When it comes to places to spend the night, the options in Tucson run the gamut: there are luxurious desert resorts, dude ranches, bed-and-breakfasts in modest homes or historic estates, and small-scale to medium-size hotels and motels.
If you like being able to walk to sights, shops, and restaurants, plan on staying in either the Downtown or University neighborhood. Downtown's Hotel Congress is a hot scene, with nightly music pulsing at Club Congress or the Rialto Theatre across the street. For a quieter but equally convenient base, opt for one of the charming B&Bs near the U of A campus.
The posh resorts, primarily situated in the Catalina Foothills and Northwest areas, although farther away from town, have many activities on site, as well as some of Tucson's top-rated restaurants, golf courses, and spas; resort staff can arrange transportation to shopping and sights. Tucson's JW Marriott Starr Pass is the only one southwest of town; seemingly isolated, it’s actually closer to Downtown and the Westside sights.
For a unique experience, you can check into one of several Southwestern-style dude ranches—among them a former cattle ranch from the 1800s—on the outskirts of town (unless otherwise indicated, price categories for guest ranches include all meals and most activities).
If you’re seeking accommodations that can change your life, book a stay at one of Tucson's world-class health spas, Canyon Ranch or Miraval. Both provide pampering, serenity, and guidance for attaining an improved sense of well-being.
Summer rates (late May through September) are up to 60% lower than those in winter. Note that unless you book months in advance, you'll be hard-pressed to find a Tucson hotel room at any price the week before and during the huge gem and mineral show, which is held the first two weeks in February. Also, resorts typically charge an additional daily fee for "use of facilities," such as pools, tennis courts, and exercise classes and equipment, so be sure to ask what’s included when you book a room.