I just discovered the best place to stay in Downtown Phoenix, plus extracurricular activities!!!

Thanks to Hotels.com  the Clarendon popped up as I was searching for a hotel in Phoenix.   My visit specifically was  to see the Gianfranco Ferre Exhibit at the Phoenix Museum of Art.FullSizeRender (12)

The Clarendon surpassed my expectations!!!! IMG_0099

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!!!

Perk #1003My room was spacious, quiet, and the decor was pleasantly modern.  Comfortable, clean and functional. Classical music was dialed in as I entered- NiceIMG_0097

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 #2007

Perk #3  Rooftop Garden and Bar.FullSizeRender (13)  Great view, Great lounge pads and on Thurs, Fri Jazz complimentary.  I didn’t even have to leave my hotel to listen to good music- Awesome.

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

Falyn’s pics which I will check out next visit : Phoenix Flea Market on Saturdays, Crescent Ballroom, Valley Bar, Hanny’s ( Martini Bar)

I did visit her suggestion Lux CafeFullSizeRender (7)

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.

Ready for Jazz!!  The trio was great and to have this little luxury at the push of 4 flights up in the elevator you couldn’t ask for anything better-FullSizeRender (10)

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!shrimp sofritos

Perk #6  If you are a dog lover like me, it is so nice to see dogs welcome at your hotel. Indeed I did!FullSizeRender (9)

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!!

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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.FullSizeRender (2)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.FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (3)  The museum also presented  a small collection of his Couture pieces.  My Favorite was the black dress with red roses!FullSizeRender (6)

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.FullSizeRender (8)

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.IMG_0194

Needing a little exercise to burn off my sinful breakfast, I hopped on a cool bike that was complimentary Perk #8012clarendon 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.IMG_0210 (1)

IMG_0218IMG_0222I really felt free, peaceful and totally happy!!! Perk #9 that wasn’t in the brochure.

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!!!