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“A lot of love goes a long way.”

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The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
Ranked #18 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 8, 2013

My brand-spankin new husband and I stayed at the Clarendon for two nights in early October as we were in town to see The Lumineers at Comerica Theatre two days after our wedding. We'd never been to Phoenix before as adults and honestly found the hotel by searching for Groupons in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. After visiting Trip Advisor to check out photos and reviews, we purchased the deal immediately.

The Clarendon reminded me a lot of a bigger-scale bed&breakfast. Though I know little to nothing about the hotel's history, it was evident from the start that the hotel is a labor of love. Upon our arrival, the staff was nothing but friendly and accommodating (and helpful with suggestions as we knew nothing about the area). The decor was intriguing, the lighting was flattering, the atmosphere was hip and eclectic but never intimidating, and the grounds were well kept and fresh. The restaurant has a lengthy happy hour (+) and what we tried off the menu, both food and drinks, were great (++). The room was ginormous, the artwork was cool, AND they stocked Philosophy products, which is pretty much every girl's dream. The pool was clean, cool, and the patrons at the hotel were nothing but pleasant and fun to converse with. The spa was a great temperature for the 95 degree weather and was open late (+++).

As far as 'cons' go, I truly can't think of anything really negative that stood out. Do I wish the rooftop bar had been open? - YES, because it would have been fabulous. But would I fault the hotel for this? Nope. The neighborhood around the hotel kind of confused me (industrial? suburb? just plain quiet?), but the walk to the metro was pleasant and not long.

In the end, the hotel was everything we wanted and hoped it would be. Thanks for a wonderful stay, beautiful people.

-H

Room Tip: Upon check-in we were offered a $20 upgrade and took it. Not sure how this upgraded room compared to...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TaylorplusHannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 8, 2013

After years of hearing about it in travel shows and from other travelers, and after meeting the adorable sales director Mackenzie, I finally made a trip to Phoenix just to see the hotel, and to visit a friend who just recently moved there. The Clarendon is wonderful! Off Central Ave, it is a short drive to the rest of downtown Phoenix, the US Airways Center, Chase Field and the Convention Center, as well as to the Biltmore/Camelback financial center. Front desk is very welcoming with its young attractive staff (Jesus could use a few more smiles), check in is fast and informative, teling you about the restaurant, pool, spa and offering welcome snacks which you can ask for free anytime from the front desk which other hotels would normally charge $3-$10 for!
The hotel has 3 floors of rooms and a rooftop, which thankfully was already finished construction when I went there just recently based on previous reviews.
I got a one bedroom suite! It was very spacious, had a living room separate from the bedroom which was also huge! I love the bright colors in the room and in the hotel that gave it its artsy, hipster, funky vibe. The artwork is mounted on a slide and doubles as a sunshade during the morning hours in the bright Arizona desert sun-very functional! The room had a see through fridge, granite countertop bar, a Keurig coffeemaker, huge flat screen TVs and a huge amenity basket when you can buy wine, sunscreen, a Tshirt, electronic cigarette, olive oil(?), a scorpion lollipop, etc. Inside the bedroom, the bed and pillows are comfortable, air condition is right on (and completely necessary), has a huge closet with blowdryer and ironing board, robes, another huge TV and lots of mirrors! The only thing I would ask for is counterspace! The bathroom, though adequate, is disproportionately small to the rest of the room. However, my trip did not suffer because of it. Their soap, shampoo and conditioner are on dispensers, another environmentally conscious choice. The rooms look out into the central courtyard where the pool is, which is the nerve center of the hotel. The pool is huge and the jacuzzi can hold 20-30 people, a fabulous idea! There are cabanas for rent and there is a small indoor pool bar. I think it would be better if the bar was outside and there will be more people inclined to buy a drink if it were. However, the bar tender was super nice and friendly but not very intrusive nor do you feel under pressure to order. A design flaw is having wet bikinied guests have to go through the lobby to take the elevator to the rooms, maybe its also a decided advantage to provide restaurant patrons something to ogle at while waiting for their tables-the hotel has a decidedly young and attractive clientele, gay friendly but not a turn off for families who mix in just as well. Another design suggestion would be to enlarge the lobby of the hotel. As it is now, there are glass walls that separate it from their busy restaurant the Gallo Blanco. If those walls were torn out, the lobby and the waiting area for the restaurant would be one, offering a larger lobby as well as a more vibrant atmosphere a lobby restaurant provides. The Gallo Blanco is packed, very popular and always has a waiting list because of its good food.
The hotel's parking lot is the historic site of the car bombing that injured and eventually snuffed out the life of Don Bolles, an investigative reporter of the Arizona Republic who was trying to expose the corruption of Arizona in the 70's. Instead of sweeping it under the carpet, the hotel remains true to its history by displaying a bust of the reporter, as well as photos of the scene on the walls leading up to its meeting space. There is a small spa too, but didn't have the time to try it even with the comp foot massage which is a genius stroke of marketing. It's owner, Don Bethel, is a hands on proprietor and manager of the hotel, with deep roots in the community and spends the money, time for its upkeep as a hip hotel in PHX.
He spent a small fortune on the rooftop bar, which is now all fixed, with sustainable wood planks and huge umbrella white sails billowing in the wind, reminiscent of Canada Place in Vancouver or the Denver International Airport, protecting its party goers from the harsh Arizona sun in the daytime, which turns out to be a great party venue at night as you see the downtown skyline beyond in the night sky.
Whenever you're in Phoenix, chuck the standard chain hotels and stay at the Clarendon. Sure, it is nice to stay at places where you know what service to expect, but once in a while a place like the Clarendon comes when you can experience something unique, and where the hotel is the destination itself!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank RichieSel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

