Tempe Town Lake has grown up as one of Greater Phoenix’s strong business centers, anchored in large part by the much-talked-about State Farm corporate center. Marriott recently opened its AC Hotel a little way down the shoreline with an eye to the needs of the business traveler (and conveniently also serving visitors to the neighboring ASU campus).
The sleek and modern design is comfortable, and replaces resort accommodation with no-frills efficiency while still covering all the basic amenities.
Need to stay connected? Of course. The in-room desks have plenty of outlets to handle multiple devices, and Internet bandwidth is robust enough for full-capacity use.
Meeting rooms and a small business center are on the first floor, where also the bar serves as a mini-restaurant, with a few entrées on the menu along with a variety of drink go-withs. For those who want more without having to go out, there are several restaurant delivery services just a smartphone away. The included breakfast, served in an airy room behind the bar, includes quiche-like “egg savories” as well as fruit, cereal and yogurt in the cafeteria-style selection, and specialty coffee drinks can be ordered for a small extra charge.
There’s a fitness center on the top floor. Compact but decidedly adequate, its equipment includes ellipticals, treadmill and stationary bike along with free weights — and a great view across to ASU’s undeveloped “A” hill. The campus landmark also lends ambience to the open-air rooftop pool, which offers poolside lounges and umbrella-sheltered conversation areas.
It’s worth noting the hotel’s artwork, which, sadly, have no identifying plaques. Created by The Art Makery to reflect the area’s history, pieces include a “rockfall” that expresses the waves in Tempe Town Lake and millstone sculptures that represent the historic flour mill that gives nearby Mill Avenue its name.