While on vacation we stayed two nights in a one-bedrooom king suite at the Radisson Suites Tucson in February during the Tucson Gem Show. We booked through hotels.com. Total cost per night, including a breakfast package and taxes, came to about $215 per night. This was advertised as a “Gem Show rate.” (I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.)
Small private balcony on upper floors
Well-designed, comfortable bathroom
Room design, décor and amenities are not of consistent quality
There are maintenance issues on the property, e.g. the elevator, refrigerator
Actual hotel rates do not correspond to hotels.com package deal rates.
Maid service not ideal
Notes on the location: The hotel is situated on the west side of Tucson. If you’re planning to spend time downtown or at the University of Arizona and commute to and from your lodging, this is not a convenient choice. We underestimated travel time in Tucson, and the street on which this hotel is located does not live up to its historic name. Traffic on Speedway Blvd. often moves with the velocity of molasses, and it can be a long drive to and from this location to other parts of the city. From Interstate 10 or downtown westbound on Speedway, one passes through alternating patches of standard to upscale retail and restaurant zones, as well as through seedier areas with thrift stores and pawn shops. The area around the hotel itself is a mix of small retail shops, professional offices, hotels and multiple-family housing units. There is a Trader Joe’s supermarket nearby, on the southeast corner of Wilmot Road and Speedway, where you can find good fresh deli items, wine and beer, and groceries. Restaurants in the vicinity are mostly small, nondescript places located in or adjacent to strip malls. The hotel restaurant is likely your best choice if you are not inclined to drive to another part of town for dinner.
Notes on the suite: Our suite was set back from the street, and we were pleased that it was quiet, with only minimal noise transference between rooms. (We were able to hear the telephone ringing next door, but fortunately, our neighbors did not get a lot of calls.) With around 460 sq. ft. altogether, the suite is not huge. Parts of it have a low ceiling, giving the space a somewhat cramped feeling. However, the sliding glass doors to the little balcony outside did help to create more openness. The entry from the outside leads to a combination living area and office space. A cabinet adjacent to the exterior door contains the microwave, a half-sized refrigerator, and a double-cup coffee brewer. Glassware and ceramic coffee mugs are provided. The refrigerator turned out in reality to be a freezer. The temperature control dial had been removed, preventing us from adjusting the setting, and the temperature was set so low that everything inside froze. We had to throw out a deli salad that froze and spoiled, and we had the coldest beer in town. There is a comfortable desk chair at the work table. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the room, and at check-in the staff will affix a sticker to the room key envelope that indicates the user name and password you will need in order to log on. The Wi-Fi signal was consistently strong.
Some aspects of the suite give it the feel of a cheap apartment: the interior doors are made of plastic with a fake wood grain effect. By contrast, the front entrance is a heavy and unattractive metal security door. The courtyard side of our room contained a window made of glass bricks, and the trim around the opaque glass had been sloppily painted (again the cheap apartment look). Paint had also been spilled on the balcony. The unit was clean, however, and the carpet was in good condition.
The living area has a pull-out sofa, upholstered chair, floor lamp, end table and television and is decorated in tasteful earth tones. The balcony beyond the living area is narrow but adequate. It has two chairs and a small table. The balcony had not been swept in a while, and the plastic furniture was dusty. It is nice that the balconies are separated for privacy and are not visible to one another. The privacy walls on the balcony are set in at an angle. This results in an irregular interior space in the bedroom of the suite and provides an interesting relief to the floor plan.
The bedroom was decorated in an attractive modern style and included a second television set. The king size bed is a sleep comfort model with an electrical control. I had never experienced one of these contraptions before. A cable-connected control device allows you to adjust either or both sides of the bed to various firmness settings. A loud electric motor under the bed pumps the mattress up on command, giving one the impression that a vacuum cleaner is running underneath the bed. It was OK, but I’m not rushing out to buy a sleep comfort bed, and I wouldn’t pick a hotel based on the presence of one. If nothing else, it was fun to ride up and down on the thing for a while, before my partner made me cut it out, and I dozed off at Sleep Setting 30. The pillows were plentiful and comfortable, and the bed linens were of good quality.
