by Sara Wellensiek
Families looking for a stay in the beauty of the Southwest desert will find it at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort. Nestled at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains with stunning views of Pusch Ridge, the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort is big on mountain views! And with a big renovation project completed in 2016, the resort is better than ever. The renovations included the pool areas, lobby lounge patio area, and front drive, along with all guestrooms and casitas.
At the Hilton El Conquistador, families have quite a few different options for fun and leisure. With a large pool area that’s great for all ages, bicycle rentals, tennis, golf, a luxurious spa, a hiking trail connected to the property, horseback riding nearby, beautiful desert mountain views, and multiple restaurants on property, there really is something for everyone here.
Kids will absolutely love the desert springs oasis pool area, complete with a 143-foot “Sliderock” waterslide. There’s even a small kiddie pool/splash pad area for the resort’s littlest guests! During the summertime, you can really “conquer summer” (the name of the resort’s summer program), with all kinds of activities by the pool, including games, dive-in movies, and evening S’mores!
With all the activities and restaurants on property, this is a resort that you wouldn’t need to leave to have a great time. However, for guests wanting to explore Tucson, there are a number of local activities within a 5- to 30-minute drive of the property.
Our Editor Loves
- Beautiful desert views
- Desert Springs Oasis pool area
- Hiking trail connected to property
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Guests at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort can choose from standard guestrooms (with a variety of room types/views available), a variety of suites, and even casitas. The different views offered include city, mountain, Desert Springs Oasis pool area, and desert. Every room on property comes with a mini-fridge, coffeemaker, hairdryer, large HDTV's, guest bathrobes, and Wi-Fi.
Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request; rollaways are $20 per night. Connecting rooms are also available.
All standard rooms are 420 square feet and come with either two queen beds or one king bed.
Families looking for more space may want to opt for a Junior Suite or even a specialty suite. At 620 square feet, a Junior Suite will give you an extra 200 square feet of space. The main space difference comes in the designated sitting/living area. Suites also offer a private balcony/patio area.
Families looking for even more space, and a more private or more luxurious experience can check out one of the casita suites available. All casitas are located just off the main resort area (for a quieter experience), along with their own pool area. All casitas have a private bedroom, separate living and dining area (with fireplace), and a private patio. Guests can choose from one, two, or three-bedroom suite options.
Come for the climate, views, food, service, and amenities! You will not be disappointed with any of them! The weather was perfect, the views were breathtaking, the food was deliciously prepared, the service was impeccable, and the amenities were beautifully inviting! We will DEFINITELY be back!
by kelly b
I had a wonderful stay at this resort while attending a conference. The resort itself is lovely, situated in the amazing presence of majestic mountains. The element of my stay that really made it outstanding, however, was the unparalleled service that I received at the resort's poolside bar. Kelson, the poolside bartender, went out of his way to make me (and virtually everyone else at the conference who visited the poolside bar!) feel welcome and at home. He took time to get to know me, was always quick to share a smile and a brief conversation, and showed care and attention that are rare in other places that I have visited. I look forward to coming back!
There are multiple pool areas at the Hilton El Conquistador, which is especially perfect during the hot summer months. Adults looking for a bit quieter spot can enjoy the Acacia pool -- a separate adults-only area.
However, it's the main pool area -- also know as the Desert Springs Oasis -- that is popular among families. In this area, there are three pools for all ages to enjoy. There's the large main pool with lots of deck space and the Desert Springs Bar & Grill. Then there's the waterslide pool area where kids over 42 inches tall will love going for a ride down the 143-foot "Sliderock" waterslide. Finally, the resort's littlest guests will enjoy splashing around the Shallow Springs area. It's a combination splash pad/kiddie pool with a water feature in the center. The whole pool is shaped like a fish and with depths ranging from just a couple inches to up to under approximately 2 feet, it's fabulous for babies, tots, and young kids!
During the summer and some special holiday weekends, this area is often very popular with loads of activities, music, games, and more. Family-friendly dive-in movies are shown here on summer evenings, along with fireside S'mores roasting. There's also a hot tub here, perfect for cooler evenings.
For tennis families, this is a great choice! In fact, the Hilton El Conquistador is recognized as one of the top tennis resorts in the country! There are 31 lighted courts on property that are opened year-round. Various programs and tournaments are played here for a variety of ages.
Families with gold enthusiasts will love a stay at the El Conquistador -- Tucson's largest golf resort. There are three different courses located here with 45 holes to play! The courses all have a beautiful desert backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Tucson is a very bike-friendly city. In fact, in the the town of Oro Valley around the resort, there are over 30 miles of bike paths! As part of the resort fee, guests get two hours of bicycle rental time.
Native American Flute Ritual
Tucson is rich with Native American history and culture, and guests at the resort can experience a little bit of this with a live flute performance, Tuesday to Sunday, 6 to 6:30 p.m.
This cafÃ© is the breakfast and lunch spot at the resort, open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It has a resort casual atmosphere and serves up traditional American fare, along with some dishes with a Southwestern flare. For breakfast, a variety of ala carte items and individual meals are available, in addition to a full buffet breakfast bar. For lunch, you'll find items like salads, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and pizza on the the menu.
