Nowhere else in Arizona will you find such a wide selection of accommodations at such a wide range of prices—from basic motels to posh luxury resorts. Expect higher prices in the cooler months, especially in early spring when the numbers of snowbirds and other vacationers peak. On the other hand, resorts can be bargains in summer—prices may plummet more than 50 percent when the mercury soars. Seasonal savings decrease with lower-priced accommodations. Rates fluctuate not only through the year, but also during the day if rooms are slow or quick to fill! You may get better rates by calling ahead for a reservation or by arriving in the morning. Always ask for discounts; seniors and members of AARP or AAA often get a lower price, and some places give a "super saver" rate to everyone else. Business hotels often have a lower weekend rate, while some motels charge extra then. Except at small bed and breakfast places, you'll have to pay a tax of about 12% on room rates. Most all national chains are represented here—many in several locations. Check motel and resort listings in the free Official Visitors Guide published by the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. Prices below reflect approximate winter rates. Categories are based on double occupancy.
Reservation Services The sheer number of hotels and resorts in the Valley may seem overwhelming. Tourist offices give advice, and you can check the Internet travel sites. For bed and breakfast accommodations, try Mi Casa Su Casa (P.O. Box 950, Tempe, AZ 85280, 480/990-0682 or 800/456-0682, www.azres.com) and Arizona Trails Reservation Service (P.O. Box 18998, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269, 480/837-4284 or 888/799-4284, www.arizonatrails.com).
Hostel: Hostel International Phoenix (1026 N. Ninth St. between Portland and Roosevelt Sts., 602/254-9803, http://phxhostel.org/, $20 dorm, $32 private single, $42 private double) offers shared rooms—separate men's and women's—and private rooms that make a good choice for lowest-budget travelers. Facilities include wi-fi, continental breakfast, kitchen, washer and dryer, and info-packed bulletin boards. As the only Hostelling International-affiliated place in Arizona, the hostel sells memberships and gives out the annual HI directory. The hostel is in a run-down residential area, one mile northeast of downtown. Parking is on the street. You can walk or take a city bus to many Phoenix sights from here.
A central place for both men and women is the Downtown YMCA (350 N. First Ave., 602/253-6181, $20 s per night or $99 s per week, no reservations taken). Rooms—all singles—have bathrooms down the hall. For a small extra fee, you can use the pool, weight room, racquetball and basketball courts, running track, sauna, and hot tub.
Downtown Motels: You can't get much closer to the heart of downtown than Budget Lodge Motel (402 W. Van Buren St., 602/254-7247, $35 d) with a pool and Budget Inn (424 W. Van Buren St., 602/257-8331, $45 d). A bit farther west is Desert Sun Hotel (1325 Grand Ave., 602/258-8971 or 800/227-0301, $35 d) with a pool and restaurant. Down south two miles, E-Z 8 Motel (1820 S. Seventh St., 602/254-9787 or 800/655-3465, $40 s, $45 d) has a pool, hot tub, and restaurant.
Downtown: Quality Inn and Suites (202 E. McDowell Rd., 602/528-9100 or 800/776-5560, $79 d room, $99 d suite w/kitchenette) provides a pool and hot tub at a great location near the Phoenix Art and Heard museums.
East of Downtown/Airport: This area is handy for Valley sights, as well as the airport, but don't expect much charm. Nearly all have a pool. The less expensive places in this category include the independent Pyramid Inn (3307 E. Van Buren St., 602/275-3691, $45 s, $50 d) and Phoenix Sunrise Motel (3644 E. Van Buren St., 602/275-7661, $45 s, $53 d).
Popular chains include Howard Johnson Phoenix (124 S. 24th St., 602/220-0044, $60-80 d), Travelodge Suites (3101 N. 32nd St., 602/956-4900 or 800/950-1688, $79-119 d all with kitchenettes), Days Inn Airport (3333 E. Van Buren St., 602/244-8244 or 800/329-7466, $79 s, $89 d), Super 8 Phoenix Airport (3401 E. Van Buren St., 602/244-1627 or 800/800-8000, $50-89 d), and Ramada Limited Airport North (4120 E. Van Buren St., 602/275-5746 or 800/272-6232, $50-80 d).
Downtown: The 1928 San Carlos Hotel (202 N. Central Ave., 602/253-4121, www.hotelsancarlos.com, $129-225 s, $139-235 d) features antique-filled rooms and suites where Hollywood stars once stayed. The seven-story hotel emphasizes fine service and old-fashioned charm with modern facilities. In the heart of the city, it also offers a restaurant, cafe, Irish pub, rooftop pool, and sundeck.
