Heather Stricker-DeBenedetti’s recent vacation with her husband, Greg DeBenedetti, was all she hoped for.
They swam. They dined out on crab legs. They read, relaxed and went to a concert.
And they did not need to hop a plane or rack up miles in the car to do it.
This was a staycation at Casino del Sol.
“My first and obvious reason for a staycation is to save money,” says Stricker-DeBenedetti’s, an actress and general manager of the Gaslight companies.
“But more than that, I would rather use the time to start my vacation right away, not to travel.”
Their go-to spot is Casino del Sol — they can play blackjack, swim, go to a concert and eat without ever leaving the property.
Rooms at Tucson resorts are freed up during the summer, and many of them try to sweeten the pot to pull in locals.
Here’s a sampling:
Casino del Sol
Summer room rates start at $89
Casino del Sol’s AVA swings with concerts during the summer, you can play the slots, and restaurants are plentiful. And get this: the Fiesta International Buffet has all-you-can-eat Surf & Turf 3-9 p.m. Sundays ($30). This is where Stricker-DeBenedetti feasted on crab legs until she could feast no more.
White Stallion Ranch
Summer rates start at $179, which includes three meals a day
If you’ve longed for the dude ranch experience, this could be for you. There’s hiking, horseback riding, a movie theater, entertainment. Plenty to do in a breathtaking desert setting.
El Conquistador Tucson
Summers of Gold room rates start at $119
This summer deal is designed to entertain the whole family. You’ll be given a treasure map when you check in and the hunt is on. It’ll guide you through the features at the resort, and completed maps win a prize. There’s more: poolside games, dive-in movies, s’mores and cookie-making with the chef.
Omni Tucson National Resort
Summer room rates start at $87.20
Here’s the deal with the resort’s “Save This Summer” package: stay longer, save more: You get 10 percent off of a one-night stay, 15 percent off of a two night stay or 20 percent off of a three-night stay. Omni has restaurants, a spa and a golf course to die for. And in the summer you get a dizzying deal: $50 for 18 holes for guests of the hotel.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Summer room rates start at $125.
This deal includes 20 percent off at all of the resort’s dining spots. Here’s what you can indulge in: two pools to swim in, a spa to relax in, tennis courts to swat around in, and a golf course to lose your ball in. Ventana backs up against the Catalinas; you can wake up early here and hit the trail for a spectacular hike.
Tubac Golf Resort
Swing & Swim package starts at $164
Tubac’s temperatures dip below Tucson’s. That’s reason enough to go. But there is also this: the Swing & Swim package includes a round of golf for one ($35 for an additional player). Here’s what else you can do there: play volleyball and mini golf, swim, dine on tempting cuisine and hang out in the spa. And you can also check out the art-filled village of Tubac.
Hacienda del Sol
Summer room rates start at $90
Hacienda del Sol’s celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and it’s marking the occasion with $90 deals on its historic rooms. That means, you can stay in the casita where Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy would hide away for that low price. There are other gorgeous rooms and casitas, too. While there, explore the grounds; the gardens are beautiful.
For those who don’t have the luxury of getting away for a few days but can spare a few hours, there’s a new daycation option.
ResortPass.com sells day passes to resorts, allowing you to take a dip in the pool and take advantage of other resort amenities. So far, there are only two Tucson resorts signed on — Omni Tucson National Resort and Loews Ventana Canyon.
The Omni has passes starting at $25 for children and $35 for adults, infants are free. That’ll get you access to two pools, poolside food and drink service, steam room, sauna and tennis courts.
Loews Ventana Canyon has day passes starting at $15 for children and $30 for adults, infants are free. That includes two pools, poolside food and drink service, complimentary afternoon treats, free suntan lotion, and free self-parking. There’s also a spa pass starting at $35 for adults, giving you access to the adults-only lap pool, the fitness center, steam room, sauna, a relaxation lounge and 15% off spa services.