Hacienda del Sol

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Built in 1929 as a girls school for societies elite families, Hacienda Del Sol Resort was then converted into a guest ranch in 1948 that immediately attracted Hollywood’s A-List celebrities. In 1995 Hacienda del Sol was lovingly restored by a group of local Tucson residents and is one of Tucson’s oldest and most prestigious guest ranch resorts.  It sits at the foot of the Santa Catalina mountain range and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in Arizona and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.

hacienda-del-sol-resort-tucson-arizona

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

The resort is inspired by early Moorish architecture. The property is beautiful with gardens full of native plants, trees, cactus and flowers that welcome you at every turn. The traditional hacienda building is beige stucco with pops of multi-colored ceramic tiles and interior furnishings are resort-homey. The Spanish Colonial Revival design continues indoors with wooden beam ceilings, clay tiles, arched windows and beautiful long corridors. This isn’t a high rise resort. In fact, the original hacienda is mostly one story, with just one side offering a second level and spread out more like a private estate.

Corridor at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

Courtyard at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

The History

The hacienda was an all girls school from 1929 until 1942 and was considered quite prestigious. The school’s roster included names such as Vanderbilt, Pillsbury, Maxwell, Westinghouse, and Campbell. The girls came from elite and wealthy families, and as many other children at the time, they were sent to the ranch school because their parents thought the days of the ‘wild west’ were over. They wanted their children to experience ranch life before it disappeared.

In the late 1940’s the Hacienda was a favorite romantic hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. John Wayne and Clark Gable both signed their names to the hotel’s guestbook and Howard Hughes, who owned a film studio in Tucson, was also a guest at the Hacienda.

The Guest Rooms

The original hacienda guest rooms are nostalgic and quaint. Imagining the guests and students who may have stayed in the rooms is quite fun. I loved this original part of the hotel.

Hacienda del Sol Resort guest room in Tucson, Arizona

In late 2015, the resort added 32 luxurious new guest rooms with stunning views of the city and mountains. These new rooms sit behind the hacienda, but quite close and are incorporated into the property nicely.

I visited for the weekend with my mom for a mother-daughter getaway and during our visit, we stayed in one of the newer rooms. The room was very large with 10′ ceilings, handcrafted furniture, Talavera tile, wood floors, private patio, seating area, large closet, plenty of storage, a writing desk and more the room was clearly designed with luxury in mind.  We also had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies waiting for us in our room at check in.

Hacienda del Sol Resort catalina guest room in Tucson, Arizona

The bathroom itself deserves special mention. In addition to beautiful tiles and its generous size, there are two sinks and counter top areas. This was a lovely touch, making it very easy for two or more to beautify at the same time. Tarocco bath amenities embrace both the bathroom color scheme and the desert location.

Hacienda del Sol Resort guest room bathoom in Tucson, Arizona

The Delicious Food

There are two restaurants on the property, The Grill at Hacienda and the Terraza Patio. Executive chef, Bruce Yim heads the culinary team and delivers seasonal food with a Tucson twist. The Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lunch menu for the Grill is also the lunch and dinner menu for the Terraza.

The Grill takes dining to another level, offering a fine dining experience during the evening hours.

Executive chef, Bruce Yim of Hacienda del Sol Resort Catalina guest room in Tucson, Arizona

Executive chef, Bruce Yim

On our first night, we were treated by the hotel to a fabulous dinner at the Grill that was made even better by wine recommendations from the Director of Wine & Spirits, John Kulikowski and food recommendations from Food & Beverage Director and Sommelier, Laura Burns. We had the added pleasure of dining with Laura and PR Director for the hotel, Kimberly Schmitz. Dinner started with an amuse bouche of green apple and melon with a blueberry coulis and cilantro micro-greens. Our shared appetizers included grilled octopus, steak tartare, Pan Seared Foie Gras with brown butter brioche, honey comb and garden grown limonium, fennel (Laura’s suggestion and it  wound up being our favorite dish), and a shaved raw heirloom carrot salad.

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona steak tartare

For main courses I opted for filet of beef; a sliced braised beef served with whole grain mustard demi choux croute and confit potatoes. It normally is served with a rye crumble, but Chef Yim created a gluten free crumble for my dish. The menu clearly points out many food allergens and the staff and chef are very accommodating to tweak dishes based on dietary needs. My mom opted for the butter braised scallops served with a celery root puree, tomato jam, haricot vert baby carrot and a celery root slaw.

