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Phoenix is known for its nature hikes, beautiful mountain scenery and year-round, sunny weather. This sprawling city has many neighborhoods and no shortage of places to stay, although many of them are standard chain hotels without much character. However, the boutique hotel movement in Phoenix is underway and there are a handful of noteworthy properties cropping up in the Arts District, near the universities, in midtown and in downtown. Here are the eight best boutique hotels in Phoenix.
Best Overall: The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
For a great location, plenty of amenities and comfortable, stylish accommodations, the 104-room Clarendon Hotel and Spa is a great choice in downtown Phoenix. Spacious rooms have at least 325 square feet, local artwork and a crimson and cream color scheme. Guests can kick back in the pool area that has colorful mosaics, underwater speakers, chaise lounges, day beds and private cabanas with flat-screen televisions. For additional relaxation, book a massage or facial at the hotel spa. The rooftop deck is a happening place with yoga sessions overlooking the mountains, and there's live music in the evenings at the Skydeck bar. A free happy hour takes place in the lobby, and the onsite restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Best Budget: Grand Canyon University Hotel
For those visiting Phoenix on a budget, the 150-room, Grand Canyon University Hotel is an excellent value in West Phoenix. Operated by the university as a hands-on learning experience for students studying hospitality, the hotel aims to please. Modern, stylish rooms feature soothing shades of purple, Keurig coffee makers, free WiFi and custom artwork. Guests can relax by the outdoor pool and water fountain, mingle in the evenings at the fire pit or play corn hole bean bag toss. The Canyon 49 Bar and Grill serves Southwestern cuisine and has a laid-back atmosphere. TripAdvisor members were pleasantly surprised with the hotel and appreciated the shuttle service to the campus.
Best Design: Found:RE
The design of the 104-room Found:RE hotel is just as creative as the hotel’s name. The boutique hotel feels like a cutting-edge warehouse art gallery, and guests can appreciate the works of art from local artists that adorn the hotel walls. Rooms are extremely spacious and have an industrial-chic style (expect concrete walls, reclaimed wood accents, and custom light fixtures), as well as amenities such as bathrobes, tablet hotel guides and room service. The on-site restaurant serves local brews and entrees from the wood-fired oven, and the outdoor pool area has snacks and cocktails. The hotel is located in the Arts District, which is a quiet and mostly residential area.
Best for Business Travelers: Aloft Phoenix Airport
A member of the boutique hotel chain by W Hotels, the 142-room Aloft Phoenix Airport is ideal for business travelers or anyone staying close to the airport who prefer a stylish hotel. A free shuttle is offered to the airport and the light rail is steps away, so getting to downtown Phoenix is an easy commute. Friends or colleagues can mingle at the XYZ bar during happy hour or enjoy live music performances. There's also an outdoor pool, fitness center and boardroom (just in case you need to schedule a quick meeting). The lobby showcases funky, modern furniture with a mix of neon shades, while rooms offer ergonomic desk spaces, plush bedding and premium bath products.
Best Casino Hotel: Vee Quiva Hotel Casino
The Vee Quiva Hotel is a hidden gem with style, service and a happening casino attached. The 90 rooms and suites have a modern design, thanks to calming earth tones, soft bedding with creative “brick” headboards and mood lighting, surround sound and fabulous spa-style showers. Unwind in a poolside cabana with the desert as a backdrop or grab a bite to eat at one of six dining venues. A free shuttle bus takes guests to locations around Phoenix (reservations required). In the evenings, catch a show or some live music; you can also try your luck at the casino. TripAdvisor members appreciated the reasonable room rates and comfortable, well-maintained accommodations.
Best Pet-Friendly: Hotel 502
Located in midtown Phoenix near the light rail station, the 98-room, Hotel 502 is an affordable, fun and hip hotel that welcomes furry friends – without any extra fees. Rooms are bright and colorful, with a mix of retro designs and light fixtures and scenic views of the Camelback Mountain. There’s also guest laundry, a heated outdoor pool and hot tub with lounge chairs and umbrellas, as well as a fitness center. Other freebies include parking, WiFi and a breakfast buffet. Attractions such as the Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum and downtown Phoenix are just four to five miles away.
Best Inn: Maricopa Manor
Travelers who enjoy a traditional bed and breakfast will love the Maricopa Manor; it's a lovely six-suite inn near the heart of central Phoenix. Each suite has unique décor ranging from Victorian to old Mexico, and many have French doors, living rooms, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. For a quiet morning in bed, breakfast is delivered to each suite in a basket. Several restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel for lunch and dinner options. TripAdvisor members gushed about the extremely spacious rooms and the fantastic, friendly inn keepers.
Best Outside of Downtown: The Graduate
Set in Tempe about 10 miles from downtown Phoenix, the 140-room Graduate is located directly across from Arizona State University and has a college theme throughout. Accommodations have private patios, colorful furniture and throw pillows that are designed to feel like a chic college dorm room (without the college roommates). Two diner-style restaurants serve up Mexican fare and new American cuisine with a Southwestern twist. Guests can also take a refreshing dip in the pool or hot tub. The hotel is just a short walk away from the shops and nightlife of Mill Avenue and the ASU Gammage Theater. TripAdvisor members noted that rooms were a tad on the small side, but were well appointed.