The Clarendon Hotel is a revitalized property near the heart of Phoenix that has a lot of great things going for it, and other things are not so great. I'll start with the walk up. The property doesn't look like much from the outside, it's kinda sandwiched in a business district mixed with apartments. There's not a lot of stuff you can walk to from the hotel, although the light rail station is only a couple blocks away so it's pretty easy to catch the train. Once you enter, however, you are greeted with cool lounge music, chic decor, and delightful smells of fresh mexican food, and aromatherapy scents in the lounge area. The front desk staff promptly helped me, and were courteous. Unfortunately, there was a bit of confusion on my reservation, I had booked 1 night and then went back to change it to 2 nights, and it made a second reservation, so when I checked in they had to cancel the other reservation. Unfortunately, my credit card was charged for the other reservation, but I emailed the manager when I got my statement, and he promptly credited the full amount back to my card, so kudos to them for taking care of the problem.
We had a standard room, which was spacious and roomy. The decor in the room is very modern and hip. Unfortunately, all the chocolate black they used for their furnishings needs a little help, a lot of the black is chipping off and shows a lot of signs of wear. I guess that's the difference between Ikea quality furniture and Pottery Barn. I'm not saying they got their furniture from IKEA, but it definitely felt cheap. In addition, the towels were a little worn, as mentioned by other reviewers, but none of my towels had holes in them or anything like other people mentioned. I'm also going to second the reviewers who complained about the air freshener in the room, it was far too over powering and I immediately unplugged it upon entering my room. I left it unplugged the rest of the time. The scent they use in it is not very pleasant or neutral, it does smell like an air freshener rather then a pleasant aromatherapy oil. If you don't like it, you could just call ahead to the hotel and ask them to unplug it for you... Or put it in the notes on your reservation.
The room had a wine fridge in it, a nice touch for us to keep our adult beverages chilled and ready to drink. We also kept the ice bucket in the fridge and it didn't melt too fast. Unfortunately, you do have to go to the front desk down stairs to ask for ice. I'm not sure why they can't just put an ice machine on each floor. Never the less, I did enjoy getting a complimentary snack from the front desk while asking for ice.. The selection is, pretty much, of vending machine quality, i.e. snickers, 3 musketeers, dorritos, etc.
The bed was extremely comfortable and I did get a good nights sleep on it. As other reviewers have mentioned, this is an ADULT hotel, meaning that you will find people coming back from the bar late at night and making room room out in the court yard and the hallway areas. I was awakened a few times by that, but it wasn't nearly as bad as some other reviewers mentioned. I was on the 2nd floor facing the pool on one side of my room and the street on the other side. Most of the noise was just coming from people walking back to their room from the bar, you know how people are when they're drunk, they don't realize there are other people who may be trying to sleep.
For the life of me, I do not understand why other reviewers complained about the AC. I had no problems getting the AC to work in my room, in fact it was already on when I checked in. Then again, I'm a techie guy, so I guess figuring out how to operate the remote for the AC was second nature to me. On the other hand, they do include very detailed instructions in the room for those who can't figure it out.
The pool and hot tub facilities are amazing, very relaxing, and lit up very nicely at night with color changing mood lighting. I really enjoyed soaking in the huge jacuzzi after a long hard day running around Phoenix. I didn't spend nearly as much time as I wanted by the pool, but definitely would if I come back again.
The on-site Mexican restaurant is AMAZING. You'll quickly notice that a LOT of the locals come here for some of the best Mexican food in town. They cook a lot of their meat over a charcoal BBQ pit, which gives the meat a nice smokey flavor that you will quickly become addicted to. It was so good, we ate there 2 nights in a row, and I usually don't eat a hotel restaurants!
Overall, the Clarendon is a nice boutique hotel, if you're planning on spending some time relaxing at the hotel this is a great place to do so. The roof top balcony is really nice too and has great views of the Phoenix sky line. If you're looking for a traditional hotel, this is not the place for you. If you have kids this is also not the place. I would definitely come back again if I happen to be in Phoenix.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Clarendon Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of Phoenix, close to the convention center, museums, parks, shopping, theaters, sports venues and concert halls. Walking distance to two Metro rail stations - $4 for a 24 hour pass, the system runs 24 hours (except 1am to 4am Monday through Thursday) and provides direct access to the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport SkyTrain. Full service spa on site. El Techo, our gorgeous rooftop SkyDeck overlooking the city skyline and surrounding mountain ranges, and the Oasis pool area with heated pool and jacuzzi and the world's largest outdoor water wall. Cafe Tranquilo, featuring Mexican/Latin cuisine, operated by Executive Chef Dan Maldonado, one of only 3 chefs in Arizona to attain a Zagat score of 29/30. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clarendon Hotel Phoenix