Astronomy Capital of the World
Marana, AZ (PRWEB) February 2, 2010
Great opportunity comes with opening a resort in Arizona's Tortolita Mountains, and for Allan Federer, general manager of the new Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain north of Tucson, the adventure property holds especially remarkable promise for lovers of the outdoors.
"The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is perched in an amazing natural setting that is truly one of a kind," says Federer. "Our 850-acre location offers 20 miles of property hiking trails already mapped by National Geographic, mountain biking through a lush Saguaro cactus forest, guided desert Jeep tours from the resort front door, kids and teens' environmental programming, and the opportunity for guests to enjoy a real cattle drive," he adds.
At The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, guests can experience the best of the high Sonoran Desert, the Wild West, Native American culture and history, Southwest flora and fauna, and a mystical sense of place, all at the same time, all in the same trip. Add to that the ability to venture into surrounding canyons for hiking, canyoneering, birding, geo-caching, orienteering, rock climbing, desert skills practice and archeological touring, and guests have access to an adventure menu that is unprecedented among contemporary Southwest resorts.
Another claim to fame of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain's Adventure Program is its ability to provide experiences not usually available to the public, and to provide a sense not only of place but of natural and cultural stewardship. The looming rock formations surrounding the resort are scribed with ancient petroglyphs -- historic rock art etched by "the ones from before" and now protectively watched over by resort staff. Early in the design process, the resort's construction plans were also significantly adjusted to preserve several key natural features which dot the surrounding landscape and which will remain untouched for the long term.
ADVENTURE PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, DOVE MOUNTAIN INCLUDE:
The Tortolita Mountain Park borders The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain to the north, offering offers 3,000 scenic and undisturbed acres and 20 miles of charted hiking surrounded by desert landscapes and wildlife. Steep, rugged canyons, gentle terrain such as Wild Burro Wash, and winding trails of various levels beckon hikers and walkers throughout the year.
The Tucson area has been ranked by Bicycling Magazine as one of the top cycling places in the U.S., with more than 500 miles of bike routes linking 128 nearby city parks. Adding to these riches, the adjoining Coronado National Forest hosts mountain biking and rock climbing as well as skiing the 9,100-foot Mount Lemmon. All are located within minutes of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.
Desert Ecology - Holding a tarantula, inching up-close-and-personal to a giant snake, trying to outrun a wily roadrunner or learning the secrets of medicinal desert plants are among the many guided desert experiences which the new Ritz-Carlton makes available to its guests, including the younger set. Many fascinating animals call this desert home, including amphibians and reptiles, the iconic Gambel's Quail, desert cardinals, small mammals, javelina, bobcats, the cactus-roosting Gila Woodpecker, the world's smallest owls, deer, and the "songster of the desert" - the coyote.
While The Ritz-Carlton itself is situated in on a lush desert floor teeming with wildlife, a short drive up nearby Mount Lemmon also takes travelers through seven different eco-systems from a desert environment to Ponderosa Pine forests typical of Canada.
"Astronomy Capital of the World"
Southern Arizona enjoys the clearest skies in the U.S.--about 350 nights of viewing a year - and it is not surprisingly home to the world's most-respected observatories. Resort guests can view the heavens from telescopes as a member of a small observing program or as individuals - joined one-on-one by an experienced astronomer (the current Mars Landing Mission is directed for NASA by the nearby University of Arizona).
Desert Jeep Tours
Open-air four-wheel-drive vehicles ferry resort guests into the Tortolita Preserve to learn about Saguaro, Barrel and Cholla Cacti, about desert "critters", and about legendary cowboy cattle rancher Eugene "Cush" Cayton, the original homesteader who settled Dove Mountain in 1926. They also learn how the early settlers burned cactus to feed themselves and their cattle, and about similar desert survival skills which have been honed by the indigenous Native American and later ranch cultures.
White Stallion Ranch Adventures
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain enjoys a rare partnership with Tucson's acclaimed White Stallion Ranch, offering special access to trail rides, breakfast rides, team cattle penning, mountain rides, afternoons at the Ranch, work activities at the Ranch, family rides, upscale wine rides and even ranch hand rodeo each Saturday night. While these activities are usually only open to travelers staying at the ranch itself, White Stallion officially welcomes guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain for exclusive, à la carte adventures in a true, third-generation working ranch environment.
Children's eco-adventures focus on the remarkable natural discoveries to be experienced in the terrain immediately surrounding The Ritz-Carlton. Incorporating a sense of play and natural learning, these kid-friendly educational sessions allow young guests to explore and learn about the plants, animals and history which make the Sonoran Desert so fascinating. Young participants will learn about the life cycle of the Saguaro cactus, visit a thousand-year-old Hohokam Native American occupation site, and see bountiful desert wildlife, some of it unique and rare. Guides will even bring along a critter or two, providing some true hands-on learning about the area's real-life inhabitants.
With multiple swimming pools, the resort offers a chance to relax outdoors beneath ancient Hohokam petroglyphs on the boulders above. For the more daring, kids of all ages can ride a 230-foot water slide with a four-story elevation change from a rock ledge down into the cooling waters of the pool below. It is the longest water slide in the area.
The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain encourages guests to experience the beauty of the Sonoran desert through its eco-holistic spa treatments and signature Desert Moon Alignment. Desert Moon Alignment encompasses three distinct bodywork experiences inspired by lunar energies and performed under a starlit desert sky, on specific nights selected from the lunar calendar. The spa also offers Mountain Yoga and Mountain Pilates, preceded by a gentle personal hike, all in a serene mountain setting.
Resort guests who prefer more manicured adventures need go no farther than The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain. With his first Tucson golf course in 25 years, Jack Nicklaus took advantage of the resort's high Sonoran Desert setting to integrate strategy, variety and fair shot values into his new Signature Golf Course at Dove Mountain, designing and blending 27 holes among the tall saguaros that stand along the surrounding Tortolitas. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain was unveiled to a global audience during the 2009 World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship.
National Geographic recently named Tucson one of the "50 Best Places to Live: The Next Generation Adventure Towns." The outdoor adventure focus of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has been designed to complement this recent area rating, with plans for the coming months to include the unveiling of a complete group teambuilding adventure school, archeological exploration program, night hikes and rides, guided fun runs, and adventure summer school for younger guests.
About The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
Nestled in the high Sonoran Desert is an invigorating playground where the adventurous can explore the lush desert along the Tortolitas Mountains and majestic Saguaro forest. Opened December 18, 2009, the 850-acre Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain features a 250-room hotel, Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, destination spa and luxury homes at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. The resort also features adventure programming and world class hiking, and is home to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships each spring in its striking canyon setting. Serving breakfast and dinner daily, the resort's Core Kitchen and Wine Bar introduces the True American Cuisine of Chef Joel Harrington, with coast-to-coast American favorites presented in a brilliantly-flavorful Sonoran desert context. A stunning new restaurant with contemporary design inspired by the vibrant colors of the earth, CORE features six dining venues and an American menu focused on regional sustainable cuisine and local growers. The citrus grove directly adjoining CORE offers the freshest of Arizona oranges, Minneola tangelos and red grapefruit. For further resort reservation information, please call 1-800-241-3333 or visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain