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Where to Stay in Phoenix: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018

Called the Valley of the Sun with good reason, Phoenix spreads out in the picturesque Sonoran desert, drawing visitors with dry, sunny days and plenty of appealing accommodation options. Whether you're seeking a large resort packed with amenities, a stylish boutique inn, or a budget hotel, you can find it here. The best area to stay depends on the attractions and activities that interest you. Stroll around the mural-covered buildings in the Roosevelt Row (RoRo) arts district, or explore dining and shopping in Midtown and Uptown. The Heard Museum, Children's Museum of Phoenix, and the historic homes of Heritage Square are easy to access on the new Valley Metro Light Rail system. A bit farther out, in Papago Park, explore a staggering variety of desert plants at the Desert Botanical Garden. In Scottsdale, check out the McDowell Sonoran Preserve or take a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West home and architecture and design school.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Evening view of Phoenix
Evening view of Phoenix
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The Westin Phoenix Downtown is an ideal urban escape in the heart of the city, with downtown views from the heated, rooftop saltwater pool and terrace. The in-house restaurant features farm-to-table dining, and guests can order romantic room amenities, like chocolate-dipped strawberries or a miniature pastries platter. The hotel is handy to Chase Field, Talking Stick Resort Arena, and the Phoenix Museum of Art.

Hip, new boutique stay FOUND:RE Phoenix offers a choice of industrial-chic rooms or suites and sits on the edge of the Roosevelt Row arts district, putting it close to the historic DeSoto Central Market. Hallways and airy public areas are filled with original art, while the rooms have a loft-like feel with platform beds and inspired lighting. Bathrooms are simple, yet luxurious. Laze by the compact pool before dinner at the superb in-house restaurant, MATCH. The light rail stops just outside for a quick ride downtown.

Choose from rooms, suites, or even luxurious private cottages at the historic Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, which opened in 1929. Although the resort wasn't designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Biltmore certainly was inspired by his legendary design style. It's especially evident in the showpiece main lobby. Set on 39 acres of elegant grounds, guests can enjoy mountain views. Take a dip in one of eight swimming pools, and you'll be in good company; screen star Marilyn Monroe swam here. Hit the links on two golf courses or get a workout on the tennis courts, then relax in the spa.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range

Papago Park
Papago Park
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At the upper end of mid-range stays, the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel is a mid-century downtown landmark and excellent city center option, putting you close to the Phoenix Convention Center, Chase Field, and Talking Stick Resort Arena. A variety of room and suite configurations are available, and the hotel has undergone a stylish, contemporary renovation in its rooms and spacious lobby. There's a fitness center and heated rooftop pool with towel service.

The 31-storey Sheraton Grand Phoenix is located in central Phoenix, making it another good choice, with easy access to the downtown campus of the University of Arizona. There's a fitness center, sundeck, and lap pool on the fourth floor. That's also where the hotel's garden is located, which grows herbs and vegetables for on-site restaurants. Dogs up to 80 pounds are allowed at this pet-friendly hotel.

Hampton Inn Phoenix-Midtown-Downtown Area is close to the light rail stop, making it handy to the Heard Museum, Chase Field, and the Phoenix Art Museum, as well as downtown theaters. It has a pool, hot breakfast is included, and there are microwaves and mini-refrigerators in the rooms. The hotel is also within walking distance of restaurants.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Night in downtown Phoenix
Night in downtown Phoenix
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Staying north of downtown Phoenix often means considerable savings for vacationers with a car. Located just off Interstate 17, Hyatt Place Phoenix North includes a complimentary breakfast, parking, and a daily shuttle service within a five-mile radius of the hotel in its rates. Pets are welcome, and there's a convenient grab-and-go station in the lobby, as well as other in-house dining options. The in-room mini-fridge is also handy.

Near downtown, America's Best Value Inn - Downtown Phoenix is a basic motel with clean rooms. It offers several welcome extras, including free parking and complimentary breakfast. Families will appreciate the on-site guest laundry. There's a wide range of restaurants nearby, both eat-in and fast food. The hotel is located close to the Japanese Friendship Garden, Arizona Science Center, and Children's Museum of Phoenix.

Heading north of downtown, Comfort Suites Phoenix North is a clean and comfortable stay that puts travelers close to Metrocenter Mall, Castles-n-Coasters family amusement park, and the University of Phoenix Stadium. Free hot breakfast is included, and there's a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker in each room. Parking is free, and there's also an indoor pool.

Where to Stay for Families

Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale
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The recently renovated Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix-Scottsdale appeals to families, with spacious two-room suites with a sleeper sofa, complimentary hot breakfast, and a heated pool. Cribs, playpens, and high chairs are available, and the on-site restaurant has a kids' menu. The hotel is beside a golf club, boasts mountain views, and is close to shops and restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale, Paradise Valley Mall, and the new Dolphinaris dolphin experience attraction.

The Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is a massive, 744-suite property that has just undergone a renovation and has enough to do on the grounds to keep families happily occupied. Kids will love being able to walk from the room to the Oasis Water Park, with a huge water slide, wave pool, and river tube ride. There's the Arizona Grand Golf Course, a spa for parents to relax, and six places to dine, including the adjacent Rustler's Rooste, a hilltop Western-themed steakhouse, where you can enter by the door or via the tin slide into the dining room. The Arizona Mills Mall, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and Sea Life Arizona Aquarium are within a short drive.

Where to Stay for Romance

Aerial view from Scottsdale
Aerial view from Scottsdale
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A romantic getaway with boutique sensibilities and a hip vibe, The Clarendon Hotel and Spa makes the most of its midtown Phoenix location with a rooftop Skydeck that was named a local "best date spot." Retreat to one of the large cabanas surrounding the pool, which features a colorful Italian mosaic, large water wall, and generous-sized hydro spa. Spacious rooms have bright décor and come with mini-refrigerators and plush robes. There's an on-site spa, while restaurant Tranquilo specializes in Southwest cuisine. Pop back to the Skydeck at sunset for a mountain and cityscape vista.

Royal Palms Resort and Spa is a large property that manages to have the intimate feel of a Mediterranean getaway. The historic property has views of stunning Camelback Mountain, lush gardens, fountains, and reflecting pools. Some guest rooms and suites have outdoor fireplaces, or choose a casita or villa with a private terrace for true seclusion. Romance packages include secluded dining by candlelight in hidden "lover's corners" on the grounds, couples' massages, and rose-petal turndowns. The hotel can arrange day trips to Sedona, the Grand Canyon, or a hot air balloon excursion, while the upscale retailers of Scottsdale Fashion Square and the merchants and restaurants in historic Old Town Scottsdale are nearby.

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