Inside Greater Phoenix’s Hotel and Resort Building Boom

Many of the new and renovated hotel properties in the greater Phoenix area provide views of the stunning city skyline, and sometimes a full moon. (Welcomia/Shutterstock.com) In 2020, 17 new hotel properties opened in the Greater Phoenix area, adding more than 1,900 guest rooms for post-pandemic travelers and the return of convention attendees — with quite a few additional projects on the horizon, too. “This wave of new properties kicked off with the addition of the Cambria Hotel Downtown in November 2019 and we haven’t slowed down since — even through the pandemic,” said Deb Lahti, Visit Phoenix’s director of hotel and resort sales. At the same time, many established hotels and resorts renovated or thoroughly reimagined their spaces, especially those outdoors. “Whether you’re considering a luxurious resort surrounded by Sonoran Desert landscapes, or a convention hotel in the heart of downtown, you will find exciting new options to choose from in Greater Phoenix,” Lahti said. The area is now home to 69,000-plus guest rooms at more than 500 hotels and resorts, creating plenty of accommodation styles for meetings of all sizes. Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix Convention Center, the 127-room hotel that kicked off the spree of new builds in 2019, gives planners and their guests a spectacular view of the downtown skyline from the rooftop terrace, bar and lounge. (Lamp Left Media) Recent Openings • Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix Convention Center: At 2,000 square feet, the terrace bar, From The Rooftop, is the ideal size for events of up to 499 guests (or 175 at a socially distanced capacity) — especially at sunset. Additionally, the arts district–inspired hotel offers 900 square feet of indoor meeting space. • AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Downtown: Open since February 2021, the 13-story, 199-room boutique hotel features an outdoor patio with water features and fireplaces, as well as 3,400 square feet of meeting space, two media salons, and a boardroom — all about two blocks from the Phoenix Convention Center. Lylo Swim Club is the poolside bar and restaurant at Rise Uptown Hotel, located in one of Phoenix’s most iconic neighborhoods. (Rise Phoenix/Studio Alcott) • Rise Uptown Hotel: Your attendees can take a step back in time at this restored midcentury marvel. End the day with a craft cocktail, either poolside at the swim-up bar, Lylo, or at Don Woods’ Say When, the hotel’s 1,100-square-foot penthouse cocktail lounge with 270-degree city views from the 2,000-square-foot view deck. • ADERO Scottsdale: The region’s first Dark Sky Zone resort, ADERO, is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, which is part of a Dark Sky Reserve, an area the International Dark-Sky Association deems exceptional for stargazing. To that end, 95 percent of the hotel’s 177 rooms, 16 suites, and more than 16,800 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space are positioned to offer panoramic mountain views. • Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown: Located in Tempe’s Mill Avenue District, Canopy pairs 198 guest rooms with 5,000 square feet

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Phoenix Skyline

Phoenix Skyline

Many of the new and renovated hotel properties in the greater Phoenix area provide views of the stunning city skyline, and sometimes a full moon. (Welcomia/Shutterstock.com)

In 2020, 17 new hotel properties opened in the Greater Phoenix area, adding more than 1,900 guest rooms for post-pandemic travelers and the return of convention attendees — with quite a few additional projects on the horizon, too.

“This wave of new properties kicked off with the addition of the Cambria Hotel Downtown in November 2019 and we haven’t slowed down since — even through the pandemic,” said Deb Lahti, Visit Phoenix’s director of hotel and resort sales.

At the same time, many established hotels and resorts renovated or thoroughly reimagined their spaces, especially those outdoors.

“Whether you’re considering a luxurious resort surrounded by Sonoran Desert landscapes, or a convention hotel in the heart of downtown, you will find exciting new options to choose from in Greater Phoenix,” Lahti said.

The area is now home to 69,000-plus guest rooms at more than 500 hotels and resorts, creating plenty of accommodation styles for meetings of all sizes.

Rooftop Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix

Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix Convention Center, the 127-room hotel that kicked off the spree of new builds in 2019, gives planners and their guests a spectacular view of the downtown skyline from the rooftop terrace, bar and lounge. (Lamp Left Media)

Recent Openings

• Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix Convention Center: At 2,000 square feet, the terrace bar, From The Rooftop, is the ideal size for events of up to 499 guests (or 175 at a socially distanced capacity) — especially at sunset. Additionally, the arts district–inspired hotel offers 900 square feet of indoor meeting space.

• AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Downtown: Open since February 2021, the 13-story, 199-room boutique hotel features an outdoor patio with water features and fireplaces, as well as 3,400 square feet of meeting space, two media salons, and a boardroom — all about two blocks from the Phoenix Convention Center.

Rise Uptown Hotel

Lylo Swim Club is the poolside bar and restaurant at Rise Uptown Hotel, located in one of Phoenix’s most iconic neighborhoods. (Rise Phoenix/Studio Alcott)

• Rise Uptown Hotel: Your attendees can take a step back in time at this restored midcentury marvel. End the day with a craft cocktail, either poolside at the swim-up bar, Lylo, or at Don Woods’ Say When, the hotel’s 1,100-square-foot penthouse cocktail lounge with 270-degree city views from the 2,000-square-foot view deck.

• ADERO Scottsdale: The region’s first Dark Sky Zone resort, ADERO, is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, which is part of a Dark Sky Reserve, an area the International Dark-Sky Association deems exceptional for stargazing. To that end, 95 percent of the hotel’s 177 rooms, 16 suites, and more than 16,800 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space are positioned to offer panoramic mountain views.

• Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown: Located in Tempe’s Mill Avenue District, Canopy pairs 198 guest rooms with 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The hotel’s full-service rooftop pool and bar, Alibi, offers guests 180-degree views of the vibrant surrounding community.

Coming Soon

• Caesars Republic Scottsdale: Projected to open later this year, this luxury, non-gaming hotel is built for meetings. The 265-room hotel features five combinable breakout rooms, and a 7,000-square-foot, column-free ballroom with 34-foot sliding glass doors that open onto the adjacent lawn suitable for outdoor events. The hotel’s seventh floor will have a rooftop pool deck and views Camelback Mountain.

• Hyatt Place Downtown Phoenix: This 238-room hotel offers planners 4,000 square feet of flexible, high-tech meeting space. Scheduled to open in summer 2021, it will bring the room count in the city’s downtown core to more than 4,500 — all in close proximity to the Phoenix Convention Center.

• Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley: Set to open in 2022, this hotel will anchor a $2 billion, 122-acre luxury master-planned development called The Palmeraie. The hotel’s event offerings include more than 20,000 square feet of indoor event space, seven outdoor event lawns, and secret gardens. While the hotel’s 400-foot swimming pool is sure to dazzle, the bipolar ionization system that purifies the air in all 215 guest rooms and suites should put guests’ minds at ease.

Arizona Biltmore

The multimillion-dollar renovation of the Arizona Biltmore included remastering 200,000 square feet of combined indoor and outdoor flexible function space. (Courtesy Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort)

Reimagined Spaces

The Phoenix area’s new builds aren’t the only hotels and resorts to maximize their outdoor spaces. Meeting planners will find that many of this city’s established resorts are reimagining their lawns and courtyards as primary meeting venues to accommodate new possibilities.

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“What once was considered a traditional venue for mixers or meals is now an immersive setting for your general sessions or breakouts,” Lahti said. “The possibilities are limitless, and we’ve seen new interest in these types of flexible and safe venues.”

• Sheraton Phoenix Downtown: Arizona’s largest hotel, with 1,003 guest rooms, reopened in April after a $40 million, top-to-bottom renovation. The new, expansive 19,000-square-foot lobby offers delegates soundproof booths and flexible glass studios for collaboration. That’s in addition to the 26 rooms spanning more than 110,000 square feet total meeting space, including a 7,000-square-foot ballroom. This downtown convention hotel is also one of the first to display the brand’s new signature key elements, part of Sheraton’s worldwide transformation.

• Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort: Part of this iconic property’s multimillion-dollar renovation involved remastering 200,000 square feet of combined indoor and outdoor flexible function space — including ballrooms, prefunction rooms, and the Mystery Room, a Prohibition-era “speakeasy” that is used for themed events. New synthetic turf accommodates more participants on the Event Lawn, which is extended by the new Spire Bar, named for its unmistakable 30-foot totem. High-tech lighting increases the ambiance for evening events on the lawn and the Terrace Court, both of which come with views of Piestewa Peak.

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