2012 List of the Top Southern Arizona Resortsby Jim Gressinger on Nov. 01, 2012, under Southern Arizona Lodging, Southern Arizona's Best
Even though I was a newspaper & magazine publisher for almost 4 decades, I stopped reading the Arizona Daily Star some years ago. However, by chance I saw an article it published recently with the headline: Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain shares top SW resort ranking. That caught my attention. As publisher of SouthernArizonaGuide.com, I should know these things. After all, I do make dining & lodging recommendations.
The article proceeded to rank the Top 25 Resorts in the Southwest according to Conde’ Nast Traveler readers. Neither the Star nor Conde’ Nast bothered to explain why Traveler readers have a lock on discriminating taste.
According to this Top 25 list, the Ritz at Dove Mountain tied for Numero Uno of the Southwest with Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley. Tucson’s Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is #13; followed by #14, the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass. Lodge at Ventana Canyon barely made the list at #24. But any resort in the Top 25 is a fine place to stay.
I tend not to trust the Star to do serious research, so I went to the Traveler website to see for myself. Found something interesting.
If you go to Traveler’s Gold List of Arizona Hotels & Resorts, you will find one of our finest resorts was left off the Top 25 in the Southwest, but was #4 on the Gold List: Miraval. How did that happen?
Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain got a score of 92.5, same as Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. Tucson’s Miraval scored 91.3. Just so you know, #1 on the Gold List: Mii amo, Sedona got a solid 94.0 and way ahead of Loews Ventana Canyon at 85.3.
Ms. Karen & I have stayed at some fine hotels and resorts. The most pleasantly memorable are the Winter Palace in Luxor overlooking the Nile and a short walk to the magnificent Temple of Karnak; and the Mena House on the Giza Plateau in easy walking distance to the Great Pyramids. Somewhere, I have a photograph of Ms. Karen teeing off on the 6th fairway with the Pyramid of Khufu in the immediate background. Not sure any resort could match that.
In Jeruselem, we stayed at the (then) new Hilton (along with President Clinton) where we had an unsurpassed view of the Old City. Absolutely glorious at night. What resort can match that? Clearly my criteria for great lodging are significantly different that the readers of Conde’ Nast Traveler. I didn’t find any of these on Conde’ Nast’s Gold List. But they’re on mine.
For our Southern Arizona Lodging reviews, click HERE.
Let me know which are your Gold List Southern Arizona Hotels & Resorts. Please include your criteria for excellence. If I haven’t already reviewed them, I will check out your suggestions for best Southern Arizona lodging. Thanks!