On the corner of 24th Street and Camelback Road there used to sit the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for many years. But in 2015, that corner of the Biltmore District was ready for an update and so began the renovation of the hotel. And in December 2015, The Camby made its refreshing debut with sophistication and contemporary flare.
During this media event introducing The Camby, we learned that it is the first Arizona hotel to be a part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels. As explained by Chief Inspiration Officer, Greg Miller, The Camby is meant to offer a luxurious experience of Phoenix like none other to the leisure traveler and professional guests alike. His goal was to “blend luxury accommodations and service with a more light-hearted approach to hospitality.” Guests can expect “high-end service and experience without all the formality.” Designed by renowned Stonehill & Taylor, The Camby was renovated to incorporate famous Arizonan symbols (the Five C’s: cotton, cattle, citrus, climate and copper) through many design elements. Foremost, the inspiration of the hotel name comes from the Valley’s iconic Camelback Mountain. When arriving at the valet-only hotel, friendly staff with smart tablets is there to help with check-in and greet guests. Moving away from the traditional check-in process, The Camby has mobilized the procedure with concierge colleagues walking throughout the lobby to assist visitors in any way they can. Additionally, the room keys are created directly from the tablet and a digital copy of the room keys are sent to a guest’s smartphone, even before arrival. Incorporating new technology is one way The Camby is providing guests with a more personalized experience.
The lobby is elegantly accented with sparkling necklace chandeliers and a very Arizonan color scheme, with copper and turquoise in the unique wall art, furniture, and rug. Throughout hallways, guestrooms, and common spaces, there are pops of color with statement-making pieces of art and accent pieces. The boutique spa, for example, is titled Zest and features citrus accents within their four treatment rooms and three outdoor treatment spaces. The Camby also offers a contemporary fitness center, aptly named “JIM” with freeweights and TechnoGym equipment, as well as 23,000 square feet of vibrant indoor/outdoor meeting space.
So what does The Camby offer in terms of dining? Chef Dushyant Singh, formerly the Executive Sous Chef of Kai Restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, is the Director of Culinary Experiences at The Camby. He oversees three concepts within the hotel:
- Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar: The restaurant serves crafted American cuisine, sourcing their ingredients from local farmers and purveyors. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu is seasonally inspired with signature dishes like the Spotted Rooster, Oxtail Rillettes, and Roasted Wild Boar Loin.
- The Bees Knees: The lobby bar and lounge is what modern speakeasy dreams are made of. Walking in, a creamy white studded booth sits in the middle of the lounge and a fancy fireplace billows in the back of the lounge. The space is filled with mirrored tables and lots of seating, making for an intimate cocktail hour with friends or colleagues. There is also a room hidden behind a door within a door called The Back Office. This is a private venue for group gatherings and meetings with a boardroom table and buffet table that can convert into a pool table and shuffleboard table, respectively. The Bees Knees cocktail menu consists of classic drinks with innovative twists. Lead Mixologist Libby Longlott concocts signature drinks such as The Camby Martini and the bar namesake, Bees Knees, made with gin, fresh lemon juice, orange blossom honey syrup, and orange bitters. And the honey is actually extracted from the honeycomb it drips from, encased in glass and sitting on the bar top.
- Revelry Rooftop Bar: Located on the rooftop, Revelry Bar is an urban oasis where guests can lounge poolside with cocktails and small plates, while enjoying a video art or a classic cinema projected onto the wall. The poolside menu offers street tacos, flatbreads and hand-wrapped ice cream sandwiches. Guests and locals can also enjoy live entertainment on the weekends.
That evening, Chef Singh offered samples of his creations as we lounged around the rooftop pool and watched an Elizabeth Taylor movie projected on the wall. Chef himself served up honey-citrus smoked salmon with a side of cauliflower and leek casserole. The salmon was tender and had a wonderful balance of sweet and tang. The cauliflower casserole was creamy and rich with the aroma of the leeks, which was a welcome upgrade from the typical starch side. This plate was my favorite that night. My ideal comfort food was found in the house-made tagliatelle pasta. Tossed with mushrooms and taleggio cheese, the flavor was delicately earthy and the pasta was prepared to a pillowy density. There is just something about fresh pasta that makes what is a relatively simple dish into one that is even more delectable.
This tasting provided a decent introduction into what I could expect, but I am look forward to returning to Artizen for the full dining experience.
The Camby is owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and offers 277 luxury guest accommodations. If you are new to the area, the hotel is in a prime location near popular hiking trails on Camelback Mountain and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, shopping at Biltmore Fashion Park across the street, and many fantastic local restaurants. Whether you are a local or a visitor, The Camby is your destination for refined revelry.
For additional information, please visit The Camby website: www.TheCamby.com.