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MARANA, AZ (The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain) – Roughly 90 minutes down Interstate 10, there’s an oasis in the Arizona desert – The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Arizona’s big cities, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is a place where you can relax, unwind, and reconnect not just with the people you love but also with yourself.
Dove Mountain is part of The Ritz-Carlton family, which means there are certain expectations. The bar is high, but The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain sails over it. For the third year in a row, Forbes Travel Guide has given the resort two of its coveted Five-Star designations – one for the hotel and one for the spa. The hotel has been a Five-Star destination for eight years now, while the spa just won its third consecutive Five-Star rating.
The Five-Star honor is the highest ranking by Forbes Travel Guide, a world-renowned authority on travel since 1958. Arizona is home to just two Five-Star hotels; The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is the only southern Arizona property with the prestigious recognition.
Kevin Kelly, the general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, said the hotel’s and spa’s Five-Star ratings would not be possible without the people who work there.
“I think we’re lucky, as well, [that] we’ve got that natural Arizonan service,” he said. “I think the people of Arizona are just naturally nice people. That comes across in our service. We’re not only Ritz-Carlton, we’re Arizona, so it’s the best of both worlds.”
But it’s not just about the service The Ritz-Carlton prides itself on. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “Location, location, location.” The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has one of the best in the world. Kelly says it’s one of many things that make the resort distinctive.
“I just thought how beautiful it was – the setting,” he recalled of his first trips there before taking over as general manager about a year ago. “It feels almost a bit spiritual where we are – just the mountains and the wildlife around us here. It really is a bit of an oasis in the desert.”
It is an oasis surrounded by the canyons of the Tortolita Mountains, and it has something for everyone.
- Three swimming pools, one of which is for adults only and another of which has an epic water slide (235 feet!)
- The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain features holistic, gemstone-inspired therapies
- 26 miles of hiking trails
- The Ritz Kids Dove Mountain Rangers program for young guests
- Five delectable dining options (Signature restaurant CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar has a Forbes Four-Star rating. Forbes Travel Guide says it’s an “upscale-but-playful, intimate-but-convivial” place for a “memorable meal.” And you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy it.)
- Fitness and Wellness Center
- Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Golf Club of Dove Mountain (Jack Nicklaus designed all three courses!)
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is the place to go when you need to escape for a little while. When it’s time to return to your regularly scheduled life, you’ll take a little bit of Dove Mountain with you.
“You see people come in, and they’re a bit stressed from work or from family life, and they leave here with indelible moments,” Kelly said. “It’s the quality of time as a family or with a loved one. You leave Dove Mountain better than when you arrived.”
And it’s not just the guests. Kelly’s genuine love of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is evident. It’s far more to him than a place to work.
“It really is one of the most special places in the world,” he said. “I get to work here. I get to get paid for working here. It’s just a very special and unique place.”