Me and my mother stayed here on one of our visits to the States. We have travelled overseas annually together for the past 10 years or so and have stayed in some beautiful hotels but The Clarendon is by far our favorite! We often talk about how wonderful out stay was.
Our room was gorgeous and felt like no one had ever stayed in it before. The staff were very friendly. The pool was so nice, It was 120 degrees for the most part of our stay so we utilized that a lot. It was a nice touch having the underwater music. The rooms were well air conditioned.
During our stay there was a free snack bar type thing behind reception which made us very happy!
The hotel was excellent value, we can't wait to return one day and will definitely recommend our friends traveling over from Australia to stay there.

Stayed: December 2012
Thank snowbunny_x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

My wife and I make it our priority to stay at the Clarendon for our anniversary every year and this tradition will continue. The Clarendon is a great example of how the little guy can really stand out when extra effort is put in. I own a small business and when I am on the road, I am always looking for good value to go along with a quality product. The Clarendon delivers.

Rooms are super clean and look great. One of the most comfortable beds in town. And the pool!!! We head here in the summer just to hang out there and at the rooftop patio. I tell all my friends to come to the Clarendon!!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jeff H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

I travel ALOT for work. True Million mile road warrior and I always stay at the Hilton when traveling. Not in Phoenix! I don't remember how I found this funky and cool place, but I am glad I did. The staff is great, beds are incredible and the rooms are pretty big for Phoenix.

When I visit Phoenix for work, I always stay a few extra days to enjoy the city and the hotel. This is my go to when I am in Phoenix.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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3  Thank rsnyder689
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

I have stayed at the Clarendon about a dozen times since 2005 and always enjoyed my stays here. The owners have invested incredible amounts of money into the Hotel and added many cool features for guests. I love the size and layout of the rooms, the pool and spa are awesome and Gallo Blanco's food is fantastic! I love the location since the Hotel is close to many great restaurants and bars. I look forward to my return visit soon!

Room Tip: Enjoy a two-room suite with king bed
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank inn410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013

There are come great things about this place, and some that aren't that great.

