I love to travel. I love to eat. I love beauty. I love beautiful architecture, landscaping and flowers. I love places that are peaceful and I love the feeling when hotel staff sincerely want to make my stay the best experience it can be. That describes my experience at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort.
I lived in Tucson many years ago and have only been back twice to visit. When my daughter, Alexa, suggested a weekend together at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort in Tucson, of course I said yes.
I had not previously been to The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort but the name intrigued me. What’s in a name? I think this says it all:
- Hacienda…. A main house on a large impressive estate
- Del Sol…. Of the sun
- Guest…. A visitor or one who is a recipient of hospitality
- Ranch….A piece of land and its structures
- Resort….A place that is a popular destination for vacations
Tucson, Arizona is a city that boasts 350 days of sunny weather. This is just one of the reasons that this desert city is a superb vacation destination. Add the Sonoran Desert with Saguaro forests, mountain ranges, cacti blooming, beautiful natural landscape and amazing sunsets. The resort is located in north Tucson in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
I love the saying you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That goes for properties as well as people.
My first impression of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch was the lush feel of a desert retreat. With Spanish colonial architectural style, native landscape in an artfully designed natural setting, it totally welcomed me into the serene and realistic southwest.
The property has been around for eighty seven years. It was a girls boarding school for almost twenty years, then a guest ranch and for the last twenty years the current owners have been restoring the property to a historic guest ranch of years gone by. They have kept the historic feel and added upscale amenities.
The mature native desert landscaping and the earth colored stucco defines the word southwestern perfectly.
Arriving at the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort and walking through the original gates it propels you back to a time where you can imagine what it must have been like for the girls who attended boarding school on this property in the 1930”s.
The southwestern style and charm is visible throughout the property. Through the gates and down the pathway to the hotel lobby for check in you see “The Spa” sign announcing all the wonderful indulgences you can partake of like massages and facials. An added desert touch; a pair of cowboy boots sprouting succulents and flowers.
The desert landscape offering many varieties of cacti, succulents and blooming flowers is never ending. From Bird of Paradise to Lantana to Barrel Cactus to Hedgehog Cactus; it is all here. No matter what direction you are looking it is a beautiful continuation of desert bloom.
Heading to our room there is the stunning view of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Not only the mountains but colorful flowers , desert blooms and the Saguaro cacti. Notice the iron sculptures? One of the owners loves art and welding and is responsible for the abundance of fun, eclectic sculptures throughout the property.
Hacienda Del Sol sits on 34-acres in the foothills of the Catalina mountains. In addition to the original rooms in the hacienda, 32 new luxurious guest rooms have recently been added.
My daughter and I stayed in one of the new Catalina rooms. Just walking the pathways to our room there were plenty of sculptures, bubbling fountains, hand painted pots and a variety of flowers and cactus gardens. This property is an outdoor art gallery.
There is so much to take in and a new photo opportunity at every turn.
The Prickly Pear Cactus and natural stone wall fit right in with the panorama of the mountains.
Even the reflection off the patio door shows the magnificence of the southwestern desert.
This property has a story to tell and it is told beautifully and naturally by its surroundings. I learned so much on the walk that led to my arriving at our room.
Do read about the continuation of my stay at The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort in part two of my southwestern experience at this phenomenal property.
Penny Williams is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer and photographer living in Palm Springs. She has traveled to many cities and countries photographing people, places and things. Her favorite photos are the casual photos of children and landscapes. Her love of writing includes children’s stories as well as travel pieces.