Weekenders looking for pool party
Reason to Stay
Lively pool, relaxed spa, youthful ambiance
Built in the age of diet-pills and linoleum, this 1950's motor lodge lands a retro-yet-luxurious makeover compliment of Westroc Hospitality - owners of nearby Sanctuary on Camelback. A youthful hotel alternative to the several mega-Marriott's and Hyatt resorts in the area, the six-story main building features tiptoe balconies and exterior stonework inspired by Frank Lloyd-Wright (architect-Edward Varnay was his student). Somewhere between the valet and the swimming pool, one realizes that they're not in a luxury resort but actually in a budget-chic hotel. Perhaps it's the shirtless guests roaming the grounds with plastic tumblers or the pseudo-retro chairs in the main lobby, which are neither pretty to look at or comfortable to sit. But, as with most Budget-chic hotels, the saving grace is the pool itself. A sexy and curvaceous '50s style-swimming hole surrounded by freshly purchased palms, tented cabanas and soundtrack of house music. Between the two restaurants, Café Zu Zu and Trader Vics, stick with the true classic (Trader Vic's) and order up pooh-pooh platters at the latter. Café Zu Zu aptly duplicates an outdated diner, but more a Carrow's from 2006 complete with hideous granite counter, convention-center carpet and commercial-grade ceiling tiles.<br />
A total of 156-guest rooms are spread out between a six-story hotel tower and semi-circular cabana wing - overlooking the central pool area and outdoor bar. The entrance level room, known as Signature Guest Room, features a carpeted single-room with King-size bed, sparse bathroom with terrazzo tiles (tile not marble) and separate shower/bath. Studio Guest Rooms feature a lofty floor plan with open bathroom (curtain divider for the modest) and freestanding tub designed by Michael Graves. Cabana Rooms and Terrace Suites feature large patios overlooking the pool or Camelback Mountain, but surprisingly lack the whimsical bathroom and freestanding bathtubs. All rooms feature complimentary morning coffee or espresso, feather-top beds with 300-thread-count linens and Red Flower (think Aveda in red-desert motif) bath amenities. The harsh carpeting, sparse furnishing in some of the guest rooms, and ceramic terrazzo tiles felt more office park than luxury hotel; but in all provided a fun and sexy weekend getaway at a good price.
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