Location: 3800 W Starr Pass Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85745, United States; City Center – 20 min drive
We were in Tucson for a wedding and had visited this hotel one evening for drinks on a previous visit to Tucson. My wife rather enjoyed the location and property so we decided to spend 4 nights here. As the name suggests, the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort belongs to the Marriott family and is a category 6. It’s located slightly outside the city but contains a variety of amenities to keep you entertained (golf course, lazy river pool, an amazing terrace, shopping, etc).
We booked a King Room with a Signature View which had a balcony overlooking the terrace and pool. Unfortunately since there was a convention and a wedding at the hotel during the same weekend, they could only give us a 2 double bed room with the same room.
The room was a comfortable 39 square meters (430 sq. ft.) and combined the bed area and living/desk area. As you enter the room, the bathroom is immediately to the left. At the far end is the balcony which, despite overlooking the terrace and pool, feels quite private.
The marble bathroom was spacious with a large entry area, bathtub and separate rainfall shower. Nothing particularly special but well laid out. Despite the room being in good shape and knowing that the hotel was built in 2004, our overall impression was that it felt a bit dated. The design felt that this was tailored to an older crowd (no disrespect to my 40+ year old readers J).
This resort nestled against the foothills of Tucson Mountain Park is full of activities. I’ll start off mentioning that there is a pool, a hot tub, water slides, dancing fountains and the Starr Canyon River which is a lazy river that you can lay in and float around. We rather quite liked this which was surprisingly relaxing. There are Hashani Spa treatments that can be done next to the pool as well or you can spend time in the fitness center.
If you fancy jogging, hiking, trekking, horse riding or mountain biking, the resort is surrounded by a good number of nature trails. You can also find rock climbing a short drive from the resort. There are yoga classes and a full service children’s recreation program for kids 4-12. The property also offers 3 nine-hole desert golf courses but keep in mind that a semi strict dress code is enforced.
There are 3 on site dining options: Primo with Patio Dining – Mediterranean, Signature Grill with Patio Dining – Continental, Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar – American. A nice feature is that there is an onsite Starbucks. You can also find souvenir, convenience and sundry stores on the property.
A few points to keep in mind: this property charges a resort fee (US $29/day), parking fees (US $10/day) and even charges for wifi (US $16.95/day). I still don’t see how hotels can justify making their clients pay a resort fee and still have to pay for amenities like wifi! In my opinion, and in this day and age, wifi is something all hotels should offer complimentary to their guests.
The staff was friendly but not overbearing and the service was adequate. One of the best features is the relaxed atmosphere. We spent a bit of time walking around the property and taking in the desert landscape, the wildlife and scenic views. Additionally, having drinks until one in the morning on the terrace that has various heat lamps and a few open fires due to the cool desert evenings is an awesome experience. Although this is not on our top ten list of favorite hotels, we would definitely stay here again.
The Good: Views, Terrace, Activities Normal 4 night Cost: US$1,348 – My Cost: 120,000 Marriott Points + US$137.98
The Bad: Resort fees; Parking fees; Rooms have an old feel to them, designed for an older crowd
The Ugly: Wifi fees! One of my pet peeves…