Phoenix Travel Guide
Hotel Packages / Spring Training Deals / Arizona Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Scottsdale Hotels / Sports Hotels / → All Tags
Hard to believe, but baseball is back with spring training under way down South. Florida is hosting its half of the action as well, but the unique thing about the scene in Phoenix is how close all the teams are (see map comparing Arizona and Florida facilities). Not only does this mean lots of options for games, it also means lots of hotel choices. And seeing as this is one of the best times of the year to visit the southwest weather wise, it's time to check in on some of the hotel discounts and packages happening in the desert that will help make your childhood dream of jet-setting down to spring training a bit more feasible:
Hotel Palomar: This Kimpton property is offering the "Batter Up" package that gets you 25% off the best available rate, two local beers, a baseball-themed welcome treat, and complimentary access to Gold's Gym Elite in case you want to hold your own spring training.
The Westin Phoenix Downtown: The 2013 Baseball Package has rates starting at $189/night Thursday through Sunday -- nice for a long weekend trip. It includes overnight parking, high speed internet access, and baseball “snack pack” amenities (there better be some Cracker Jacks!).
If you've ever wandered the legendary Arizona Biltmore Resort, you've likely stumbled upon a photo of the "Mystery Room," though never the room itself as the location has long been — you guessed it — a mystery. That's all about to change; last week we were among the first to learn that this mysterious room will soon be revealed and restored to a version of its former self as a speakeasy lounge.
Back in the day, the cozy club masqueraded as a "Men's Smoking Room" requiring a secret password for entry and accessible only through a secret passage that started behind the resort and traveled up a hidden staircase from the kitchen. In many ways it was a true man cave, where gentlemen could kick back to smoke cigars and pipes, swap news about the stock market and sip on bootleg setups of gin and juice.
A clever fuzz buster was in place, too, with a spotlight that was officially known to guide guests at night, and unofficially used to search the desert for police raids. Whenever a raid approached, the spotlight would shine through the Mystery Room's stained glass roof, signaling guests to return to their rooms and the booze to be tucked back into the room's hidden bookshelf.
Go shorty, it's your birthday, Arizona Biltmore's gonna party like it's your birthday…
We'll warn you now: this song may be playing in the lobby of the Arizona Biltmore when you check in.
This historic Waldorf Astoria property totally digs you getting one year older, so they're offering a free room for you during your birthday month (a minimum of two nights booking is required). To make it a serious party, they're also throwing in a cupcake and balloons delivered straight to your room. Bring your own party hats, though.
We suggest rounding up an active crew as this birthday bash is going to be off the hizzle: there's eight swimming pools, including a 92-foot-long water slide; 18-hole PGA golf course; seven tennis courts; mountain biking; hiking; life-size chess lawn and a 22,000-square-foot spa.
We've been talking about Phoenix for a minute at HC, and with good reason. It seems like good things are happenin' around this town and we like nothing more to be around when places start hoppin'.
But we realized we'd missed a potentially cool little property. So next time we're in town, you can bet your bottom dollar we'll be staying at the Clarendon Hotel and Suites.
Photo Galleries / Phoenix Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel Loyal Programs / Hotel Design / → All Tags
We already told you a little about Hotel Palomar Phoenix, but, perhaps predictably, we started off talking about the food. The Blue Hound Kitchen restaurant ticked all of the right boxes—but what about the rooms?
We're happy to report that our stay here was one of the most comfortable city stays we've had in some time. The room was spacious, the bed comfy for both sleeping and working on an iPad while half-watching TV, and the bathroom was also roomy and had a distinct, clean and new feel about it.
We also loved the quirky decor that raises Kimptons from the same-old, same-old pack of city hotels. When traveling for business, a designer pattern here or funky piece of art there always makes us feel slightly cooler than our reason for travel that night might suggest.
Click through our gallery for more shots inside a Deluxe room, facing downtown Phoenix, across from all the sports stadiums.
When we stayed at the newish Hotel Palomar Phoenix recently, we were psyched. Not just for the free WiFi we get for being Kimpton InTouch Members (although that's pretty awesome), but because we knew the hotel was home to one of Kimpton's Directors of Pet Relations.
This is Bosco. We felt like stalkers, lurking near the front desk and peeking around corners to try and find him. Then, when we finally did spy him, he was skipping through the lobby for a walk, so we got to pet him but missed a photo op.
To console ourselves, we shuttled off to the hotel's restaurant, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. There, we not only got a canine fix, scoping out all the dog-themed artwork and statues, but we also stuffed our faces with delicious, farm-to-table-good food.
Check out our gallery for shots of both the decor and the dishes.
Airport Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Photo Galleries / Free WiFi / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
Yeah, we know: airport hotels are little more than a necessary evil.
