotels in town. The manicured grounds are dotted with citrus trees, and there is a fine dining restaurant on site.

If you want to stay in the heart of the city, book a room at the historic Hotel Congress. The rooms are spare, clean and understated. In keeping with the vintage 1930s theme of the hotel, there are no TVs in guest rooms. But the excellent cafe, bar and nightclub - and storied history of this well-kept establishment - should provide ample entertainment for most guests. 


Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa

Built in the early 1900s, this is one of Tucson's oldest hotel resorts. Despite its well-established pedigree, the Westward Look is also on the cutting edge, recently earning its certification as a green resort. The resort is located on 80 scenic acres at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The rugged beauty of the resort is ideal for families looking to find recreational fun in the surrounding desert. Hiking, horse-back riding, or stargazing are popular activities here. Of course, kids will love lounging by the pool. Rooms are comfortable and luxurious, with many offering views of the surrounding mountains and desert.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Westward Look Resort is one of the city's oldest resorts. Nature trails allow guests to enjoy an eyeful of Sonoran desert flora and fauna.

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Looking for somewhere to stay near the Tucson Airport? The Residence Inn Tucson Airport offers a comfortable stay in a very convenient location. The hotel is loaded with amenities, including a free hot breakfast, free wine social hour during the week, a nice pool area, fitness center, free WiFi, a business center and ample free parking. The hotel is clean, modern and welcoming, and the staff is very accommodating. Rooms are spacious and include a small kitchen, so this is a good bet if you're in town for an extended period. The Residence Inn Tucson Airport offers great value for business travelers, families or solo travelers.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Residence Inn Tucson Airport offers a free hot breakfast, WiFi, great customer service, and is convenient to the Tucson Airport.

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Oprah was the first to make most people aware of the Miraval. It's extremely pricey but offers its guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in well-being, 24/7. Miraval is not your typical resort so don't check in expecting another spa hotel. Instead, expect a comprehensive wellness program that incorporates exercise, healthy food, meditation and sleep. It's not for everybody but if you need to up your health, and can pony up the necessary fees, Miraval can be miraculous. Aside from its emphasis on mind, body and spirit healing, the hotel offers a luxurious stay in a one of the city's most scenic open desert areas.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Miraval Spa is one of Tucson's most unique luxury resort spas, offering daily activities and meals designed to transform mind, body and spirit.

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Situated in the heart of downtown Tucson, the Royal Elizabeth Bed and Breakfast Inn offers a luxurious sanctuary in the middle of the city. It's a great option if you're looking for a comfortable, intimate stay. The bed and breakfast is located near all the downtown Tucson attractions and is only one mile away from the historic Main Gate area of the University of Arizona. There are five rooms to choose from, ranging in size between 450 and 650 square feet. Each one is uniquely decorated with antique furnishings, wallpaper, artwork, draperies and Victorian colors. You won't find frilly Victorian decor, but you will be greeted with creature comforts like high quality bedding.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Royal Elizabeth offers a luxurious and intimate stay in one of downtown's most historic neighborhoods.

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The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa

The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa offers stunning views of the towering Santa Catalina Mountains. Families will love the long list of amenities, including golf courses, tennis courts and pools. The children's pool not only features a wading area for smaller tots, but a large water slide that will keep tweens and teens busy during your stay. The resort also offers an on-site kids' club, where young children can participate in crafts, movies, and scavenger hunts. Need a date night out with your significant other? The hotel is happy to arrange for babysitters. Plus, cribs and rollaway beds are available in almost every room.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Westin La Paloma is one of Tucson's most scenic resorts, offering excellent views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

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Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Ventana means "window" in Spanish, which is appropriate because this stunning resort offers a window to the soul of the Sonoran Desert. The resort is nestled at the foothills of Tucson's Catalina Mountains, ensuring you and your family will be surrounded by the scenic views during your stay. Amenities at this luxury resort include the Lakeside Spa & Tennis Center, canyon hiking trails, professional stargazing guides, and two Tom Fazio-designed PGA golf courses and lighted tennis courts. Kids of all ages will love the two swimming pools and the nearby riding trails. Each of the 398 guest rooms features a private viewing balcony, oversized tub, and amazing views of the desert mountains and night sky.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is nestled at the foothills of the Catalina Mountains. It features a luxurious lakeside spa.

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This four-diamond resort is tucked away in a quiet and scenic part of west Tucson. The resort is known for its award-winning spa and golf course, and it's a popular destination for golfers, couples, girls trips and families. The hotel has every amenity to ensure a comfortable and fun family stay, including a fire pit patio, restaurants and shops. Three golf courses offer a lovely green contrast from the surrounding desert. There are nature trails laced throughout the property for hiking and biking. During the warm spring and summer months, kids will love the multi-level swimming pools, waterslides, dancing fountains and lazy river.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort offers a peaceful stay on Tucson's westside, including access to hiking trails.

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The Historic Hotel Congress

Built in 1919, the historic Hotel Congress has loomed over downtown Tucson for decades. This landmark hotel retains its vintage Southwestern charm with 40 modest guest rooms that feature vintage radios, antique iron beds, and telephones that access a fully operational 1930s switchboard in the lobby. Hip and quaint all at once, the Hotel Congress remains a vibrant gathering place for local hipsters and weary travelers of all stripes. Also on-site is the Tap Room and Club Congress, one of the city's most vibrant nightlife destinations. When you get hungry, head to the adjacent Cup Cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Hotel Congress is ideal for visitors who want to stay in the heart of downtown, near museums, nightlife and restaurants.

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A former girls school from 1928, the historic and charming Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch lets guests book their own private casita. Hot tubs make a big hit with couples, as does the property overall, which offers verdant serenity in the city. Beautiful views and world-class service are other hallmarks of this popular and romantic lodging choice. Although the setting may appear rustic at first glance, the hacienda's accommodations are deluxe all the way. Spacious and private casita suites offer all the creature comforts of a deluxe getaway, including TV, Wi-Fi and high quality bedding. Gourmet meals are also prepared daily.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Historic, cozy and luxurious, the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort offers classic southwestern hospitality in the foothills of Tucson.

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North Tucson
Arizona Inn

The Arizona Inn is Tucson's premier historic, luxury boutique hotel situated on 14 beautifully landscaped acres right in the heart of Tucson's midtown. Although only a short distance from the University of Arizona campus, Arizona Inn guests will feel a world away from the grit and noise of the city. Casita-style guest rooms are sumptuously decorated to reflect the Inn's rich history. On-site dining is some of the best in the city. The Inn maintains a AAA four diamond status for both the hotel and dining room. It also earned a spot on Conde Nast's Traveler Gold List, Travel and Leisure's Top 500 Hotels in the World, and Tripadvisor's Travelers' Choice Award for Best Service in the United States.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Arizona Inn is one of Tucson's oldest and most picturesque hotels. It also boasts a convenient midtown location.

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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.