Located in the heart of central Phoenix, The Camby Hotel is fabulous fun for families. Named for Phoenix’s well known Camelback Mountain, the hotel bills itself as “refined revelry”. The newly opened hotel is a playful mix of professional and the avant-garde, with unexpected twists on familiar concepts that will have guests doing a double take. The Camby makes staying at a hotel lighthearted and fun which is something many traveling families can appreciate.
The Camby Hotel is Fabulous Fun in Phoenix, Arizona
I recently had the opportunity to visit and stay at The Camby Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, and was thrilled to find it lived up to the hype and then some. The decor, the staff, and the restaurant were all top notch. The eye catching features throughout the property had me frequently snapping pictures to share with family and friends. What I loved was that the rooms were just as spectacular as the rest of the hotel, and the ambience made me feel happy all the time.
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What Works for Families
The Camby is seven miles from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, making for easy arrival and departure into the city. It’s an easy trip to downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa, so no matter your destination in the Valley, it’s easy to get there from The Camby.
The hotel is located across the street from Biltmore Fashion Park with upscale shopping and restaurants, and next door is an AMC Theatre if the family wants to see a movie.
Kids will get a kick out of the unique elements throughout the hotel. There’s a giant copper peg wall in the lobby where kids can make impressions by pushing their hands on one side of the wall and seeing the shape come out the other side. There’s an interactive concierge in the lobby where they can learn about the Phoenix area and what they might want to see and do. The swimming pool area has ping pong tables and a game area where they can challenge one another to a game. Then of course there’s the decor. Children will love finding the unique paintings and items throughout the hotel that are twists on the norm. It would really make a great scavenger hunt if you want something to keep them entertained.
The Camby also offers family friendly activities available for purchase. There’s the “Pillow Fight” which comes with soft pillows, jumbo boxing gloves, warm cookies, and milk if your kids need to burn off some energy. There’s also a “Classic Game Night” package where The Camby provides the games and snacks, you provide the friendly competition. There are other personalized options geared toward families, which can add a special touch to any stay.
The rooms are very inviting, clean, spacious, and the beds are comfortable. I didn’t try the sleeper sofa, but it looked nice and my kids have never met a hotel bed they didn’t like. The televisions in the rooms are Smart tvs, so guests have access to Hulu and Netflix. The closets is spacious and the restroom is beautifully appointed.
The staff is beyond friendly. From the moment visitors enter the lobby, they are greeted and taken care of by “Concierge Colleagues”, who can check them into their rooms via a smart tablet. This saves time when trying to wrangle the kids up to the room. The housekeeping staff is invisible, but I know they were there because they did an excellent job. The restaurant servers and hostess were welcoming, friendly, and full of menu recommendations, which I always appreciate.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
The hotel is primarily a business hotel, and while it has fun written all over it, I certainly didn’t see kids running all over the place. Those I did see were very well behaved. That being said, the swimming pool is not very big and I could see noisy children being disruptive to business travelers trying to enjoy a little quiet time. If you are looking for a large, elaborate pool with waterslides, stay elsewhere because this pool area is very basic. It’s perfectly fine with the ping pong tables and restaurant, and honestly, many kids might not care about the size of the pool. I just kept thinking my kids might annoy the other guests with their love of rambunctious pool play.
The standard rooms aren’t cheap, starting around $300 per night. The good news is Phoenix is a very seasonal market and hotels start discounting around May and keep prices lower through August. If you can find a good deal, book it.
I know I said I love the rooms (and I do), but we are a family of five. The options for us would be a Junior Suite with a rollaway bed or two standard rooms. Both would be pretty cost prohibitive unless we were staying off season. Of course the rooms are perfectly suited for smaller families.
The Camby was designed by renowned architects Stonehill & Taylor, who updated the previous hotel (it was formerly a Ritz Carlton) to its current modern, playful design. The Camby chose to focus on the five Cs of Arizona – cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper, and tries to incorporate each of these elements throughout the property. There are 277 guest rooms, 12 executive suites, and a Presidential suite.
The rooms are whimsically decorated and from the moment you enter, they have a “wow” factor. The king size room I stayed in had this beautiful cobalt blue color in the entry way, to contrast the stark white of the bedroom area. The ceiling in the bedroom has a copper panel with fun sayings painted on it, such as “Dear Sleep, I know we had problems when I was younger, but I love you now”. There is a cattle skull lamp on the wall that illuminates the word “Moo” underneath when it turns on. You get the idea, there are a lot of cool things going on in the room.
In addition to the king size bed, there’s also a full size sleeper sofa (this is standard in all king rooms, but double rooms do not have sofas), television, Keurig coffee maker, and refrigerator. The bathroom only has a shower (except the suites do have tubs and about 1/4 of the rooms have the shower/tub combo). The room would be comfortable for a family of three, and a little crowded for four, but certainly possible. A family of five would want a junior suite or two separate rooms as mentioned above.
The dining at The Camby is spectacular. The restaurant on property is called Artizen, and it features locally sourced cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Director of Culinary Experiences, Dushyant Singh, makes amazing dishes such as smoked Arizona sweet potatoes, duck tagliatelle, and shrimp chile relleno. There’s also a children’s menu for all meals serving smaller portions I would assume are equally decadent.
The Camby also has a bar called The Bees Knees which is worth sneaking down to once the kids are in bed, and the Revelry Rooftop Bar serves small plate dishes like street tacos, flatbreads, and ice cream sandwiches next to the pool area.
Across the road is Biltmore Fashion Park with additional restaurants such as Blancos Tacos, California Pizza Kitchen, Paradise Bakery, and Frost Gelato.
The Spa and Fitness Center
Zest Spa offers various types of massages, but they need to be scheduled in advance. The “Jim” has a fair amount of cardio equipment and weights, which would be more than enough for even the most casual exercise enthusiast.
The well trained staff, kitschy fun vibe, and fabulous dining make The Camby a unique property in the Arizona desert. The hotel was meticulously designed to set it apart from others, and it has certainly accomplished that feat. One thing is for sure, it’s a property I can’t wait to visit again.
Looking for other things to enjoy in the Phoenix area? Check out Fun in Phoenix with Little Ones! and Free Things to Do in Scottsdale and Phoenix