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Best Overall: See Tempe Mission Palms Rates at TripAdvisor "The city’s best restaurants, bars, and shops are all within walking distance, as well as ASU’s campus."
Best Budget: See University Inn and Suites Rates at TripAdvisor "There are 25 rooms, four of which are suites with pull-out sofas for traveling families."
Best Boutique: See Graduate Tempe Rates at TripAdvisor "The property does retro-chic just right, taking cues from 70s aesthetics with a slant towards Americana."
Best for Luxury: See Phoenix Marriott Resort Rates at TripAdvisor "Enjoy the amenities, like two outdoor pools with water slides, tennis courts, a hiking trail, a fitness center with classes, and sand volleyball courts."
Best for Families: See Residence Inn by Marriott Rates at TripAdvisor "Provides tons of space in its 173 rooms, which range in size from studios to two-bedroom accommodations."
Best for Nightlife: See MOXY Phoenix Tempe Area Rates at TripAdvisor "The fun starts at check-in, as the front desk doubles as a bar, so you can order a free welcome drink when you get your room key."
Best for Business: See AC Hotel by Marriott Tempe Rates at TripAdvisor "The elegant, minimalist one-bedroom suites provide ample space to work in the rooms."
Best Airport: See Hyatt Place Tempe/Phoenix Rates at TripAdvisor "Has a free shuttle not only to the airport, but also to any destination within five miles of the hotel."
Best Environmentally Friendly: See Aloft Tempe Rates at TripAdvisor "Rooms are sleek and minimalist with sustainably sourced wood accent walls."
Best Overall: Tempe Mission Palms
If it’s all about location, you won’t do better than Tempe Mission Palms, set in the Mill Avenue neighborhood of downtown Tempe. The city’s best restaurants, bars, and shops are all within walking distance, as well as ASU’s campus. There are also free shuttles to the airport and a Valley Metro Rail stop nearby that’ll bring you to downtown Phoenix. But location aside, the property, which is part of the Destination Hotels group, wins our overall pick thanks to its charm.
A Southwestern design scheme permeates the hotel, from its public spaces to the 303 rooms, but it’s not too kitschy. For being an urban hotel, the outdoor spaces, which are all on the rooftop, are impressive: there’s an incredible pool with two hot tubs and drink and food service, tennis and basketball courts, and a casual bar and restaurant. Elsewhere in the hotel, there’s the more formal Mission Grille and the popular Harry’s Place sports bar to round out the dining and drinking options.
Best Budget: University Inn and Suites
The family-run University Inn and Suites has a prime address right on Mill Avenue across from ASU, but it comes at an affordable price point. There are 25 rooms — four of which are suites with pull-out sofas perfect for traveling families — that are decorated with funky colors and contemporary flair. Amenities are limited here as there’s no pool, on-site restaurant and bar, or fitness center, though there is free Wi-Fi.
Given the hotel’s proximity to Mill Avenue’s dining, drinking, and shopping options, there’s always something to do nearby. The ASU Art Museum, Katzin Concert Hall, Nelson Fine Arts Center, and ASU Gammage are all within a 10-minute walk of University Inn and Suites too, while Sun Devil Stadium is just a mile away. While it’s definitely not necessary to rent a car if you’re staying at this hotel, there is free parking for cars, buses, and trucks — use this to your advantage and visit some of the attractions in nearby cities like Scottsdale and Mesa.
Best Boutique: Graduate Tempe
As its name suggests, Graduate Tempe is a great hotel for visitors to ASU whether you’re an alum or a prospective student — it’s located right across the street from campus. The property does retro-chic just right, taking cues from 70s aesthetics (see its colorful patterns in the 140 guest rooms) with a slant towards Americana. There’s even an on-site diner called the Normal that has a grab-and-go window.
Other amenities include a Mexican street food restaurant that serves craft cocktails, an outdoor pool, and a 24/7 fitness center. Guests at the hotel are also treated to a free area shuttle that services all locations within a five-mile radius, including the airport. There are great little bonuses, too: Wi-Fi is free, and the toiletries are from Malin+Goetz. In addition to being near ASU, Graduate Tempe is also within walking distance of the Mill Avenue district, so you’re close to all the action.
Best for Luxury: Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe at The Buttes
You’ll have to head just outside of downtown to find the most luxurious hotel in Tempe, the Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe at the Buttes. This resort sits atop a hill that makes it feel like it’s way out in the middle of the desert — though in reality, the property is within walking distance of Tempe Diablo Stadium, a 12-minute drive both to the airport and Mill Avenue.
