5 on July 25, 2013
This review is long overdue, but our experience was soooo good, I just have to share it. My wife and I were in town to visit one daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter while moving the other daughter and her family into Tucson. We needed a getaway for ourselves and my wife found El Rancho Merlita. A housekeeping problem forced an upgrade to the Merle Norman Suite. What a delight! The suite is beautiful, spacious and well equipped for relaxation and refreshment. Pattie Bell made us feel welcome and treated us like old friends. The pool was unbelievable and an after sundown swim was the perfect way to unwind after a hot, summer day in Tucson. And the grounds truly transport you to another era. It was easy to imagine Merle Norman's extravagant employee getaways. Our only regret was that we only had 24 hours for our getaway. I can only say ditto to the other five-star comments. Their reviews are not exaggerations, as hard as it is to picture an experience like this. Room Tip: The Merle Norman Suite is definitely worth the extra price. From looking at some of the other rooms...
4.8 on March 27, 2013
After putting in many long hours at work, I was looking for a vacation where I could unwind. The five days we spent at Rancho Merlita were just the medicine the doctor ordered. The Merle Norman Suite was very spacious with lovely decorations, a fireplace, and a wonderful private patio. The bathroom was huge with a large steam shower and whirlpool tub. The grounds are very spacious and they provide many self-starting activities (Ping-Pong, Darts, etc.). We spent an evening with a big fire in the fire pit watching the stars. Patti was an excellent hostess providing very delicious breakfasts for us. She made sure she spent time with each guest to chat about their plans for the day and to provide extremely helpful information to make those day trips even better. We asked Patti to setup a massage for my wife and myself and the Mitsy was a delight. We would go back to Rancho Merlita in a heartbeat.
5 on September 27, 2012
We spent time on the web searching for the perfect B&B, and this was it! Our room was terrific, but the community spaces were magnificent. You can't believe the north view of the Catalina mountains, whether from the living room, the front veranda, or your own room. It is spectacular as the mountain changes with the light and shadows. The Inn is set back within a gated expanse of natural mature desert, but has a beautiful front lawn, a great swimming pool and a hot tub made for relaxing. The morning breakfasts we had both days were delicious. The first day included blue corn pancakes with prickly pear or mesquite bean syrup and chicken sausage. The second day we had fruit smoothies and the best chilequilles I have every had. We ate breakfast on the back patio with hummingbirds and a variety of small birds feasting on cactus fruits for company. After a day of sightseeing around Tucson, we came back to refreshing prickly pear lemonade and delicious ginger-cornmeal cookies. We hated to leave, but we'll be back.
5 on June 24, 2012
Why stay in a motel when you can stay in luxury at this B&B. The grounds, the rooms, the pool, the decorating are all first rate. You are near the city but feel away from civilization on this 2 1/2 acre property. Wild life abounds and entertained us during every breakfast. I kept jumping up and down to take pictures. We saw a great horned owl taking a bath in the sprinklers, a hawk liked to sit on the fountain in the back, quail families with tiny babies walked all around. Patty is a gracious hostess and cooks gourmet breakfasts. She is also knowledgeable about the area and has suggestions of restaurants, activites, etc. We enjoyed massages while we were there in a little house on the back of the property. I felt pampered, Each day we enjoyed a swim in the crystal clear warm waters of the pool
5 on April 20, 2010
Luxury is the main theme at this four room bed and breakfast converted from the 1950’s ranch house built by cosmetic magnate, Merle Norman. Each room is beautifully designed to represent a theme and the common areas are equally, if not more, wonderful. Amenities abound here, from the gorgeous salt water swimming pool, to the pool-side hot tub, to the game and exercise room, to the massage and yoga cottage, to the Native American inspired labyrinth. Guests also can take pleasure in the attention to detail evident in the gorgeous landscaping, the branded tableware and the beautifully apportioned patios, where one can enjoy a moment of repose in the afternoon with a glass of prickly pear lemon aid and homemade cookies provided by innkeeper, Pattie Bell. Ms. Bell also whips up gourmet breakfasts which include such delights as blue corn pancakes with prickly pear syrup, spanakopita, and Mexican style quiche called chilequiles, all washed down with a specially prepared blend of coffee that is sure to please even the most discerning coffee snob. The inn faces north, with a wonderful view of the Catalina Mountains, so while the exquisiteness of the ranch house may tempt you to hang around all day, the city of Tucson and the hiking opportunities afforded by the nearby Sabino Canyon recreation area beckon one to leave the property, at least for a few hours.
4.6 on March 31, 2010
Wow. My husband and I took a last-minute trip to Tucson for a weekend getaway, and our decision to stay at El Rancho Merlita really made our much-needed weekend away wonderful. I'm picky about lodging, and I was really impressed. The ranch and each of the rooms are beautifully decorated and meticulously kept. Furthermore, we had every amenity we could want. This is probably our favorite B&B to date!
4.2 on March 31, 2010
We had spent several days agonizing over the best place to stay in Tucson. I was reared in a country inn, and we have stayed in B&B's from California and Washington to Maine and Washington, D.C. We were not disappointed in El Rancho Merlita. It was romantic and elegant, and we only wish we had more time to spend there! Meryl Norman's suite is well worth it! We also recommend dinner at "The Dish". It was a unique and fabulous experience - worth the 20 minute drive!