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“Meh” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Clarendon Hotel and Spa

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The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   401 West Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 175 Hotels in Phoenix
Orlando, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Meh”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

A Groupon brought my wife and I plus our two dogs to this hotel on a super long road trip last summer. Being a bit of a photographer, I was looking forward to photographing Phoenix's skyline from the roof at night, but the entire roof was closed because it was not handicap accessible...okay, fine. Our stay was uneventful and pleasant. The trouble came after we left and noticed that they had charged our credit card for our stay. Even though we booked it with a Groupon! So, it took more than one phone call to adjust the mess, but in the end they were able to take care of after some time.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben B, Owner at The Clarendon Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Oh no! The last thing I ever want is a 'meh' review of The Clarendon! As the owner and general manager who has spent the past 10 years turning the hotel into what it is today, it's a lot like someone calling your child or dog ugly or stupid.... hehe.... but with that said, I'd like to respond to some of your comments, because we've made LOTS of changes since your stay!

First off, we allow dogs without any fees - it used to be $50 per pet, but now it's free, and there's only one other downtown hotel that allows pets. After each pet stay we do an extra-deep cleaning of rooms, and we try to keep guests with pets in one of just a few rooms.

The rooftop is re-opened... this was beyond our control, but the rooftop had been open for almost 40 years before the city said we had to have an elevator reach the rooftop deck and closed the rooftop.... we worked fast and furiously and raised our elevator one floor, which cost us over $200,000. Now, if you're a small business owner, you know that something like this, especially when suddenly sprung on you, is a feat that takes super hero skills, but we got it done and the rooftop is now reopened and better than ever. We're waiting for some amazing new furniture right now, and it'll be really wonderful when it arrives.

We also removed the exterior paint and sandblasted the building to return it to it's mid-century modern splendor, and with the stripes along the building we installed silver reflective mirror... this has the property changing appearance as the sun rises and sets and the lights of the city come out at night... and when the sky is really blue, it almost looks like you're looking through the building, it's a photographer's dream and all day we see people taking photos of our exterior... so come back and bring your camera and you'll love it!

Regarding the credit card mishap, I'm really sorry for that... there's no excuse for employee oversight, and I've told all employees to make sure that guests review their folio at check-out, including what card was charged and for how much, especially making sure that they circle the last 4 digits of your credit card to make extra-sure that the charges are correct.

You'll also be happy to hear that we're making lots and lots of positive changes and improvements to the property, from repainting and re-carpeting rooms to new beds, new granite in the bathrooms, new super-silent bathroom fans, new bathroom cabinetry, new room furnishings, new linens and pillows, a brand new entrance, and oh so much more. Many of these things are already done, some are in process, and some are still to come over the next few months.

We're also going to be starting a complimentary hosted wine/beer hour featuring local breweries and wineries, we've added turn-down service, and so much more...

Come back to The Clarendon and see our improvements! As the highest rated hotel in central Phoenix, we're confident that you'll appreciate the overall experience so much more than our plain-chain big-box franchise hotel neighbors... after all the essence of travel is to experience things that you wouldn't experience at home, otherwise why bother traveling if you're going to stay in the same hotels you have at home and eat at the same chains and drink the same chain coffee, right? ;-)

Sincerely,
Ben Bethel
Owner and General Manager
The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
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875 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (187)
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English first
Arizona
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I decided to make a evening out at a very nice uptown restaurant (check out my Crudo review) into a weekend "Stay-cation". We picked The Clarendon Hotel primarily for it's location and price. What a terrific and enjoyable stay we had at this quirky boutique-esque hotel. The hotel decor and mood had a modern feel to it, that is, if you were transported back to 1973. We checked in and were greeted by the very helpful and friendly front desk staff. They gave us the run down of the amenities of the hotel and adjoined restaurant, Gallo Blanco. Behind the front desk was a box with all sorts of complementary snacks and treats which were offered to all guests. Yep, would you like a bag of pretzels while you sit out by the pool? Got a craving for Cheese-Its at 2 AM? No problem. Need a bottle of water? No problem. By the way, there are a couple bottles in your in-room mini fridge too. Help yourself.
So we go up to our room and are greeted by the smell of fresh potpourri warming in a glass and the soothing sounds of that New Age Native American flute music they always play at Massage Envy. Very cool and interesting.
The room was very nice, clean and comfortable. The bed was semi-firm, but with what I thought was the right amount of plush. The window in our room opened out to the pool area. I think if we stay again, we'll ask for a view of the city.
For our foray downtown, we drove over and parked at the Walgreens on Central Ave. then hopped on the light rail downtown. It worked out perfectly. We went to the Downtown Phoenix Public Market a really cool Farmer's market down on Central. The $4 all day pass on the light rail really pays off when you try to find parking downtown. We did the same thing later on in the evening for dinner at another restaurant, Breadfruit.
Just north of the hotel is another pretty nice area known as the Melrose District, just north of Indian School Rd. on 7th Ave. You can't miss it, there's an enormous sign spanning 7th Ave. with Melrose on it. The shops are spread out a bit so you'll probably have to drive.
All in all, we'll stay at the Clarendon again. The location, price, customer service and amenities are all very worthwhile.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben B, Owner at The Clarendon Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Wow! Thank you for the really great review... I'm glad that you understand what we're going for... and your estimation of date is just about correct, the hotel was designed in the mid-1960s (hence the retro-mid-century-modern design) and finally ended up being built in the 1970s and opened in 1975. I purchased the hotel in 2004 as a very challenging project, and what you see today is the labor of love after 10 years of work... we did have many challenges during the recession, but we're back in full-swing now and are working on many, many projects as we speak.

