Where to Stay in Tucson: Work + Play at The Westin La Paloma

Last month work meant a lot of travel. Lucky for me, work travel sometimes means visiting awesome clients in stellar places, like The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. (Disclosure: I do work with this property, but all ideas here are all my own and I wasn’t given anything for this post.) So, maybe I’m biased, but if you need to know where to stay in Tucson, let me tell you about this place.

It’s about a 30 minute drive from the Tucson airport and when you arrive, it feels like you are arriving to a grand getaway. The scenery is desert with giant saguaro cactus along the sides of the roads, giant desert mountains and amazing sunrises and sunsets. The backdrop almost felt like out of a magazine photo shoot. While it was only a one hour flight from San Diego, I felt like I was in another world.

As you pull up to the resort, you first notice the grandeur of the resort. It’s large and spread out through separate buildings with go carts driving between them. And when you into the beautiful, spacious marble lobby, can’t help but turn your head every which way to look around and take in the size, high ceilings, modern decor, and amenities available within the open concept lobby including the  concierge, restaurant Azul, bar, and lounge areas. While it’s big, it’s still comfortable with fun, private couches, booths, and seating areas every where.

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I could immediately see why many Arizonians come here for a “staycation.”

Since we arrived at night, we settled into our room and then headed out to Poppy Kitchen for dinner. It’s a “Modern American Kitchen” with some funky, unique dishes and a really cute vibe. I got Pork Chops with a corn bread whoopie pie (it was like a cornbread sandwhich with bacon jam/marmalade in the middle. Ooooh man. So much for trying to eat healthy on work trips.) My co-workers got Steamed Mussels and Luis’ Pasta, which was a Thai-inspired pasta.

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We then also took advantage of the hotel bar. The bartender was incredibly helpful and had some great wine recommendations so we got some Delush Pinot Noir and headed out to the fire pits surrounding the pool area.

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The rooms were VERY spacious and comfortable. These pictures don’t do it justice. (Plus, Westin’s have the famous “Heavenly Beds”.) Ahhhh.

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I’m always checking out hotel gyms. So early in the morning I jogged through the resort down to the gym. Not only did I catch this awesome sunrise, but this gym was IMPRESSIVE.

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It’s a full gym with a workout classroom (and an extensive class schedule including zumba, barre, yoga, bootcamp, senior classes, etc) and a large room for weights and an equally large cardio room with TONS of treadmills. In addition, there was tennis courts and a lap pool. What I think is really cool about the hotel is that you can even rent some workout gear if you forgot it!

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Breakfast was at Azul, which is their main hotel restaurant. It overlooks the pool oasis and the desert mountains 🙂 Not a bad way to start your day. I got the chef’s special omelette which was stuffed with veggies, cheese are carmelized onions (they had me at carmelized), and a mocha.

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Between meetings, we explored the resort a little more. They have an art walk you can stroll and enjoy. It’s the perfect way to take a break during your day and enjoy being outside. (Photo below.) There are a lot of interesting sculptures, but you can tell the hotel also takes a lot of pride in their landscaping as everything is perfectly taken care of.  Also, we scoped out the pool area, which I can envision buzzing with people during the holidays but was slow due to the fact that it was a Tuesday after Thanksgiving. They have cabanas you can rent out, a 177′ water slide, and an overall “resort” feel.  I would have loved to lay out with a cocktail in hand 🙂 I wasn’t able to snap any photos, so I am using the hotels image below.

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La Paloma Pool Overview Image
Photo Credit from The Westin La Paloma Website: http://www.westinlapalomaresort.com/gallery/

Lunch was at the Country Club, with a good mix of comfort and healthy foods. (On that note, Westin is all about providing super food menu options which are clearly marked, which I think is fabulous!) We did NOT get the healthy food. My co-worker got what she claims is the best Mac & Cheese she’s ever had.

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We drove around the neighborhood a little, to get a feel for the overall guest experience and made a stop at a top-notch outdoor shopping center called La Encantada which was less than 10 minutes away. The hotel has free shuttles here so if guests need a shopping spree, they’re covered! It has everything from Lululemon, Anthropologie, Aveda, BCBG,COACH, J.Crew, MAC, Kate Spade, etc. as well as some nice restaurants.

Does it not seem like this resort has EVERYTHING?

It was a quick trip…

I have to come back here. I already called J and told him we are going to have to plan a getaway. Next time I’m here (for fun) I’m going to:

–Lounge at the huge pool

–Perhaps get a treatment at the Spa?

–Take advantage of the gym daily!

–Go shopping at La Encantada

–Play tennis

I can’t wait to come back! I just need to figure out when!

 

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