A Review of the Camby Hotel- Autograph Collection

Last weekend, Laura and I had the opportunity to stay at the Camby Hotel, an Autograph Collection-branded property in the Marriott chain. Located in the posh Biltmore area of Phoenix, the Camby is in a very desirable location, and across the street from the Shops at the Biltmore.

Normally, if you were redeeming points at this property, it would be a Category 7, requiring 30,000-35,000 points per night. I value these points at around 0.8 cents per point, so you’d want rates to be at $240 to redeem a free night here. Since it was summer in Phoenix, our room rate was only $119 per night, plus a $25 resort credit!

This being a former Ritz-Carlton, I was excited to stay here and see how the new renovation turned out.

Arrival

There was no parking on-site (except $33 for valet), so we had a friend drop us off. The valet area already gave indications that this was no ordinarily-themed hotel. It features large “topiaries” shaped like a C and a camel. “Camby” is short for Camelback, the most prominent mountain in Phoenix.

Check-in was done in the main lobby, which was just to the left as you entered the property. There were very “design-like” touches in the lobby, which added to the theme. I put it somewhere between a W and an SLS hotel. More comfortable than a W, but less “out there” than an SLS.

At check-in, I was offered 750 points or breakfast ($30 total for two), and 500 points or a $10 amenity. We chose the breakfast and credit, since we’d be here just for one night, and could use $65 towards room charges!

Unfortunately, we weren’t offered an upgrade at check-in, despite there being nicer mountain views and a junior suite available still for sale. After we arrived in our first room, we requested a mountain view, and were granted one. This is one area where Marriott falls behind SPG and Hyatt- no guaranteed suite upgrades if available for top-tier members.

We walked to the elevators, where some cool art was placed at one end of the hallway, and this chandelier greeted us.

Each elevator had a hilarious saying in them.

The Room

The rooms were only 350 square feet, but were designed with awesome touches, that both invoked the hotel’s unique design and its Phoenix surroundings.

Coffee in the room was complimentary, and was Keurig.

I LOVED the lamp mounted on the wall in the shape of a steer skull, with “MOO” written out in light when you turned it on.

Our view from our upgraded room.

Above the bed was a copper sheet, with different sayings on it.

The bathroom was a little cramped, with just a shower and glass sliding doors. Shampoos were in large containers with pumps, but were Nest-branded. Lotion and other this-and-thats were waiting on the bathroom counter.

A funny design on the bathroom wall.

I loved the “Camby Times” newspaper that was in the room, which was a fun way of letting people know what was going on in the hotel.

Public Spaces

While being a rather small hotel by footprint, guest spaces did still exist. A very small pool with some music playing was on floor two, complete with pool bar. We sampled a Mai Tai ($10) with our resort credit, and thought they were very well made. Unfortunately, we only had an hour in the pool, as a Bat Mitzvah had reserved the space for the rest of the evening.

The “Jim,” however, is a highlight.

It’s gigantic.

We also had cocktails down in Artizen, the hotel’s main restaurant. There’s also a cocktail bar, but it wasn’t open when we wanted one.

The bar menu was cool, celebrating Arizona’s “5 C’s” (Cotton, Copper, Climate, Citrus, and Cattle). I had the Copper, while Laura had the Citrus.

Breakfast was also taken in Artizen. The certificates we were given covered $15, which would take care of the continental breakfast on the menu (coffee or juice, yogurt, pastry). I wanted something different, so I went with the waffles.

Laura went with the avocado toast.

At the end of the meal, we had covered the entire breakfast certificate, with no overages.

Overall

Overall, I loved the hotel’s design. I felt that there were some brief issues, like the lack of an upgrade, and no notice on the pool being closed. It’s summer, we wanted to be outside! However, design-lovers that are reading would love this hotel well-located in the Phoenix area.

Leave a Comment