Autumn in the desert may be one of the best times of year to visit Tucson, Arizona. The days are hot enough to sit by the pool, while the nights cool down enough for light layers. The crowds are gone and there are plenty of lounge chairs by the pool. Book a stay at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa just outside of the city and you will find yourself nestled in amongst the cacti in no time.
The Westin offers gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, plus easy access to hiking trails. The food is pricey, but delicious, the rooms are large, and the pool is definitely the focal point, and for good reason.
Even though I was in Tucson for a conference and experienced the Westin La Paloma from a business perspective, I still snuck in plenty of time to explore and sit by the pool. My biggest business travel tip- always try to fly in the day or night before a conference begins. A leisurely breakfast and time in the hot tub really set your mind and body up for a more relaxed experience of networking and learning.
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Rooms at the Westin La Paloma Resort
I stayed in a traditional double bed room with my friend Amy from Pit Stops for Kids at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. There was more than enough room for the two of us to spread out, dump all of our stuff as we ran in and out of the room between activities and meetings, as well as do a workout video on my laptop with my resistance bands.
The Westin’s signature toiletries did the job keeping our skin and hair moisturized, even when the desert heat tried its best to suck every last drop of water from our bodies. The Westin understands the desert, so they also give you two complimentary bottles of water, but the tap water isn’t bad at all.
The beds were a bit hard and lumpy, which struck me as odd since the Westin is known for their heavenly beds. Normally I feel like I’m sleeping on a cloud when I stay at one of their properties. The room was comfortable though. We were facing east, which meant we got a gorgeous view of the sunrise every morning from our balcony where we could sip coffee and savor the last of the cool night air before the sun heat the world up again.
Check prices and availability at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
As a full resort and country club for local residents, the Westin La Paloma has tennis quarts, a lap pool, weight room, cardio room and several fitness classes. Rooms are also large enough if you want to do your 21-Day Fix workout without ever having to see another living soul. Just remember to bring your resistance bands with you.
The Westin also offers Westin Workout, which can save you space in your suitcase. For just $5 they will deliver sneakers and a workout outfit to your room to use throughout your stay.
Fitness classes include, but are not limited to:
- Stability ball
- Cardio tone
- Restorative yoga
- Postural fitness Body Flow
- Fascia Release
A round of golf is also encouraged on the Westin La Paloma Resort Jack Nicklaus course for all golf enthusiasts, as well as a little “me” time at the Red Door Spa. *pick up a schedule in the Pro Shop or call ahead to see what classes will be available throughout your stay.
I have a long running joke that I work on my Irish tan all summer long, and Tucson being the desert, was no exception even in the fall. When the desert heat hit us mid-day, I was ready to jump in the pool and then hid in the shade with a drink and my Kindle Paperwhite.
The Pool Oasis at the Westin La Paloma Resort consists of two main pool areas; one for adults and one for kids.The adult pool area has a cold water mineral pool (about 42 degrees Fahrenheit) with a waterfall, as well as a hot tub next to it so you can warm up. There is also a regular temperature swimming pool surrounded by chaise lounge chairs for adults to enjoy.
Kids and their parents will love the waterslide and kiddie pool area with its own hot tubs. This would be perfect for my family, as I could keep an eye on my kids while I rest my weary back in the hot tub facing the waterslides I know they would never get off.
The main pool has a swim up bar, lounge chair food and beverage services via the Sabino’s Pool Bar and Grill, and the towel bar where you can grab water and pool towels. Those traveling in the off-season don’t have to worry about giving the pool bar attendants their keycard. There aren’t enough people for them to worry about towels going missing.
Azul. This is the main dining area for the Westin La Paloma Resort . The Sunday brunch is epic, but doesn’t start until 11am. If you arrive early be prepared for a much smaller buffet. The usual breakfast items are on the menu, and the duck tacos on the dinner menu are a must, as well as any salad you see.
Sabino’s Pool Bar and Grill. Poolside service is the key when you are trying to wind down, watch the kids, or just want to be lazy. Servers regularly wander around to see if you need anything, or you can swim to the pool bar to order on your own.
