Just as there's no shortage of things to do in Phoenix, there's no shortage of places to stay. If you want something a little more personal, or just out of the ordinary, consider staying in a boutique hotel. Here are some great ones in the city proper and in the surrounding area.
The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
Perhaps the first thing you notice about the Clarendon is the striking decor of the rooms—large stretches of reds and whites that could almost come out of a White Stripes album cover. Make your way to the rooftop for great views of the city while enjoying yoga or the bar, depending on the time of day. The restaurant hosts a complimentary wine hour from 5 to 6 every day for guests, and the spa offers massages, reflexology, and organic airbrush tanning (i.e., an upscale spray tan).
Owned by Kimpton, the Palomar is located in prime real estate near downtown's "CityScape" shopping and the entertainment district, just a short distance from Chase Field and other big attractions. The decor is modern but homey in a "put a bird on it" sort of modern way. The rooftop hosts a pool and the Lustre outdoor lounge, which serves cocktails, craft beer, and more. The spa includes haircuts, facials, and nail services, as well as massages. The hotel also offers an in-room space service. The hotel serves "hand-selected, socially responsible" wines at their social hour every night and includes a yoga mat in each room.
Hermosa Inn is located in Paradise Valley, an upscale suburb of Phoenix, and its hacienda-style trappings are pitched accordingly. With only 34 rooms, the focus here is on taking care of guests and making the accommodations themselves as nice as possible. The restaurant is so strong that there's a hotel package centered around it—they make their own chocolates and offer cooking classes. Many of the rooms are equipped with hot tubs and fireplaces and are built to let in plenty of light, as if you couldn't get enough sun in the cabana area around the pool.
The Saguaro sits in Old Town Scottsdale, near the Arts District and the Civic Center Mall. The rooms are done up in bright colors, the pool and cabana area is a big draw for locals who aren't even staying at the hotel, and there's an Iron Chef winner in the kitchen at the hotel restaurant. There is a resort fee, so if you're thinking about staying, make sure that you want to take advantage of the laundry service, free bike rental, and fitness center to get the most out of your money.
Hotel Valley Ho
Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho spun out of Westward Ho in Phoenix. Westward Ho is long-term housing now, but Hotel Valley Ho carries on its tradition. The rooms are decked out in mid-century style, and between the hotel and the tower, there is a boggling variety of rooms, all with Terrazzo tile in the bathroom and many overlooking one of the two pools. The hotel includes a spa and a fitness center, but they don't charge a resort fee. Take that money and put it towards a stay in the hotel where, among other things, a personal shopper will stock the room for your comfort before you arrive.