Over the past 8 months, we have checked out some of the most highly rated Tucson Bed & Breakfast Inns. They are (in order of review):
- El Presidio Bed & Breakfast Inn
- Adobe Rose Inn Bed & Breakfast
- The Inns At El Ranch Merlita: Arroyo House Inn & Ranch House Inn (closed 2017)
- Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast Inn
- Royal Elizabeth Bed & Breakfast Inn
- Click on any one to read our original review.
There were several others, such as Azure Gate B&B, that had been recommended to us and we wanted to review them. However, in contacting the innkeepers, we were told in various ways that they did not want to be reviewed. We found this curious. Given their stand-offish attitude, we cannot recommend them. So, how do we rank the 5 we did review? That’s a tough one. How do loving parents choose between 5 beautiful, talented daughters? We can say with confidence, all 5 offer their guests:
- Clean and comfortable rooms; high quality linens & towels.
- A pleasant common area for relaxing & getting to know fellow guests (which is the great joy of staying at B&B’s).
- Terrific and unique breakfasts each day of the week, including attention to special dietary requirements. These are far better breakfasts than you’re likely to get at any local restaurant.
- Hi-Speed WiFi; Cable TV.
- Pleasant, knowledgeable, and professional innkeepers with a passionate desire to ensure that their guests’ stay is a most pleasant experience.
- Attractive, well-maintained and manicured outdoor common areas, including flowered courtyards. Most have a pool & spa.
- Proximity to popular Tucson attractions and/or Sonoran Desert scenery.
None had weaknesses that we noticed, but all had their own unique characteristics. So deciding which is best depends entirely on what style, ambiance, and location you desire most. We are confident that you will have a very enjoyable experience at any of these Tucson Bed & Breakfast Inns.
El Presidio Bed & Breakfast Inn: Patti Toci, Innkeeper
- This is Tucson history with all the modern conveniences. Not only is El Presidio an authentic 19th century Victorian adobe furnished in period antiques, it is located in one of the most historic districts in the Old Pueblo. Within easy walking distance are:
- El Charro Café: one of our top 3 recommended Mexican restaurants in Tucson.
- El Presidio San Agustín del Tucson, the re-created portion of the original 1775 Spanish fort.
- Tucson Museum of Art & Historic Block
- Old Town Artisans & La Cocina Cantina that usually has evening entertainment in the courtyard.
Adobe Rose Inn Bed & Breakfast: Marion & Jim Hook, Innkeepers
- Located in the historic, eclectic Sam Hughes neighborhood only two blocks from the UA, this 1930’s B&B is central to just about every place in Tucson. As to proximity, Adobe Rose has another big plus. It's only 4 blocks from the nearest Modern Streetcar stop. This will allow guests to easily enjoy all there is to see and do Downtown without having to find parking.
- 5 Beautifully furnished and decorated rooms, plus one large suite with private balcony & full kitchen.
Several colorful Spanish-style courtyards with red bougainvillea, mature fruit trees, and flowering potted plants.
- Pool and hot tub.
- Because Adobe Rose hosts so many visiting professors, breakfast here is likely to offer the most intellectually stimulating conversations. Did we mention Marion’s amazing scones? They are so good that people buy the mix online or in local stores and make them at home just like Marion does.
- The list of things to see and do at the nearby campus is extensive.
- (Sadly, Ranch Merlita closed to the public in 2017)
The Inns at El Rancho Merlita: Pattie Bell, Innkeeper
- This ranch-style inn is by far the most spacious of those we reviewed. It’s also the most luxurious. In the 1950’s & 60’s, this was the guest ranch of cosmetic queen, Merle Norman. She was known to invite a hundred of her employees to the ranch, all expenses paid; and fly in the best chefs from Los Angeles to prepare their meals. Now, guests can stay in the large, beautifully appointed Merle Norman suite, or any of the other 7 magnificently furnished and decorated rooms.
- El Rancho Merlita is a short drive to some of the areas most popular scenic areas, including Saguaro National Park East; Sabino Canyon, and the road to Mt. Lemmon. It's also close to the fine galleries, museums, and restaurants on Tanque Verde Road.
On property, guests enjoy:
- Yoga and massage in the private studio.
- Horseshoes; bacce ball; game room; fire pit; and stargazing patio.
- Outdoor BBQ area; whirlpool; and huge swimming pool.
- Panoramic views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
- (The innkeeper decided to return to nursing, so Desert Dove is no longer open to the public)
Review of Desert Dove B&B is in the works
Royal Elizabeth B&B: Susan & Glenn Miesch, Innkeepers
“An 1878 Victorian Adobe Mansion in Historic Downtown Tucson that features the amenities of a fine hotel with the ambience of a historic home.” This is the headline on their website. I couldn’t have stated it better, so I won’t try. Each of the 5 large guest rooms is unique with antique furniture and décor from the Victorian era and various historical periods. The feeling of spaciousness is heightened by 17-foot high ceilings. “The Liz” is within easy walking distance to:
Tucson Convention Center; Temple of Music & Art (performing arts venue); Tucson Symphony Hall; Fox Theater; art & history museums; and many culinary delights, such as Janos Wilder’s contemporary Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails and the historic Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant.
- When our Modern Streetcar becomes fully operational in the summer of 2014, “The Liz” will be only two blocks from a stop. Ride the streetcar north and east to 4th Avenue shopping district; the University of Arizona; University Medical Center; Main Gate Square; and west to the Mercado just west of the I-10.
Of the local B&B's we have visited, these five are the Best of the Best Bed & Breakfasts in Tucson. If we should run across others that we think belong in this class, we will share our findings with you. Click on this link for other Tucson & Southern Arizona lodging reviews.