Sam Ellefson

Resting on the outskirts of Tucson and nestled among towering saguaros is The JTH Tucson, fondly nicknamed “Posada.” The family-owned inn, which has been wholly refurbished but retains its original Sonoran Desert-inspired features, boasts six suites and 5,000 square feet of communal space on 40 acres of desert land.

The story of Posada began when the owners, Rich and Sara Combs, embarked on a road trip across the American Southwest a decade ago. After stopping in and falling in love with Joshua Tree, California — the inspiration for The Joshua Tree House, the couple’s suite of properties — the pair made their way to Tucson. Later, in 2018, the Combses found the abandoned inn, which had been built in the late 1970s by Merv Larson, a former director of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Before Posada became a fully fledged Sonoran retreat, the Combses penned a book, At Home in Joshua Tree, that laid out some of the design and lifestyle choices they planned to include in the inn. “When embarking on the Tucson project, they wanted to bring as much of the original architecture and materials back to life as they could,” says Courtney Buckland, the manager at Posada. “And working with them now, almost five years after opening, I can say that goal is still very much an active, ongoing process.” 

An abundance of natural materials and a commitment to preserving Larson’s original design choices, such as the rooms’ adobe fireplaces and saguaro rib ceilings, make Posada a unique vacation destination amid an unbridled desert landscape.

“We’re all about unplanned days here so we can take in what’s around us — maybe it’s an incredible sunset, looking at the stars or an owl sitting above us in a palm tree,” Buckland says. “To enhance the experience of slowing down, we also have private chefs who can be booked, as well as options for a sound bath, tarot reading, massage, yoga or a portrait session.”

Beyond basking in the swath of desert by exploring the various trails surrounding the inn, guests can enjoy a hot-springs-inspired hot tub, a pool made of concrete molded from Ventana Canyon rock, a chef’s kitchen and a sunken living room fitted with a bar and projector for a cozy movie night.

When it comes to guest quarters, the newest of the six suites is the Creosote Suite. Previously an old garage, the suite includes a stunning rain shower, a king-size bed, a large private patio and a full kitchen. “It’s just really incredible to see how seamless the final design and build of that room is with all of the other spaces in the inn,” Buckland says. “It’s sort of like [the owners’] own bit of new within the setting of the already-established old.”

Business Information

The JTH Tucson
12051 W. Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, AZ
United States