Ramada Inn Downtown Phoenix (401 N. First St., 602/258-3411 or 800/272-6232, $99-159 d) has a pool and restaurant in a very central location. Best Western Central Phoenix Inn (1100 N. Central Ave., 602/252-2100, $139 d) provides a great location with a restaurant, business center, fitness center, sauna, pool, and hot tub; 8th-floor suites ($199) feature views of the Valley.
East of Downtown/Airport: Holiday Inn Select East (4300 E. Washington St., 602/273-7778 or 800/465-4329, $99-145 d) offers a restaurant, pool, hot tub, and fitness center.
$150 and up
Downtown: Two hotels in the heart of downtown appeal especially to business people and convention-goers. The 19-story Wyndham Hotel Phoenix (50 E. Adams St. at First St., 602/333-0000 or 800/996-3426, $130-205 d) has a restaurant, pool, fitness center, and a business center. The 24-story Hyatt Regency (122 N. Second St. at Adams St., 602/252-1234 or 800/233-1234, $195-265 d) features modern rooms and suites in Southwest colors, a spectacular atrium lobby, the revolving Compass Restaurant, a rooftop pool, exercise room, and a hot tub.
Biltmore Area of Northeast Phoenix: Walking into the vast atrium of Embassy Suites (2630 E. Camelback Rd., 602/955-3992 or 800/362-2779, $199-239 d) you might think you're in a tropical paradise. All suites have two rooms, wet bar, and dining area, and guests have use of the fitness center, pool, and hot tub.
Phoenix's grand old resort, the Arizona Biltmore & Spa (2400 E. Missouri Ave. at 24th St., 602/955-6600 or 800/950-0086, www.arizonabiltmore.com, $395-600 room and $685-1800 d suite Jan. 1-May 22, $195-275 room and $325-885 d suite May 23-Sept. 26, $340-550 room and $550-1495 d suite Sept. 27-Dec. 31) offers a wonderful combination of atmosphere, location, and luxury in a 39-acre oasis northeast of downtown. Frank Lloyd Wright's influence shows in the hotel's stained glass, geometric designs, and interplay of light and shadow. Wright’s Restaurant specializes in contemporary American cuisine, while Frank & Albert’s serves up American classics. Amenities include two 18-hole golf courses, a putting course, eight pools, a 92-foot water slide, two whirlpools, seven lighted tennis courts, a health spa/athletic club, and the Kids Korral offering children's activities. The hotel is also convenient to good hiking and mountain-bike riding in the nearby Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area.
Also in north Phoenix, Pointe Hilton Resort at Squaw Peak (7677 N. 16th St., 602/997-2626 or 800/876-4683 reservations, www.pointehilton.com, $299-399 suites and $600 casitas Oct.-May, $79-119 suites and $169 casitas June-Sept.) features suites and larger, more secluded one- and two-bedroom casitas on 27 acres near Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area. Lush landscaping surrounds the Spanish-style buildings. The waterfalls, seven swimming pools, 130-foot water slide, and tubing river will make a splash with the aquatic set. Kids will enjoy these as well as the game room and activities offered especially for them. The resort also provides four lighted tennis courts, Tocasierra Spa & Salon, and a fitness center. Guests enjoy golf privileges at Hilton's Tapatio Cliffs (see below), four miles away. Dining choices include Aunt Chilada's (Mexican), Hole-in-the-Wall (Western steakhouse), and the elegant Lantana Grille (American/Southwestern).
Pronounced "tapa-TEE-oh," the Pointe Hilton Resort at Tapatio Cliffs (11111 N. Seventh St., 602/866-7500 or 800/876-4683 reservations, www.pointehilton.com, $189-389 mid-Jan.-mid-May, $89-159 mid-May-mid-Sept., and $109-189 mid-Sept.-mid-Jan.) offers two-room suites, a business center, an 18-hole golf course, two lighted tennis courts, hiking and mountain biking in the nearby North Mountain Recreation Area, seven swimming pools, a 138-foot water slide, and Tocaloma Spa & Salon. You can dine at the Different Pointe of View (French-Italian-Mediterranean) with its stunning view or at informal restaurants.
The Wigwam Resort (300 Wigwam Blvd., 623/935-3811 or 800/327-0396, www.wigwamresort.com, $365-425 casita and $425-535 casita suite Jan.-May, $199-239 d casita and $239-329 casita suite June-Sept., $309-359 casita and $359-459 d casita suite Oct.-Dec.) is 17 miles west of central Phoenix in Litchfield Park; head north 2.5 miles from the I-10 Litchfield Road Exit 128. The southwestern-style resort has a heritage dating back to 1929 and a reputation for superb golf on its three 18-hole courses. Besides the fairways, guests enjoy fine dining in the Arizona Kitchen (Southwestern cuisine), nine tennis courts (six lighted), two swimming pools, and a fitness center. A spa is planned for September 2005.
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