The Inns at El Rancho Merlita

1924 N. Corte El Rancho Merlita , Tucson, AZ 85715 USA (Show map) Diamond Collection

Professionally Inspected & Certified Diamond Collection


Where New West Style meets Old West Hospitality! Go back in time as you enter the historic 1950’s Tucson Ranch House and estate built by Merle Norman. Carved wood beams, rope trim, and hand hewn local rock fireplaces make our East side Tucson B&B a vintage western experience. Relax under deep shaded porches, stroll the paths to the swimming pool and stargaze from our spa. This Tucson Bed and Breakfast offers a unique marriage of luxury and comfort defined by Arizona’s rich hospitality heritage.



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  • Guest room5
  • Service4.8
  • Value4.8
  • Cleanliness4.9
  • Onsite Dining4.8

Wonderful Stay!!

5 on February 08, 2016

We were driving cross country from Florida to Washington and had a two night wonderful stay. Leslie cooked us some beautiful gourmet breakfasts and afternoon treats. We so enjoyed her and the inn, not to mention the wonderful surroundings. We plan on returning soon. Dan and Linda

Wonderful Refreshment in Midst of the Desert

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...

Very Relaxing Stay

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.

A Remarkable Place to Stay!

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.

An outstanding place to stay

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

Luxurious desert retreat

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.

Loved our Romantic Weekend

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!

A Beautiful Oasis in Tucson!

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!

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Location Type

Eastside Tucson, Mount Lemmmon, Sabino Canyon, Desert, Mountains, Ranch


Tucson, AZ (TUS) 15 miles

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Art Galleries, Casino, Concert venue, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, University of Arizona, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, Mount Lemmon, Saguaro National Park East & West, Tucson Museum of Art, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, Rodeo, Ruins, Ski area, Vineyard, Winery, Zoo

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Inn Details

Establishment type

Bed and Breakfast, Historic Inn, Guest Ranch

On-site amenities

BBQ grill, Board games, Ceiling fans, Computer, Conference Rooms, Copier, Fax Machine, Library, Telephone, Wired internet

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Alarm clock, Amenities Basket, Bath robes, CD player, DVD Player, Desk, Fireplace, Fridge, Hairdryer, Hot tub/whirlpool tub, Internet Service, Ironing Board, Private entrance, Radio, Satellite/Cable TV, TV, Wi-Fi

On-site activities

Bicycle rental, Bicycle riding trails, Billiards, Bird watching, Cross-country ski trails, Downhill Skiing, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Horseback riding, Horseshoes, Hunting, Mountain Bike trails, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Ski rentals, Snow shoe rental, Snow shoe trails, Swimming, Swimming pool, Tennis courts

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  • Check In:: 3-6 PM
  • Check Out:: 11 AM
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: Outside only Guests must smoke away from buildings outside.
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided No
  • Suitable For Children: Limited Suitable for children 12 and older.
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access Yes

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: Minimum stays may be required for weekends and holidays.
  • Accepted payments Other
  • Deposit Amount Required: Reservations guaranteed by credit cards.
  • Cancellations: 14 days notice required. $25 fee for all cancellations.
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Pattie Bell

Languages spoken

Some Spanish, English

About the innkeepers

Pattie brings 35 years of hospitality experience to the Ranch, twenty of them managing Bed and Breakfast Inns in Arizona. Her freshly prepared breakfasts and afternoon treats will knock your boots off, with special needs graciously accommodated. Take advantage of her designation as a Certified Tourism Ambassador when planning your itinerary.

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  • Time Served: 8:00 - 9:00 AM
  • Serving Location: Breakfast/dining area

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian

Signature Dish

A Locavore's Delight!
We provide a unique regional dining experience by serving freshly prepared dishes made with local ingredients and exceptional hand-crafted products.

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