Phoenix’s Downtown, once a victim to the dreaded weekend exodus that blights most business districts is currently undergoing a rebirth, led by a growing art scene – gradually moving in from neighbouring Scottsdale – and a string of new hospitality enterprises.
Proof that the district is worth more than a day trip is the launch of the newly minted Found:Re hotel, an art-orientated property that slots right into its location on the border of Rooseveld Row, the creative district lined with artisan coffee shops and contemporary galleries. Inside, a raw, industrial aesthetic provides a suitably clean backdrop for in-house curator Michael Oleskow’s bold collection that champions local artists from Randy Slack to Linda Ingraham.
Upstairs, a sense of youthfulness pervades the 105 guest rooms, with industrial black iron beds and wagon wheel lighting fixtures that are boosted by smokey grey and blue hues. Some rooms have balconies that overlook the hotel's pool, the perfect spot to cool off during the hot summer months, sipping on a cocktail, while admiring the specially commissioned wall mural by Lucretia Torva alongside fun elements such as the movable T-Rex by Jeff Zischke.
Also on the ground floor, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, Match Cuisine & Cocktails, hums from the moment the first early morning plates of eggs are served, to last orders at night. The menu- from chef Akos Szab is a crowd-pleasing assortment of global street food-inspired small dishes, served alongside an impressive selection of local craft beers and wine. ‘One of our values is community’, explains V Calamur, the hotel’s general manager. ‘We want the locals to make this their second home.’
Of course, while the seared salmon served with a yuzu and kimchi dressing is particularly tasty, for a full sense of the Downtown revival, it is worth nipping out, where culinary offerings such as chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s popular Barrio Café and DeSoto Central Market – a convergence of oyster bars, burger joints and Southern kitchens in a 1928 red brick building that formerly housed a Chrysler dealership – are just a short stroll away from cultural delights like the Phoenix Art Museum.