While it can host conferences and weddings in its 19 meeting spaces, the hotel oftentimes has its 353 rooms booked by leisure travelers who come to enjoy the amenities, like two outdoor pools with water slides, tennis courts, a hiking trail, a fitness center with classes, and sand volleyball courts. Another major draw is the Narande Spa, which offers special treatments like an adobe clay wrap. (There’s also an aloe wrap for anyone who spends a little too much time in the sun.) There are four dining and drinking options, the standout of which is the Top of the Rock restaurant, which offers panoramic city views.
Best for Families: Residence Inn by Marriott Tempe Downtown/University
Although there are two Residence Inns in Tempe, we’re partial to the one downtown, which is just a few blocks from ASU and Mill Avenue. For families, this property provides tons of space in its 173 rooms, which range in size from studios to two-bedroom accommodations. Each has a fully equipped kitchen and a living area, and guests can use a grocery service that has items delivered right to their door. But there’s no need to worry about breakfast, as there’s a complimentary buffet each morning, plus evening happy hours with free food and drink. And for any last-minute food needs, there’s a 24-hour marketplace.
During the day, guests can head to the rooftop pool to catch some rays, play tennis, basketball, and volleyball at the Sport Court, work out in the gym, or get work done at the business center. The hotel can also accommodate the whole family, and up to two pets are allowed in each room.
Take a look at other similar options with our review of the best family resorts in Arizona.
Best for Nightlife: MOXY Phoenix Tempe/ASU Area
No hotel in Tempe better embodies a party-hard atmosphere than MOXY, a haven for young travelers and locals alike, located on the far side of the ASU campus. The fun starts at check-in as the front desk doubles as a bar, so you can order a free welcome drink when you get your room key. But the true social hub of the hotel is the MOXY Counter, a bar space where you can grab drinks and bites all day and night. Catch the daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
When you’ve had enough, head back to one of the 186 rooms — though if you’ve booked one of the patio suites, you just might be tempted to take a quick dip in the outdoor pool before you hit the hay. And if you come down with the munchies in the middle of the night, there’s a 24-hour marketplace where you can grab food and beverage essentials.
Check out some of the best sports bars in Tempe, AZ during your stay.
Best for Business: AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix/Tempe Downtown
Located right on Tempe Town Lake in the Hayden Ferry Lakeside corporate park, the AC Hotel by Marriott is the perfect spot for business travelers looking to have fun while in town. There are three event spaces for those who need to schedule a meeting, while the elegant, minimalist one-bedroom suites provide ample space to work in the rooms. You can use your laptop on the balcony if you’d like to take in fresh air, too.
On the leisure side of things, the AC Hotel serves a continental breakfast each morning (it’s not free, unfortunately) and has a lounge that serves local beers, wine on tap, cocktails, and tapas in the evenings. There’s even a rooftop pool when you need some real R&R after a long day of conducting business. Or, if sweating out stress is more your style, there’s a fitness center with skyline views.
Best Airport: Hyatt Place Tempe/Phoenix Airport
There are a number of airport hotels in Tempe, given the city’s proximity to Phoenix Sky Harbor International, but our favorite is the Hyatt Place Tempe/Phoenix Airport. It has a free shuttle not only to the airport, but also to any destination within five miles of the hotel. While the 123 rooms are spacious, comfortable, and pet-friendly, we’re particularly impressed by the hotel’s 24-hour amenities, including a café and bar, a gym, and a business center, in case you need to print out your boarding pass at the last minute. There’s an outdoor pool, too, if you’ve got time for some sun.
One of the biggest perks of being a guest at the Hyatt Place Tempe/Phoenix Airport is the free breakfast — it’s much more than just yogurt and fruit. The kitchen serves up hot dishes on a rotating schedule, some of which include a barbacoa hash, pork breakfast tacos, and a chocolate churro bread pudding.
Best Environmentally Friendly: Aloft Tempe
When it opened in 2009, the 136-room Aloft Tempe was the first LEED-certified hotel in Arizona, and the brand’s first as well. Some of the sustainable elements at the hotel include high-efficiency irrigation, stormwater, and HVAC systems, reduced plastic usage, landscaping with indigenous plants, and environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies. The property is located on Tempe Town Lake, just over a bridge from the ASU campus and one mile from downtown Scottsdale.
Rooms are sleek and minimalist with sustainably sourced wood accent walls —one of the highlights is the rainfall showerheads in the bathroom. Pets also stay for free, with absolutely no deposit required. Other amenities include a heated outdoor pool, a gym, a bar, and a 24-hour mini-mart. While there’s no formal restaurant here, there are a few fast-food options across the street, including In-N-Out Burger and Starbucks.
For more information about the city, take a look at our guide to Tempe, Arizona.