Whether it's a delayed flight, a layover, a late arrival or a god-awful early departure the next day, our reasons for staying in one rarely involve the word fun. Or even "nice."
Imagine our relief then, when we arrived at the Aloft Phoenix Airport recently—after midnight, tired and cranky—and were rewarded with something closer to a city boutique hotel experience.
Check-in was fast and simple, and the front-desk guy made sure to tell us about the free WiFi. Bless.
Click through our gallery to check out our room and you'll understand why we wish we were staying longer than eight hours.
Hotel News / Arizona Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Westin Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / → All Tags
One of the most surprising things about Phoenix is how uninvolved its downtown has been in the overall scene of the city. It's the sixth largest city in the United States, yet there are only two -- that's right, two -- leisure-focused hotels in downtown Phoenix (you can get a great perspective on the small part downtown plays in the greater area from the top of South Mountain, where you can see the entire valley almost tip to tip, about 60 miles).
Kimpton's Hotel Palomar, which opened this summer, hopes to create a spark and start bringing some of the business that's currently going on out in Scottsdale back between the skyscrapers. The hotel, built amongst the shops and restaurants of CityScape, features a rooftop pool and bar with views of downtown and the sports' stadiums -- which, currently, the downtown social scene revolves around.
While the city certainly doesn't want to let that go, it has begun to embark on the chicken-and-egg game of attracting tourists, locals, and businesses all at the same time. Could a modern rooftop pool scene from Kimpton light a fire in the desert heat? The concept sure worked in Philadelphia when they built a rooftop lounge next door to Independence Mall.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel WiFi / Hotel Art / For The Sake Of Hotel Art / Phoenix Hotels / → All Tags
Waaay, way back in 2009, we reported on an in-the-works project known as Hotel Palomar Phoenix, to be housed in a 34-story mixed use building known as CityScape. Well, that development took some twists and turns, but now the hotel is finally set to open on June 5 with starting rates of $149/night.
The Downtown Phoenix Journal is reporting that all 242 rooms will have a "desert-infused palette" of espresso brown, gray, beige and "pops" of orange, and its new GM, Jim Hollister, even compares the hotel's stark design to "that show Mad Men."
Although we personally don't let ourselves get too caught up in surface things like paint, wallpaper and fixtures unless the hotel has the goods to back them up. Which, like many Kimpton hotels before it, this one does.
We rarely ever get such glowing reviews of a hotel (that aren't planted by a PR person) but this one from a business traveler lady is really, really, really enthusiastic. She writes about a recent stay at the Aloft Hotel by the Phoenix airport:
Omg I love this place! Had to zip in and out of Phoenix for a quick business trip and unfortunately no budget for a great hotel and had to stay close to the airport. What a pleasant surprise! A cool and comfortable hotel that far surpasses your choices in the same price range. Beautiful room layout, fluffy beds, a hip and trendy lobby bar, better than average bathrooms, not to mention wall mounted tvs...... I will definitely be checking out if there are other Alofts when I travel!
Agreed. Aloft is a nice surprise for an airport hotel especially with free WiFi and a lively social scene downstairs. It's not always in the same price range as other airport hotels (sometimes it can be higher) but we found room rates at this Aloft for $124 this weekend, which, FWIW, beats the Courtyard By Marriott by $15.
Love or hate Aloft? Sound off in comments below!
Hotel News / Hotel Smoking / Ben Bethel / Phoenix Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Amenities / blucigs / → All Tags
We're tired of charging guests $250 for smoking charges, tired of deep-cleaning guest rooms after they're smoked in, and tired of chasing after guests who are smoking in our pool area and rooftop bar. So, we're going to start encouraging guests to use E-Cigarettes, to the point that I'm even going to sell them at the front desk.
Not long after our story went up, Bethel had partnered up with blucigs to sell guests their brand of e-cigarettes for $10 each. Now we can report that the hotel is selling blucig's disposables product line with flavor options of Menthol and Classic Tobacco.
Hotel News / Hotel Smoking / Ben Bethel / Phoenix Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
The Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix is taking a novel approach to dealing with rogue smokers in their non-smoking rooms by selling them electronic cigarettes to puff on.
Owner Ben Bethel tells HotelChatter doing this will not only make the guests feel comfortable but also save him the hassle of trying to recoup the smoking fines. He says:
We're tired of charging guests $250 for smoking charges, tired of deep-cleaning guest rooms after they're smoked in, and tired of chasing after guests who are smoking in our pool area and rooftop bar.
So, we're going to start encouraging guests to use E-Cigarettes, to the point that I'm even going to sell them at the front desk.
I think this is a big issue for hotels, and could save guests a lot of hassle/frustration. Now they can smoke in the pool, on the rooftop bar, or even in their bed in their guest room.