Luxury Tucson AZ Stay at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa

If you are interested in a luxury Arizona resort in a desert oasis, near downtown Tucson, I have just the hotel for you. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa is situated in Tucson Mountain Park. Easily accessible from Tucson International Airport, the Starr Pass Resort & Spa is like staying in your own urban dark sky park. 

Multi-story JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort with 3-story lobby windows looking out to Sonoran desert. Small cactus punctuate the desert landscape. A large olive tree is to left of open-air terrace.

I arrived to JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort via Uber from Tucson Airport. A quick 12 mile drive from the airport, I was immediately surrounded by Saguaro cactus and the stunning desert landscape of Pima County, Arizona. Golfers take note; this Tucson hotel boasts two Arnold Palmer-designed desert golf courses.

The AAA 4-diamond resort features natural stone floors and floor to ceiling 3-story windows in the lobby. With saguaro cacti spine ceilings, the gorgeous lobby looks out to Salud Terrace, a popular gathering spot with multiple outdoor fire pits. The tiered Salud Terrace is the place to be for the nightly complimentary tequila toast. Practice your conversational Spanish by saying “arriba, abajo, al centro, al dentro and salud.” If you want to keep the party going, Salud Patio features hand-crafted cocktails and more than 150 signature tequilas, in addition to Mexican cuisine.

King room features white bedding, southwest decorative pillow, wooden headboard. End table on either side of bed and brown leather chair with beige cloth foot stool. Linen curtains shade the floor-to-ceiling sliding window, opening to the small balcony.


My deluxe king hotel room, with balcony, looked out to one of two Arnold Palmer-designed desert golf courses and the lazy river. My room #4340 offered a mountain view, small balcony, plush bedding and marble bathroom. As this Tucson resort is four-star, I took advantage of the signature logo white cotton robe hanging in the closet. I waltzed around my spacious room and applied the Aromatherapy Associates of London body cream, pretending I was a guest of Hashani Spa. My next trip to the desert oasis of Tucson, I’ll allow time for a spa treatment and make my own Hashani sachet at the aromatherapy blending bar. 

Signature Grill with a center metal pillar in the middle of the restaurant floor. Tables set with place settings and wine glasses for 4 persons are on the dark wood floor. A holiday Christmas tree is behind the steel pillar and to the right. A restaurant employee in a black suit has his back to the camera.

Drinks and dining at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa

While I didn’t have time to dine at all 5 Starr Pass Resort restaurants, I enjoyed breakfast at the Signature Grill. Featuring southwestern cuisine, I also took advantage of  the many breakfast selections. Breakfast is served from 6:30 -11:00 a.m. with a full menu, in addition to a breakfast buffet. The buffet was not available on my visit. There’s also a Starbucks on the lobby level of the resort. 

Each restaurant has a bar area. As mentioned previously, Salud Patio offers hand-crafted cocktails, try the Prickly Pear cocktail or mocktail. Room service is also available at this JW Marriott. Guests also receive a one-time $10 food and beverage credit for use in Signature Grill or Passaggio. If you are a light eater or traveling with children, the cheese quesadilla was priced at $10 on my visit. 

Lazy river u-shaped pool at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort


JW Marriott Starr Pass activities and rituals

What’s unique about JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa are the daily rituals offered to guests. There is a pesky daily resort fee that cover the rituals, high speed internet, daily use of the driving range (rental clubs included) and a daily golf clinic. Young children, 15 years and under, golf for free after 3:00 p.m.

Highlights of my JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort stay were my time with Navajo tribe member Larry Redhouse who shared the Matakuye Oyasin ritual. I also enjoyed floating carefree in the lazy river, my feet draped over a clear inner tub. The lazy river, complete with water slide, was popular with the kids and self explanatory. 

The morning ritual with Redhouse was, for me, more introspective. Redhouse played his Native American flute and taught me how to make and burn a white sage prayer tie. The eagle feather blessing gave me insight into some of his Navajo tribal ways. 

Navajo tribe member Larry Redhouse wears a fleece jacket with Native American tribal patterns of yellow, black, red and beige colors. A black beanie covers his head. He is kneeling on a Navajo blanket and holding an eagle feather in his right hand. A large bowl holds sage, string and small squares of cloth to make our prayer ties. Incense burns in a smaller bowl, under the eagle feather.

Rates at Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa very between $289 – $499 for standard rooms. Check or Expedia to see if you can find a better rate through them. There is an additional fee for self-parking and valet parking per night. The Tucson, Arizona resort is not pet-friendly. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 11:00 a.m.

Review and photos by Oregon Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown who was a guest of JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. As always, all opinions are her own. 

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