As the fifth-largest city in the United States, Phoenix has a ton to offer. The south-central Arizona city is notoriously laid-back, picturesque, perpetually sunny, and has vibrant food, nightlife, craft brewery, and live music scenes. Outdoor recreation of all types is also wildly popular in Phoenix. Whether you prefer hiking or biking, watersports, trail running, golf, or something else entirely, you’ll find it all here.
One thing many people don’t realize about Phoenix is that it’s completely surrounded by mountains. In fact, it’s often referred to as “The Valley,” short for “The Valley of the Sun.” There are hundreds of individual peaks and seven main mountain ranges circling Phoenix, including the popular South Mountain, McDowells, Superstitions, and Phoenix Mountains. Rumor holds that Phoenix has some of the best urban hiking in the country, and that’s not at all difficult to believe. Even if hiking isn’t really your thing, Phoenix’s expansive mountains provide incredible views everywhere you look!
Whether you’re a local looking to unwind with a weekend “staycation” or you’re craving somewhere warm and sunny, Phoenix is the perfect destination. Check out the world-class shopping in the Biltmore Corridor or neighboring Scottsdale, explore the city’s miles and miles of hiking trails and pedestrian paths, and sample craft beers from one of the locally-owned breweries. Or you can take a day trip to Sedona, Saguaro National Park, or the Grand Canyon — all within easy driving distance.
Whatever brings you to the desert, Phoenix has plenty of unique hotels, charming B&Bs, and sprawling luxury resorts. So many, in fact, that you may have a difficult time choosing one. So we’ve created a list of 12 of the best hotels in Phoenix to help you plan your perfect getaway!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: 12 Cool Boutique Hotels in Phoenix, Arizona
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Where to stay in Phoenix
Phoenix is enormous, and it can be a bit overwhelming figuring out what part of town to stay in. There are lots of things to do in every part of the city, but fortunately, most (not all, but most) of the best Phoenix hotels are concentrated in a few distinct areas: downtown Phoenix, the Biltmore Corridor, and Midtown.
Downtown Phoenix is one of the oldest parts of the city, with many buildings dating back to the 1880s — long before Arizona became a state in 1912. Because of that, downtown has a very unique look and vibe, with an interesting mix of both historic and new buildings. You’ll find clusters of restaurants, cafes, bars, and boutique hotels in the most popular sections of downtown including the artsy Roosevelt Row (“RoRow”), Monrovia, and CityScape, the very center of downtown. Downtown Phoenix is extremely walkable, with just about everything being within a 15-minute stroll.
The Biltmore Corridor, in the central part of town right along the Phoenix-Scottsdale border, is also historic. It isn’t quite as old as downtown Phoenix, but was established in the 1920s and is still home to many significant, well-preserved buildings from that time period.
Midtown, and the adjacent Uptown, are just a few miles north of the Biltmore area and close to Scottsdale’s popular Camelback Corridor. There are no high-rise hotels in this area. Properties in Midtown and Uptown tend to be sprawling resorts nestled into residential areas or tucked at the base of urban mountains. This area is also characterized by an abundance of hip eateries and local-favorite bars, plus it has the added benefit of being away from downtown crowds (and traffic).
Although Phoenix is huge, it’s very easy to get around. The roads are on a near-perfect grid system running the entire length and width of the city, and there are several freeways circling or running through it. That means no matter which Phoenix hotel you choose, you’ll always be within easy access of the city’s best attractions! And regardless of where you stay, you can count on gorgeous desert and mountain views, a sparkling pool, and loads of amenities.
12 Best Hotels in Phoenix, Arizona
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed getaway with your whole family, a relaxing weekend of lounging poolside, outdoor adventures, or excellent dining and shopping, the Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak has it all. Locally referred to as simply “Squaw Peak,” this sprawling resort is tucked into the Phoenix Mountain Preserve just north of the Biltmore Corridor.
