It may not be out in the middle of the desert anymore, but the Lodge on the Desert still strives to create an oasislike experience for guests.

Located on North Alvernon Way, just north of Broadway, the 77-year-old hotel is "finally finished" with its 10-year, $15 million retooling, said owner Dan Donahoe.

"It's now exactly what I wanted it to be," he said of the non-branded boutique hotel with 103 guest rooms.

The central Tucson inn "offers the old feel of Tucson. ... I hated to see that disappearing," Donahoe said.

With its remodeled meeting space and award-winning chef, Ryan Clark, Lodge on the Desert is starting to get the attention of local businesses for meetings-over-a-meal.

It's a gratifying situation after slower-than-anticipated remodeling, the economic downturn and a 2010 fire that ruined the hotel's kitchen, Donahoe said.

"My friends say I'm the most patient man in the world."

Did you know?

Lodge on the Desert opened on an unpaved road at 306 N. Alvernon Way in 1936 with seven rooms. New rooms and a two-story unit were added in the 1970s. Room rates range from $129 to $399 per night, depending on the season and occupancy rate.