Will Hotel Palomar's Rooftop Pool Heat Up Downtown Phoenix's Scene?
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.
Only a few blocks from the Palomar is the other leisure hotel, The Westin. It has more of a plush and "heavenly" vibe, just as you would expect. The rooms provide beautiful views of the valley leading up to the mountains, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows (the corner rooms give you twice the view).
The Westin is also doing its part to help revive the nightlife. You can have tapas and cocktails at Province, an American restaurant inspired by South American and Spanish cooking, and their own rooftop pool provides views of the city buildings (shown above).
We'll be sure to keep an eye on Phoenix and see what develops. March is one of the busiest months in the area due to baseball spring training -- a perfect opportunity for downtown to show off its new vibe to the masses.
Rates for the Palomar start at $285 a night and rates for the Westin start at $249 a night.
[Photos: Kimpton Hotels/Westin Hotels]