Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
An upper-middle-range hotel, with strong amenities and so-so dining
Enjoying the abundant Arizona sun is easy at this upper-middle-range hotel, which offers a pretty pool and lovely grounds. A large courtyard with lush lawns and palm trees surrounds the big, free-form pool and adjacent Jacuzzi. It’s a pleasant space and surprisingly tranquil, considering the hotel’s central location. A fitness center overlooks the pool area and offers courtyard views, but not much workout equipment.
At the far back of the property are three tennis courts with nighttime lighting, and across the street in Reid Park are two 18-hole golf courses and a running path.
The hotel does have its charms inside too, such as the big lobby. Here, contemporary couches and chairs are arranged into various seating clusters, complete with area rugs, lamps, and coffee tables that create a homey feel. The lobby also houses a business center with private computer stalls, a shop that sells clothes, jewelry, and other wares, and a lounge with upholstered armchairs, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a bar with a flat-screen TV above it.
Restaurants include the Javelina Cantina and the Cactus Rose Steakhouse, which offer indoor and outdoors seating and dinner menus that offer meat, fish, and poultry. Both eateries tend to receive average reviews from guests.
The Doubletree’s rooms are clean and spacious, with contemporary decor that is a bit generic. Some rooms in the hotel's high-rise tower will feature excellent views of the city and distant mountains.
In central Tucson, next to Reid Park Zoo
The Doubletree Hotel Tucson at Reid Park is located in central Tucson, about one mile from the Reid Park Zoo. Guests can walk the neighborhood, especially the pathways in adjacent Reid Park, and the large El Con shopping mall is less than a mile away. Free shuttle service is offered within a three-mile radius. Free self-parking is also available, although some guests have complained about feeling unsafe in the lot because of high foot traffic here created by people not staying at the hotel.
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, with big flat-screen TVs and some good views
The 287 units at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Tucson at Reid Park are divided between the nine-floor tower and a collection of two-story buildings that line the property. Tower rooms feature good views of distant mountains and the city from the upper floors. Non-tower rooms have exterior entries.
Decor is contemporary, but somewhat generic. Blond wood headboards attached to the walls match the plain-looking nightstands, desks, and dressers. A soft color palette of green and tan hues is used throughout. Luxe touches include 42-inch flat-screen TVs with premium channels, Wolfgang Puck coffeemakers, coffee, and tea, upholstered armchairs with matching ottomans, and Crabtree & Evelyn bath products. Views will vary depending on the location of the unit.
Three tennis courts with nighttime lighting and a big, beautiful courtyard with lush lawns, a heated pool, and a Jacuzzi
The Javelina Cantina and the Cactus Rose Steakhouse offer American cuisine, but tend to be unpopular with guests
The mix of rooms, suites, and casitas at this 287-unit hotel are comfortable, but a tad generic. Though even standard rooms have 42-inch flat-screen TVs with premium channels and Wolfgang Puck coffeemakers and coffee, Wi-Fi fees make some guests feel as though they are being nickel-and-dimed. Highlights include three tennis courts with nighttime lighting and a large courtyard with lush lawns and a heated pool surrounded by palm trees. The property also offers a central location close to the popular Reid Park, but some guests have complained about feeling unsafe in the hotel's parking area.