Your Home Away from Home becomes Our Home – Transitions at El Rancho Merlita

Carved pink rhyolite stone fireplace provides warmth beneath wood beams in livingroom on winter evenings
Merle Norman engraving in large pink flagstone above wrought iron front screen door
Palm trees sway against blue skies at the entry gates of unique reverse image scollwork





Thirteen years ago Diana Osborne fell in love with El Rancho Merlita, the former vacation home retreat of cosmetics pioneer Merle Norman.  Upon entering this site and the homes there, most are struck with a sense of something special.  Perhaps it is the wide open view of a stunning swath of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the double wide brick construction with touches of artistry everywhere, the original 1950s salt water swimming lagoon, or the quiet desert sounds connected with the dry stream bed along the west side of the property.  Whatever it is for each of us, El Rancho Merlita holds a time out of time.

North veranda with twinkling lights seen through trees below pink and purple sunset

Diana poured love and hard work into this property to accentuate and share the beauty of it with all.  The main ranch house became Diana’s architecture office, the Tucson Museum of Art Designer Show House in 2009, and a bed and breakfast par excellence for the last 7 years.Local stone blends with tan dirt to create a traditional man-in-the-maze labyrinth

In the New Year many ask, “what do we really want in this next chapter of 2017?”  Diana Osborne realized she would like to live at the Ranch House!  She has always felt a sense of home and peace there, and she and her family can be closer to their beloved mountains, the Santa Catalinas.  After much careful consideration with our Bed and Breakfast team, we have decided to transition the Ranch House Inn out of lodging and into the Osborne’s personal residence!  Red chairs around the firepit are seen beyond the amenities signpost in the desert gardensPink penstemon bloom vigorously among native plants in the lush desert gardens

Although The Ranch House Inn will close it doors at the end of April, the good news for all you B&B lovers is that the Arroyo House Inn will continue to host guests through our new Air BnB listings (Arroyo Bonito Suite, Cielito Lindo, Mi Nidito, Verde Valley).  El Rancho Merlita has always been and will continue to be a place to share.  Now it will also be the heart of our family.Original entry gates of wrought iron supported by columns of native stone provide access on dirt road circa 1955

From our family to yours!

Diana & the ERM Family

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