Convenience and curiosity often lead me down Instagram holes. I shamelessly stalk popular Phoenix places and people to get the scoop on where to eat and what to wear when I go there. The app has actually influenced me to try out some of the places that I now frequent the most by simply enticing me with photogenic food or an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. ARRIVE Phoenix, a new boutique hotel in Uptown, is one such place that has been on my radar since it opened last fall. I scrolled through photo after photo of poolside cocktails, vintage-inspired wallpaper, colorful murals and people posing with popsicles. “What is this magical midcentury wonderland where it seems to be summer all year long?” I thought to myself. It struck me as a place that belonged with the stylish hotels and spas in Palm Springs, not parked between strip malls in central Phoenix.
As it turns out, ARRIVE is a chain of hotels in up-and-coming cultural hubs – there is, in fact, one in Palm Springs – designed to reflect that city’s unique surroundings. The ARRIVE in Austin, Texas has a rooftop gin bar, and the one in Wilmington, Virginia features a courtyard gazebo with rocking chairs. ARRIVE Phoenix boasts a popsicle stand, a restaurant overlooking the pool and a laidback coffee shop.
The design-driven guestrooms are comfortably chic, featuring Instagrammable décor with distinctly desert-y accents – think saguaro-studded wallpaper, a record player, succulents and pillows sporting the Arizona flag. With high-quality bedding, bespoke bathroom amenities and an Apple TV, it’s unpretentious luxury at its finest.
The check-in and checkout process is streamlined without sacrificing the warmth and hospitality that we’ve come to expect from modern hotels. Check in at the front desk and get a complimentary ice pop – how many hotels can say that? – and the rest of your stay is taken care of through text message, including checkout. It’s all very millennial. Which is refreshing, since I happen to be one.
400 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Checking into ARRIVE is a legitimately enjoyable experience. I spent literally 30 seconds handling the administrative part of things and was rewarded with a popsicle. Why don’t all hotels do this?
My room was situated on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the pool area. I spent some time scoping out its array of amenities – highlights include a record player plus some vinyl, a Marshall Bluetooth speaker and a pretty potted plant hanging from the ceiling – before going down for dinner at Lylo Swim Club, ARRIVE’s tropical-themed eatery.
The cocktail program at this poolside paradise is helmed by local mixology maestro Ross Simon (of Bitter & Twisted and Little Rituals fame) and features inventive Hawaiian-Japanese-inspired bites. I literally felt like I was at a luau before I even tried the drinks – and after? I was transported straight to Tahiti.
One hundred percent Egyptian cotton sheets will make it hard to leave your bed, but there’s so much more to explore at ARRIVE. Lylo is a huge home run – come for the addictive togarashi fries coated with lemon mayo, jalapeño and cilantro – and stay for the miso eggplant bowl with crunchy taro chips, and the mochiko chicken sando slathered with peanut slaw. And stay even longer to savor the dangerously sippable Opposable Rums featuring fresh pineapple and lime juice and Tequila Funshine with organic ginger beer. Afterward, cozy up by a fire pit or play some ping pong.
I always say life is what happens between coffee and wine – or in this case, tiki drinks – so get some rest on the cloud of a king-sized bed and wake up to a cold brew from the onsite Cartel Coffee Lab. Sip it in the pool area or on the comfy chairs on your balcony. You’ll feel like you’re somewhere else for a little while – the mark of a successful staycation.
So, thanks to my incessant scrolling social media for my new favorite vacation destination – a trendy oasis two miles from my house. Call it a perk of the Instagram age.