This Memorial Day Weekend, I was fortunate to receive a sponsored staycation at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort! Alex and I enjoyed our time to fully relax, which mainly included eating incredible food at this luxury resort ahaha.
I figured I would start with the priorities: food. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort provides various eateries on-site where you won’t want to leave! These range anywhere from a $3 street taco to a $150 dinner for two. What’s most notable about the culinary options is how the resort incorporates the Flavor by Loews campaign nationally to showcase a destination’s best local artisans in the food and beverage industry. To highlight the flavor of Tucson, Loews Ventana Canyon includes the following: Barrio Bread, Dragoon Brewing Co. and Tucson Tamale.
Anyone who knows me knows of my giant sweet tooth. Well upon arriving, we received an adorable welcome treat of macarons built into the shape of a prickly-pear cactus! The macaron cactus was crafted by Executive Pastry Chef Krista Owens and her team. We also a bottle of their watermelon, prickly pear water. It was the sweetest welcome!
After a morning hike at the resort, I wanted a snack since our brunch reservation wasn’t until three hours later. I swung by Vista Barista and had a delicious almond croissant. The almond paste wasn’t too sweet, as most are, and the croissant I was suppose to share ended up not seeing Alex that morning hahaha.
Flying V Bar & Grill
Twice for dinner, we decided on the Flying V Bar & Grill. The Flying V is highly recommended and involved in local Tucson events like the annual food and wine festival, SAVOR at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Executive Chef and Food Network’s Chopped champion, Ken Harvey, crafted a fantastic menu and looks to localize much of the ingredients to create an authentic Tucsonan experience.
Before we could decide what cocktail to order, we were greeted with warm, green chile and cheese cornbread paired fantastically with an agave honey chile butter. The sweetness and spice complemented each other well. The server also brought out sesame lavosh which was well flavored but the umami of green chile bread combo was too much for me to take my attention to anything else in that moment. Seriously so good!!
For drinks I usually go for a bold red wine, or a Belvedere extra-dirty martini, but since the Flying V has over 70 tequilas I figured a margarita would be the better choice. I picked the refreshing cucumber margarita since I planned to have fish for dinner.
I read a few news stories that considered the table-side guacamole to be quite the experience since the guacamoliere customizes the flavor to your personal tastes. This experience is a must and I enjoyed tasting and adjusting the guacamole as needed. Note the photo below is Alex’s hand and not my own ha.
For dinner, I had Ahi Tuna on a spread of horseradish pomme purée garnished with seaweed and a tangy citrus salsa. I particularly loved how flavorful the ahi tuna’s blackening spice was! Alex ordered their juicy California Prime NY Strip Steak coated with mop sauce and topped with watercress pesto (we agreed the pesto was incredible!) with the sides of a twice-baked potato and local oven-roasted vegetables. Alex and I both agreed we cannot wait to come back to dinner here.
Blues, Brews and BBQ
From all over Tucson, I heard such a large hype about the renown brunch at Loews in their Canyon Café and I finally tried it! Since the brunch is buffet style, you want to be strategic in what you eat to make sure you’re picking what you personally will truly enjoy– whatever that may be. I also made sure I wore a dress I could eat to my heart’s content ahaha. Get my brunch outfit details here.
The stations are broken down into four categories: traditional breakfast, BBQ, seafood and dessert. I took a look around at everything and knew I unfortunately would not be able to comfortably eat everything in sight especially with the bottomless mimosas, so I passed up on the traditional breakfast and focused on the other three stations. If you do love a good ol’ traditional breakfast then be sure to check out their omelette station or grab the lox.
The outdoor grill features a colorful array of grilled fruits and veggies which immediately caught my eye. Conveniently next to it was prime rib and baby-back ribs. The prime rib is quite tasty and if you love ribs with sauce then you will love these! I was also happy to see delicious BBQ sides like the green chile and cheese cornbread, bacon beans and macaroni cheese. My favorite from this station would be the grilled veggies and fruits!
The seafood selection was impressive. I immediately fell in love with the Kumamoto oysters and grabbed about five. Also tasty was the ceviche. For those who want something more simple, you will find happiness with the shrimp cocktail.
As I was going through and deciding what I wanted from the two large tables of dessert, I overheard a father tell his daughter to only pick three items. That seemed like a good rule to follow to prevent overeating. After careful evaluation, I picked: banana mousse, berry bread pudding and baked s’mores. I also snuck a bite from Alex’s crème brûlée. The best choice? The bread pudding! It was rich and melted in the mouth. I asked the server for a small dish of ice cream to go with the pudding and it made me realize I could eat this dessert every day!
Our last meal of our staycation was at the Canyon Café: Carnitas Benedict and Huevos Rancheros. This was definitely one of my favorite meals from our trip!
While both breakfast choices were tasty, I am a huge advocate of the carnitas benedict! The Green chile and cheese biscuit was flaky and light to prevent a dense dish. The savory carnitas were cooked to perfection and I fell the cotija cheese was a great pairing.
Alex is obsessed with Huevos Rancheros and loves to try them anytime we go somewhere new. He loved the rancheros sauce and also enjoyed how much the dish itself varied from the traditional recipe.
What To Do
What I loved about Loews is there’s so much to do!! Our room offered a beautiful view of the large Koi Pond and Catalina Mountains. We relaxed and enjoyed the view from outside. Below are some things to check out while you’re staying at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.
This pond has some of the largest koi I have seen and it brought back Japanese honeymoon nostalgia while we admired the fish. To prevent guests from feeding the koi something harmful, the resort provides fish food guests can access to feed the koi.
On a crisp morning, I woke up to catch the sunrise against the Catalina Mountains and decided to do some work for Kendra Scott while Alex slept in. The air was crisp and started at 50 degrees Fahrenheit surprisingly enough! The previous evening I ran into my friend Rachel so we decided to do a hike together. We strolled through the path around the resort that led to a natural waterfall on the resort. It was brief, however, I didn’t mind because I had done a large leg day workout and 7mi hike the previous hike.
With all the food we indulged in, Alex and I walked our full bellies off by exploring the resort. We learned there was a observation tower and checked it out. The top of the tower opened up to a beautiful view of Tucson and Loews Ventana Canyon’s golf course.
Mt. Lemmon Stargazing Center
Southern Arizona is a well-recognized astronomy hub, and Tucson in particular enforces the Tucson and Pima County Outdoor Light Ordinance throughout the city to prevent blue light pollution. This enables beautiful stargazing in the desert. During our stay, Alex and I spotted Jupiter, Vega, Arcturus and many more beautiful celestial objects. We located the stars with the help of one of the specialists, a retired University of Arizona professor, from the Mt. Lemmon Stargazing Center. The specialist was absolutely engaging and he captivated the interest of everyone.
Loews offers two pools, with the main one being the center of the resort with the Catalina Mountains as the backdrop. Bill’s Grill is the a food option where food attendants will ask you what you would like to eat and drink. It’s full relaxation as you have the Sonoran sun beaming on you!
Target Xhilaration Swimsuit (same, runs small) | Kendra Scott Julie Bracelets (same), Elisa Necklace (same), Olive Necklace (same), Kristin Earrings (same) | Ted Baker Sunglasses (similar) | Michael Kors Chunky Sandals (similar) | Straw Tote from Cancún (similar) | Maison Margiela – Replica Beach Walk Fragrance (same) | Sephora Lip Stain (same)
Thank you to Loews Ventana Canyon for this fantastic stay that left us with full bellies! Alex and I can’t wait to comeback.