Hotel Reviews

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

A Great Family Hotel

Escape @ JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona is a beautiful resort perfect for the family getaway. It boasts 4 restaurants, coffeehouse, a resort-style pool, splash pad, lazy river, spa, and golf course, this resort has everything your family would need in a hotel. Continue reading to learn more about our stay at this amazing resort.

In October 2013, we took a family vacation to Tucson, Arizona. The destination was selected based on two factors, we wanted to drive, and we wanted to stay at a JW Marriott property. The year before, we had stayed at JW Marriot in San Antonio and really loved the amenities of the resort, so we were anxious to stay at another resort in the JW Marriott family. Per some research, we found Star Pass JW Marriott resort in Tucson, Arizona and it was the perfect fit.

Denver to Santa Fe (Leg 1)

The drive from Denver to Tucson is nearly 900 miles or an estimated 13-hour drive. We split the trip into two days – day 1 we stopped in Santa Fe, NM. This leg was approximately 5 ½ hours. It was an easy drive; just straight south on I-25. We took several stops along the way. Our daughter was just shy of 3 years old at the time and needed lots of potty breaks and places to stretch her legs.

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Santa Fe, NM

I fell in love with the Spanish architecture and the strong Mexican influence of Santa Fe. The touristy shops are filled with art and jewelry…and of course, some tacky tourist items that I simply loved! Walking around Santa Fe’s plaza was an amazing experience. I felt relaxed in Santa Fe and look forward to taking another trip.

We had dinner at La Fonda restaurant and experienced table-side guacamole for the first time ever. I have ALWAYS loved guacamole, but my husband had previously refused to try it. However, he gave our table-side guacamole a taste and loved it. Truly. I had to fight him for dips into the bowl.

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Tip: If you haven’t been to Santa Fe, NM and you love great food and culture, you should consider a long weekend trip to this city with maybe a side trip over to Taos, NM. I highly recommend going during early October. The weather is beautiful, and the rates are low!

Santa Fe to Tucson (Leg 2)

The next day, we woke up early and drove down to Tucson, AZ. This leg was a little longer and most of the time we felt like we were the only ones on the interstate. Wide open roads for miles and miles and miles.

JW Marriott Star Pass Overview

This hotel is serene and beautiful. We arrived mid-week and the resort was quiet. The weather was in the low 80’s and it was perfect for some pool time!

Tip: This hotel is a popular conference destination, which means during the week, the pool isn’t busy. Also, locals use this hotel for an excellent “staycation.” If you want to avoid a busy pool, then be sure to stay at this resort during a weekday!

The Pool

The hotel has a medium sized pool, a splash pad, and a lazy river. I found the water in the lazy river to be too cold for me, so we stayed on the pool side. We spent most of our days on this trip just playing in the pool!

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Hotel Grounds

If we weren’t in the pool, then we were walking around the large resort and surrounding area. The Star Pass area is beautiful, and we wished we had booked one of the hotel guided hikes, so we could trek a little further into the desert.

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In the evenings, we loved watching the javelinas (kind-of like a pig, but actually part of the peccary family) munch on the lush vegetation that surrounded the hotel. I’m sure the hotel found them to be a pain, but we found them rather interesting to watch.

Local Activities in Tucson

There are lots of local activities around Tucson, AZ and this website contains a great listing for you to consider during your trip to Tucson. Out of the list, we only made it to one of the destinations, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I regret that we didn’t make time to visit Saguaro National Park, I love the desert scenery and national parks! Check out this post from Two World Treasures – Visiting Saguaro National Park in June to see why I wished I have visited!!

Overall, this was a great road trip, but little did we know, this road trip came at a cost…. Read more about this on our blog post titled, Our Blood Clot Story – Nobody is Immune.

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Advertising Disclosure: As with all content on Travel + Family, this review was based on my own opinion. This post may or may not contain affiliate links, which if you click on, will give me a small commission at no cost or risk to you.

Tags : Arizonatravel


  1. This looks amazing! I think the JW Marriotts and Ritz Carltons do a great job at being family-friendly. And I’m so jealous you’ve been to Santa Fe!

  2. We also love the JW brand as we are loyal Marriott Rewards members! We’re really interested in visiting this area of the country and would absolutely consider this as a place to stay! Great info!!

  3. I had no idea Denver was so far from Arizona! LOL! I love a hotel with a good pool. We usualy stay at Marriotts, but I dont think we have been to a JW. All my friends went to Arizona last week, but I stayed back because we had a family party 🙁 I do want to get out there!

    1. You would love a stay at a JW Marriott! It is luxury, with the Marriott quality. Plus, they always cater to traveling families.

  4. I love a good road trip and this one sounds like it was a great one! Our longest drive was to Florida, but that trek in I-95 was nowhere scenic as yours was to the desert resort! Miles of open road sounds wonderful It sounds like a wonderful place to stay and a great location for a family vacation. Your daughter is so cute!! I’m sure she had a blast playing in the pool every day.

    1. She LOVED the pool and especially the splash park. We were also amazed at how much she just enjoyed riding around with us to see all the sights!

  5. What a fun trip! Arizona is a state we hope to incorporate into an trip out west soon. JW Marriott properties are always top notch and looks like it was a great trip!

  6. When I read 2 days drive, I was like, wait what?!! I thought it’s 2 straight days. LOL. If I will be in Mariott Tucson on summer, I will maximize my time in pool then walk at the desert during sunset, I hope it’s not far. You and your daughter have a matching nail colors, cute!

  7. I love the JW brand. Their city hotels offer nice luxury, but the resort-style properties are the best. The one in Tuscon looks like a great option to relax at the hotel and be close enough to some fun activities in the area.

  8. The pool sounds amazing with the splash pad (my little one LOVES Splash pads). I love road trips like this and it sound like a you had a lot of fun! 🙂

    1. I personally love splash pads too! I feel like I can blink while she is playing in the splash pad vs. the pool when I have to be on-guard every second.

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