Phoenix Weather

31°C

Local time Phoenix

Currency

US$

Getting around Phoenix

Public transport

Valley Metro (tel: +1 602 253 5000; www.valleymetro.org) operates the city's buses and light rail. The light rail service provides access to the airport, the convention centre and other main city locations. Day and weekly passes are available. Craigslist also runs a local rideshare forum (http://phoenix.craigslist.org/rid).

Taxis

You need to book taxis in advance by telephone. The main operators are Camelback Taxi (tel: +1 480 939 3366; www.camelbackcab.com) and Yellow Cab (tel: +1 602 455 4500; www.yellowcabaz.com).

Driving

Phoenix is built on a grid system and is divided into smaller districts that are treated as individual towns. The easiest way to navigate the area is by car. Downtown Phoenix has thousands of parking spots and public garages. Metered parking is enforced seven days a week from 0800-2200.

Car hire

The minimum hiring age ranges from 21 to 25, depending on rental companies. Major companies include Alamo (tel: +1 888 826 6893; www.alamo.com), Avis (tel: +1 602 261 5900; www.avis.com), and Hertz (tel: +1 602 267 8822; www.hertz.com).

Bicycle hire

Phoenix's bikeshare system is called Grid Bike Share (tel: +1 602 753 4743; www.gridbikes.com). There are more than 500 bikes across 50 locations, and you can pay by the hour.

Alternatively, Cactus Bike Rental, 4747 East Elliot Road (tel: +1 480 785 7433; www.cactusbike.com), rents a variety of bikes and helmets.

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels

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The Saguaro Scottsdale

Vibrant colours, handcrafted Mexican furniture and two outdoor pools help give this trendy hotel in Oldtown Scottsdale the va-va-voom factor.
Recently renovated, the hotel boasts 194 guest rooms, each furnished with a pillow-top mattress and 42-inch flat screen TV. Outside, a tropical garden sits between two outdoor pools and a margarita bar, stocking more than 100 varieties of tequila.

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

This luxurious desert retreat's backdrop is in the dramatic McDowell Mountains, and has pools, fountains, falls and lagoons in its own grounds. A plaza and courtyard have a Mexican village style. Rooms are spacious, with a southwest theme and either a patio or balcony. Casitas include butlers. Amenities include a free kids’ club, golf concierge for its famous golf course, five restaurants, five pools, water slides and an indoor/outdoor lounge with live entertainment.

Four Seasons at Troon North

Everything you expect from a luxurious Four Seasons resort. The lobby is a living gallery of desert art. Accented with a desert motif, the spacious rooms include a fireplace and a balcony, often with picture perfect views. Marble bathrooms have deep soaking tubs. Accommodation is in casitas, small villas. Excellent cuisine is accompanied by sweeping desert views at Acacia, a contemporary steakhouse, and the southwest-flavoured Crescent Moon. Amenities include a spa and fitness centre, and two lounges.

The Phoenician

With US$25 million worth of art (there is a self-guided tour), this hotel is opulent. The grounds have a large cactus garden, nine pools (some shaped like grand pianos) and a golf course. The hotel's restaurants range from epicurean, with a wine list of 4,500, to an ice-cream parlour and tea court. Airy rooms feature Berber carpeting, Irish linens, as well as rich and oversized Italian marble bathrooms. Not to be missed is its plush spa with a complete treatment menu, and the unusual addition of Tarot card readings.

Orange Tree Golf Resort

This hotel complex, on one of Scottsdale's popular golf courses, offers plenty of luxury for the discerning guest with a slightly less discerning budget. The décor is newly renovated and modern, and has 160 suites, all with a balcony or patio. The facilities include fitness and sports centre, swimming pool and golfing lessons. The poolside bar serves lunch and the golf restaurant is an alternative destination for dinner.

Arizona Biltmore Resort

Since 1929, this has been the place for celebrities, dignitaries and presidents. Spread over 16 hectares (40 acres), structures are interspersed with gardens, nine pools (the Catalina was Marilyn Monroe's favourite) and Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas here. The grounds include: tennis courts, lawn chess, croquet and two championship golf courses. Guests will find earthy-toned, spacious accommodation, large marble bathrooms and excellent service. Light meals are available at a café in the hotel's plaza.