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The Lodge At Ventana Canyon Tucson Golf Stay & Play Review

One of the holes at The Lodge of Ventana Canyon Golf Course

Tuscan is home to one of the best Stay & Play Golf Resorts in Arizona and as part of a trip from Dallas to California, we were fortunate enough to get to play several of the best Tucson golf courses and enjoy a golf stay and play at the fantastic Lodge at Ventana Canyon. Several friends and lots of internet research indicated that the best place for a golf stay and play or golf vacation in the Tucson area was The Lodge at Ventana Canyon. And from our perspective they were right and several ome of the experts agreed - some of the well deserving accolades and awards that it has won over the years include:Entrance to the Lodge at Ventana Canyon Golf Resort

What a fantastic place for a weekend getaway, a golfing vacation, or a golf stay and play with friends or family. The Lodge sits in the foothills of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains and is surrounded by a 600-acre preserve consisting of ancient desert canyons and arroyos, giant stately saguaros, massive rock formations, and abundant wildlife which includes deer, roadrunners, quail, rabbits, bobcats, javelina and wide variety of birds. All of these features have been incorporated in both the Canyon and Mountain courses at Ventana Canyon and the combination creates a very memorable resort and golf experience. 

A suite at The Lodge at Ventana CanyonOne of the reasons that we really liked The Lodge at Ventana Canyon is because it is a small boutique hotel with 50 contemporary and well appointed rooms - it's much more intimate, and personal, and quaint than one of the large 500 room resorts where you feel like a one of a mass and the rooms are expensive and small. When you stay at The Lodge you can choose between an 800 square feet one bedroom suite, a 1200 square feet two bedroom one bath suite, or the fantastic 1500 square foot two-bedroom, two-story loft suite.

We stayed in the one bedroom suite with rich wood tones and loved it - a soft cushy bed, large flat screen, a good sized desk with high speed wireless, an oversized reading chair, and a plush leather couch. The bathroom was also huge and included an old fashioned claw foot bathtub and luxurious bathrobes that I wanted to take home. A small balcony overlooked the well manicured grounds, mountains, and tennis courts.

The suites at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon offer a interesting mix of mission-style furnishings, small kitchens, large bathrooms with oversize tubs, walls of windows facing the mountains, cathedral ceilings, and even spiral stairs that lead to sleeping lofts. All of the above is part of the reason that The Lodge at Ventana Canyon has a four-diamond rating from AAA and has been voted by Conde Nast Traveler Gold List as one of "The World's Best Places to Stay."

Since The Lodge at Ventana Canyon is a small boutique type resort you get very personalized service from the minute you pull up to the front door to the time you depart. In fact, we were stunned when we arrived and the bell boy waiting at the front door immediately asked if we where "Texas Outside" - how did he know it was us? He politely welcomed us, unpacked our bags and hauled them to our room, and did an in-room check-in which meant no waiting in long lines at the registration desk like you do at most resorts. And throughout our visit we were recognized by name and greeted with a warm and sincere smile. The Lodge at Ventana Canyon is part of a very upscale gated country club community, so when you stay here you feel more like a resident and member of the country club than just another hotel guest. During our stay, we experienced some of the friendliest and most efficient service of any resort we have stayed in.

Not only is the service top notch but the amenities at The Lodge at Ventana are equally as impressive:

Fitness CenterPool and mountains at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon

For dining you can choose between The Catalina Room, Ventana Bar & Grill, or the Sabino Patio - all of which offer a wide variety of excellent choices. We The Catalina Dining Room at The Lodge at Ventana Canyonreally enjoyed a casual laid back meal with excellent service in the Ventana Bar & Grill, which offers the same menu as the more formal dining in The Catalina Room. Another nice touch that we thought was great was that cell phones must be turned off in the Catalina Room. And it just doesn't get much better than enjoying a drink or meal on the Patio - a beautiful setting under the trees with the magnificent Santa Catalina Mountains as a backdrop.

After a dip in the pool, a set of tennis, some drinks and dinner, and a great nights sleep, we were ready for 36 holes of golf on two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses - who happens to be our favorite designer and the two courses at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon are a couple of his best! We enjoyed a good breakfast and walked to the Pro Shop which is located within The Lodge where our bags were already loaded on a cart with our name on it! The award winning Pro Shop is impressive with everything you need to look good and play well. As anticipated, the service was excellent and friendly and we were escorted to the first tee to start what turned out to be a very memorable and unforgettable two rounds of golf.

Mountain Course Just the cart ride to the first hole is impressive. Like the cart paths, both of the Fazio designed courses wind through the canyon and arroyos of the scenic 600 acre high Sonoran Desert preserve. Not only do you get to experience some outstanding golf holes but you'll get to enjoy scenic panoramic vistas of the Santa Catalina Mountains as well as other mountain ranges, the city of Tucson, tall ungainly and unusual shaped saguaro cactus, a variety of desert fauna, and lots of different wildlife. Playing either one of these courses is what we love about golf - it's fun and challenging with near perfect conditions, unique and interesting holes, beautiful scenery, and excellent service. Each of the courses has it's own unique personality and characteristics and you won't get tired of playing either one, and make sure you don't leave before you have played both courses.

The Ventana Canyon Mountain Golf Course winds through and traverses its way up the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and then plays back down The unique par 3 3rd hole on the Mountain Coursethrough the Sabino Canyon. This championship layout is by no means your typically resort course - you'll encounter plenty of everything that makes golf challenging (dog legs, uphill and downhill shots, strategic bunkers, challenging green complexes, blind shots, water, forced carries, and more) plus dramatic elevation changes and desert terrain where you don't want to even think about trying to retrieve you wandering ball. The Mountain Course is also home to the most photographed golf hole west of the Mississippi - be prepared for some "Wows," Kodak moments, and a few lost balls on this challenging par 3. The Mountain Course at Ventana Canyon was honored by Golf Digest for the best resort course in Arizona and by Golf Week for one of the nation's best courses. Our review of The Mountain Course at Ventana Canyon will tell you more about why we love this course.

Fun hole on the Canyon CourseWhile the Mountain Course traverse up the foothills, the Ventana Canyon Course winds through the Esperero Canyon and incorporates the natural desert terrain offering both scenic beauty and some very challenging shot making. The Canyon Course is recognized as the more playable of the two courses for the casual inexperienced golfer but it is no walk in the park. Most holes will test every aspect of your game - you need accuracy off the tee box and precision approach shots plus you need to manage the slope and contour, avoid the water on a couple holes and the 43 treacherous bunkers, and stay away from the cacti! And if you lose your focus on the greens, you're in for a high score.

The Mountain Course has the famous par 3 third hole but the Canyon Course matches it with the finishing hole - a 503-yard par 5 that includes a desert wash just in front of the green, making it a partial island with pond and cascading waterfall in the rear. Read our review of Ventana Canyon Golf Course to learn more about this fantastic track.

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon golf Course18th hole on the Canyon Course Canyon Course at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

Wow, it just doesn't get much better than staying and playing at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - two outstanding golf courses, excellent service, great accommodations, and good amenities. What are you waiting for - pick up the phone, book a room and tee time, round up some friends and family, pack your bags, and hit the links at Ventana Canyon!

After you have enjoyed both of The Ventana Canyon Courses, if you're looking for some other courses to play in Tucson, then check out our Tuscan Golf Course Reviews page.

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