Weekend Trip to Phoenix, AZ - The Camby Hotel Review and Visit to Undertow Tiki Bar
Back in the Spring, Scott and I made it out to Phoenix, Arizona for a quick weekend trip. We stayed at the Camby Hotel and really had no plans whatsoever. After checking into our hotel, we walked across the street to Biltmore Fashion Park to find a spot for lunch. We settled on Blanco Tacos & Tequila, and then headed to the Talking Stick Resort Casino (Scott’s idea because he wanted to play some slot machines) afterwards.
After the casino, we looked up tiki bars in the area and found UnderTow - a tiki bar located under SIP coffee & beer Garage. We just showed up around 5pm hoping we could get seated since we didn’t make a reservation beforehand. There’s very limited seating, but thankfully we were able to be seated for their usual 90-minute seating. Scott and I definitely used up the entire 90 minutes and had 3 drinks or so each - the experience is really what makes the visit so memorable (read more below).
The next day we grabbed brunch at Scramble, headed to the Premium Outlets for a little shopping action, came back to the hotel to lounge by the pool ended the day with a KBBQ feast.
I had wanted to visit the Desert Botanical Garden but Scott wasn’t too keen on the admission fee ($24.95), especially since we’d have to go fairly early to beat the heat. So…I’ll have to plan another trip out when it isn’t so blistering hot. Have you been to Phoenix before? Any recommendations?
The Camby Hotel is the epitome of a hip, boutique hotel. It’s effortlessly decorated with fun, unique art; furniture and complete with a vinyl record listening area, chic restaurant and bar, chill pool space and friendly staff. It has everything you need for a comfortable stay - we did realize how paper thin the walls were though when we overheard our neighbors having intimate relations into the wee hours of the morning. Being a light sleeper, I was definitely wide awake for 3 hours or so. Other than that, really no issues in how the hotel is run or the amenities available. I would say even though it felt like not an extremely busy time to for the hotel (and it was over memorial day weekend), the pool lounges/seating filled up quickly, but we managed to find a spot. I would recommend staying here for a short period if you want a pleasant experience in a chic, modern designed boutique hotel space. For a two night stay, we paid $213.90 which is usually around the cost for one night. We typically scope out Hotels.com for deals on hotels like these so we can a different experience.
2401 E Camelback Rd,
Phoenix, AZ 85016
PLACES TO EAT NEARBY
Scott and I didn’t want to try to hard to find places to eat (outside of the hotel), so we ventured across the street (Camelback Rd) to Biltmore Fashion Park to see what dining options were available. We ended up enjoying tacos and margaritas at Blanco Tacos + Tequila. Great decor, atmosphere and food & drinks. - it was exactly what we needed to beat the heavy heat.
There’s also a Cheesecake Factory within the Biltmore Fashion Park, so for an evening dessert to enjoy in our hotel room, Scott ran over there to grab 2 cheesecakes.
The following morning we walked across the street (24th Street) to a business complex and enjoyed brunch at Scramble. This place was great! Delicious, classic but breakfast dishes (using locally sourced, fresh ingredients) that I could accompany with a mimosa or cold brew coffee.
For dinner, we were craving KBBQ and curious as to if we could find a good Korean BBQ spot in Phoenix. We found decent reviews for Han Korean BBQ on google and yelp, so decided to try it out. The restaurant isn’t located in the best part of town even though we only went about 5 minutes down Camelback Rd. It’s all you can eat though, and offered everything we were accustomed to for a KBBQ feast.
Getting to experience UnderTow was an absolute delight. This establishment seemed like a proper tiki bar - it’s a small space under a coffee & beer spot, and there are no visible markings indicating that it’s located at that building. Therefore, our lyft driver did get a little confused upon attempting to drop us off, but I had a feeling that it was located in the same building. We walked into the coffee shop and saw stairs that led down to tropical foliage and an UnderTow sign. We headed down and asked the hostess if there was any availability and she said we would just have to wait a few minutes then she could seat us. We lucked out, because this place is tiny and I feel like you for sure would need a reservation coming here later in the evening. We had arrived around 5pm and were able to get seating for their maximum 90 minute seating. We didn’t really read up on reviews or what to expect at UnderTow other than the address (which when we were searching the site over the summer, they didn’t have as much information listed as they do now).
Immediately upon being seated, you are sucked into the mysterious allure of your surroundings. It’s as if you’re inside the hull of a ship: there are portholes with animations that simulate sailing through what feels like somewhere in the South Pacific; hanging lanterns, wooden barrels, and best part - thunder and lightning as if you’re coasting through a tropical storm. It’s was an unforgettable experience that Scott and I will definitely want to experience again. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. We really had no idea what we wanted to drink, so I highly suggest that you ask your server for recs. I did see him bring out a Toucan goblet to another guest and I really wanted one so I ordered it anyways regardless of what beverage came in it. Most drinks are $10-11 each and we spent around $75 total for 3 drinks each, which is expected and comes with an exciting ambience. Great place to experience with a small to mid-size group of friends and or family.
3620 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018