Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Budget property with big rooms and pretty courtyards that set it apart from typical chain hotels
This budget hotel has a unique layout that will surprise guests expecting the usual chain property. The lobby features red brick floors and walls, high wood ceilings, a lovely fountain, heavy wood furniture, and arched windows. Paintings depicting the Sonoran Desert frame a large fireplace and big flat-screen TV. A handful of tables and chairs are located near a food station, with free hot breakfasts served here daily. Free evening drinks and appetizers are also offered Tuesdays through Fridays in the lobby.
A heated pool and Jacuzzi dominate the main courtyard out back. Although the pool is too small for laps, the Jacuzzi is big. A charming fountain and lush shrubbery add tranquility to the space. Hallways lead away from the pool toward the rooms, which are accessed via outside entrances. Along the way to the rooms, a series of small courtyards with fountains and plants make for secluded, quiet places to sit outside.
Rooms are large and include microwaves and mini-fridges. With a grocery store across the street from the hotel, guests can easily stock up on food. The hotel does not offer a restaurant, but a couple of eateries are within walking distance.
In east Tucson, near Sabino Canyon
The Comfort Suites is located in east Tucson, off Tanque Verde Road. An adjacent strip mall contains a pair of restaurants. A Safeway grocery store and Walgreens drug store are available across the street. The popular Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, which includes nature trails, picnic sites, and a birdwatching spot, is a 10-minute drive from the hotel. Self-parking is free. No shuttle service is offered.
Tucson is the second-biggest city in Arizona and perhaps its most culturally rich. Though officially founded in 1776, Tucson was first settled in the late 1600s by Spanish missionaries (most notably at the beautiful Mission San Xavier del Bac, the region's most iconic structure), and 4000 years earlier by Hohokam Indians. It is said to be one of the longest continuously-inhabited cities in the USA, known since its inception as the "Old Pueblo."
Sitting at 2,400 feet in a broad valley between five different mountain ranges, Tucson enjoys on average 350 sunny days per year and an arid climate that produces one of the most diverse desert environments in the world. The Sonoran Desert features the stately saguaro cactus, which is celebrated at Saguaro National Park on the city's outskirts, and many other varieties of cacti and unique wildlife including a few notable desert dwellers, such as rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, and Giant Desert Hairy Scorpions. There was even a 2009 sighting of a rare jaguar. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has wildlife and flora on display, and is the best place to learn more.
With all that sunshine, Tucson is an outdoor lover's paradise. Scores of golf courses dot the city. Hiking possibilities are limitless and year-round in the Santa Catalina and Santa Rita Mountains nearby, with Sabino Canyon Recreation Area being a local favorite. Mountain bikers come to Tucson by the thousands for the miles of single-track trails in the desert. Bird-watchers can explore some of the richest avian populations in North America in nearby secluded canyons. And there's even a ski area among fir and pine trees atop Mt. Lemmon, which has an elevation of more than 9,000 feet.
Tucson's Hispanic community is woven into the fabric of everyday life in the city, and is reflected in the Mexican restaurants, the Spanish place names, and the arts and culture that play a large part in forming Tucson's identity. The arts abound in Tucson in dozens of galleries, such as the Etherton Gallery or DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun (celebrating the work of Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia). The University of Arizona houses the Creative Center for Photography, the nation's largest repository of photographs by notable artists such as Ansel Adams and W. Eugene Smith.
As a desert city, Tucson gets hot in the summertime with temps ranging in the 100s from May to mid-September. Winter is the busy season, when many visitors succumb to the temptations of 75-degree days and pleasant evenings around a fireplace. Summers can be enjoyable too, by sticking close to a pool or indulging in shopping -- just remember to pack extra water and avoid exertion in the midday sun. Locals might suggest taking a siesta -- "nap" in Spanish -- during midday hours.
It's important to realize that freeways are nonexistent in Tucson, save for I-10. Driving times can vary depending on time of day, as rush hour creates a twice-daily snarl on surface streets.
Clean and big, with flat-screen TVs, microwaves, and mini-fridges
The Comfort Suites offers 90 rooms that feature flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and microwaves. All rooms are accessed by exterior entrances. The decor is pleasant but generic, with plain wood furniture, matching wood headboards, and wall-to-wall carpeting everywhere but in the bathrooms. Shades of green are used throughout, from the carpeting to the bedding. A green accent wall livens up the rooms, but the white walls look a bit bare, with just one or two prints adorning them. Beds are very comfortable.
Pretty pool deck features a heated pool and Jacuzzi
Free hot breakfast and evening snacks and drinks
The budget Comfort Suites Sabino Canyon looks at first glance like an average chain property. Once inside, however, you will discover a lovely lobby, pretty courtyards, and big rooms with amenities that include microwaves, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs with premium channels. Freebies such as Wi-Fi, self-parking, hot breakfast, and evening appetizers add up to an excellent value. Guests also have free access to a local gym, but the hotel does not have its own fitness center.