Tempe's hip college town credentials just got a little more impressive, thanks to the opening of Graduate Tempe Hotel.
This seven-story hotel is located about 20 minutes east of downtown Phoenix, and it offers visitors a unique stay loaded with local color.
The hotel completely renovated the space formerly occupied by the Twin Palms Hotel, brightening up the exterior and interior with bold colors and modern takes on mid-century design.
Graduate Tempe, located across the street from Arizona State University, is awash in mid-century style — Photo courtesy of Graduate Tempe
The airy lobby is decorated with colorful couches; Native American artwork; and bold, geometric designs. There's even a real, working ant farm in the lobby, donated by the Life Sciences Department at nearby Arizona State University.
The hotel's 140 guest rooms feature bright carpets, crisp triple white sheet bedding and whimsical touches like brightly colored lamps and vintage radios. Room amenities include HD TVs, docking stations, coffee makers, mini-fridges and (MALIN+GOETZ) toiletries.
Visitors can choose from six room configurations; many guest rooms offer views of the garden and the ASU campus.
With a local student population numbering upwards of 60,000, the hotel hopes to become the preferred destination for visiting students and families. The hotel also hopes to attract guests looking for a hip staycation spot within walking distance to Tempe's lively Mill Avenue shopping and dining district.
Graduate Tempe has two restaurants, including Tapacubo, which serves Mexican street-style food adjacent to the fourth-floor rooftop bar. The menu includes gourmet tacos, tortas and salads; and classic sides like guacamole and chicarrones (crispy pork rinds).
Specialty margaritas and Mexican beers are available at the bar, which is whimsically designed with Mexican pesos.
For breakfast any time of the day, head to the hotel's The Normal Diner. The dining room is an assemblage of colorful, mid-century chic flourishes. The centerpiece of the room is an oversized collage mural with retro- and desert-inspired images.
The menu gives classic diner dishes a modern and local twist. The Blue Corn Pancakes, for example, are made with local Hayden Mills flour and topped with pecan butter and agave nectar. There's also a walk-up juice and coffee bar.
Starting at 11 a.m., the diner serves lunch entrees, including burgers, sandwiches and salads. A house favorite is the Bison Burger, topped with house-smoked mozzarella, spicy hatch chiles and citrus mayo.
Guests at Graduate Tempe enjoy a 24-hour fitness center and outdoor pool; complimentary shuttle service and parking; and pet-friendly rooms, too.
The hotel is part of the Graduate Hotels brand, a national collection of boutique hotels with locations in a handful of U.S. college towns.
Room rates start at $119, with special rates available for weekday stays.
Visit Graduate Tempe Hotel's website for more information.