At the special rate of $85.00 per night I decided to book it . The vibe was swank with a comfortable casual feel. I have stayed at "Swank" in Palm Springs, LA , Chicago and New York, but the Clarendon had a friendly stylish vibe and for a first impression that says "welcome" to me.
As I was handed my key and headed to my room, I was asked if I needed any snacks complimentary - whatever I wanted-- What? are you kidding me? Twix and Cheetos were on the list, Woo hoo!!! Yes please! Why not I am on Vacation!!!
The property had a heated pool convenient if you visit in the winter , and a huge hot tub. Lots of properties have pools and hot tubs but the design, layout and coolness of the Clarendon's is what separates them from the average norm! Perk #2
Perk #4 Complimentary Wine from 5-6 nightly. Unfortunately I did not make it in time for "Happy Hour" but I did find a spot at their comfy hotel bar later on and enjoyed a Martini while talking to Falyn, the lovely bartender. She was not only pleasant to talk to but was a wealth of information on the cool spots to go to.
Falyn's pics which I will check out next visit : Phoenix Flea Market on Saturdays, Crescent Ballroom, Valley Bar, Hanny's ( Martini Bar)
Lux Cafe was a perfect spot for my 4pm Espresso and I did cave at the temptation of baked goodies. Great for people watching as well as delicious coffee and treats.
Perk #5 The Clarendon has an awesome restaurant with gourmet food!! I am so particular where I eat and what I eat. Again a luxury I didn't have to step out of the property to obtain my high standards of dining. Plus I can't reiterate the casual vibe and comfort level overall. I had the Shrimp Sofrito with Garlic Manchego Bread and it was absolutely delicious!
Perk #7 Breakfast complimentary in the dining room, and made to order off the menu. I am sure we have all had the complimentary breakfast at Quality Suites and it passes but at the Clarendon you are enjoying Lux Coffee (local coffee) to start your morning followed by whatever you choose of the menu. Local ingredients, organic ingredients result in a great food. I had Chilaquiles with over easy eggs and it was yummy! I couldn't wait till the next morning!!
As my tummy was happy and quite content I ventured off to the Phoenix Museum to view the GianFranco Ferre Exhibit " The White Shirt According to me". This exhibit was extraordinary. Phoenix being the only museum in North America to show this, how lucky was I, only 1.5 hours from Tucson where I live. The Installation was the exact installation as in Milan and Florence the only two locations to show the exhibit.Gianfranco Ferre was an Architect before Designer and was hugely popular in the 80's. The 24 White shirts exhibited all had a story behind them and were just eye candy by themselves. The museum also presented a small collection of his Couture pieces. My Favorite was the black dress with red roses!
An interesting current exhibit was the Zodiac collection . Renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) took as his inspiration for his twelve Chinese zodiac bronze sculptures from those that once graced the Qing dynasty fountain, in an eighteenth-century imperial retreat outside Beijing. Like other ornate objects, the original pieces were looted by the British and French troops in the Second Opium War in 1860. Viewed as a symbol of “cultural theft”, Weiwei re-created the gold-plated sculptures in 2010 as a subversive commentary on the nature of looting and repatriation.
Back at the Hotel! Breakfast # 2 consisted of flapjacks and eggs with local sausage and roasted potatoes. A sophisticated version of the Grand Slam breakfast we all know at Denny's! The flapjacks were the best pancakes I have ever tasted.
Needing a little exercise to burn off my sinful breakfast, I hopped on a cool bike that was complimentary Perk #8 For two hours I had fun exploring the neighborhoods specifically the Willo and Encanto districts. Beautiful homes, bungalows, landscaping and the retro mid century era all was visible to me on a quiet Sunday morning.
It is amazing what a little get away can do for your spirits and well being. The Clarendon and Phoenix museum did just that for me!!!