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Tucson, Arizona offers a little of everything: Southwestern culture, outdoor adventures, wellness spas, and historical charm – plus year-round sunshine. The downtown area is home to fabulous restaurants and shops, the University of Arizona and Tucson Convention Center. When searching for a place to stay, visitors will find a wide range of resorts on the outskirts of the city, charming bed and breakfasts and historic hotels. Here are the best lodging options in Tucson.
Best Overall: Arizona Inn
No matter what occasion brings you to Tucson, the 92-room, Arizona Inn is a solid overall choice for a business trip, weekend getaway or family vacation. Family owned and operated since 1930, the mid-priced hotel offers casita-style accommodations, a beautiful setting near downtown and excellent service. Rooms have a simple, elegant southwest ambiance, private patios with views of the gardens or mountains, iHome clock radios and turndown service. There are plenty of activities for guests such as tennis, croquet, badminton, ping pong, bike rentals and a 60-foot heated pool. Several on-site restaurants and bars serve new American fare and afternoon tea or an ice cream sundae bar are offered seasonally (included in rates).
Best Budget: University Inn
There are a lot of budget hotels in Tucson, but many aren’t up to guest satisfaction. So, for an affordable stay that’s clean and comfortable, the University Inn is a solid budget choice. The 39-room hotel is located one mile from the University of Arizona and the convention center, as well as within walking distance to downtown and the tourist district. Accommodations are a step above typical motels and have microwaves, mini refrigerators and free Wi-Fi. Other hotel amenities include an outdoor pool, continental breakfast, coin laundry, free parking and electric car charging stations. TripAdvisor members felt that the hotel was in a quiet, yet central location and that was a good value.
Best Boutique: Lodge on the Desert
For a boutique hotel experience in a historical building, the 100-room Lodge on the Desert is a great choice. First constructed in 1936, the hotel now has hacienda-style lodging with a backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains, located in Tucson’s midtown neighborhood. Guests can relax in the heated saltwater pool and whirlpool spa with sun loungers, trickling water fountains and peaceful gardens. Rooms have adobe walls with exposed wooden ceiling beams, original tile artwork in baths, fireplaces (in some), memory foam mattresses and plush bathrobes. The on-site restaurant serves up new American fare, with a continental breakfast included in rates. Indoor seating and outdoor dining are also available for Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner.
Best for Romance: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
For couples seeking a peaceful stay with chic, Southwestern accommodations, the 59-room Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort is an excellent romantic option. Set among a desert botanical garden, nine miles north of downtown Tucson, the hotel is a tranquil refuge. Rooms have hardwood floors, colorful tile baths with rainfall showerheads, pillow-topped mattresses, iPod docking stations, handcrafted furnishings and outdoor patios (in most). Guests can wine and dine in one of two venues: the grill for new American fare or the terrace patio and lounge for comfort food, specialty cocktails and live music in the evenings. Couples can go horseback riding, take a dip in the outdoor pool or enjoy a massage treatment at the spa.
Best Luxury: Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort Tucson
Those seeking a luxury hotel in Tucson should consider the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, a 398-room hotel from the established upscale brand. Tucked away 14 miles from the downtown area, the sprawling scenic property is home to two Tom Fazio-designed PGA golf courses, lighted tennis courts and hiking trails to the Ventana Canyon waterfall. Rooms have chic décor, glass-enclosed showers with large soaking tubs and private patios with sweeping views. Two on-site restaurants serve up fresh, local fare from award-winning chefs with indoor or outdoor seating. Indulge in a treatment from the spa with native desert ingredients such as prickly pear cactus or jojoba oil, or go for a dip in the adults-only pool and hot tub.
Best Business: AC Hotel Tucson Downtown
If you’re in Tucson for a work vacation, the AC Hotel by Marriott downtown is a stylish option that’s becoming a favorite among business travelers. Located a few blocks away from the Tucson Convention Center, the hotel has meeting and event space for smaller groups, as well as a business center for printing. After work, guests can grab a cocktail in the lobby bar, go for dip at the rooftop pool and bar with gorgeous mountain views or explore the bars and restaurants in the downtown area by foot. Basic rooms have minimalist décor, around 300 square feet of space, floor-to-ceiling, soundproof windows, Netflix and USB charging outlets.
Best Bed and Breakfast: The Big Blue House Tucson Boutique Inn
There is no shortage of bed and breakfasts in Tucson, but for a charming option at a reasonable price, the Big Blue House Tucson Boutique Inn is ideal. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the six-room, Big Blue House stands out not only for its signature color, but for its beautiful wraparound porch. Each room has a different theme: The Zen room has Asian-style décor and the Hemingway Traveler Room is filled with art and collectibles from around the globe. All rooms include either a kitchenette or full kitchen, Keurig coffee makers, private baths and hardwood flooring. TripAdvisor members raved about the included breakfast and the central location just two blocks from the 4th Avenue shopping area.
Best for Families: Embassy Suites by Hilton Tucson Paloma Village
Families traveling to Tucson will appreciate the spacious rooms and amenities at the 119-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Tucson Paloma Village. Situated nine miles from major downtown attractions and three miles to St. Phillips Plaza (shopping), the all-suite hotel makes a great base in Tucson. Kids can splash in the outdoor pool area, while parents relax in sun loungers. In the evenings many guests gather by the outdoor fire pit. A hot breakfast buffet is included, as well as a social hour with snacks and cocktails. Each suite has separate living and sleeping areas, sofa beds, microwaves, refrigerators, coffeemakers and private balconies overlooking the pool or mountains. Although there is no dedicated restaurant on the property, room service is available.
Best Nightlife: Historic Hotel Congress
If you’d like to experience the nightlife during your time in Tucson, consider staying at the Historic Hotel Congress. The hotel is home to a popular nightclub and is home to live music nearly every night. Although it can be very noisy, night owls appreciate the fun vibe and the central location steps from the nightlife in town, with the Rialto Theatre just across the street. Built in 1919, the historic hotel has 40 rooms with vintage décor (think rotary phones and traditional key locks) and basic, but comfortable accommodations. Some rooms are also rumored to be haunted. There are several bars on the property, as well as a restaurant serving a creative, eclectic menu.