Hotel Review: The Clarendon Hotel and Spa

Considering that the drive to Phoenix is a mere 6 hours away, located right next to the state of California, I really didn’t know much about this Wild West city. Sure it was home to one of the biggest party schools in the nation and I was sure there would be good guacamole, but I didn’t know much else about the place. That is, until checking into The Clarendon Hotel and Spa, located just North of Central City Phoenix.

We arrived in Phoenix during its off-season, which was both good and bad.

View of the city of Phoenix

The good news was that it wasn’t crazy crowded and that we got to see a much different side to Phoenix than its normal, bustling state full of college kids, city crowds and tourists from all over the country.

The bad news was this left us with a MUCH different, almost less-authentic, vibe. Everyone leaving meant it felt slightly deserted without anything fun to do. The people of Phoenix left to go camping, visit the Grand Canyon or go home on summer vacation.

And Phoenix was surprisingly expensive! The museums and restaurants were in the pricy department, leaving us bored and wandering around trying to find something within our price range.

After wandering around Downtown Phoenix for an hour, I remembered the epic pool I saw from the website of our next hotel, The Clarendon Hotel and Spa and decided to head there before our arrival time. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have checked in early that afternoon.
Phoenix Mountains - view from Clarendon Hotel and Spa

The Property

First of all, The Clarendon Hotel and Spa is known to locals and tourists alike as a premier getaway with one of the most colorful pools in the city and the best rooftop view of Phoenix. While you’ll get a taste of the local scene with a very popular nightlife on the roof, you’ll also feel the international vibe when you step into the lobby.

Secondly, The Clarendon Hotel and Spa confirmed my suspicions about there good guacamole in Phoenix.

Cafe Tranquilo is the hotel’s Mexican-style restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks all throughout the day and night. And I had more guacamole than any one person should have in a 24-hour period.

As a boutique hotel that provided both luxury amenities and urban views, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon and evening in Phoenix.

Rooftop Bar and view at the Clarendon Hotel and SpaColorful outdoor pool at the Clarendon Hotel and Spa        Water fountain exterior shot of the Clarendon Hotel and Spa exterior shot of Cafe Tranquilo and the Clarendon Hotel and Spa

The Amenities

Upon arrival, we were handed a list of snacks that were available at all times. Should us weary travelers find ourselves in need of a sugar fix or a salty snack, we simply call the front desk or walk on up to receive a variety of treats for free!

We walked into our room and were greeted with an outstanding 500 sq. ft space including a private bedroom and separate living room space. This is the approximate time when I decided turning on my iPhone and dancing around the proximity of the room like Beyoncé was a good idea. 

In addition to this awesomeness, the Clarendon offers guests the following:

  • Room service
  • A number of spa services
  • 42″ flat-screen television
  • Alarm clock / radio
  • A huge safe
  • Coffee maker
  • Bath robes
  • Ironing board / Iron
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Complimentary Rooftop Wine Hour from 5 pm – 6 pm
  • Restaurant and Bar open from 7 am – 1 am

Steak and Eggs and toast at Cafe Tranquilo at the Clarendon Hotel and SpaOutdoor pool lounge chairs Clarendon Hotel and SpaSunset rooftop view Clarendon Hotel and Spa


Things To Do

The Clarendon Hotel and Spa offers plenty of things to do whether you’re from the greater Phoenix area or coming in from out-of-town. The Clarendon provides bicycles for an unlimited amount of time to explore the surrounding areas and even has a list of their favorite restaurants and bars in the area!

Cafe Tranquilo on site is a great local hangout providing some of the best local and Mexican cuisine I had in Phoenix. The morning we had breakfast, we noticed several suits enjoying breakfast before their various day jobs in the big city.

But the foooooood. BOMB. 

What was probably the best event, in this wino’s opinion, was the wine hour that took place on the rooftop. Not too far before sunset hour, the hotel provides wines from various regions, (primarily the California wine regions) for free on their rooftop bar. Once the magical sunset hour hits, you’ll be surrounded by amazing sounds, colors, libations and good vibrations.

As previously mentioned, the pool is also one of the hotel’s greatest attributes. Surrounded by some of the most colorful tile work, tranquil water displays and relaxing lounge chairs, this area is nothing short of relaxing.

The Clumsy Traveler chilling poolside at the Clarendon Hotel and SpaDSC_0090The Clumsy Traveler enjoying the view at the Clarendon Hotel and SpaDSC_011421 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Arizona Now


Staying at The Clarendon was like staying at a really good friend’s house. If that friend happened to own a hotel.

From the kind girl at the front desk to the amazing wait staff and the awesome rooftop bartender, we could not have felt more welcome at The Clarendon Hotel and Spa.

I think it was witnessing management checking on their guests throughout the restaurant that really confirmed their amazing hospitality. As someone who previously worked in the restaurant industry, seeing managers take a hands-on approach with their guests is just one of the many touches that show diners that they really care.

The Clumsy Traveler laying poolside at the Clarendon Hotel and Spa - blonde in bikini in lounge chair

Thank you to The Claredon Hotel & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona for providing us with a complimentary stay during our road trip. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

2 comments on “Hotel Review: The Clarendon Hotel and Spa”

  1. Wow! As the owner of The Clarendon Hotel and Spa and Cafe Tranquilo, I have to say thank you so much for this review! It came as a surprise to me, and I cannot thank you enough. When I first bought the hotel 12 years ago, I was just a programmer/analyst for a major health insurance company, but I loved to travel and loved hospitality… I had $3000 in my pocket and took over the LLC that previously owned the hotel as they were about to go bankrupt. With the help of friends and family, and literally no money we set out to 1) improve the neighborhood, 2) create a sense of community and a space for locals and visitors alike, and 3) hopefully succeed in trying to create a great experience that people would love and the money would follow. I’ve always believed that the essence of travel is to experience that which you cannot experience at home… otherwise, if you stay in the same beige, boring big-box hotels and eat at the same chain coffeehouses and restaurants that you would at home, you may as well never even bother traveling, right?! So again, thank you, I’m glad you ‘get it’ and understand that we’re trying to make a fun overall experience… we know we’re not perfect and we don’t have millions (or billions) of dollars in our pocket, but we want to make our guests have a great time… sounds like we succeeded, and that fills my heart with happiness and joy!

    1. Thank you for the wonderful comment Ben! I TOTALLY got the vibe you were going for, it permeated throughout your property 🙂 It was a real pleasure to stay at your fun hotel and be surrounded by such charismatic and friendly faces. I can’t wait to come back again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *