By Roger Cox, Editor
For the 487-room Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, the Santa Catalina Mountains are not so much backyard as backdrop. The view from its terraced lobby looks north across a free-form swimming pool at a line of rugged desert peaks in the near distance. The rooms have been spread out through some two dozen stucco buildings painted a rosy hue. Itâ€™s thoroughly civilized though lucky guests occasionally come across bobcats playfully batting old tennis balls around the court as if they were house cats.
What sets the Westin apart, at least for tennis players, are its four clay courts, part of a battery of 10 altogether (the others are a cushioned hard surface caled TruBounce), under the direction of Eric Styrmoe, a former All-American at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with international tennis experience. These wrap around an Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, a multi-room fitness center, a childrenâ€™s playroom and a deli cafÃ©, all of this just steps from the swimming pools and a waterslide and handsomely landscaped with desert foliage.
Pro Shop: 520-577-5888 or 800-722-2500, ext. 489
Spa & Fitness
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Seasons. Although the resort is open year-round, the best period for tennis runs from late September into May.
Travel Instructions. 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.
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.