The Clarendon was unique, in mostly good ways. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something different. But it wasn't my vibe. Maybe I should stick to the "cookie cutter" chain hotels.
Sound carries in this hotel. Just walking down the hall, I could overhear conversation taking place in private rooms with the doors shut. The pool area was very crowded the day I arrived, and that noise was coming into my room through the window. I cranked the AC fan to full blast, turned on the TV, and I was okay. But I pity anyone who has loud neighbors next door.
The hotel allows locals to use the pool area (for a fee), including the rental of "cabanas." The pool area was incredibly busy and loud on the Sunday afternoon that I arrived. Not with hotel guests, but with locals. The parking lot was full of their vehicles, and it was not easy to find a covered parking place. Depending on your point of view, that might be very positive and fun. For me, it didn't feel like an "urban oasis." It felt very Vegas pool party. I'm not against that, but it wasn't what I was looking for.
You've got the popular hotel, the popular restaurant, and the popular pool area. They all intersect in the lobby. It's a busy place. The front desk hands out free snacks on request (peanuts, cookies, candy, etc.) You also have to go to the front desk for your ice. The front desk is well staffed with good people (I never waited in a line), but it's just very different from what I'm accustomed to.
Here are some good things: great AC (it was 106 degrees outside) with remote control; a great clock-radio-thingy with soothing sound channels; Keurig coffee maker to make individual brews; everything worked well, including the plumbing, the lights, the remote controls. A friendly and very competent staff.
I am a 49 year-old gay man, and the clientele was mostly younger than me. But I did not feel out of place or awkward. That's good. I saw a lot of interracial (heterosexual) couples, plus a lot of gays, plus a lot of families with kids, plus a general ethnic mix. Everyone (staff and customers) was friendly and polite. It was a safe, positive, young crowd. I can definitely appreciate the appeal, and I think some people who might feel unwelcome in other contexts can stay at the Clarendon and feel included. To parents of children, I'd say there was nothing inappropriate or sleazy or "singles bar" in the environment. It is diverse, in the very best sense.
It was a great crowd, which is surely one of the hotel's draws. I just wasn't looking for a crowd. I was looking for privacy and quiet. And on a Sunday in June (the hottest month in Arizona), this hotel was packed with all kinds of neat people, having fun, and crowding through the lobby, and I wanted more privacy and quiet.
I've read several other reviews. I agree with them. It's an innovative place, with really cool ideas, and good management, and reliable service. For me, it was not the promised "urban oasis." It was more urban than oasis.
- 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. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clarendon Hotel Phoenix