We look forward to your next visit.... and don't forget to use our amazing frequent flyer miles program where you earn 1,000 to 2,500 miles for every night of your stay.... with other hotels loyalty programs it can take up to 150 nights to earn a free trip anywhere in the US - but at The Clarendon, you can earn this in just 10 nights - it's simply the best frequent flyer program in the world that we know of!

Sincerely,
Ben Bethel
Owner/General Manager
The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
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Tucson AZ
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

This is a quirky retro hotel that has been painted in bright funky colors, with a wonderful pool and jacuzzi. The bed was very comfy, but I an glad we brought our own pillows from home. High end bedding. Bathroom is small, and I have to agree that the sink and vanity are cramped. The crowd is very young and urban. The deck was ok, flowers in the pots all dying. Private party one evening so they kicked us off the deck. The next night we had it to ourself. Parking convenient, and for $20 you get snacks, water and good coffee. The bar and restaurant are good and very popular. Overall, the place seems to need some attention (cleaning every nook and cranny), and I would rate a 3 when I think of value.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Ben B, Owner at The Clarendon Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Thank you so much for your review, I really appreciate your comments. Regarding the bathrooms, now that the pesky recession is over we're putting a lot of money into our bathrooms. We've completed a project to re-tile all bathrooms with granite, and we're about halfway through a project to install a few new things: new super-silent and super-powerful bathroom fans, new mirrored and lighted bathroom cabinets with lots of storage space. We're also working on converting our tub/shower combinations with walk-in granite/stone showers and glass shower doors and all new hardware/fixtures.... it's a really difficult and time consuming and expensive project, but 4 rooms are now done and more are on the way.

I'll look at the flowers on the rooftop deck, they do have to be replaced several times per year and they may be due for replacement.

I'm glad you like our beds, they're the same as used in 5-diamond hotels and we spend about 4 times as much on them as other hotels in our area, and our linens are also very high quality. Because of your comment on pillows, I checked ours out and wasn't happy with them so I ordered another 700 pillows to replace all pillows in the hotel. About half have arrived, and my favorites, "Touch of Down" by Pacific Coast Down are coming in the next two weeks... they're really fantastic pillows and retail for over $100 each, so I hope guests love them! This way, guests will have two synthetic and two "Touch of Down" pillows on each bed.

We are also repainting and refurnishing all guest rooms, and we will also be creating a great new entrance soon with a giant outdoor fireplace, expanded restaurant patio, new landscaping and some great water features.

My really big project for this summer would be to expand the bathrooms in all of our suites... admittedly the one bedroom suites are huge (biggest rooms in the area) but they have the tiniest bathrooms that feel like a New York hotel. My goal is to get these expanded to include a separate toilet room, a walk in shower, and a really sexy claw-foot tub with a wall mounted fireplace.

Hopefully you'll see wonderful changes if you decide to return again in the future... we're already the highest rated hotel in all of central Phoenix, and as the smallest and most intimate hotel at just 105 guest rooms we strive to always provide the best service of any hotel.

I do appreciate your comments, and please know that I listen to all comments and am always trying to make The Clarendon Hotel and Spa a better hotel every day. We're a local favorite, and if you're looking to stay in a hotel that's not a boring beige big box chain hotel where you're just another number, The Clarendon is for you. I've always believed the essence of travel is to experience things that you would not experience at home, otherwise why bother traveling right? ;-)

Sincerely,
Ben Bethel
Owner and General Manager
The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

