Tucson has more than 100 hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and resorts—near the freeway, downtown, at the airport, near the university, and scattered around the valley. Look for lodging listings in the free Tucson Official Visitors Guide distributed by the Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Prices rise during the cooler months, especially during February and March when the weather and popular events, such as the Gem and Mineral Show and Fiesta de los Vaqueros, draw huge numbers of visitors. Reservations will come in handy then. Also, take the motel prices with a grain of salt—prices fluctuate with demand. The rates listed below reflect those in the spring high season; they'll go higher during the Gem and Mineral Show and lower in the warmer months. Add about 9.5 percent tax to rates at all accommodations except perhaps the smallest bed and breakfasts.
Bed and Breakfast Inns
Downtown and university: The Adobe Rose Inn (940 N. Olsen Ave., 520/318-4644 or 800/328-4122, www.aroseinn.com, $95-165 d winter, $75-125 d summer) offers a 1933 adobe with Southwestern furnishings, pool, and a hot tub in a quiet historic neighborhood. Catalina Park Inn (309 E. 1st St., 520/792-4541 or 800/792-4885, www.catalinaparkinn.com, $136-166 d, less in shoulder seasons, closed June-Aug.) is in a 1927 house with beautiful interiors. Peppertrees Bed & Breakfast Inn (724 E. University Blvd., 520/622-7167 or 800/348-5763, www.peppertreesinn.com, $125-195 d, less in summer) has rooms in four houses just two blocks from the University of Arizona's main entrance; one of the owners is a pastry chef! El Presidio Bed and Breakfast Inn (297 N. Main Ave., 520/623-6151 or 800/349-6151, www.bbonline.com/az/elpresidio, $105-135 d, less off-season) is in an 1880s adobe house in El Presidio Historic District.
East Tucson Valley: SunCatcher Fine Country Inn (105 N. Avenida Javelina, 520/885-0883 or 877/775-8355, www.suncatchertucson.com, $225-275 d) sits on five acres at the east edge of Tucson near Saguaro National Park; the decor of each room evokes one of the ethnic groups of the American West.
West Tucson Valley: Courtyards, fountains, and archways of the Casa Tierra Adobe B&B Inn (11155 W. Calle Pima, 520/578-3058 or 866/254-0006, www.casatierratucson.com, $195-325 d, less off-season) will remind you of Mexican haciendas; guests enjoy hot tubs and star gazing with the provided telescopes in the desert 15 miles west of town.
Roadrunner Hostel (346 E. 12th St., 520/628-4709, www.roadrunnerhostel.com) is a 1900 adobe house in the downtown Amory Park District. Amenities include big-screen TV, free Internet computers, air conditioning, a kitchen, laundry, and no curfew. Beds run $18/night and $110/week; a private room is $38 d/night and $230 d/week. The hostel is just a short walk from the bus and train stations or you can call for a free pickup; transport cost from the airport is $10. Hotel Congress has a hostel as well as regular rooms downtown; see the listing below.
Historic Downtown Hotels
Historic Hotel: In the heart of downtown, Hotel Congress (311 E. Congress St., 520/622-8848 or 800/722-8848, www.hotelcongress.com) opened in 1919 to serve passengers of the Southern Pacific Railroad. It's a short walk from the Amtrak and Greyhound and local bus stations. All of the rooms have 1930s decor and furnishings—you'll get a radio and an old-fashioned telephone—along with a bath or shower; rates run $59 s, $69 d Jan.-April, then decrease to about $39 s, $49 d June-Aug. (only evaporative cooling). The hotel also has a youth hostel ($20/bunk with hostel or student card, otherwise $25), cafe, and a nightclub (expect some noise in the rooms).
Motels and Hotels: Downtown
$50-100: A series of motels line the frontage road just west of I-10 and include a Motel 6 (960 S. Freeway, I-10 Congress St. Exit 258, then south on the west frontage road, 520/628-1339 or 800/466-8356, $40-50 s, $46-56 d) with a pool and The Pueblo Inn (350 S. Freeway, I-10 Congress St. Exit 258, then south on the west frontage road, 520/622-6611 or 800/551-1466, $89 d) offering a restaurant, pool, hot tub, and fitness center.
