Getting Away: The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

 

SPA Terrace at Ritz-Carlton
At the SPA Terrace at Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, guests can relax by an infinity pool and view Native American carvings on nearby rocks.

 

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ, opened with a splash December 18 last year, and with good reason. Its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course is already the new home for the annual World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship (it was held in February).

Whether your girlfriend getaway group comprises golfers, hikers, spa mavens or all three, we say this picture-perfect resort is a great place to grab some quality time with good friends.

Here’s the scoop: Dove Mounain is about a 45-minute drive from Tucson and nestled in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains in the Sonoran Desert, which means guests have more than 20 miles of hiking and bike trails winding through the mountain landscape. Cool Perk: The resort organizes a daily complimentary hour-long morning hike. There are also Jeep tours and evening stargazing sessions. Twelve fire bowls and nine fire pits make for beautiful night scenes.

Rooms at the resort drip Southwestern flair; all have 42-inch LCD TVs, separate showers and marble bathtubs and iPod docking stations. Views are of the Tortolita foothills and Wild Burro Canyon. Top Digs: The Ritz-Carlton Suite has a hardwood-floor foyer, double-sided fireplace, soaking tub and three balconies.

The resort’s 26 Casita Suites are perfect for families and couples seeking a little extra privacy and exclusivity. Tucked away behind the main house, they take on the appearance of a resort-within-a-resort. Of all the Casita Suites, the 2,010-square-foot Golf Casita Suite is the choicest. It has mulitple HDTVs, a hardwood-floor foyer, views of the Tortolita Mountains and its very own fireplace.

 

Canyon Suite
Canyon Suite guests have access to the Club Lounge with five daily culinary and beverage presentations.

 

Luxury travel advisors should contact Director of Sales and Marketing Stephen Deucker (stephen.deucker@ritzcarlton.com; 520-572-3000) if they need to make special arrangements.

For aspiring Michelle Wies out there, the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course is the perfect arena to hone your game (if you are more of a duffer—don’t worry—a loop around the course is one of the more beautiful experiences you will have). There are 27 holes now with nine more holes planned. The course is noted for its large greens with significant undulation. Hint: Make sure to load up on golf balls as the desert washes eat up many an errant shot. Luxury travel advisors can contact Golf Director Jeff McCormick (jeffrey.mccormick@ritzcarlton.com; 520-572-3505).

The Ritz-Carlton Spa experience is designed around the balancing elements of wood, fire, earth and water—all honoring the indigenous outdoor Sonoran lifestyle. The 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center has 14 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, two esthetic rooms, a hydrotherapy room, one Vichy shower and two oversized suites for couples or groups of friends.

Top Treatments: The spa lists five, but we are most taken by the Sky Stone Suite Escape-Connection, particularly for a group of gals. Described as a renewal of mind, body and spirit, the treatment is meant for a group of friends and includes a private fireplace and courtyard, experience shower, hydro tub and a customized treatment menu. Night Treat: The Desert Moon-Alignment treatment is performed in the evening under the Arizona sky and includes three unique and exclusive body-work experiences. Other services include healing methods using organic desert botanicals that reinvigorate the body. The spa also has its own outdoor infinity pool with cascading waterfall and tanning island. Contact Spa Director Samantha Malone-Telesford (samantha.telesford@ritzcarlton.com; 520-572-3032), who says that guests are paired with the therapist that best fits their needs and expectations.

While you’ll never forget you are in the Arizona desert, the Southwestern cuisine and flavors will heighten the senses. CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, helmed by Chef de Cuisine Joel Harrington, is the centerpiece serving contemporary American cuisine with Southwestern influences. Best, you can choose to eat indoors or alfresco, overlooking the main pool area that is framed by the mountains. Other dining options include the gastro-pub Ignite, which has a collection of 120 scotches and whiskeys from around the world, and Turquesa Latin Grill, a casual setting by the main pool, perfect for lunch.

While there is much to do on the resort’s grounds, Concierge Supervisor Kathleen Thomas can arrange over-the-top excursions like a hot-air balloon ride or rambling across the desert in an authentic chuckwagon. Romantic dinners can also be arranged on top of the Tortolita Mountains. Pet Note: Want to bring Fido along for the trip? You can. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is pet-friendly and even has dedicated rooms for pets, as well as a dog walker on property.

Getting There: Fly clients either into Tucson International Airport or Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, about 80 miles away.

 

Double-Queen Rooms
Double-Queen Rooms have views of the Tortolita Mountains and resort grounds.