Canyon Ranch Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Canyon Ranch is a health spa and all-inclusive resort in north Tucson near the Santa Catalina Mountains. Here the focus is on wellness, nutrition, and fitness, so it offers a specific kind of vacation. But for those looking to stay (or get back) on a healthy track, this Canyon Ranch is a top luxury option. Daily fitness classes along with informational lectures and a menu packed with healthy, low-calorie food help guests to jumpstart, or maintain, a healthy lifestyle. The color palette of the southwest inspired the decor of the rooms, which come complete with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks. Immaculate, peaceful grounds and focused spa treatments all provide an incredibly relaxing environment. While many guests report feeling renewed after a visit -- especially after spending time in the 80,000-square-foot spa complex -- there is a hefty nightly resort fee and a four-night minimum stay.
Omni Tucson National Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The four-pearl Omni Tucson National Resort has a beautiful, 650-acre desert setting west of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Golf is a major focus here, and one of the two 18-hole courses served as a PGA tournament course for over 40 years. The resort offers extensive amenities aside from golf, however, including a big pool, a 13,000-square-foot spa, three restaurants, and tennis. Mountain Vista Rooms have upscale southwestern decor, but the Haciendas, though larger, are in need of a slight update. Nonetheless, this hotel tops our list with its long list of amenities and gorgeous decor.
Westward Look Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This renovated guest ranch is Tucson's oldest resort and one of its most popular. Outdoor activities abound at the upscale property, which offers three saline pools, horseback riding and hiking trails, volleyball, basketball, and eight tennis courts -- but it comes in second on our list because its spa is small and there is no golf course. Regardless, this upscale property is one of the best luxury picks in Tucson as all of the large rooms feature attractive, neutral-toned decor and the two highly regarded restaurants overlook the serene mountains and city lights.
The Westin la Paloma Resort and Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The massive Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa sits in full view of the towering Santa Catalina Mountains, so dramatic vistas can be spied from practically everywhere on the sprawling property. In addition to beautiful surroundings, this upscale resort offers numerous amenities that include three golf courses, five pools, and 10 tennis courts. A massive, 177-foot waterslide attracts families, while cavernous meeting spaces draw convention groups and business travelers. Guestrooms are big and airy.
JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Big, luxurious, and loaded with activities, the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa is a family- and business-friendly hotel (but romance can also be found!) located on the outskirts of west Tucson. It's surrounded by striking desert landscapes, with good views all around. There's golf, tennis, numerous pools and water features, shopping, restaurants, a massive lobby, hiking, and the big Hashani Spa. About the only things not available here are free in-room Wi-Fi and free parking, both of which can be had at the more affordable Westward Look Resort. Plus, though it offers more activities, the hotel's rooms do not feel quite as luxe as those at Westward Look -- they're upscale, but a bit more bland.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is located right at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains, and the views are terrific. Wildlife sightings are common, and there's even a waterfall at the end of a nature trail. Additional highlights include two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, outdoor tennis courts with nighttime lighting, and a large, free-form pool -- all offer spectacular vistas of the surrounding landscape. This upscale hotel does not have a resort fee, but some guests feel nickel-and-dimed by charges for in-room Wi-Fi, parking, and use of the fitness center and tennis courts. The hotel offers just about as much as the JW Marriott, but on a slightly smaller scale, with smaller pools and fewer dining options.