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What's New(s) in Greater Phoenix

Spring 2020

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South Foyer at The Phoenician
South Foyer outside The Phoenician Grand Ballroom. Photo credit: Visit Phoenix/The Phoenician

AAA announces three arizona hotels and one restaurant with 5 diamond status

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, The Phoenician and Kai Restaurant (located at the Sheraton grand at Wild Horse Pass) have all received AAA’s Five Diamond Award for 2020. The Five Diamond rating system recognizes 119 hotels and 67 restaurants nationally, according to AAA, which amount to less than 1% of the nearly 60,000 AAA-rated hotels and restaurants across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Dozens of Arizona resorts earned the Four Diamond mark.


Nobuo at Teeter House
Chef Nobuo Fukuda of Nobuo at Teeter House. Photo credit: Jill Richards

17 phoenix restaurants and chefs named 2020 james beard awards semifinalists

The Phoenix area earned a total of 17 James Beard award nominations in 10 categories. Among this year's semifinalists are chef Nobuo Fukuda of Nobuo at Teeter House for Outstanding Chef; Pizzeria Bianco for Outstanding Restaurant; and chef Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Café and chef Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit & Rum Bar for Best Chef Southwest.


Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse PassPhoto Credit: Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass

sheraton grand at wild horse pass earns two Five Star Ratings

Forbes Travel Guide, the world-renowned and global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, unveiled its 2020 Star Award winners, rating both Aji Spa and Kai restaurant at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass with its Five-Star Award. This marks the first time Aji Spa has received this award, and Kai has meticulously maintained the top honor for 12 years. With this achievement, Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is now the only resort in Arizona to boast both a five-star spa and restaurant within its collection of luxury amenities.


Marriott Phoenix Airport Renovations
Marriott Phoenix Airport courtesy photo.

renovations at marriott phoenix airport complete

Marriott Phoenix Airport announced in February the completion of its multimillion dollar renovation and introduced new guest rooms, meeting and public spaces, restaurant, bar, concierge lounge and pool area. Columbia Sussex, one of the largest Marriott franchisees in the country, continues its aggressive renovation program to at least 10 of its Marriott owned and operated properties.


Sheraton Phoenix Downtown entrance
Photo credit: Jill Richards


The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown was sold by a subsidiary of Marriott International to an affiliate of The Blackstone Group at the beginning of January. Located in Phoenix's downtown core, this 1,003-room property was selected to become the prototype for Marriott's portfolio-wide rebranding of Sheraton. Guestroom renovations are projected for spring 2020 completion, with the lobby, restaurant and other areas updated to reflect the new brand identity by the second quarter.


Atari Hotel Phoenix Rendering 2
Photo credit: Atari.

video game-themed atari hotels announces location in phoenix

In January 2020, Atari – one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and entertainment producers – announced plans to build Atari-themed hotels in the United States, with the first location breaking ground in Phoenix later this year. The gaming industry trailblazer is pioneering a new hospitality concept: a one-of-a-kind video game-inspired destination, complete with fully immersive experiences for every age and gaming ability, including the latest in VR and AR (virtual and augmented reality). Select hotels will also feature state-of-the-art venues and studios to accommodate esports events. 


Historic Luhrs Building
The historic Luhrs Building in downtown Phoenix. Photo credit: Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.


The historic Luhrs Building in downtown Phoenix will soon be home to a hotel. The brick building, built in 1924 at the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Jefferson Street, was the first major commercial office building in Phoenix and, at 10 stories, was the tallest building in Arizona at that time. Construction on the hotel is expected to begin this summer.


2018 Phoenix Pride Parade
The 2018 Phoenix Pride Parade makes its way down Third Street. Photo credit: Visit Phoenix/

Phoenix Pride Celebrates 40 Years in November

Phoenix Pride is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a festival and parade Nov. 7-8, 2020. This year’s festivities will continue to bring the diverse LGBTQ+ and allied communities together for a weekend of camaraderie and celebration of their past, present and future, while raising funds for the Phoenix Pride Community Programs and educating the public about the existence and continuing civil rights battle facing our community.

New & Coming Soon



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uss Arizona memorial gardens at salt river fields now open

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC), located near Scottsdale, is proud to announce that the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River is now open. The memorial at Salt River honors the brave individuals that served aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Please note: The Relic Room will remain closed until further notice.



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The Frederick, once an old office building, is being transformed into a retail and restaurant complex with the help of husband-and-wife duo Chantell Nighswonger and Kevin Zieszkowski. The space is scheduled to open in Fall 2020 and has leases signed for nine of its 10 spaces, with one restaurant space still open. All the tenants signed so far are woman-owned businesses with varying concepts, from boutique retailers to food and beverage offerings.


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This spring, Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Arts District will become home to Punch Bowl Social, a restaurant and cocktail bar paired with entertainment and a community vibe. The Denver-based concept teamed up with True North Studios on the 22,000-square-foot space that will feature eight bowling lanes, 18 holes of miniature golf, outdoor patio, private karaoke rooms, ping-pong, darts, board games and extensive lounging and gathering spots.


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Have A Drink on the Roof of Phoenix's New Hotel Cambria

The Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix Convention Center, which features unique and upscale amenities that appeal to modern guests, opened its doors Nov. 26. The hotel, located in the Roosevelt Row Arts District, features a rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the city, several large art pieces, including murals that will span the height of the building, and an on-site restaurant featuring globally inspired dishes made with local ingredients. Cambria’s restaurant Poppy is led by chef Nate Cayer, formerly the executive chef of The Godfrey Hotel in Chicago.


Additional Phoenix Inspiration
Here's a list of places in Greater Phoenix where you can experience the beauty of this season — just be sure to practice social distancing.
Phoenix has a number of lakes just a short drive away and they all provide something fun for both thrill-seekers and those seeking to relax.
A leisurely float puts rivergoers up close to wild mustangs, blue herons and bald eagles.