PROs:
- The free use of bikes. We loved being able to ride around and leave the car behind for a bit.
- Complimentary 20 minute foot massage. Much needed after 3 days of hiking.
- The POOL! It's amazing.
- The snacks and drinks made available in the lobby are a nice touch, and much needed when it's sweltering out.
- The decor is modern and lively.
- The staff at the front desk was always friendly. And when Ben, the owner, saw us waiting in the lobby for a taxi to the Diamondbacks game, he offered to drive us himself. Quite hands-on!

CONs:
- Tiny bathrooms with very little counter space. And there were no tissues in the room. Not a huge deal, I know, but when you are from the humid South and your nose is trying to get adjusted to the dryness and heat of Phoenix, you need them.
- I didn't care about the renovations that were ongoing in the lobby. I did, however, call about a month ago to confirm that the work to the roof-top deck would be finished by the time we arrived. I was assured that it would be, but arrived to find out just the opposite. We wouldn't have wanted to spend much time there during the day (as it was 105 degrees), but it might have been nice later in the day or in the morning.
- The AC stayed on full blast the entire time and blew directly onto the bed (and onto us).
- The towels smelled like bacon and/or hamburgers. No kidding. Not sure what that was about.
- Location - It's not really near (within walking distance) of many points of interest. Although not knowing Phoenix well at all, I'm not sure where else might be better.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank adharris0915
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 reviewResponded September 25, 2013

Thank you so much for your review.... I wanted to quickly respond to your pro's and con's so that other potential guests can see my response and be assured that we're taking care of all concerns. After all, we're in the business of making guests happy!

For your PROs: glad you liked the bikes, the complimentary spa treatment that comes with every booking (no other hotel does this), and the pool (which continues to win "best hotel pool" awards, I think 6 years in a row now), the complimentary unlimited snacks/drinks (no $8 water or $12 M&Ms here!), and the decor (which we're always improving!), the staff (I hire people because they have great big hearts first and foremost, they can learn other skills once hired), and me (hehe, I do remember giving these guests a ride to the ballpark!).

For your CONs: on the bathrooms, there should definitely be tissues in all bathrooms, and I'm going to be creating a lot more counter space in the next few months, so we are working on that; on the lobby, glad you didn't mind - we had to re-tile it, and there's never a good time to do anything in a hotel, but it's done!; on the rooftop deck I'm really surprised that anyone would have re-assured any guest that it would be open by now... we were definitely hoping, but my staff was to not promise that it would be open until the city told us it could be re-opened... everything is done and it should be open in a few days from what we're told; on the AC staying on full-blast, it sounds like you kept the fan on "high" instead of "auto" or "ultra-quiet" modes which would have stopped this immediately; towels smelling - this is a first for me, and rest assured, I'll be checking this out as soon as I come in... towels are stored nowhere near food or the kitchen, they're only stored in the laundry room and in laundry closets, so I'm really going to check this out and see what's going on; location - Phoenix is just a driving city... I can't really think of any hotels that are within walking distance of anything, unless you're spending 2-4 times as much per night.

Hopefully this helps - always be sure to contact me or my staff with any issues that you have - we're always here for you and always want you to have an amazing experience. My card with my personal phone number as well as my email address is always at the front desk for anyone to contact me... hopefully my staff can resolve something first, but I'm always available for you if they cannot take care of something.

This is just a general comment, not specific to this reviewer.... I truly believe that the essence of travel is to experience things that you wouldn't experience at home... if you're going to travel and stay in a chain hotel, eat in a chain restaurant, and drink the same chain coffee that you have at home, there's really no reason to leave your home... we want you to experience something unique and different and enjoyable... we want to show you the secret independent restaurants... we want to share with you some of the best coffee houses in the country... we'll help you explore and discover and will help create adventures that are amazing and memorable, I guarantee it!

Sincerely,
Ben Bethel
Owner/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.
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Additional Information about The Clarendon Hotel and Spa

Address: 401 W Clarendon Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013-3411
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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Phoenix
#7 Luxury Hotel in Phoenix
#14 Romantic Hotel in Phoenix
#20 Family Hotel in Phoenix
#46 Business Hotel in Phoenix
Price Range: $109 - $281 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarendon Hotel Phoenix

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