$100 and up: InnSuites Hotel & Resort (475 N. Granada Ave., 520/622-3000 or 800/842-4242, $100 d) includes a restaurant, breakfast buffet, business center, pool, spa, and fitness center on 11 acres between downtown and I-10. Clarion Inn & Suites (88 E. Broadway Blvd., 520/622-4000 or 800/424-6423, $114 d) features the excellent Mexican Cafe Poca Cosa, a buffet breakfast, pool, spa, sauna, fitness center, and a business center in the heart of downtown. Radisson Hotel City Center (181 W. Broadway Blvd., 520/624-8711 or 800/333-3333, $169 d) has a restaurant, business center, pool, and fitness room close to everything downtown.
Motels and Hotels: North of Downtown
Good hunting grounds for older, less expensive motels lie on the zigzag Business Route north along Stone Avenue from Speedway Boulevard, west on Drachman Street, north along Oracle Road, then finally west on Miracle Mile to I-10 Exit 255. You'll find some better independents along this route too, as well as some inexpensive chain motels. Farther north takes you into the Santa Catalina Foothills, close to many sights and still convenient to downtown.
Under $50: On Stone Avenue, there's the Flamingo Hotel (1300 N. Stone Ave., 520/770-1910 or 800/300-3533, $45-69 d) offering a pool, hot tub, and some kitchenettes. On Drachman Street, you can't miss the huge sign for Tucson Inn Motor Hotel (127 W. Drachman St., 520/624-8531 or 800/627-2041, $29 s, $32 d) with a pool. In the next block you'll find Copper Cactus Inn (225 W. Drachman St., 520/622-7411, $30 s, $40 d) with a pool and kitchenettes and Frontier Motel (227 W. Drachman St., 520/798-3005, $35 d) also with a pool and kitchenettes.
Oracle Road possibilities include Quail Inn 1650 N. Oracle Rd., 520/622-8757, $30 s, $35 d), Oasis Motel (1701 N. Oracle Rd., 520/622-2808, $27 s, $32 d) with pool and kitchenettes, and Highland Tower Motel (1919 N. Oracle Rd., 520/791-3057, $30 s, $35 d) with a pool and kitchenettes.
Miracle Milers include Terrace Motel (631 W. Miracle Mile, 520/624-8248, $30 s, $35 d) with a pool and kitchenettes and Wayward Winds Lodge (707 W. Miracle Mile, 520/791-7526, $30 s, $33 d) with a pool and kitchenettes.
$50-100: On Stone Avenue you'll find University Inn (950 N. Stone Ave., 520/791-7503 or 800/233-8466, $39-49 s, $49-55 d and up) with a pool and Super 8 (1248 N. Stone Ave., 520/622-6446 or 800/800-8000, $45 s, $55 d) with a pool. Around on Drachman Street, Best Western Executive Inn (333 Drachman St., 520/791-7551 or 800/255-3371, $89-129 d) has a restaurant and pool. Arizona University Plaza (1601 N. Oracle Rd., 520/740-0123 or 866/882-7661, $49-69 d) encloses a six-acre courtyard; guests have a restaurant, bar, pool, and exercise room. La Posada Lodge and Casitas (5900 N. Oracle Road, 520/887-4800, www.laposadalodge.com/) features Southwest-style architecture and furnishings with free breakfast, indoor/outdoor pool, whirlpool, and fitness center; it's pet friendly, though with a $50 non-refundable fee per pet; Gringo Grill & Cantina serves lunch and dinner except closed on Sunday.
$100-150: Best Western Royal Inn (1015 N. Stone Ave., 520/622-8871 or 800/528-1234, $109 d room, $129 d suite) has a pool and hot tub.
