The Suite Life: RISE Phoenix, Arizona

With 79 guest rooms, a poolside bar, a rooftop cocktail lounge, a popsicle stand, and an onsite hometown brand coffee shop, a stay at the newly opened¬†RISE Phoenix boutique hotel¬†(formerly ARRIVE Phoenix) is a fantastic weekend getaway or staycation in the desert. RISE Phoenix is located in Phoenix’s Alhambra neighborhood, and perfectly blends contemporary with retro in its aesthetics and decor. It’s like being transported back in time to enjoy a simpler way of living, while also enjoying the comforts and modernities of 2020 hospitality.

Immediately upon arrival, there’s a gift shop at the check-in with fun Arizona themed goodies to bring back from your trip. It takes a fair amount of self control to resist buying EVERYTHING, but luckily there’s a major distraction on the other side of the check-in counter — a seemingly endless amount of popsicle flavors to choose from as a check-in gift.

The Pop Stand provides an ever-changing menu of frozen popsicles made from fresh fruit, cream, and sometimes even booze. From the Blue Hawaiian to the whiskey sour, to the strawberry and the Prosecco pop — there’s no wrong choice. I ordered the rainbow one because I couldn’t bear the thought of choosing just one flavor — which although it wasn’t boozy, it was perfectly delightful in the 110 degree Phoenix heat.

110 degrees? Yes, welcome to Phoenix. Luckily, onsite you’ll never be more than a 100 yard walk from RISE’S spectacular pool and the poolside bar, Lylo Swim Club. Lylo features a laid back vibe and serves light, Hawaiian-Japanese influenced bites alongside a plethora of refreshing cocktail choices. We spent all day at the pool in a cabana, which we didn’t have to reserve (even though it was a Saturday afternoon!).

There’s a rotating selection of sorbet Bellinis, fresh fruit caipirinhas, and my personal favorite, a rum-spiked version of the classic Dole Whip to chill out with on a hot Phoenician day. All of this is brought to you by extremely attentive employees via pool bar service so you’ll never have to leave the shade and the comfort of the cabana’s water misters.

If you’re the kind of person who gets extra fierce after indulging in a couple of boozy Dole Whips, there’s foosball and table tennis to challenge your buddies (and your reflexes) to a game of friendly competition (loser buys the next Dole Whip).

We spent the night in a “studio” room which was decorated appropriately in retro-desert themed decor, complete with a record player stacked with Johnny Cash vinyl albums.

There are also rooms that feature firepits and cozy outdoor seating arrangements so you can enjoy endless boozy cocktails, shame-free in the comfort of your own space. (Firepits in Arizona? I thought you said it was 110 degrees! Yes — during the daytime. At night in the desert when the sun goes down, the temperatures can drop pretty rapidly, which is when it’s time to break out this cozy “ring of fire” both literally and figuratively… See what I did there? It’s a Johnny Cash reference!).

In the morning, I’m not awake until coffee, which is perfect because guests can grab an espresso right onsite at RISE’S very own franchise location of the local favorite roaster “Cartel Coffee Lab,” which was founded in nearby Tempe, AZ. 10/10 recommend coffee by the pool (and cocktails by the pool and just BEING NEAR this awesome pool).

Overall, what I most appreciated about the RISE brand’s guest experience is that every detail of each RISE hotel is personally curated to fit the narrative of its individual location — I was extremely impressed with the adaptation to the culture of Arizona at the brand’s Phoenix property (Conner is originally from Phoenix. In fact, this hotel was about half a mile from where he went to high school — and he agrees).

“Desert” jokes on the magnetic, environmentally friendly “do not disturb signs”

From the desert plant wallpaper, to the property’s tried and true efforts to pay homage to this state’s wild west history, to the special attention RISE clearly invests into keeping guests cool in the Phoenician heat (pool, popsicles, and DOLE WHIP COCKTAILS) and its environmentally conscious sustainability initiatives such as magnetic “do not disturb” signs, I appreciated noting the details that went into making this hotel feel special. Even the side of the building highlights the work of local artists and is of course appropriately “desert” themed.

Did I miss anything? Do you have your own feedback to share about RISE? Are you FROM the RISE brand and want to share your thoughts about my thoughts? Please reach out at


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