By Roger Cox, Editor
Located on the northern fringes of Tucson, this conference-oriented 500-acre retreat has a long history of enthusiasm for tennis, as witnessed by its exceptionally large complex of hard courts—31 altogether, 16 of them at the hotel, the remainder at the nearby country club. In 2012, the USTA presented it with an Outstanding Facility Award, following some $900,000 in improvements to the resort court complex, which also has a bleachered stadium. Because of its size and facilities, the El Conquistador has hosted numerous national and sectional tennis events. Its resort amenities are similarly expansive with 428 rooms, five restaurants, 45 holes of golf, a vast swimming pool with waterslide, a spa called Elements, a fitness center, horseback riding stables, and hiking and biking trails.
Tennis and Wine Weekends
Pro Shop: 520-544-1781
Former touring pro Jennifer Fuchs has run the programs at the El Conquistador since 1999. Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. as a junior, she went on to become a two-time All American at UCLA. She then joined the pro tour, where she played in all four Grand Slams and reached the round of 16 in doubles at the Australian Open. She is assisted by two former college players, Chip Tidd and Frank Chen.
Tennis Programs. The programming is split between the courts at the hotel and those at the country club. Private lessons and customized-group lessons can be arranged at either location, and opting for the country club also affords access to its pool, fitness center, and cafe. Several ladies take place at the country club, in part because there is daycare available there, while a men's drill & play session takes place at the resort. In addition, the resort runs a summer day camp for juniors ages 4 to 18 and a variety of junior programs during the rest of the year.
Courts & Fees. There are 31 hard courts, roughly equally divided between the resort and the nearby country club, with pro shops at each location.
There are any number of resorts with facilities similar to the Hilton El Conquistador's, though perhaps with fewer courts. For comparison's sake, check out the following, which are also in the Southwest:
Room rates vary seasonally.
Visit the website for current rates
Seasons. Tucson claims to get 350 days of sunshine a year, more, says the Convention & Visitors Bureau, than any other city in the U.S. Expect high temperatures in the mid 60s in winter, in the upper 90s in summer. The rainiest months are July, August, and September.
Travel Instructions. The Lodge is 23 miles from Tucson International Airport (TUS) and roughly 20 minutes from downtown.
General Tourist Information. For information about vacationing in Tucson, visit the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau website or contact them at 110 S. Church Ave. No. 7199, Tucson, AZ 85701. Phone: 520-624-1817; Fax: 520-770-0507.