Natural luxury at Dove Mountain

The lobby at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort.

MARANA, Ariz. - There’s a certain kind of simple elegance that conveys luxury without really trying.

What makes the newly opened Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort work is that from the outside, it nestles into the foothills of the

Tortolita Mountains above Tucson with all the ease of a working dude ranch. And yet inside there is a recurrence of earthen tones, geodes and quartz crystal, woven leather textures, open space and natural light – all of it harmonized to make guests at the 250-room resort feel like they actually can relax in a native Sonoran setting.

The V-shaped building, which opened in December and played host to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, had to be adjusted at the last minute to accommodate two ancient saguaros that could not be moved. Today, those two towering cacti provide a focal point for the view from a flagstone patio that looks out onto three swimming pools and a 235-foot waterslide.

Inside, the new hotel has a 17,000-square-foot spa, fine dining at the contemporary-themed Core Kitchen and Wine Bar, and an atrium-like coffee shop for light breakfast and lunch fare. The guest rooms all have 42-inch LCD television screens, wireless Internet access and deep-dish bathtubs.

A year after the 850-acre Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain opened its 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, it now has an exceptional resort component.

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