I had the pleasure of staying at Cat Mountain Lodge on South Kinney Road for my week-long vacation to Tucson this past October. It is located on the west side of the Tucson Mountains, just a few miles outside of Tucson and with very easy access of the airport. If you are traveling to Tucson primarily for city sights, this may not be the best place to stay for you, since it is approximately half an hour from downtown and on the other side of the mountain ridge. However, if your destinations include Saguaro National Park West, the Sonoran Desert Museum, Tucson Mountain Park, Old Tucson Studios, Kitt Observatory, or any of the many other west side attractions, this is a great home base to start from.
The four guestroom stucco Hacienda-style Lodge is unassumingly gorgeous to those with an eye for this style of architecture. The decorative iron gate both greets and protects lodgers: the innkeeper keeps it locked when she is away. Small surprises like the relief painting of hummingbirds and mice on a vine around the gate continually greet you as you walk the immediate grounds. The warm and welcoming courtyard is in bloom year-round. I had the privilege of trying to eat a beautiful fruit off one of the 5-foot tall cactus growing inside. The rooms surround the courtyard, with a covered walkway around the inside.
Each room has a double glass French door: mine looked out onto a tiered fountain which I enjoyed listening to in the evening. Every room has a private bathroom with either a luxuriously tiled shower or tub, and each room has its own hot water heater. A small closet with several hangers also houses a mini-fridge. I think I would have enjoyed access to a microwave, either in my room or in the common room. The four rooms all have locking connecting doors with each other, so parents could easily bring children and be able to keep an eye on them. Keep in mind, however, that boisterous or tearful younger children may easily disturb other guests in such a cozy inn.
The Mission room where I stayed is very spacious and meticulously clean, with lovely Indian rugs over a stained and sealed concrete floor. A high ceiling and clean white walls add to the feeling of space, though a curtain or scarf at the window would soften it. The Mission room is decorated in a theme of the Spanish Catholic Missions, which primarily means an abundance of metal crosses hung on the walls. Other rooms are decorated with other themes, including the Ranch Room and the Fiesta Room. The largest room, with two queen beds, is Spencer’s Suite, named after the owner’s late husband.
Breakfast is provided through a voucher to the Coyote Pause Café on the property, just steps away. I enjoyed choosing breakfast each day from a full menu, and yet being able to go in my PJs and slippers (watch out for cactus!). While not fancy, the food is hearty and relatively healthy. Fairly quickly, I got to know the friendly staff there and was treated like a “regular”.
This review would not be complete without paying tribute to the lodge’s on-site manager and innkeeper, Angel Jackson-Slye. Angel is one-of-a-kind and exemplifies true hospitality. She left a welcome basket in my room upon arrival, and invited me to the common room for popcorn or cheese and crackers each evening. Whenever I was leaving for the day or coming back, she was right there to see if I needed anything. She kept my room spotless the entire time. When I had to spend one day in bed with the flu, she offered me tea, cocoa, soup, or whatever I wanted, and also knew when to leave me alone. In my time there, I felt like I gained a new friend. I’m sure the owner knows what a gem she has in Angel, and I hope that anyone who stays there will take some time to get to know her like I did.
In summary, I highly recommend this Bed and Breakfast to anyone looking for a more quiet, out-of-the way location with the comforts of home and yet an authentic Southwestern setting. The rates are reasonable and the service is beyond compare.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 2009, our beautiful 13 acre eco-friendly bed & breakfast offers a vintage ranch setting with 5 spacious rooms, a mix of Southwestern comfort and modern conveniences. We also have a guest house available. Nearby artisans shopping center, telescope observatory, café, and desert tortoise enclosure makes Cat Mountain Lodge a fine destination for locals and traveling visitors. ... more less