Destination I Do

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Tucson

Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain

For many, the desert southwest conjures up ideas of cactus, dusty roads and tumbleweeds bouncing across deserted highways. And for miles surrounding destinations like Tucson, that’s pretty much what you’re in store for. Until you find yourself at the doorstep of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.

Not only does this property feel like a desert mirage, with its negative edge pools, smiling and pristinely dressed staff, and spot-on menu choices, but it begs to differ from the traditional “Ritz-Carlton” vibe. One is greeted with the sounds of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, modern and sleek southwest décor (almost all of which came from local artisans and gem shows) and a true sense that you
are on vacation.

The restaurant concepts are a bit of a departure from the traditional, and a total breath of fresh air. Head Chef of CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar, donning a clean-cut Mohawk, Joel Harrington, offers a unique and playful approach to food. We tried several dishes – from his Big Eye Tuna starter (crackling with chili Pop Rocks, yes, like the candy) to his ingeniously mastered Buffalo Tenderloin (marinated for three days in a maple, garlic and sage concoction) and as a finish, the molten chocolate cake ensconced in a tropical fruit compote and rum vanilla ice cream. The entire meal, in every way, was to die for and totally unexpected.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers unparalleled service to help relax and rejuvenate before or after a wedding. The spa is mostly set outdoors, with the serenity pool nestled close to the mountainside, and the solitude of surrounding nature begging for visitors to take a deep breath and unwind.

Golf is another signature to-do while on property, especially for the groom. Just the “Man Cave,” as the pros endearingly refer to it, is enough to win over any man’s heart. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the course, countless flat-screen TV’s and an area large enough to entertain an entire bachelor party for the weekend will speak to his inner golf enthusiast.  Not to mention, playing a round on the course which now hosts the Accenture Match Play Championship, is one to write home about.

When it comes to weddings at Ritz-Carlton, you can expect to experience only the finest. From outdoor intimate venues such as their “Secret Green” accommodating a small group of 40, to their large “Tortolita Ballroom” boasting a true indoor/outdoor space and neutral décor, any couple would find themselves enjoying the destination wedding of their dreams. The golf course also offers perfect options for rehearsal dinners and complete restaurant buyouts at their fantastic restaurant, Cayton’s.

As you plan your upcoming destination wedding, honeymoon or romantic retreat, keep Dove Mountain in mind and indulge in the new generation of the Ritz-Carlton.

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