The desert oasis known as The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, has 487 rooms situated among the High Sonoran foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The hotel has a renewed focus on health and wellness, which began with a $35 million renovation completed in fall 2013. In March, it opened an on-site juice bar, Westin Fresh by The Juicery, serving revitalizing juices and fresh smoothies. It also launched a running concierge program, which leads morning jogs through the surrounding desert.
Playing up its sense of place, the property recently partnered with Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum to create the outdoor Sonoran Desert Walkway, giving guests an authentic glimpse into Southwestern culture by showcasing exotic native plants like succulents and agave. Also getting in touch with nature is the resort’s lobby, with its new living wall made of ferns and moss.
The Westin La Paloma has 64,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and one of the largest ballrooms in Arizona. But it wasn’t only the amount of space that caught the attention of Dominique Stumpf, chief operating officer of the National Pest Management Association—it was the creative flexibility the property gave her for her group’s Summer Academy held there in July 2014. “They step outside the box,” says Stumpf of the hotel staff. Case in point: The group of 250 participated in a slew of on-site teambuilding activities, including a bubble soccer tournament held in the climate-controlled Grand Pavilion and go-cart races around the 250-acre property. And the hotel’s Mesa Verde area worked well for another interesting activity. “Some people hold weddings there; we held a paintball game,” Stumpf shares.
Insider Tip: Feeling under the weather? Order the off-menu ginger essence chicken noodle soup from the on-site Azul Restaurant, or take a dip in the recently converted outdoor warm mineral bath with salt imported from the Dead Sea to help you make a quick recovery.
Photo credit: The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa