It's hard not to use words like "funky" and "charming" when describing The Downtown Clifton.
The downtown Tucson motel, located on historic Stone Avenue in Tucson's artsy Armory Park neighborhood, is a quintessentially Tucson getaway that reflects the city's color, culture and laid-back Southwestern hospitality.
The Downtown Clifton may be small – there are only 10 rooms available for reservation – but that's part of the appeal. The motel seeks to provide a more intimate, personal experience than other Tucson hotels.
A colorful mural from artist Danny Martin greets guests at Tucson's The Downtown Clifton — Photo courtesy of The Downtown Clifton
Each room at The Downtown Clifton has been furnished with one-of-a-kind refurbished antique furniture, and the walls are decorated with original pieces from local Tucson artists. The vibe is clean, quaint and artfully rustic, with white brick walls and wooden beams across the ceiling.
The design lends character and a touch of desert bohemian to the guest experience. Guests are more likely to feel like they are staying at a friend's homey, colorful guest casita, rather than a standard hotel room.
The Downtown Clifton provides guests with local Exo Roast cold coffee beverages. Nonperishable snacks from the co-op will also be available.
Other perks include a 10-percent discount on rates for guests who arrive without a vehicle, which the hotel hopes will encourage guests to use more sustainable transportation to get around town, such as riding the Sun Link streetcar, bicycling or walking.
Another benefit to staying at The Downtown Clifton is the personal touch guests receive from hotel staff. Coupons for local dining and attractions are made available to guests. The staff is also available to curate personal recommendations for guests looking for recommendations on what to see, do and eat around Tucson.
Owners Moniqua Lane and Phil Lipman renovated the 10-room property, which used to be transitional housing operated by the Tucson Primavera Foundation. One of the most striking changes made to the once-nondescript building (which was built in 1948) is a large full-size mural featuring a skeleton cowboy and cowgirl, which was painted by local artist Danny Martin.
Other small but striking design touches include brightly painted doors, cactus plantings and room signs specially made from mosaic.
The motel's cozy, boutique charm certainly appeals to travelers looking for slightly off-the-beaten-path lodging but who want to enjoy the convenience of staying near downtown Tucson's museums, restaurants and nightlife.
If you're looking for a true taste of local Tucson culture, put The Downtown Clifton on your Southwest travel itinerary.
Visit the hotel's website for more information.