So, who else wants to vacation in Phoenix this summer?

Remember that time I decided to move to Tianjin, China, and live at the St. Regis? Well, I’m having similarly ridiculous thoughts about moving to Phoenix/Scottsdale this summer. The area has a lot of awesome hotels, though due to the scorching hot weather, hotel rates are really low, and when combined with Virtuoso/Fine Hotels & Resorts amenities, almost “free.”

Take, for example, the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Collection hotel. If booking through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts you get the following amenities:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily continental breakfast for two
  • US$100 food and beverage credit to be used during your stay
  • Noon early check-in, upon availability
  • 4:00 pm guaranteed late check-out

If you book through Virtuoso you get the following amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests,in the restaurant
  • 4pm late check-out, subject to availability
  • $100 food and beverage credit at Frank & Albert’s

And the rate?

So yeah, for a $119 one-night stay you get a $100 food and beverage credit, free breakfast, a room upgrade, guaranteed 4PM late check-out, and Hilton points/elite stay credit.

There are plenty of other spectacular hotels in a similar price range, including the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Phoenician, and more.

For those of you not familiar with Virtuoso or American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, you can read more about it in this post.

So what do you guys think? Am I crazy for wanting to hotel hop around Phoenix for a week in the scorching heat? It’s not like Florida is that much better. Or is anyone up for a meet up? We could have a pretty awesome party if we combine our food and beverage credits. 😀


  1. This one is a much better idea, especially with the cheap PHX fares from last week and what I can only assume will keep coming! I’m up for a meet – poolside miles talk and a party? Pick a date and I bet you could get 5-8 rooms.

  2. Sounds like a great deal… I’m very tempted. I just saw some decent flights from NYC today..

  3. We’ll be there on Saturday. Doing a Mileage
    Run and hanging out for a week. Sounds like a plan to me.

  4. Food & beverage credits at expensive hotel restaurants should not be mentally evaluated at par value.

  5. Yes, you are crazy to consider this.

    Although, it might be an interesting blog reader experience if you completely give up your primary residence (yes, move your furniture back in with mom).

    Then you could share the experience of living in hotels for 3 straight months!

    Don’t know if I’d like to do it myself, but I would follow your blog closely.

    Of course, add in some F int’l travel and live for a few days in the Frankfurt FCT too… 🙂

  6. @ Liz — They also have an offer for the third night free, though the other benefits apply even on a one night stay.

  7. Having lived in Scottsdale near the Hyatt for 8 years I have to say I love the area. Unfortunately I had to move back to MD. It is hot but I did not mind it much. The nastiest time is mid July through August when it gets humid for that area plus is 110+.

    Many great resorts but watch out for the nasty and high daily resort fees. Almost all of te resorts have them.

    Oh yeah the golf rates are super cheap also. I was planning a trip back to visit friends.

  8. I’ll actually be there from 7/14-28 so if anyone else is there during that time let me know. Just before Easter the rates on United were $224 RT to Tucson!

  9. How am I the 17th comment before mention of the 120 degree heat in PHX in the summer. Try and book a hotel in July in MSY and you’ll find great rates too.

  10. Not crazy – we’ve done this several times. In fact, my mom LIVES in Scottsdale and will check in to some of these hotels on the weekends to take advantage of the amenities!

    August is pretty brutal, but it’s still a drier heat and MUCH better than summers on the East Coast – I am definitely in for a meet-up!

  11. I lived in Arizona last summer and loved it…all the tourists disappear so it’s really quiet and relaxing. I’m heading back to Scottsdale this weekend and can’t wait!

  12. I’m moving to New Mexico next week and looking forward to exploring the Southwest. Maybe we should start with the PHX area!

  13. Lucky-

    I’m confused. I thought you could only earn HHonors credit if booked directly through a Hilton booking channel. Do stays booked through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts and Virtuoso earn HHonors Points?

  14. @ Max M — FHR and Virtuoso bookings always accrue points, since they’re booked at the published rate. 🙂

  15. Phoenix in summer is my favorite place for mattress runs.

    Swing by the Radisson in Chandler and Country Inn in North Scottsdale to get the Club Carlson promo bonuses.

    Fairfield Inn in Chandler is good to stack up those free cat 1-4 certs

    Several Holiday Inn & Express locations or even the Hotel Indigo in Scottsdale (party central) will max out the IHG rebates for weekdays and weekends.

  16. I love Phoenix, the heat and the desert. I actually wish I lived there. Stayed at Sanctuary Camelback Mtn in PV once. So Sign me up!

  17. AZ is fun … no matter what / when / how / what / etc. just go and feel the bare Southwest outside of PHX on an evening sky, pure nature, pure bliss… drive to Tucson and see the Ostrich Park on I-10, feel the Saguaro National Park’s ruggedness, compare the cactii with yourself, hear out for rattle snakes, crazy stuff man! Enjoy…

  18. posted a recent review of the phoenician, great hotel! I will try the biltmore next month on $119 … what about an article on Las Vegas? $149 for venetian, $134 for bellagio, $99 for mandalay bay’s theHOTEL

    The Phoenician – Scottsdale, AZ

    -early noon check-in was granted
    -upgraded to a Casita Suite (booked lowest category standard room)
    -$100 resort credit was applied (can be used on anything)
    -$80 of breakfast credits was applied ($40 per person, can be used in restaurants and in-room dining)
    -fruit & water welcome amenity in the room
    -free wifi (for SPG Platinum members)
    -resort credit waived (for Platinum SPG members)
    -4pm late checkout was granted

    paid $224+taxes, worth every penny since I got triple upgraded to their best room ($900 casita suite)

  19. Ben, does the same apply when booking using Thank You Points? (i.e. accrue points)? Thanks!

  20. On a separate note – did you see the new MacBook Airs come out? What’s the best way to purchase one to maximize points/miles (no 10x promotions right now like when you got yours…)

  21. I used to live in Phoenix. The only thing I can say as advice to you if you insist on this madness of visiting during the summer is to sleep during the day and only go outside of your a/c room at night.

    Better yet, fly in to PHX and head up to the Yavapia Casino Hotel Sunday/Monday night as they have 50% off their rooms. Or head up to Flagstaff.

  22. Beverage Credit Question?

    Ok so you get $100 credit per stay? Can you just stay one night, then go to the motel 6 and still come back to the Biltmore for drinks until you use up your credit? Then re-check in for another night to get another $100 credit, then repeat?

  23. Don’t go too much past mid-July as it does get a bit humid (for Phoenix anways) with the monsoon season. Until the monsoon season starts, Phoenix is no worse than Florida is in the summer and, depending on your tolerance for humidity, it can be better. Also, I caution against going anywhere near the 4th of July weekend. Lots of Phoenicians take advantage of the super low hotel rates too and have a staycation. The hotels are a nightmare during that time…

  24. We’re headed to the Four Seasons Scottsdale in July. $198 per night for a deluxe room, breakfast, and $200 resort credit. Practically free!

  25. @ James — Assuming it’s at the prevailing rate it should.

    @ Andrew — While I’m not a fan of their customer service I’m a fan of MacMall if there’s not an amazing 10x points promo. Between the discount on the laptop, saving on sales tax, and earning bonus points through the AAdvantage Shopping Mall, I tend to think it’s the best value.

    @ mike — The credit is per stay, and a stay can be just one night. You have to use up your credit before checking out, since the credit is applied at check-out. That’s why it’s advantageous to do multiple one night stays. For example, one night at the Biltmore, one night at the Phoenician, and then another night at the Biltmore.

    @ Flip — Yes, it sure can.

  26. And that is the problem with the plan, the credit is per stay so you would need to move latest every 3 nights (in case you want to utilize the free night promo) or even every night if you plan to get the stay credits.
    Also doing laundry at a laundromat does not sound like much fun to me.
    With tax the monthly costs would probably still work out to around 3.5k to 4k per month. I am not sure what your apartment costs and how much you spend on food but its not that cheap.
    If I would be single though and can work from any location like you can I would go and try it for a month, maybe you can sublet your place.
    I had a couple projects in the summer in Scottsdale in previous years and I agree with others, the heat is not that bad since its dry and the town is way emptier. I did enjoy it and we did stay at some fancier places during the cheap summer. In winter hotel rates could get brutal though.

  27. Having lived in Phoenix for 6 years, I wouldn’t go back in the summer. But if you just wanted to laze around the pool, sounds like a great deal. Go tubing down the Salt River if you go.

  28. Staying at the Westin Downtown next week…any deal for me? We want to be near the lightrail because we are going without a car.

  29. Just an FYI…the Chase Luxury Hotel Collection also has similar deals, and I assume more of us have access to that than Fine Hotels and Resorts.

  30. Be sure to stop in at Pizzeria Bianco while in Phoenix. That is an awesome pie, second only to Pizzeria Mozza in LA. The rooms may be cheap but they tag typically tag you for several hundred bucks for a round of golf, which is why many people go to Scottsdale.

  31. …let’s not forget that it’ll be smack dab in the middle of monsoon season which means rain, thunderstorm and humidity…if you golf, great rates also.

  32. …not sure what month you are planning on being in PHX but July-Sept is monsoon season…

  33. I use to live in PHX and yes it is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. But at these prices make like a vampire and sleep in the day and see the city by night. It will still be close to 100 at night but atleast you won’t have the sun pounding down on you 🙂

  34. Although you wouldn’t get to hotel hop, from what I’ve heard about real estate prices in PHX it might be cheaper just to buy a house for the summer.

  35. Coins, For those of us that are married, we can do 2 stays per property before checking out. 😉

  36. I have seen similar deals in years past for PHX, Palm Springs, FL, etc and wondered about this same thing myself. In fact a couple years ago I saw Hyatt Grand Champions Indian Wells for $89 per night (midweek) in the summer. The Virtuoso bennies were $100 Resort credit, free lunch for 2 ONE TIME during your stay, and the other standard goodies. Not sure if breakfast was included (probably was), but I would have gotten that free too regardless with my Hyatt Diamond status. And then there was a Hyatt G2 bonus and probably FFN was going on as well. It was basically an insane Perfect Storm of EVERYTHING. For under $100 you would get over $250 in value (even when counting the value of the room as $0).

    I contemplated doing a couple weeks there (every other night), but figured a Virtuoso agent might get EXTREMELY pissed at me for gaming the hotel via their booking, which is why I decided against this in the end. I’m curious, do the Virtuoso agents not care if you keep doing multiple 1-night bookings at extremely low rates? I found one Virtuoso agent that it seemed like I could book online rates with, so was hoping nothing would actually go through the agent to make them mad at me. But I’m really curious if they are happy to take your bookings, or if they get mad at you?

  37. I live in Scottsdale and our babysitter is the daughter of the GM of the AZ Biltmore…you will love this hotel! It is very historic – every modern president (except Obama, who stayed at the Montelucia) has stayed at the Biltmore while in Phoenix. It was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank & Alberts is one of the best restaurants in our city full of amazing restaurants (at one time was #1 on Trip Advisor) Just my two cents – book the Biltmore, you will love it!

  38. I heart Frank Lloyd Wright, so I’ll have to check this hotel out in the near future.

  39. Lucky
    how are you getting this rate? with the ammenities? I’m not seeing the resort credits of $100 food and beverage. Is there a room rate code for this deal?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *