Hanging out at hotels isn’t just for out-of-towners anymore. With stunning views, chic décor, craft cocktail menus and live local music, the Valley’s many
11. The Sheraton Grand Phoenix
The craft cocktails may be the real rock stars at District American Kitchen & Wine Bar in The Sheraton Grand Phoenix, but occasionally, you’d swear Michael Bublé was singing behind the big curtain that partitions a small stage area from the restaurant. But it’s Scott Keo, a SoCal-based Bublé tribute singer who performs here every so often. Or maybe it’s a Phoenix rock band, or a track from local DJ Jared Alan’s live mix. All we know for sure there’s a show every night but Sundays.
10. AC Hotel Tempe
The newest hotel in Tempe, a sleek boutique brand by Marriott, caters to business clientele and networking types, and yet it has one of the liveliest lobbies around. Ample electrical outlets built into the furniture in the AC Lounge allow people to work and play, tapping away at their laptops while listening to occasional live music in the AC Lounge and in the lobby during events.
9. Renaissance Phoenix Downtown
Everybody loves a
8. Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
If you think
7. The W Scottsdale
If only our living rooms looked like The Living Room Lounge in The W Scottsdale hotel – so smart and stylish, gleaming with petrified wood from Indonesia, reflective glass and natural stone walls, and trendy furniture upholstered with vibrant, velvety fabrics. No wonder people linger in the lounge late into the night – after 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the place turns into a house party, with local DJs spinning dance hits and Phoenix rock acts like ShouTheory and Steve Ayotte jamming.
6. Arizona Biltmore
According to legend, one night in the 1960s, guests at the Arizona Biltmore barraged the front desk with complaints about the cacophony coming from the lobby. When hotel management investigated the source of the drunken singing and piano-pounding, they found Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Liza Minelli having a late-night jam. While you won’t find any Rat Packers tickling the Biltmore’s ivories anymore, and it’s unlikely – though not impossible — you’ll stumble upon Billy Joel (he’s played the Biltmore piano, too), you can catch classic piano music most nights of the week in the lobby, and on Friday and Saturday nights at Wright’s, the Biltmore restaurant famous for being the birthplace of the Tequila Sunrise (the cocktail, not The Eagles song).
5. J.W. Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge
Twenty6 lounge at J.W. Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge is chic but casual, which means it’s a comfortable place to grab a cocktail and catch a local band live before doing some shopping or bar-hopping at the Desert Ridge megaplex. Every Friday and Saturday, musicians ranging from ‘80s cover bands to Mesa-based country crooner Mary Hoffman (February 3, 17, and 24) to groove-funk band Peppermint James (January 28, February 11 and 25) provide the soundtrack for sunset sipping.
4. Graduate Tempe
Once a month, radio station Alt AZ 93.3 sponsors “Graduate Sessions” at the Graduate Tempe hotel. The only way to get in is to win tickets by calling the station or entering online. It’s worth winning, though – some pretty big bands have performed intimate shows there, including Dirty Heads, Fitz & The Tantrums, Cage The Elephant, Silversun Pickups, and Cold War Kids, as well as Arizona breakout bands Kongos and The Maine.
3. Hotel Valley Ho
Austin Powers himself couldn’t pick a swankier, shag-inspiring place for a weekend tipple and tune than Café ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho. The Mod ‘60s décor makes a sexy setting for the sultry jazz stylings of the Khani Cole Band (Saturday nights in January), and the jazz-infused R&B of Mel Bridges & Co. (Friday nights in January). The music menu changes monthly, but always includes something in great taste.
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2. Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
It’s not quite Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but the view from the patio at Jade Bar at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa is pretty super – a parcel of Paradise Valley perched in the foothills on one side, the majestic and massive Camelback Mountain looming over the other side. And in between the two, there is live and local music on Friday and Saturday nights. The schedule changes monthly; in January, the Ferrari Band – led by soulful chanteuse Angela Ferrari — plays on Fridays (January 13, 20, and 27), and Saturdays are split between singer/songwriter Obadiah Parker, whose acoustic cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” was a web hit in 2007 (plays January 14 and 28), and Top 40 hit cover band Fosterson (plays January 21).
1. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale
Center Stage Bar glows like a red-hot coal in the heart of the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, with its crimson Art Deco backsplash bathed in bright lights. The rest of the bar is kept mostly in the dark, or at least reduced to mood lighting and the low glow of candles, which is fitting for the folk rock and moody acoustic music it hosts seven nights a week, starting at 7:30 p.m. Past and recurring performers include local notables Brian Chartrand, Neon, Sydney Sprague, Obadiah Parker & The Hollowed Ground, and The Waters.