Katie Sayre and her husband, Ray, take pride in the fact that their Casa Paloma Bed & Breakfast, just across the Santa Cruz River in Tumacacori, elicits a certain reaction from guests. “I like it when people come here and say it feels like a home, not a business,” Katie says. “We want people to be able to explore the area and know that this is their ‘home’ that they can come back to.”
There’s a good reason the place feels so inviting: It’s been the Sayres’ family home for more than three decades, and they’ve been renovating and expanding it since they moved in. After their two children grew up and moved out, they had a lot of extra space, so they began running a three-room B&B in October 2018.
But that covers only a fraction of the property’s history. It originally was part of the 1821 Baca Float No. 3 land grant from Spain. Later, it became the Baca Float Ranch, which operated in the mid-20th century, and in 1989, Katie’s parents, longtime managers of the Circle Z Ranch in Patagonia, bought this piece of the property as a place to retire. After Katie’s father died unexpectedly in 1991, she and Ray moved down from Tucson to help her mother with the place. They’ve been there ever since.
The B&B’s largest room, the 440-square-foot Mourning Dove Suite, features a king bed, along with an en suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and Saltillo tile. There’s also the White-Winged Dove Suite, with two twin beds (they can be turned into a king) and an en suite bathroom with a claw-foot tub and shower. And the Inca Dove Room has a queen bed and a private bathroom across the hall. Each room has a mini-fridge, a coffee maker and its own heating and air-conditioning system, and they all open into an airy, brightly lit common area with a well-equipped kitchenette.
The living room once was a ranch bunkhouse, and a variety of brands mark the mesquite beams above the windows. In the morning, guests pass through that room en route to the kitchen and dining area, where the Sayres offer homemade breads and hearty breakfasts that might include bananas Foster pancakes, pecan waffles, omelets or a green chile cheese souffle, along with bacon and sausage.
From there, visitors often go hiking on the Anza Trail, shopping or browsing art galleries in Tubac, or birding in one of several Southern Arizona hot spots. Or they might let the birds come to them — or simply enjoy the babbling of the nearby river, if it’s running — on one of Casa Paloma’s expansive patios. Whatever your preference, the Sayres will make sure you’re taken care of. And that their home feels like yours, at least for a little while.
Casa Paloma Bed & Breakfast
37 Santa Gertrudis Lane