Grill restaurant at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona filet of beef

Dessert was a decadent assortment of sweet treats and they were kind enough to serve me a creme brulee.

Grill restaurant at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona creme brulee

The Service

From the moment you pull up to valet parking it is clear Hacienda del Sol offers a luxury resort experience. Once you have arrived you will be escorted to reception for check in. We were then asked if we would like help with our bags. While the property is easily walk-able, the summer temperatures are fairly intense and having a quick ride via golf cart to our room and help with luggage was very welcome.

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona concierge

The high level of service continues with smiles and hello’s from staff as you wander the property. This was one of the small touches that made my stay at Hacienda del Sol so memorable. The staff seem genuinely happy and eager to answer questions about the property and the history of the hacienda.

The Grill Restaurant showcases the hacienda’s service with their attention to detail and superb knowledge of food and wine.

John Kulikowski, wine Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

Laura Burns, John Kulikowski and Penny Williams

Service at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, ArizonaThe Views

Hacienda Del Sol is perched above a gorgeous valley with views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Sunset is the prime time to enjoy the stunning scenery.

sunset at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

sunset at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

The Spa

The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort spa offers signature massages, facials and body treatments such as the herbal cellulite Hungarian mud treatment . Many of the services may be experienced in the comfort of your guest room. The massage is particularly nice to experience in a guest room, so when the service is completed you can relax as long as you’d like on the massage table. During our stay I opted for the acai berry facial. Acai infused Eminence organic skin care masks and lotions are used for the facial. The products assist in the correction and defiance of the signs of aging. These days, I sign up for anything anti-aging! The facial was luxuriously relaxing and my skin felt extremely moisturized after the treatment.

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona spa

Manicures and pedicures are relatively new to The Spa at Hacienda Del Sol menu. All manicure and pedicure products are 100% organic and vegan. The Dazzle Dry nail system applied during manicures and pedicures is non-toxic. This means it doesn’t require a UV light to achieve its beautiful and rock hard finish. I had a pedicure during my visit and while it was wonderful and my toes looked gorgeous, at this time they didn’t have a spa chair. This made it a little hard to get completely comfortable during the pedicure.

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona spa nail salon

The Art

Art, sculpture and bubbling water fixtures can be found at every turn on the property. You can spend a few hours, simply wandering the grounds and enjoying the unique art pieces that help make Hacienda Del Sol a truly unique experience. It is quite clear as you spend more time at the hacienda, the love and care that goes into the look and feel of the grounds.

Hacienda Del Sol art sculpture

Hacienda Del Sol art sculpture

The Ambiance

There is lively music nightly at the Terraza Patio, featuring small bands and solo musicians. The Grill offers a more sophisticated sound from their pianist. Once again, the hacienda has thought of everything to create an ambiance that adds to the overall experience.

Piano player at the Grill restaurant at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

The Gardens

Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., renown healthy lifestyle expert and Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine helped create the vegetable garden for the hacienda. It’s a beautiful space with citrus trees and a garden that grows many of the vegetables used at The Grill and Terraza restaurants.

Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D garden at hacienda del sol in tucson, arizona

As well as the vegetable garden, the grounds themselves are impeccable. The center courtyard is one of my favorite spots at the hacienda.

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona courtyard garden

There are also cactus and native plant gardens throughout the Hacienda del Sol property.

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona cactus garden

Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona cactus garden

The Pools

A sparkling pool is the perfect antidote to the summer heat. The property offers two pools and two jacuzzi’s. The original pool offers crystal clear cool water and plenty of shade. The 10′ foot deep pool stays cool in the summer and is the perfect spot to escape the afternoon sun.

The newer pool is a negative edge swimming pool

The newer pool is a negative edge swimming pool with gorgeous views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. This pool offers a bar and both pools have food service.

pool at Hacienda del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona

 

If you are looking for the perfect Tucson weekend getaway, Hacienda del Sol should be your first choice. My mom and I enjoyed every minute of our visit. Whether a romantic or girlfriends  getaway, the hacienda is a luxurious haven in the Tucson desert.

Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road
Tucson, Arizona, 85718
Resort: 520-299-1501  |  1-800-728-6514
The Grill: 520-529-3500
Terraza Garden Patio & Lounge: 520-529-3500

Hacienda del Sol hotel reviews on Agoda | Hotels.com | Booking.com
Read reviews for Hacienda del Sol hotels on TripAdvisor

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A big thank you to Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. I was a guest at the ranch but as always, all opinions are my own.

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