The Pepper Group

5845 N Calle Tiburon
Tucson, AZ 85704

(520) 977-0003



The Pepper Group™
Diversified Real Estate
Accommodations Discount Special
Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

Five mountain ranges define the city: the Rincon Mountains to the east, the Tucson Mountains to the west, the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north, the Santa Rita Mountains (which are home to the highest point in Tucson at 9,453 feet) to the south, and the Tortolita Mountains to the northwest.

While these ranges offer an array of Sonoran flora and fauna, the Santa Catalina Mountains hold a different kind of jewel. Nestled in the heart of the range is Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. Built in 1929 as a private school for girls, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort has a unique Spanish Colonial design that was influenced by Josias Joesler, the famous Swiss architect who once lived in the area.

When the original owners, Helen and John Murphey, built the school, it was in a secluded location with one dirt road as the only way in and out. Chances are, that seclusion was a major reason so many high-profile families -- Pillsbury, Spalding, Maxwell, Kellogg, Westinghouse, Campbell, Vanderbilt -- sent their daughters there. These student records clearly indicate that the school attracted the wealthiest and most prominent families in America, entrusting their daughters to what was then largely a desert wilderness.

In the 1940s, the hacienda was converted into a guest ranch, but it continued to cater to the well-known elite. Celebrities such as Howard Hughes, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Joseph Cotton, Clark Gable and John Wayne were frequent visitors. One of the resort's suites is named after Spencer Tracy – it's the same suite where he spent a lot of time with Katherine Hepburn, and according to some, it's also where the two fell in love.

Today, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort is the perfect refuge for those who want to feel wrapped in the culture and history of the Old Pueblo. Though not nearly as secluded as it was in 1929, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort sits on 34 acres, which is far enough to make it peaceful, with only high-end homes for neighbors.

With 30 rooms, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort offers everything from a single room with a bathroom to a casita complete with a dining room, sitting room and mini kitchen. All the decor has a decidedly Tucson-Mexican flair, with some original 1929 furniture still in place and original carved Mexican-style doors.

The main building, which now houses the resort's lobby, library and restrooms, and the rooms surrounding it are original structures from the resort's private-school days. Additional rooms were added when the building was converted into a guest ranch.

The library, off the resort's lobby, has floor-to-ceiling shelves overflowing with aged books -- some left by former students. Yes, alumni still visit from time to time to check on their alma mater, and sample the world-class southwestern cuisine served up in a classic dining room which overlooks a narrow canyon and deeply shadowed hills close enough to touch.

The wooden beams on the ceiling were lovingly hand-carved by the school's original owner, Helen Murphey. She also hammered many of the tin light fixtures that are still in place throughout the main building. Where history ends, serenity begins at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort.

Beyond the historic hacienda buildings is the compound's newest structure -- The Grill restaurant. Constructed to blend with the existing buildings, The Grill feels like a natural extension, with its brown stucco walls and lodge-pole ceiling. At The Grill, the views are spectacular and so are the food and service.

After The Grill's edible delights, it's time to feed the other senses with a swim in the resort's original 1929 pool, horseback riding into the Santa Catalina Mountains, a game of tennis or a leisurely massage. Or, you might want to relax in one of the hacienda's two courtyards, which feature a carpet of green grass and fountains, and are surrounded by lush desert foliage.

Today the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort re-captures the square adobe look that harks back to Spanish colonial architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Thirty art-filled guest rooms fringe attractively landscaped courtyards laced with fine sculpture and fountains. The present owners have remained true to original designs and even, where possible, original furnishings.

Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains a short hop north of downtown. Where pockets of wildness remain, "The Bobcat Family Has Returned as Guests of the Hacienda," reads a sign at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. This former girls' school was tucked far from civilization when it opened in 1929. Now the hillsides surrounding the resort are dotted with custom-built houses, and patches of emerald golf courses shimmers in the near distance. Still, the resident bobcat returns every winter, with her latest litter in tow. Guests invariably are more thrilled than wary, says owner Rick Fink.

If you want to play cowboy or just go for a leisurely ride through the desert, there are plenty of horses for you to saddle up. In addition to renting horses and providing guided trail rides, the stables offer sunset rides with cookouts. Although reservations are not always required, they're a good idea. Opting to stay at the Guest Ranch, you can do as much riding as your muscles can stand. Big Sky Rides (520-299-RIDE) offers horseback rides at several locations around the area, including in the Tucson Mountains and Saguaro National Park and at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. Rates range from $25 for 1 hour to $95 for a full day with lunch. Reservations are requested.

With its colorful Southwest styling, historic character, mature desert gardens, and ridgetop setting, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort is one of the most distinctive hotels in Tucson. The small resort, exudes the sort of Old Tucson atmosphere available at only a couple of lodgings in the city. If you prefer more modern, spacious accommodations, ask for a suite; if you want loads of space and the chance to stay where Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy once stayed, ask for a casita. With large terraces for alfresco dining, The Grill is one of Tucson's best restaurants.

For your business option -- Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort -- a place that boasts the philosophy, "Conversation is the food for the soul." This is an ideal facility for group meetings, business events, product press launches, board meetings, corporate retreats and sales incentives.

Top Awards:

  • 30 Great U.S. Inns
    2002 Travel & Leisure
  • Top US Resorts, Hotels & Spas
    2002 Zagat Survey
  • 2002 Four-Star Award
    Mobil Travel Guide
  • Top 10 Romantic Inns
    American Historic Inns
  • 54 Great Inns Expert Picks Coast to Coast
    National Geographic Traveler
  • Top B&B/Inns
    2002 Arrington's Book of Lists Award

In Room Amenities:

  • Fireplace
  • Private Entrance
  • Fine Robes, Towels and Linen
  • Spectacular View
  • Air-Conditioning
  • Cable Television
  • High-Speed Internet Access


  • 30 Available Rooms
  • Restaurant and Cafe
  • Lounge, Bar and Nightclub
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool with City Views
  • Whirlpool, Jacuzzi and Hot Tub
  • Massage and Spa Services
  • Horseback Riding
  • Cribs and Infant Services
  • Meeting and Banquet Facilities
  • Valet Parking
  • Free Parking
  • Truck and RV Parking
  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • Free Newspaper
  • Concierge
  • Room Service
  • 24 Hour Front Desk
  • Safe Deposit Box at Front Desk
  • Post and Parcel Service
  • Other Guest Ranch Services

Room Rates: All our relocation visiting "The Pepper Group" clients are entitled to at least a 10% discount. Please let us know about your interest in staying at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. We will fill you in on all the details of our special discount sales package.

5601 North Hacienda del Sol Road
800-728-6514 or 520-299-1501

The Pepper Group™
Diversified Real Estate
5845 N Calle Tiburon
Tucson, AZ 85704
Tucson Real Estate