Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort – Tucson, Arizona
Baby boomer travelers will love the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort in the foothills of Tucson, Arizona’s Catalina Mountains. It is a member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America, and has been inspiring travelers since 1929.
Hacienda del Sol was originally a “home away from home” ranch school for the daughters of society’s elite families. The prestigious school’s roster boasted names such as Vanderbilt, Pillsbury, Maxwell, Westinghouse, and Campbell, to name a few.
In the late 1930’s, renowned architect Josias Joesler was commissioned to rebuild and redesign sections of the ranch, adding his notable signature to many architectural details.
In 1948, Hacienda Del Sol was converted into a guest ranch that immediately attracted the Silver Screen’s most popular stars. Legend has it that the Hacienda’s Casita Grande was a favorite romantic hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Leading men John Wayne and Clark Gable both signed their names to the hotel’s illustrious guestbook.
The guest ranch was forgotten for some time… until 1995 when fate landed the secluded property into the loving hands of a group of Tucson investors. With the vision of returning the ranch to its’ original glory, the owners have continually renovated and renewed Hacienda del Sol with special care. In 1997, The Grill restaurant was opened, and continues to be one of Arizona’s finest dining venues. In 1999, a major restoration of the hotel was completed, retaining and enhancing the original integrity of the architecture and landscape.
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Our Favorite Memories from the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
- First impressions were high as we walked through the resort’s beautiful front gate, admired the resort’s mature desert flora, and found ourselves enchanted by the stunning backdrop of the Catalina Mountains.
- The Grill, Hacienda del Sol’s celebrated dining venue was a wonderful treat. Through large panoramic windows, as evening approached, we watched the sun paint the nearby Catalina Mountains ablaze in color. And little did we know that the restaurant was a recent AAA Four-Diamond winner with a large collection of industry wine entusiast awards as well. Our dining experience was fantastic, and we’re certain to dine there again if we find ourselves back in Tucson.
- While our suite was comfortable and equipped with all the conveniences that a modern luxury traveler might desire, if you can swing it, we recommend that you reserve one of the resort’s Casitas, or perhaps even the Tracy-Hepburn Casita Grande. We were traveling with friends, and we found their Casita warmer to the senses and more agreeable to our tastes.
- Because we visited in the hot summer monsoon season, the resort’s riding stables were closed and the horses were enjoying cool weather in the mountains of Colorado. Too bad, a trail ride and cowboy cookout would have been a lot of fun. WAH!
- Our day-trip on the stunningly beautiful Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway will long remain in our minds. The road winds 28 miles from the valley floor to 8,200 feet to the tiny resort village of Summerhaven. Summer monsoons kept us from reaching the summit, but we’ve driven up before and it’s well worth a visit.
- The summer monsoons. There is nothing like watching an Arizona monsoon with the bluff-top vantage point our suite gave us. Both afternoons of our visit brought dark skies, rain, and were coupled with spectacular thunder and lightening. And, after the skies dumped their heavy rains, we found crystal clear evening skies filled with twinkling stars.
If you’re like us, and love historic luxury properties, then we can confidently recommend the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. The setting is stunning, the cuisine is fantastic, and you’re certain to feel as though you’ve been transported back to a different place and time.
Disclosure: our wonderful experience was provided by the kind folks at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. Thanks!