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The Clarendon Hotel - Phoenix's Urban Retreat 3.5

Midtown, Phoenix, Arizona

Review Summary

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Pros

Cons

  • Some complaints of young, noisy guests
  • Daily $15 resort fee

Bottom Line

This mid-range boutique is the opposite of a corporate chain, with 1960s retro decor, hip employees and clientele, and a fun atmosphere. The popular Gallo Blanco Cafe and Bar, and the convenient location near downtown Phoenix, draw a devoted fan base. But you'll have to shell out $15 a day for the resort fee.

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Scene

Hip, retro boutique

The 104-room Clarendon is one of the coolest hotels in Phoenix. It draws artists, young couples, and hipsters, though it’s also family-friendly enough that you can bring the kids. The pool is a scene unto itself, with plenty of tan bodies in the warm months. The entire property is on the older side, but with the retro style, it all fits nicely together. Downstairs, the Gallo Blanco Cafe and Bar is a happening, popular hangout for not only guests, but many local devotees.

The Clarendon is known around Phoenix as the hotel where local newspaper reporter Don Bolles was killed in 1976 by a car bomb. The murder is a mystery to this day, but the mafia are rumored to have been involved. A tribute in the lobby and storyboards in the hotel explain the longtime unsolved crime.

Location

Just north of downtown Phoenix, within walking distance of a light rail stop

Map of The Clarendon Hotel - Phoenix's Urban Retreat

The resort is on Clarendon Avenue, about two miles north of downtown Phoenix, three blocks from the main artery of Central Avenue. The neighborhood is a mix of residential and business buildings, with few restaurants and shopping in the immediate area. The city’s light rail (available within walking distance) or a rental car are the best ways to experience downtown attractions such as the US Airways Center. Shuttle service is not offered.

  • 10-minute walk to a Central Avenue stop on the Phoenix Light Rail System
  • 10-minute drive or 15 minutes by light rail to downtown Phoenix, US Airways Arena, Chase Field, and many restaurants
  • 10-minute drive to the Phoenix Art Museum
  • 15-minute drive to Piestewa Peak, a popular hiking destination
  • 15-minute drive or 30 minutes by light rail to Sky Harbor International Airport
  • 20-minute drive to the Phoenix Zoo
  • 30-minute drive to downtown Scottsdale

Rooms

Retro decor, uncluttered layout, and big flat-screen TVs

Rooms are spacious, uncluttered, and tastefully decorated, if not quite luxurious. The 42-inch flat-screen TVs and bathrobes are nice touches.

All rooms include:

Room types:

  • Deluxe King: 325 square feet; king bed
  • Junior Suite: 400 square feet; king or two double beds; iPod dock alarm clock
  • Pool View Suite: 500 square feet; king bed or two double beds; separate living room and bedroom; sofa bed; iPod dock

Features

A fun pool and a no-frills 24-hour fitness center

  • Attractive heated pool and Jacuzzi area with cool water features (arcs of water springing from the pavement into the pool) that's a lively, popular spot when the weather is warm
  • Rooftop deck access
  • Small, basic 24-hour fitness center with an elliptical machine, a treadmill, two recumbent bikes, an exercise ball, and free weights
  • 24-hour business center comprised of a desk in the lobby with a single computer and printer
  • 24-hour front desk staff
  • ATM machine
  • Covered self-parking area
  • Laundry facilities
  • Daily $15 resort fee covers Wi-Fi, two bottles of water, free late-night snacks, daily newspaper, fitness center, in-room coffee, covered parking, long-distance calls, pool passes, sunscreen, and $20 gift card for future stay

Food

Gallo Blanco Cafe and Bar

  • The Gallo Blanco Cafe and Bar serves Southwestern dishes with locally procured ingredients for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's popular with locals as well as guests, and menu items include the Carne Asada Burrito ($9) and Pollo Asado ($14). Entrees range from $8 to $14.
  • No room service, but a to-go menu is available for those wishing to dine in-room

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Address

401 West Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, Central Arizona 85013, United States

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Pool View Suite

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