Hotel at a Glance: Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort sits on 34 acres of historic, flowering property in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains. Once a schoolhouse for the daughters of high society, the estate is today best known for its AAA Four Diamond Award–winning restaurant, The Grill, which serves contemporary cuisine with local ingredients—many plucked right out of the hotel’s own garden.
- Press shout-out: Wine Spectator has honored The Grill’s 10,000-bottle wine list with awards of excellence for 14 years running.
- Interesting dish: The Grill’s playful watermelon gazpacho is served with a caramel corn crouton for a sweet, crunchy kick.
- Happy hour: Swing by between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for discounted drinks and half off appetizers.
- Hot tip: The Grill’s Sunday brunch ranks among the best in town, with buffet-style omelets, waffles, and complimentary champagne and mimosas.
- Nifty in-room amenities: above-standard, spacious Hacienda rooms feature handcrafted furniture, flat-screen TVs, and views of the desert, garden, or city.
- Go swimming: The vast estate includes an outdoor pool surrounded by lounge chairs, perfect for sunbathing.
Tucson, Arizona: Southwestern History and Culture Amid the Cacti
Tucson—or the Old Pueblo—is a bastion of southwestern history and rich culture surrounded by mountains and desert. It's existed as an outpost for years, and as such it's absorbed elements from European, Native American, Mexican, and Asian cultures. Today, this unique blend is especially evident in the downtown restaurant scene, where you can get authentic chilies rellenos, delicately prepared sushi, and upscale bistro fare with fine wines from nearby vintners.
Those willing to make the short trip outside of downtown can better soak up the area's gorgeous natural landscape at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a combined botanical garden and zoo located about 20 miles west of the hotel. There, mountain lions, gila monsters, and more than 1,200 kinds of plants spread across 21 acres of desert scenery.
Mission San Xavier del Bac, the "White Dove of the Desert," is one of the oldest intact European structures in Arizona. The sprawling white adobe church, located about 10 miles south of downtown, was built in the 1700s. It's a striking example of the area's Spanish colonial architecture, with interiors lined with frescoes and fine sculpture.
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