Editor's Note: May, 2017 - Rancho Merlita is currently a private residence.
Once the secluded Sonoran Desert estate of cosmetic mogul, Merle Norman, the Inns at El Rancho Merlita are now shared with discriminating travelers from all over the world.
Built in the 1950’s, this luxury ranch property was Ms. Norman’s getaway from her busy schedule. It was also a place where she could entertain guests for extended stays, sometimes more than 100 at a time. She would in fly chefs and even charter buses to bring her employees & their spouses from LA for a couple of starry nights with cowboy campfire dinners and adventure-filled days.
El Rancho Merlita guests could hike in the grandeur of nearby Saguaro National Park East, go horseback riding through the desert & over the hills with magnificent views of the Santa Catalina Mountains just a few miles to the north. Here too they could play golf on Ms. Norman’s private 9-hole course. And, of course, swim in the huge pool.
Today, guests can luxuriate in the spa. The pool is now filled with saltwater; no smelly chlorine or other chemicals to irritate skin & eyes. Unlike chlorine pools, saltwater leaves skin feeling soft & refreshed, rather than dry & itchy.
Today, the Inns at El Rancho Merlita are owned by architect Diana Osborne, who has modernized & remodeled the property, but kept a great deal of the original 1950’s look & feel. Read More