This all-suite resort is enormous, with over 500 rooms separated into several areas. The mountain views are spectacular, but the main attractions at this Phoenix hotel are the waterpark and lazy river. Open seven days a week, the River Ranch Water Park features several pools including a couple specifically for children, a water slide, and a giant lazy river. Simply grab a tube and hop in! When you want to spend time out of the water, the resort also offers tennis and mini-golf.
Aside from the amazing waterpark, this Phoenix resort has two other pools, a spa, three restaurants, a small market for essentials, a gym, and an ice cream shop. It’s also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friend!
The FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel earns cool points based on its hip Roosevelt Row location alone. It also features industrial-chic decor, eclectic and artsy vibe, and it’s exceptionally dog-friendly. FOUND:RE never charges a pesky pet fee, and there’s a dog park just a short walk away.
No matter how you plan to spend your days in Phoenix, the FOUND:RE is an excellent jumping-off point. It’s a two-minute walk from the light rail, which will take you just about anywhere you need to go in the entire valley. The hotel is also within easy walking distance to several excellent downtown restaurants, breweries, bars (check out the Cobra Arcade Bar), and the Diamondbacks baseball stadium.
In your room, you’ll notice an eclectic mix of modern artwork. Every piece is from a local artist, and some of it is available for purchase. The loft-style rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows further complement the artistic vibe.
When you’re ready to soak up some of that famous Arizona sunshine, head up the pool. It’s lined with comfy overstuffed chairs and you can order poolside from the onsite restaurant, MATCH Market & Bar.
With a central downtown location, the Kimpton Hotel Palomar is easily one of the coolest hotels in Phoenix. It’s just a stone’s throw from the Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns’ arenas (where concerts are also frequently held), and the light rail runs right out front.
Kimpton’s website says the hotel is “all about extras,” and the lengthy list of amenities proves it. Pets always stay free and you’ll enjoy loaner bicycles, complimentary nightly hosted social hour, in-room Gaiam yoga mats with access to on-demand pilates and yoga classes, and workout privileges at the EoS Fitness next door.
Speaking of guest rooms, rooms at the Kimpton Palomar are oversized and contemporary. Bright with modern decor, large windows, and floor-to-ceiling glass showers that make them seem even larger. Most rooms have sweeping city and mountain views, and suites also have deep soaking tubs.
Of course, you don’t come to Phoenix to stay indoors, so you’ll definitely want to spend time on the third-floor rooftop pool. Enjoy the huge deck and poolside bar overlooking Cityscape where all the cocktails are whimsical. Adult Capri Suns that come in pouches and drinks in bear-shaped honey jars are just a few of the fun menu options.
The Arizona Biltmore, known locally as simply “The Biltmore,” has a rich history, ideal uptown location, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. As a Waldorf Astoria resort property, this gorgeous, iconic Phoenix hotel is also luxurious.
The Biltmore was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1929, hosting everyone from movie stars to sitting presidents. It underwent a massive renovation in 2020, preserving much of the original architecture. There’s still a speakeasy from Prohibition days that has a searchlight on the roof to warn people the police are coming!
Modern amenities include eight pools, one main pool with a water slide and swim-up bar, and several smaller pools throughout the property. There are croquet courts, a putting green, lawn chess, a gym, and the prestigious Arizona Biltmore Golf Club is right next door. Guest room options include resort rooms with private patios, suites, villas, and historic cottages.
This beautiful hotel technically straddles the border between Phoenix and Scottsdale, so you’ll enjoy the close proximity to both. Shopping, dining, and nightlife in Old Town Scottsdale and Biltmore Fashion Center are mere minutes away, as well as several of Phoenix’s most popular hiking trails. The Biltmore also offers guided hikes twice a week.
Another historic and iconic Phoenix boutique hotel, the Royal Palms Resort and Spa is nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain, ideally located between downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale. This Spanish Colonial property was built by a financier in 1929 as a private estate and was converted into a hotel shortly after the end of WWII. So it has a perfectly fitting romantic history.
This Old World-style Phoenix hotel was designed as a lavish hideaway, and you definitely get that sense. It’s posh, yet intimate and inviting with stone archways and wrought-iron gates that lead into hidden courtyards. And scattered throughout the yard are fountains and lovely seating areas.