Espresso. This is where to grab your standard Starbucks food and coffee. It’s great if you want to get out early to hit the trails, you have meetings to jump into or your kids can’t wait to eat. Cereal, pastries, yogurt parfaits and other standards are all available.
Courtside Deli. This deli caters more to the fitness portion of the resort, but still serves up an insanely good (and large!) salad and great sandwiches, but they won’t come cheap. You can grab takeout or sit at one of the tables and enjoy.
Contigo Latin Kitchen. This restaurant is part of the hotel, but in a separate building off the lobby. It only serves dinner, and is cooking up Latin flavors inspired by Mexico, South America and Spain.
WESTIN FAMILY AMENITIES
The Westin Family Kids Club is available at the Westin La Paloma Resort for a fee to all visiting parents who need a break or want to give their kids a little activity time with their peers. Activities include making healthy smoothies, exploring the herb garden, tennis, racquetball, resort-wide scavenger hunt, butterfly watching, sand art, pine cone creations, charades, Pictionary, stargazing and good night yoga.
Ages and hour limitations:
- 6-11 months (two hours max)
- 1-3 years old (four hour max)
- 4-12 years old (no max)
* Sibling discounts are available
The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa is about a 45-minute drive from the Tucson Airport and about a half hour away from everything in the city. You are surrounded by Saguaro National Park with beautiful views of both sunrise and sunset. It can be hard to see stars at the resort when so many lights are on, but drive a few minutes away and you will get a heavenly view. The resort offers a shuttle to the La Encantada Shopping Center if anyone in your group forgets something or just needs a little downtime.
Where to eat in Tucson, AZ
Driving into downtown Tucson and getting outside of the Westin La Paloma Resort is totally worth it if you want to eat some of the best local fare and Mexican food in the area. Tucson was recently named one of UNESCOs only gastro-heritage cities in North America. Although I didn’t get to try too many places, we did find these gems.
Franks, 3843 E Pima St, Tucson, AZ 85716. If you want Huevos Rancheros and you want them where the locals go, this institution is where you will find them. Don’t be put off by the divey-diner look of the place. That’s part of its charm. Sit inside with the locals or outside on the covered patio. The coffee is decent, the biscuits are hot, the bacon is crispy, the huevos rancheros are perfection and the prices are spot on.
Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, 135 S 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701. This is the perfect spot to go out with friends, enjoy a few drinks and dive into the innovative cuisine of Chef Janos. Do not fill up on bread before your meal comes to the table. In fact, ask the waiter to take it away. The chef’s salmon with polenta and chicken linguine were flavorful without showing off too much, and worth every calorie.
THINGS TO DO AROUND THE RESORT
Hike. Tucson is surrounded by national parks, wildlife and state parks. Pick a direction and you can find a hiking trail within a short drive of the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. The Seven Waterfalls hike is a challenge at almost nine miles, but I hear it is worth every step and you can cool off once you reach the pools.
Horseback ride. Several dude ranches and horse farms offer trail rides through the desert for riders of all skill levels. If you are an experienced rider, make sure you do some research ahead of time as you may be disappointed if you get in a group that is going slower than a baby learning how to walk.
Ski. The drive up to Mount Lemon is worth the trek for the views alone, but also for the snow. It is about an hour outside of Tucson, and close to 30 degrees cooler. This is the only place you can ski in Tucson as it is at an elevation of 9000 feet.
Shop. Shopping local is easy in downtown Tucson, but if you want to stay close to Westin La Paloma Resort, you can hop on the shuttle to La Encantada Shopping Center. The Wig-O-Rama is a fun place to kill an hour as you try on crazy dos and colors. Just make sure you bring $2 for a wig cap. I think the owners got wise to the fact that people were coming into play and not always buy.
Down the street at Hydra (145 E Congress Street, Tucson, AZ) you can find 40s-era inspired clothing that is perfect for anyone who is a swing dancer or pin up girl at heart. Prices are a bit steep, but the owner is a master at styling every piece in the shop, and will gladly offer help as you try to accessorize that Voodoo Diva dress you just have to have.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
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