We asked to be upgraded when we got there and they were glad to do that for us. However, I wish we would of stayed with the two queen size beds. The extra room had poor light and you didn't want to sit in that room anyway. It had no TV and was very dark at night. New heaters in room were tricky and couldn't get them to turn on. We had to call the front desk and they sent someone right away. He said other quests were having difficulties figuring the heat out also. It would of helped to have directions, which you shouldn't need in a hotel, it would save their staff time. The room was extremely quite and the beds were very comfortable. The pool area was beautiful, but the pool wasn't heated for some reason and no one was using it. The main problem with this hotel is location. We needed to go to the Convention Center and their rail system was several blocks away and we didn't feel safe at night. We witnessed one crazy moment on the rail and said we weren't going to go on it again. Taxis were slow showing up in the morning and very expensive. You really need a car to stay there, as there is nothing around the hotel for eating or shopping. Staff was great, however, I wouldn't stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben B, Owner at The Clarendon Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Thank you so much for your review, we're glad you liked the hotel. I'm going to figure out which room you were in because I want to make sure the level of lighting is acceptable. Always know that if you don't have something you need, like enough light, we can always bring additional lamps as well as brighter bulbs to your room immediately. You mentioned that a room didn't have a television, and that really concerns me as all suites should have two televisions in them. I'll also check on this right away. The heating/cooling system is pretty state of the art, and I'm trying to have all guests escorted to their rooms upon check-in so that they understand how to work the heating/cooling system. The good news is that it has triple filters, ionic air cleaning, and an ozone generator to keep the air fresh and clean. The pool is now heated, we usually start heating it in January because it costs a fortune to heat and in December it's usually too cold outside during the day so people just don't go into the pool no matter what... well, unless they're Canadians. ;-)

For cabs, we highly recommend using Uber, because it's 30% cheaper than a cab, includes the tip, and you rarely have to wait longer than 7 minutes for someone to arrive.

Please come back and visit again - we try to be the best value for the money in all of downtown Phoenix, even enough to make up for the extra costs of taking a cab downtown. I'm also working on getting a shuttle service started... it's really expensive, but we'd love to start offering free airport and downtown transportation to all of our guests.

Thanks!
Ben Bethel
Owner and General Manger
The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014 via mobile

Hip, trendy, retro, fun and comfortable. Beds are comfortable. Love the in room Keurig coffee. Pool is a work of art. Rooftop lounge great for relaxing by day. I hope to stay at the Clarendon on my next trip to Scottsdale or Phoenix.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

i rarely write reviews but i was so surprised by this place!! reminded me of trendy places in palm springs with vintage furniture and decor....we arrived tired from a long plane trip yet were greeted by two staff at 1am that were so welcoming and considerate...we appreciated the 24 hour policy and the available snacks...the room was clean and the bed very comfortable...next morning i found staff approachable and sooo accomodating- and cheerful-they even served me coffee at poolside! loved our short but sweet stay!!

Room Tip: just ask for one
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chino, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

BRIEF: Amenities are great, professional & friendly service, cleanliness is OK, location is convenient, tiny bathroom, 24hr check-out policy for 1 nighter, noisy.

Review based on 1 night deluxe room

I would have given this place 3 stars but I'm considering their customer service & check out policy. Their check-out policy for 1 night is 24hrs, meaning if you check-in at 5pm, then you check out 5pm the next day. This is how it should be everywhere. Most likely, people will check out earlier because they are just a passerby who needs a place to rest & shower, then be on the move the next day. This only applies to guests who only needs to stay for 1 night though.

The room itself is roomy. They provide robes, but no slippers. I prefer slippers over robes. They have keurig coffee system & they have a mini fridge with FREE bottled water in the room. They have modern amenities & what I like is they have a charging system on the table. Yes, no more looking for outlets to charge your laptop, iPods, ipads, iPhones, etc; they have it readily for you to use on the desk & nightstand.

The Bad:
Being in their bathroom, gave me a new kind of phobia, their bathroom is SMALL, i felt claustrophobic. I don't know why the room is roomier than the bathroom, I think they have wasted space, they should expand the bathroom. There isn't enough counter space for more than 1 person.
AC/Heater is noisy. We couldn't figure out the heater. It says 84 degrees but all I was feeling was just a fan blowing. It was a cold night & we just gave it time for the heater to warm up but it didn't. I was getting allergies because I think it was blowing dust or something, so we turned it off.
No sound proof. I'm not sure exactly what we were hearing at 2am, music or some kind of machine humming noise. But by morning come, we can hear dust blower going off, landscape machinery, music, people talking. Mind you, we came for business & arrived late, so we didn't sleep until 3am & had to wake up in a couple of hours to continue conduct our business remotely.
Fridge was a bit dirty.

Room Tip: Don't get deluxe room if you have more than 2 parties in the room. Bathroom is too tiny, especi...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about The Clarendon Hotel and Spa

Address: 401 West Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Phoenix
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Phoenix
#5 Luxury Hotel in Phoenix
#13 Romantic Hotel in Phoenix
#19 Family Hotel in Phoenix
#52 Business Hotel in Phoenix
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Clarendon Hotel and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 105
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

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