Motels and Hotels: East of Downtown
$100 and up: Just a block from the university, Tucson Marriott University Park (880 E. 2nd St., 520/792-4100 or 800/228-9290, $184 d) features a nine-story atrium and some rooms especially set up for the business traveler; amenities include a restaurant, pool, whirlpool, sauna, fitness center, and business center. The romantic Lodge on the Desert (306 N. Alvernon Way, 520/325-3366 or 800/456-5634, www.lodgeonthedesert.com, $189-269 d) provides a hacienda atmosphere, fireplaces in some units, restaurant, and a pool. Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park (445 S. Alvernon Way, 520/881-4200 or 800/222-8733, $149-289 d) has two restaurants, golf (across the street), pool, spa, tennis, exercise room, and business center.
Motels and Hotels: South of Downtown and Airport
The south side of town isn't much to look at, but you'll be close to I-10 and the airport.
Under $50: Bargain hunters can find good deals just north of Exit 261 and along the old Benson Highway, which parallels the south side of I-10 between Exits 261 and 267. Many of the old motels along here offer low weekly rates as well, and will more likely have vacancies than places closer to downtown. Just north of I-10 6th Avenue Exit 261 are the Econo Lodge (3020 S. 6th Ave., 520/623-5881 or 800/553-2666, $40 s, $45 d) with a pool and hot tub and Budget Inn (3033 S. 6th Ave., 520/884-1470, $30 d and up).
Just south of I-10 Exit 261, turn east on the frontage road for the Lazy 8 Motel (314 E. Benson Hwy., 520/622-3336 or 888/800-8805, $37 s, $43 d) with a pool. Motels east along the Benson Highway between I-10 Exits 262 and 267 include the Redwood Lodge (3315 E. Benson Hwy., 520/294-3802, $35 d) with a pool and weekly kitchenettes.
$50-100: Moving up to the newer motels, choices include Quality Inn 1025 E. Benson Hwy., 520/623-7792 or 800/424-6423, $49-79 d) with a pool and hot tub.
$100 and up: The group of hotels just north of the airport includes the Clarion Hotel Airport (6801 S. Tucson Blvd., 520/746-3932 or 800/526-0550, $99-139 d) with a restaurant, pool, hot tub, fitness center, and business center.
The Tucson area features one of the world's largest concentrations of guest ranches, where you can enjoy Western hospitality and activities as well as high-quality accommodations and food. Popular activities include horseback riding, swimming, tennis, hiking, birding, socializing, and just relaxing.
Tanque Verde Guest Ranch (14301 E. Speedway, Tucson, AZ 85748, 520/296-6275 or 800/234-3833, www.tanqueverderanch.com) lies in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains 10 miles east of Tucson. The luxurious ranch dates from the 1880s and offers a host of amenities and activities, including horseback riding, indoor and outdoor pools, a Jacuzzi and saunas, an exercise room, five tennis courts, and nature walks. Guests feast on the dining room's buffets and on cookouts. Prices include meals, riding, and ranch activities. Daily rates during the peak season (Dec. 16-April 30) are $300-380 s, $360-550 d; summer rates (May-Sept.) drop to $235-320 s, $290-405 d; autumn (Oct.-Dec. 15) runs $255-330 s, $305-435 d.
White Stallion Ranch (9251 W. Twin Peaks Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743, 520/297-0252 or 888/977-2624, www.wsranch.com) sprawls over 3,000 acres some 17 miles northwest of Tucson. The ranch offers horseback riding, a pool, hot tub, two tennis courts, nature trails, and varied ranch activities. Breakfast, buffet lunch, and family-style dinner are included in the rates of $155-278 s, $246-514 d depending on room type and season. The ranch closes mid-June to July.
Rancho de la Osa Guest Ranch (P.O. Box 1, Sasabe, AZ 85633, 520/823-4257 or 800/872-6240, www.ranchodelaosa.com) dates back 250 years to a Spanish land grant; it's 66 miles southwest of Tucson near the Mexican border. Guests will enjoy horseback riding, a pool, hot tub, birding, hiking, biking, and lots of peace and quiet. The adobe buildings feature artwork and colorful Mexican-inspired decor. The dining room serves gourmet Southwestern cuisine. Inclusive rates are $250-350 s, $350-440 d Sept.-May, then $225-350 s, $330-430 d in summer. There's a three-night minimum stay, and weekly rates are available.
Just northeast of the University of Arizona, Arizona Inn (2200 E. Elm St., Tucson, AZ 85719, 520/325-1541 or 800/933-1093, www.arizonainn.com) opened in 1930 and continues to combine old Arizona elegance with modern luxury. The peaceful 14 acres offer gardens, a pool, sauna, fitness center, two clay tennis courts, and croquet—you may forget that you're in the middle of Tucson! The restaurant serves contemporary cuisine with international flavors. High season rates (Jan.-April) run about $265-339 d for a room and $340 d and up for a suite; by summer, rates have dropped to $139-194 s, $154-194 d for a room and $249-299 d for a suite.
The health-and-fitness vacation resort Canyon Ranch (8600 E. Rockcliff Rd., Tucson, AZ 85750, 520/749-9000 or 800/742-9000, www.canyonranch.com) provides an active program of exercise classes, tennis, racquetball, swimming, hiking, biking, yoga, and meditation. Chefs prepare healthy gourmet meals from natural ingredients; no alcohol is served. The 70-acre grounds lie northeast of town near Sabino Canyon. There's a four-night minimum stay during the high season, though the resort recommends a seven-day visit. A seven-night package between September and June goes for $5,530 s, $9,020 d with meals and an allowance for services.
Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa (2727 W. Club Dr., Tucson, AZ 85742, 520/297-2271 or 800/278-5880, www.tucsonnational.com) spreads over 650 acres at the base of the Catalinas on the northwest side of the city. The Tucson home of the PGA, the resort features a 27-hole golf course, lakes, full-service spa services, an exercise room, four tennis courts, two pools, volleyball, basketball, and fine dining. In high season, rates are about $319-389 d, decreasing by summer to $139-199 d.
On the north edge of town next to the Catalinas, the Westin La Paloma (3800 E. Sunrise Dr., Tucson, AZ 85718, 520/742-6000 or 800/228-3000, www.westinlapalomaresort.com) features a 27-hole golf course, health center, many tennis courts, racquetball courts, two giant pools, a water slide, and a selection of restaurants. The high-season (Jan.-late May) rate is $229-359 d, autumn (early Sept. -Dec.) goes for $199-339 d, and summer (late May-early Sept.) runs $99-169 d.
Nestled in the foothills of the Catalinas north of the city, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (7000 North Resort Dr., Tucson, AZ 85750, 520/299-2020 or 800/234-5117, www.loewshotels.com) offers 93 acres with a natural waterfall, two 18-hole golf courses, eight lighted tennis courts, two swimming pools, a hot tub, health club, and several restaurants. Rates vary widely depending on the view and range $195-425 d in the Feb.-late-May season, $99-239 d in the late-May-early-Sept. summer season, and $179-359 d in the early-Sept.-Jan. shoulder season.
Westward Look Resort (245 E. Ina Rd., Tucson, AZ 85704, 520/297-1151 or 800/722-2500, www.westwardlook.com) began in 1929 as a dude ranch and now rates as one of the area's best value resorts. It's on 80 acres near the north edge of town beneath the Catalinas. Guests enjoy eight tennis courts, three pools, three hot tubs, a jogging trail, fitness center, aerobics, massage therapy, volleyball, and basketball. Diners sample continental cuisine in the Gold Room. High season (Jan.-March) rates run $329-369 d; summer rates drop to $119-159 d.
In the Tortolina Mountain foothills, 20 miles northwest of Tucson, the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain (15000 N. Secret Springs Dr., 520/572-3000 or 800/241-3333 (res. only), www.ritzcarlton.com/DoveMountain) is a great place for hiking and star gazing or relaxing beside one of the three pools. The 27-hole golf course is designed for world-class competition. Kids will have fun on the four-story waterslide and activities just for them. Four informal dining options serve American and Southwestern favorites. Rooms and casitas reflect the surrounding desert in their design and materials.
On to Tucson Campgrounds and RV Parks