The Kimpton Palomar Phoenix is just under a year old, located in the heart of downtown. If you’re not familiar with the Kimpton chain, they’re an artful collection of hotels with all the amenities, in this case including a full-service Gold’s Gym next door for guest use. As we entered the Palomar Phoenix, a pair of loaner bikes greeted us (something we’d hoped to use, but with 99 degree heat, our bodies still needed time to acclimatize from a much cooler Vancouver).
The wifi is speedy; if you’re a Kimpton InTouch member, it’s free upon registration (as well as the $10 ‘raid the minibar’ perk). We were happy with the quiet airco system, a necessity in these parts.
Settling into our king bed room, we looked around to spot the design details that always make staying at the Kimpton a fun experience.
Little touches like a blanket with its own belt, a lamp with tree limbed-base, and quirky objects d’art add to the room’s character.
The Palomar Phoenix forms part of CityScape, a downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment hub. You’ll find everything from Urban Outfitters and CVS Pharmacy, to the Arrogant Butcher (a wonderful local favourite) and a frozen yogurt shop all within walking range of the hotel.
Hotel parking is available (self or valet). There’s light rail around the block to get around the city. Phoenix’s downtown core is pretty walkable, even in the heat. And if you’re a sports/music fan, the Palomar is right next to US Airways Center, where the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Arizona Rattlers play, alongside major concert tours. We noticed that the Phoenix Convention Center and several theaters were also close by.
A wine hour in the lobby (with free appies) leads to thoughts of dinner. We enjoyed a light meal and drinks at the Blue Hound Kitchen, where flatbreads and locally-inspired creations form the menu’s focus. Crafted cocktails and a good size gin selection left us spoiled for choice.
I started with a Midnight Punch (Batavia arrack, jasmine tea syrup, lime, and ramazotti, $10). Delicious and for me, a slow-sipping accompaniment to the endless caramel popcorn made with butterscotch and ancho chile ($6).
Mixologist Shel Bourdon was nominated for the 2008 “Best Drinks Selection” and “Best Cocktail Menu” at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Last year she took the “Ultimate Slinger Standing Cocktail” award at Arizona Cocktail Week. We were in good hands thus.
A couple of flatbread pizzas made their way to our table: the Heirloom Proscuitto (pistachio, pecorino cheese, pesto, mizuna; $12) and the Seafood (white fish, bay scallops, shrimp, vera cruz cause, mizuna; $14). By then we’d moved on to white wine (Washington’s Gotham Project Riesling; $8/glass). The Blue Hound offers eight wines on tap, adding to the Kimpton’s sustainability picture.
The bed was super comfortable. Firm mattress and soft thread count on the sheets led to a energized morning, perfect for a spot of weekend breakfast back at the Blue Hound.
A range of egg dishes, pancakes, and sides are on offer to start the day. I was happy to see that their tea was served loose leaf (sourced from Canadian company Mighty Leaf Tea); this made combining a green with an herbal rooibos easy.
On that morning, a local acoustic band (Vinyl Station) was performing at the lounge at the entrance to the Hound. The duo fit right in alongside a mashup of Southwest decor and furnishings.
An outdoor pool and bar offers an awesome view of the city below; Privately reserved DJs and BBQ parties dotted our weekend stay. Go for the cabana if they’re available; sheltered in the shade with a local IPA, we quickly adapted to the Arizona heat.
An outgoing and helpful staff made our stay all the more pleasant. There’s so many little seating areas throughout the hotel to enjoy, it’s only a matter of finding your mood, the appropriate lighting, and a comfy designer seat.
The Palomar Phoenix is located at 2 East Jefferson Street in Phoenix. Our flatbreads and drinks were hosted by Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Our room was offered at a media rate for the purpose of writing this article.