I have to start off by saying this is the best hotel I have stayed at period.
I have to admit that I am a big fan of RC and this is the 6th property I have stayed at and this is the best of the lot.
At check in I was upgraded to a mountain-view room from a ridge view room, I enquired about suites and was told that they could offer one at a discounted rate as they could only give a one level complimentary upgrade. Since I had booked a virtuoso rate I let it slide.
The room had a bottle of champagne and a fruit bowl along with a handwritten letter from the general manager thanking us for staying. The champagne was arranged by my travel advisor.
Service was impeccable, I really wish all the RC's were like this, especially battery-park which pales so much in comparison now.
The resort is gorgeous, in the middle of nowhere, with plenty of hiking trails available, although I wish they were marked well as we got lost a couple of times finding our way.
The pool was amazing, though bit cold had a jacuzzi so we could heat up after a nice swim. The resort has mountain bikes which you can rent out (all included in the resort fees).
They give you a backpack with water bottles and a trail map explaining where all you can go based on your preferences. The pool service is also very good. Could not check the water slide though as it was a bit cold.
The rate I booked included breakfast at Core every morning. The first morning the waiter Javier had the chef prepare a special batch of pancakes for my wife without egg in them. From the next day they remembered what we liked for food and drinks and they asked do we want the same each day later. They remembered us by our names, always greeting as Mr. and Mrs. I have never experienced such level of service, had only heard of such things on FT from the chains like Aman, four seasons.
Now coming for best part, we stayed there to celebrate my birthday. We were on our way to the pool when we came across the F&B manager Raghu who just wanted to chat with us. My wife told him that it was my birthday, so he asked if we had any plans for dinner. We had our plans cancelled by El Charro’s as it was closing early that day. When we mentioned that he took us to Core kitchen (the main restaurant of the resort), introduced to the chef Mani and asked him to take care of us. He took a special note of my wife’s dietary restrictions (she is a strict vegetarian who does not even eat egg) and made a reservation at 6 45 PM.
When we arrived the waiter let us know that the chef was preparing something special for us and that we could only order drinks as both appetizer and the main course were getting ready.
The appetizer was potato cutlet which is a famous delicacy in India and it was exceptional. The main course was rice with vegetable curry which was extremely good, one of the best I have ever tasted. It was almost as good as my mom cooks. The desert consisted of a rose sorbet, vanilla ice-cream and strawberries, which we could not finish as we were so full by that time.
The best part was none of these were on the menu and they prepared this specifically for us. We were blown away as we have never experienced anything close to this. They even took off a couple of drinks of the final bill. The chef even dropped by our table to say Hi and to see how we liked the food.
The next day when we asked the concierge for a couple of places to visit, he recommended Old Tucson, an old movie studio which was very very good.
I was so happy with the service that I did not even bring up the dreaded resort fee conversation, I thought I would rather pay this as a service fee for such an outstanding level of service.
I am so glad that I picked this resort. I would definitely recommend this resort in Tucson area over every other hotel.
azdesertrat I read on FT is that if you self-park you can take 20$ off the resort fee, but as I read this on the last day I could not take advantage of this and forgot to ask the agent at check out. The self-parking is just down the road from the main entrance.