November 7, 2022 | By Collette Peck
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa is located only about 5 miles west of Tucson, AZ. It is well-appointed and located in the Tucson mountains, surrounded by Saguaro-covered hills.
The property features a 27-hole golf course and a large Hashani spa. Other experiences include rental bikes, nature hikes with a naturalist, and Native American Shamen morning ceremonies. There is a large multi-level pool with cabanas for rent, a splash pad for the little ones, and a lazy river with a slide.
On Friday and Saturday nights, they had live entertainment in the courtyard. We ate at the Signature Grill, and it was excellent. Even the poolside dining was good. We also enjoyed a couples massage in the spa. The golf courses are just opening up with winter grass, so we only played nine holes and saw lots of wildlife which you see everywhere here in the Sonoran Desert. Even though you can see the city, you really feel far apart. One downside was that this was in the flight path of Tucson airport. So, you’ll hear a few planes during the day.
Many Tucsonians use this as a celebration location due to its proximity to the city. TWO weddings were going on Saturday night when we were there. There are some areas throughout that need some updating – carpet, vanities, etc. but otherwise, a solid 4+ star rating. The decor and location of this property give you a sense of ‘where’ you are; people here are proud of the Sonoran Desert; it is unique and has a lot to offer as an experience.
A little bit of history about the property is Starr Pass Boulevard seems to have one “r” too many, but that’s because it’s named after a historical figure rather than a newspaper. The Starr name, the moniker of two resorts and what would be 22nd Street west of Interstate 10, came along in the early 1990s as a tribute to 19th-century stagecoach driver Richard Starr, who pioneered a stagecoach trail through the Tucson Mountains.
Developer Chris Ansley, who owns the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa and Starr Pass Country Club & Spa, persuaded the city in 1992 to rename the street.
Built-in 1884, Starr’s trail was a fast-track route from Tucson to Quijotoa, a mining boomtown 70 miles to the southwest. Starr also ran a telegraph line between Quijotoa and Tucson, but the mine went bust, and a fire destroyed the town in 1889. Today almost nothing remains.