Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa Tucson

The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa bordering Tucson’s Santa Catalina mountains is a great destination for golfers traveling with families as there is plenty to do for non-golfers. Outdoor swimming pools, a waterslide, swim up bar, tennis courts, walking trails and the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa insure many guilt free hours on the 27 holes. Members and guests can play any of these three award winning nine-hole courses. Course designer, Jack Nicklaus, visited Westin La Paloma in April 2008 to redo the greens and bunkers on all holes of the Canyon, Hill and Ridge courses.


  •  27 Holes on (over)three courses 5 sets of tees, generous forward tees ease the par 5’s for high handicappers
  • Five interconnected outdoor pools (with waterfalls) and 177 foot waterslide
  • Seasonal dive-in theatre
  • Two separate adult pools with Swim up bar
  • 10 championship tennis courts with 4 clay tennis courts
  • Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa services available
  • All rooms have private balconies
  • Rooms have stone and glass tiles Oversize soaking tubs and separate showers in bathrooms


  • Resort fee
  • No parking near rooms
  • Swim up bar closes at 5 p.m. in shoulder/low season
  • Waterslide sometimes closed in shoulder/low season-check first
  • Speeding golf carts on walkways

A member of Golf Digest’s “Top 10 courses in Arizona”, Westin La Paloma uses native vegetation including agave, palo verde, yucca and flowering cacti irrigated with grey (recycled) water to highlight the natural beauty of these three desert courses.

Try to play the Canyon course as it is the most dramatic of the three, with a number of elevated tee boxes and forced carries. It’s also the most beautiful and challenging of the courses. Along with a moguled fairway, the ninth hole of the Canyon course features a landing area protected by sand bunkers on the left and a long grass bunker on the right. A misplaced tee shot will find players crossing this 8-foot deep grass bunker to reach the pin. You may have an audience as you complete the hole, compliments of the suite balconies that surround the green.

The Hill course has the most generous fairways with fewer forced carries off the tee. However, it also has the greatest number of holes with forced carries from the fairways to the greens.

On many of the Ridge course holes, golfers will have to cross some desert rough from the tee, but then it’s mostly fairway all the way to the greens. This course also features some very dramatic views of the surrounding mountains and glimpses of Tucson in the distance. The Hill and the Ridge courses are equally challenging, though not as tricky as the Canyon course.

Golfers who anticipate spending a lot of time on the courses should try to get the resort fee cancelled or reduced as they may not have time to use all the amenities it covers.

Getaway: Dorset Manor Spa

“No one understands relaxation like Jim Corcoran”, says spa expert and travel writer, Carol Perehudoff.  Corcoran, the owner of the venerable Ste Anne’s Spa, has re-acquired sister property, the Dorset Manor Spa as of mid May, 2011 offering similar all-inclusive overnight packages popular at the larger Ste. Anne’s Spa fifteen minutes away in Grafton.

A visit to The Dorset Manor Spa in historic Port Hope ideally begins with a relaxing train trip. Working closely with Via Rail, Dorset Spa staff will arrange all travel including pick up and return to the Port Hope or Cobourg stations (three hours from Ottawa or just over an hour from Toronto) to avoid the stresses of driving.

Alighting from the van in front of the large Victorian mansion dating from 1874, visitors are immediately swept up by the tranquility of the property that sits on four wooded acres above Lake Ontario. The white wicker furniture on the sprawling red brick verandah adorned with white columns and surrounded by flower gardens invites relaxation. Inside, scents of eucalyptus oil and the sound of soft wind chimes permeate the air.

Continue reading Getaway: Dorset Manor Spa

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