Combining a resort and ranch experience, this historical hacienda is a slice of elegant luxury
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Activity adventure | Desert | Relaxation
Looking out over sparkling pools and lush gardens, your eyes will be met by sweeping plains and Arizonan mountain ranges. Walking through the resort’s 34-acres – located in the Catalina Foothills – will bring you past citrus trees and botanical gardens – remarkable greenery in this arid desert. Beyond the borders there are the giant cacti of nearby Saguaro National Park and blood-red sunsets. It’s all too easy to forget that you’re on the outskirts of Arizona’s second largest city, home to 19th century buildings and a strong Hispanic heritage manifested in an array of excellent Mexican restaurants.
Inspired by early Moorish architecture, the property was originally a ranch school for such famous names as Vanderbilt, Pillsbury and Maxwell. Now, the Hacienda del Sol offers 59 secluded guestrooms, suites and private casitas. All feature handcrafted mesquite furniture, Mexican tiles and unique Southwestern decorative touches. The decadence of the newly built Catalinas is the star of the show with private decks that look out to either mountain or city views.
The Grill has won numerous awards – including the AAA Four Diamond Award – for its mountain views, extensive wine list and innovative cuisine that attracts local and international guests alike. The menu features vegetables and herbs from the resort’s gardens including blood oranges, Myer lemons and Japanese eggplant. Carnivores are similarly well catered for with locally sourced meats including steak tartare and crispy confit chicken. The restaurant’s cellar, stocked with over 900 labels and 6,000 bottles, has also won multiple awards and there’s also the more relaxed patio of Terraza, serving a mix of international fusion.
If you’re feeling energetic, there are a myriad of hiking trails into the Catalina Mountains or a 24-hour fitness centre to burn off the evening indulgences. Others might elect to take to the desert landscape on horseback before returning to the cool waters of the pool or the massaging bubbles of the Jacuzzi. However, the resort’s standout attraction is its spa, home to a wide range of massage therapy and body treatments.
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