Phoenix lowdown

Places to stay while in Phoenix

Phoenix rising

March means high-season hotel rates, but there are hundreds of low- to medium-priced lodging options; contact the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.visitphoenix.com or 877/225-5749).

These classic hotels offer history and the patina of age along with room service.

The Hermosa Inn. Cowboy artist Lon Megargee built the main lodge as his studio in the 1930s. Today the inn, just outside Phoenix, offers an authentic Southwestern ambience rarely found in town. Try to squeeze in a dinner on the patio at Lon's ($$$$). 35 rooms and suites from $299. 5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley; www.hermosainn.com or 800/241-1210.

Hotel San Carlos. Built in 1928 as the first "high-rise" hotel in downtown Phoenix, this seven-story vintage gem boasts an ornate lobby, copper elevator doors, and a few friendly ghosts. Sip a wee dram as a nightcap at the hotel's popular Séamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub & Restaurant ($; 602/253-6081). 121 rooms and suites from $153. 202 N. Central Ave.; www.hotelsancarlos.com or 866/253-4121.

Royal Palms Resort and Spa. Tall palms and Spanish colonial architecture lend romance to the resort, built in 1929 as a winter home for an East Coast financier. Cozy up in front of an outdoor fireplace and smell the orange blossoms. 117 rooms and suites from $385. 5200 E. Camelback Rd.; www.royalpalmsresortandspa.com or 800/672-6011.

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