Tucson Travel Guide
Miraval Resort & Spa has had besties Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King gush over it as the perfect girlfriend getaway locale, and this past May, blonde beauty Sharon Stone flew in to the desert oasis for a solo sojourn and the opening of the resort’s new Life in Balance Spa with Clarins.
We know that packing the appropriate attire makes for a better trip, so we're helping you pack your bags for "dude-luxe" horseplay at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.
Let's start with footwear. While barrel racing and penning dogies, all gringos and horseback enthusiasts should wear traditional western boots with smooth soles. Trot off in a dusty cloud of confidence wearing comfy Lucchese or Lamas to the Sonoran Desert Breakfast ride.
But toss in your tennis togs as well since full courts and lessons are available. And don't forget some good hiking boots for those guided nature walks, exploring the Sonoran Desert's diverse flora and fauna.
If you're into cycling, you might also want to bring your biking shoes (and some sweat wicking clothing) as the ranch offers mountain bikes with which you can ride through over 600 single- track trails framed by the Rincon and Catalina mountain ranges.
Just the other day, we were planning out an upcoming trip through Arizona, and we decided to browse some hotel reviews on TripAdvisor; specifically, places in Tucson. But just as we were about to scroll down through the list of results, we noticed a row of boxes at the top of the screen with labels like "business," "romantic" and "trendy," each of which corresponded to different categories of hotels.
Or, as TA calls them, "styles" of hotels.
We dubiously clicked on the seventh one, which yielded four results. And, while we can't say anything bad about them, by no stretch of our imagination would we hasten to call any of these places "trendy."
This might be the perfect place for Rebecca Black's follow up to her
mocked hit smash single, "Friday."
Over Easter weekend, the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa in Tucson opened their new Blur Lounge, a teens-only place where kids can socialize with each other and try out the latest cool gadgets like iPad2s, Playstations's 3Move game system and Xbox 360. There's also a movie area with a 46” LCD HDTV and a library of DVDs. We call dibs on High School Musical 1, 2 and 3!
Even though the place isn't quite as sexy as the Atlantis' teen nightclub, Crush, the Blur lounge will host a "Poptail Hour" every Saturday night from 6pm to 10pm where teens can make their own signature soda drink, play in Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 challenges and catch a movie in the theater.
Hotel Health / Hotel Fitness / Hotel Spas / Tucson Hotels / Desert Retreats / Dr. Andrew Weil / → All Tags
If you're going to follow Kim Kardashian's Twitter advice and steer clear of plastic surgery, the Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa offers another option. The resort is partnering with integrative medicine trailblazer Dr. Andrew Weil for a new health and wellness program.
So instead of doing lipo, Miraval will teach people about weight management and how take charge of their overall health in a program that will launch in August.
Holiday Hotels / Hotel Ice Rinks / Winter Hotels / Hotel Amenities / JW Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa may be smack-dab in the Sonoran Desert, but the hotel isn't letting the arid climate stop it from ushering the holidays with a winter wonderland complete with a 30-foot tree, sledding and ice skating.
The hotel will open Arctic Pass, an outdoor 1,500-square-foot synthetic ice rink and the first of its kind in Southern Arizona, when it kicks off its wintertime festivities on December 18. Santa will be in attendance, ditching the reindeer and arriving by helicopter at 8:30 p.m. After posing for pictures with the guy in the big red suit, hit the ice.
If you're ready for some football, spend the season opener at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa's new Catalina Sports Bar and Grill in Tuscon, Arizona.
Formerly dubbed Catalina Steakhouse, Catalina Sports Bar and Grill was reopened on Sept. 4 with a new casual tavern-style look, menu and focus on sports fans. Watch the kickoff from one of seven HDTVs and guzzle some beer from local breweries like Barrio and Thunder Canyon. If you visit during happy hour, daily from 4 to 6 p.m., all pints of draft beer cost $2.50, glasses of selected wines are $3 and all cocktails are $5. There are also daily specials available.
Guh, did you see 'Away We Go' with John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph? It looked promising and Garden-State-esque, and it definitely delivered lots of cute moments with generous shots of John Krasinski's face, backed by some pretty acoustic music and a whole lot of scenery changes. The movie is the story of a young couple (Krasinski and Rudolph) who goes on a journey across the country to search for a place to raise a family.