The pool area is lined with cabanas and has a casual poolside bar. T. Cook’s, a nationally-celebrated restaurant, is also onsite and you’ll want to eat here at least once. Enjoy the two-story gym, the open-air spa, and the relaxing steam room.
No one will blame you if you don’t leave your room. The beds at the Royal Palms are outrageously comfortable and the soaking tubs and showers with steam feature are divine. If you decide to venture out, the Cholla Trailhead connects you directly with Camelback Mountain. You can also check out the complimentary bicycles, and the resort even offers trail kits with snacks and bottled water.
If you’re looking for a cool Phoenix hotel that has a little bit of literally everything, you’ll love the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge! In addition to nearly 1,000 rooms, this sprawling property in north Phoenix has several pools, a lazy river, multiple restaurants, a spa, fitness center, two 18-hole championship golf courses, tennis courts, and a large events and conference center.
Seeking a relaxing getaway? It’s easy to find a place to yourself in this large resort. Treat yourself to a spa treatment, hang out in one of the hot tubs, reserve a poolside cabana cottage, or retreat to the soaking tub in your room. When you’re ready to refuel, there are six restaurants ranging from fast-casual to a formal sit-down steakhouse.
The AAA, 4-Diamond property is luxurious, but goes out of its way to cater to families as well. In addition to the five pools, there’s a water slide and splash pad, and the hotel organizes fun activities for children on weekends.
There’s plenty to do at this Phoenix hotel, but if you do venture out, the JW Marriott is conveniently located near some of Phoenix’s most popular attractions. Dozens of hiking trails are minutes away at Pinnacle Peak, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, and Phoenix Mountains Preserve. Plus there’s excellent shopping and entertainment in both the Desert Ridge Marketplace and Kierland Commons.
7. The Camby
If you don’t know what “Southwestern chic” means, it will become clear the moment you step into The Camby. This unique Phoenix hotel is decked out with copper ceilings and marble fixtures, traditional Aztec patterns, and bold artwork. Then accented with turquoise and steer skulls wearing nose rings. It’s right at home in the Biltmore, an upscale urban playground in the desert.
Inside The Camby’s guest rooms you’ll find vinyl record players, soundproof windows, complimentary wi-fi, and views of Camelback, the mountain from which the hotel takes its nickname. The hotel is also pet-friendly, welcoming up to two dogs.
In addition to the rooftop pool (which is open 24/7), this hip Phoenix hotel deck features a bar, plenty of shaded seating, and water misters to keep you cool. Inside, there’s also a spa and fitness center that offers yoga classes for hotel guests.
When you want to venture out, you won’t have to go far to find some of the valley’s best restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. The Biltmore Fashion Center is just across the street (Capital Grille and Snooze are musts!), and you can also take one of the complimentary loaner bicycles out to explore.
8. Hermosa Inn
In comparison to most Phoenix hotels, the Hermosa Inn is on the small side. Comprised of just 34 private casitas on six acres, the Hermosa Inn feels ultra-exclusive. And while it’s tucked away in Paradise Valley, it’s just minutes away from the Biltmore Corridor.
Built by hand in the 1930s by cowboy artist Lon Megargee, the Hermosa Inn is one of the oldest hotels in Phoenix. It was originally the artist’s private home and studio, and the impeccable artistry still shines through nearly a century later. The lush desert landscaping lets the area’s natural beauty show off and the original adobe architecture retains a charming “Old Arizona” feel. And of course, several original Megargee paintings still adorn the walls.
You’ll love the pool and two spas, elaborate gardens,the fitness center, and intimate outdoor seating areas throughout the hotel. Each casita is uniquely decorated and features plush robes, a soaking tub, free wi-fi, and a private patio.
If you want to explore nearby Arcadia and Paradise Valley, take one of the complimentary bicycles out for the day. Don’t miss eating dinner at LON’s, though — the Four Diamond restaurant is so good that locals are known to regularly drop in for dinner.