A children's menu is available and the breakfast buffet option is discounted for kids 6 to 12 years old (and free for children 5 and under with a paying adult).
For dinner, families can enjoy a fine dining experience at Epazote Kitchen -- children are welcome. Given that it's named after a traditional Southwestern herb, expect to see a large number of Southwestern-inspired dishes on the menu. You'll find items like tortilla soup, chipotle hummus, fish tacos, big bison burgers, chile lime shrimp salad, and green chili macaroni on the menu. There is a children's menu available featuring common items like spaghetti, quesadillas, grilled cheese, and chicken fingers.
Guests can enjoy Social Hour on the patio every Sunday to Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. with food and drink specials. Dinner is served here nightly from 5 to 10.
Desert Springs Bar & Grill
Families spending time by the pool can enjoy a tasty bite to eat right there. You'll find some delicious appetizers like chips and salsa, fresh fruit, guacamole, and nachos. Other main dish items like quesadillas, wraps, and burgers are available, as well. A kids' hotdog or hamburger is an option, too. Plus, there are a variety of delicious cold beverages available!
The hours of this poolside stop vary seasonally and by weather.
Conquistador Lobby Lounge
For parents needing a morning Starbucks stop, you'll find it here at the Lobby Lounge. It's also great for families needing some quick on-the-go food. In addition to a variety of Starbucks drinks, you'll find an assortment of breakfast items like fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, bagels, pastries, oatmeal and more.
In the evenings, this area becomes more of a bar/lounge area serving up a variety of cocktails.
The Conquistador Lobby Lounge is open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
There is an additional resort fee charge added to the to the daily rate of the room. This fee covers Wi-Fi, two bottles of water on arrival, one-hour putting and driving range time, one-hour tennis court time, two-hour bike rentals, shuttle to daily fitness classes, 15 percent off a massage at Elements Spa, local calls and self parking. (Valet parking is available for $11 per day).
Concierge service is available to help with local activities, arranging transportation, and more.
There is a complimentary 24-hour fitness room available to resort guests. Additionally, guests may participate in fitness classes from the Elements Spa Wellness Center. These classes include options like yoga, yogalates, and fitness walks. There are many other activities on property for fit families to enjoy, such as basketball, tennis, golf, swimming, hiking, and bicycle rentals.
This spa and salon offers a variety of services including massage therapy, facials, body treatments, and manicures/pedicures. Use of the spa sauna is complimentary with all services. Spa Appointments are available from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
The Hilton El Conquistador is a pet-friendly hotel. There is a non-refundable cleaning deposit of $50 required and the maximum size is 75 pounds.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 11 a.m. Contact the front desk to see about requesting and early check-in or late check-out.
The Art of Smart Timing
Tourists and snow birds tend to flock to the desert Southwest during the late fall through early spring months. Tucson is no exception and is thus high-season at the resort. Late October through mid-April are by far the nicest weather months to visit Tucson. This is when you'll find cool to mild desert temperatures, instead of scorching desert heat. These months are typically when you'll find a majority of the golf and tennis tournaments in town. For these reasons, those six months are when you'll pay a premium rate at the resort.
For families looking for a deal and a fun summer escape, Memorial Day through Labor Day is a great time to go. This is when the resort features its family-fun "Conquer Summer" program. While the temperature is indeed much hotter (often in the triple digits), you'll find the resort offers greatly discounted rates and has a number of fun, family-friendly summer activities (usually around the pool area).
Whether you're coming by plane or by car, getting to Tucson is easy. Tucson International Airport is serviced by most of the commercial major airlines. Depending on prices though, some traveling to Tucson prefer to fly into the larger Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and rent a car to drive down to Tucson. Travel time from Phoenix to the resort is approximately 1.5 hours. Traveling between Tucson and Phoenix is very easy, with Tucson being located just off Interstate 10.
For those flying into Tucson, you'll pick up your rental car and head northwest from the airport toward the Catalina Mountains. The drive time is approximately 45 minutes. That time is in-town driving, so you'll pass a number of restaurants and stores.
Having a car in the Tucson area is a must as there is no good public transportation. If you're not arriving by car, you'll need to plan on securing a rental. The hotel is approximately 45 minutes away from the airport and 15-20 minutes off the interstate. The resort fee includes self parking (a valet parking option is available for an extra fee).
When venturing off property to most of the popular tourist attractions nearby, the car is necessary. However, those wishing to explore near the resort can utilize the resort's bike rental (a two-hour rental is included in the resort fee) or the various walking and hiking trails nearby.
For Mom and Dad
If you have a babysitter and are able to have an evening alone, plan a romantic evening right on the property. Start by booking a treatment or massages at the Elements Spa, then enjoy drinks in the lobby lounge or at the social hour and then dinner at Epazote Kitchen.
If you're looking to head off-property, consider heading to Vivace Restaurant -- one of the top-rated restaurants in all of Tucson. Many regard it as the best Italian food in town!