And in the scene where they go to Arizona to see Verona's sister, did anyone else manage to catch the hotel the couple dropped by? You know, where they had drinks on the patio and Krasinski's character awkwardly sorta-fell off the side of the balcony? It was the JW Marriott Starr Pass. Gorgeous, no?
Memorial Day Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Hotel Packages / Tucson Hotels / Family-Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
Memorial Day is only two Mondays away (May 25th), so it's hot time you start doing your research to figure out where you're going for the long weekend that is, if you happen to be so fortunate as to have the day off.
The always fam-friendly JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson is offering a special Memorial Day rate and lots of activities to keep everyone busy: on Saturday and Sunday, the resort is setting up arts and crafts or face painting and airbrush tattoos, a Hula Hoop Contest, a Watermelon-Eating Tournament, a Ping Pong Tournament, a Water Balloon Toss or Potato Sack Races, and, at night, a "Dive-In-Movie" at the pool.
On Sunday, the place will be decked out for a "tropical beach bash," complete with theme-y decor and drink specials, with a Summer Kick Off Beach Concert and carnival-ish games for the youngins and (yay!) fireworks at the end of the evening.
Guests departing on Memorial Day (Monday) get a 3 pm checkout, and rates start at $159 or you can opt for a room plus a $100-a-day resort credit starting at $239 per night. These rates are offered May 21 through May 25 only; use booking code PX3.
No kiddies? Um, we suggest you avoid the place on Memorial Day weekend come the weekend before or after; golfin' and spa-ing will keep everyone happy and relaxed without the threat of rogue screaming children.
Hollywood can have its celebrities-gone-wild antics. In Tucson, Arizona, family-friendly Nickelodeon celebrities rule the scene, with A-listers SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer hanging out with guests at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa.
In the footsteps of other Marriott-Nickelodeon partnerships, Starr Pass is now offering a Nick Getaway program, which starts May 29 and will run every weekend this summer.
Kid-friendly perks include Dive-In Movies at the pool; Nickelodeon’s Character Breakfasts (with SpongeBob and Dora photo ops); poolside entertainment (Nick-produced skits, games, contests with slime); and arts and crafts (decorating flip-flops, t-shirt making, and sand art).
Weekend rates start around $269 per night.
In any case, if you're pulling for the Cardinals (or would like to be in a place where the people will be pulling for the Cardinals), JW Marriott Starr Pass' Catalina Steakhouse is throwing their first annual Super Bowl Party on Sunday.
Food and drink specials kick off at 11 am, and you can drink and eat to your heart's content while rooting for your team of choice playing on one of the 10 TV's or massive bigscreen in the place. Food and drink specials include:
· $4 well drinks, $4 import and domestic bottled beers, and $8 draft beer pitchers.
· $5 Super Bowl specialty cocktails: Margarita XLIII, The Referee, Touchdown Tea, and the Blitz.
Steelers fans: now we're just guessing here, but maybe this isn't the appropriate venue for you to watch the Super Bowl. Or maybe you could just watch it from your room rates start at $389 this weekend.
While we've been obsessing over some of the holiday cocktails hotels have been offering, we shouldn't neglect the year-round offerings of other resort. Especially when it comes to our favorite poison--Tequila.
The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Ariz. has dedicated every afternoon to tequila.
Every afternoon, guests are invited for a complimentary tequila toast to the “Legend of Arriba, Abaja” 5:30 p.m at Salud, the resort’s indoor and outdoor bar overlooking the Tucson Mountain Park and pool.... In addition, in November, the resort started offering tequila tasting classes offered by two Academia Mexicana del Tequilas (AMT) Tequilier Ambassadeurs. There are only a handful of people in the United States with the AMT distinction.
Salud even hand-crafts a new infused tequila each week using fresh fruits, berries, spices and other exotic flavors. This hotel certainly knows that the way to win our hearts is to do it with tequila.
The Weekly Tequila Tasting will be offered for $25 per person. The price includes the tequila tasting, light appetizers, education and materials. The topic of each tasting will change weekly, focusing on various tequila houses, styles, regionality, aging, and more.