Tucked in Midtown Phoenix away from the downtown hub, the Clarendon Hotel and Spa is an urban oasis. Its colorful pool area features a main pool, a large hydro spa, plenty of oversized chaises and sofa beds, and private cabanas. Cabana rentals include complimentary water, snacks, soda, and towel rentals. The crown jewel of the pool area is the “water wall,” which is exactly what it sounds like — a stunning wall of constantly cascading water.
The Clarendon is dog-friendly, offers complimentary soft drinks and snacks, has a 24-hour gym, free parking, and ChargePoint electric vehicle charging stations. All of the artwork in the guestrooms (and the huge mural in the lobby) is done by local Phoenix artists, and some rooms have pool views.
Midtown has an exceptional restaurant and nightlife scene, with dozens of options within a 15-minute walk. From the Clarendon, it’s also an easy walk to the nearest light rail station and Steele Indian School Parkwhich has two dog parks and several walking paths. This Phoenix hotel is also about 15 minutes from both the airport and downtown.
Yet another Phoenix hotel featuring a full-blown water park, the sprawling, Spanish-style Arizona Grand Resort offers something for everyone. The resort’s centerpiece is the Oasis Waterpark, with eight-story slides, a giant wave pool, a lazy river with unique side-by-side tubes, and a 25-person hot tub.
The waterpark is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of amazing hotel amenities. There’s also the Arizona Grand Golf Course, a 20,000 square-foot athletic club, a spa, and several restaurants. Head to Rustler’s Rooste for incredible sunset views and make sure to take a ride down the slide! For great Mexican fare, try Aunt Chilada’s for lunch or dinner.
There’s so much to do at this Phoenix resort that you truly don’t ever have to leave the property! Plus it’s just minutes from downtown Phoenix and the airport. If you want to experience some classic Southwest hikes, the Arizona Grand is tucked into the base of the South Mountain Park and Preserve, one of the biggest urban parks in the country.
With the beautiful North Mountain Preserve as its backdrop, the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort is a true desert oasis. Like its sister property, the Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak, this Phoenix hotel has multiple pools and restaurants and is located close to hiking trails and other outdoor recreation opportunities.
At the center of the all-suite Tapatio Cliffs Resort is the Falls Water Village, with a 138-foot water slide, two pools, a giant waterfall, and the outdoor Cascades Cafe. There are a few other pools, including one for adults only, and several hidden grottos. Lounge chairs and cabanas are nicely spread out, so it’s easy to find a private corner to relax.
In addition to spending time at the pool, you can take advantage of tennis and pickleball courts, the fitness center, and the award-winning 18-hole Lookout Mountain Golf Club. There are dozens of easy to moderate hiking trails near the resort, including some just behind the property. End your sun-soaked days at one of the three onsite restaurants, which all have outdoor seating and excellent sunset views.
12. Hotel San Carlos
If you’re a history buff or into architecture, you’ll love the historic Hotel San Carlos. This downtown Phoenix hotel opened in 1928, but served as Phoenix’s first-ever school from the time it was built in 1874 until 1916. This seven-story hotel holds the title of many other Phoenix “firsts” as well, including being the first Phoenix hotel with air-conditioning and the first hotel with elevators in the entire state. Thanks to its cutting-edge technology at the time of its opening, the hotel attracted many A-list celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, and Clark Gable.
Today, Hotel San Carlos offers modern amenities in the remarkably well-preserved landmark building. There’s a rooftop pool and sundeck, a fitness center, convenience store, and barber shop. The onsite restaurant is excellent, and several downtown Phoenix staples are within easy walking distance as well. Be sure to stop into The Kettle Black and Seamus McCaffrey’s.
Local legend says that the Hotel San Carlos is haunted. While other hotels may try to hide such an association, Hotel San Carlos embraces it. It’s become part of the property’s identity, and even part of the city’s. Phoenix has been modernizing its entire downtown area for several years now, and that process has included demolishing several historic buildings. But thankfully, Hotel San Carlos is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which keeps it protected for all to enjoy — haunted or not!
That’s it – 12 of the best Phoenix hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Phoenix? Let us know below in the comments.
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