Radisson seems to have invested much of its design effort and floor space in the bathroom. There are two separate sinks and counters, each in a separate room, one of which has a walk-in closet with full-length mirrors. The sink here is handy for fetching water for the coffeemaker in the adjacent vestibule area. The other room in the bathroom suite contains both a bath tub and a separate stone-tiled shower cabinet, which we found to be a nice feature. Hot water was prompt and plentiful. The towels were only of moderate quality, but I’ve seen worse. At the far end of these rooms the toilet is situated behind a privacy partition, and a separate sconce light fixture connected to a ventilator fan is located back there. This is a thoughtful design that prevents one from having to listen to the roar of a fan every time the bathroom light is switched on. Less thoughtful, though, is the design of the connecting door between the bathroom and the bedroom. It’s frustrating that the bathroom door is completely blocked any time the door from the living room is open, because the bedroom door swings back over this same door space.
Notes on the hotel and grounds: The hotel is on the south side of the street, and fortunately, there is a break in the median that allows one to turn left into the hotel driveway off of westbound Speedway. (This is not always the case on Tucson thoroughfares, and U-turns are often an accepted necessity.) This is a five-story, horseshoe-shaped hotel. The doors to the rooms open to the outdoors, off of an interior courtyard, where there is an outdoor pool and hot tub. In contrast to the desert surroundings, the courtyard is lush with shady vegetation, including exotic trees such as bamboo. We visited Tucson during a cold snap, so the weather did not permit us to try the pool. The balconies open to the outer sides of the hotel, looking out to the street or to the parking lots. This feature is available on the 2nd floor and higher. It did not appear that the ground floor rooms had equivalent patios. We lucked out and had a mountain view from our room, looking toward the southwest. If possible, try to get a room farther back in the hotel, away from Speedway, because it appeared to me that balconies on the Speedway side are subject to tire whine from the busy street.
The hotel restaurant is pleasant and includes a full bar and a separate Wi-Fi internet café. We only had breakfast there, so I cannot attest to the quality of the restaurant’s menu. The breakfast buffet was good, with a variety of hot dishes as well as fresh fruits and cereal.
The fitness room on the ground floor has a variety of exercise machines, including three treadmills and three loper machines. There are also two weight benches with a set of freeweights. The business center just off the main lobby has several computers and two printers, and I had no problem at all logging on and printing out our boarding passes.
However, not everything at the hotel works well. The elevator was out of order when we arrived, so we trundled up three flights of stairs with our luggage. It took more than a day to fix it, and at no time was an “out of order” sign posted. As a result, we often noticed clusters of guests waiting in vain for an elevator that was not moving. Be aware if booking through hotels.com that the rates on that site do not correspond to those at the Radisson. In order to include breakfast in the cost, as was advertised on hotels.com, the staff instructed us to charge breakfast to the room, after which they would delete the cost from the bill. However, upon departure from the hotel I was presented with a bill for slightly less than $2 and told that we had exceeded our “allowable breakfast charges.” I fished some cash out of my pocket and bit my tongue, but the nickel-and-dime check-out fee diminished my interest in returning to this hotel.
Notes on service: The staff members we encountered during check-in were very friendly and helpful. Check-out was less pleasant, as I noted above. Maid service was not outstanding. When we checked in we found the closet doors standing open in the bathroom. Clean wash cloths had been scattered on the floor and left there (better than dirty ones I suppose). The maid also declined to empty our coffee grounds from the coffeemaker each morning, preferring that we take care of that ourselves.
In summary, Radisson Suites Tucson has a number of attractive features but is not consistent in its quality or service. This is not a bad place to stay, depending on the price you’re quoted and the location you need. I would consider staying here again, but next time I’m in Tucson, I’ll look for something else first.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, HotelQuickly, getaroom.com, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your Radisson Suites Tucson reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Radisson Suites Tucson Hotel Tucson
- Radisson Hotel Tucson
- Radisson Tucson
- Tucson Radisson
- Radisson Suites Tucson Arizona