Review of El Conquistador in Tucson, AZ

View of the mountains surrounding the hotel
View of the mountains surrounding the hotel
The Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis resort is located in a postcard-perfect setting amid the mountains of Tucson. It is only about a half hour from the Tucson International Airport and 90 minutes from the Phoenix Airport. The resort is spread out over a large area with a wide range of facilities for an active, relaxing or business trip. There are over 400 guest rooms at the Hilton El Conquistador, with 95 suites. Four restaurants serve everything from burgers to Latin American fine dining.

The Casitas are a unique feature. These "little houses" have patios that look out at the mountains. The resort has first-class golf with three courses. There are also 31 courts in the tennis facilities, all with lighting for night play, as well as racquetball, basketball and volleyball courts. The large outdoor pool was remodeled in 2008, adding a 143-foot water slide. There is also a pool for smaller children. Depending on the time of year, there are activities ranging from movies to live music around the pool area at night. Food is also served poolside at the Desert Spring Cafe. With banquet facilities that can accommodate 1,000 people, it is a good choice for conventions and special events, like weddings.

Pros and Cons
Moon over Tucson taken from the patio of a casita suite
Moon over Tucson taken from the patio of a casita suite

The fitness center and Elements Spa are great additions to the hotel. The hot stone massage is incredible, especially after a day of golf or tennis. There is also a kid's camp available in the summer that allows parents to have some extra relaxing time. It's worth taking advantage of the tennis facilities, supervised by director Jennifer Fuchs, who was once a top professional player. The horseback riding around the mountains is also as fun as it is breathtaking. The downside is that it is extremely hot (over 100 degrees) in the summer, so outdoor daytime activities must be limited to mornings and evenings.

Bottom Line

The Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort has a nice array of activities and amenities on a large property that never feels crowded--even when the hotel is at full capacity. It is also located in a great area for biking, hiking and shopping. Sabino Canyon, which has trails for the beginner and experienced hiker alike, is just 30 minutes away. The Hilton El Conquistador is a good choice for both families and singles. Check for special packages offered throughout the year that include golf, tennis and other fun activities. And the sunsets over the Santa Catalina mountain range are incredible!

Marcia Frost is a writer covering topics such as travel, food, wine/spirits, health and fitness. She is the content editor for Cocktails and Joints and writes regularly for many on- and offline publications, including "Michigan Avenue," "Gotham," "Aspen Peak," "Los Angeles Confidential" and "Hamptons Magazines." She has a B.A. in journalism from Long Island University.