Following the recent launch of Arizona’s adult-use cannabis market, The Clarendon Hotel & Spa, a 4-star boutique hotel in Phoenix, has diverted from the norms of the hospitality industry and started encouraging guests to light up in one of their new, cannabis-friendly rooms. The Midtown hotel was purchased in 2019 by Pro Hospitality Group which decided to take the cannabis-friendly route after the passage of Arizona Prop 207. Ganjapreneur recently sat down with Daron Brotherton, owner of The Clarendon and Pro Hospitality Group, to learn more about what the hotel offers to the cannabis crowd, how they are expanding these offerings, and their expansive plans for the future.
“We decided to become cannabis-friendly and embrace Prop 207 in Arizona and let people know that there’s a four-star hotel embracing cannabis as a lifestyle rather than a stoner culture,” said Brotherton. “We’re trying to embrace cannabis as a wellness lifestyle and eventually create a platform that will carry that torch and extend to wine, spas, hotels, and good living in general.”
Sixteen of the hotel rooms are currently cannabis-friendly and over time they may convert a total of 40 rooms, or about 40% of the hotel. Guests are provided with air purifiers for their rooms, which are also deep cleaned and aired out for four hours after check-out. Because large parts of the hotel are not designated as cannabis-friendly, guests are encouraged to partake in their room or at designated areas of the hotel grounds during their stay. As the hotel further expands its offerings, it will extend unique advertising opportunities in cannabis-friendly spaces. For example, brands will be able to lease a cannabis-friendly room for 6-12 months — much like they could a billboard — and during this time, the company can place their choice of promotional materials and decor in their room, as long as it stays within their contract with the hotel.
Guests who want to consume flower outside of their room can visit the cannabis lounge which is also available to members and day pass holders. A pass into the cannabis lounge gains visitors access to various smoking devices, the pool, discounts at the restaurant & spa, and complimentary shuttle rides to a dispensary. The lounge also serves mocktail refreshments but the hotel is legally required to keep alcohol and cannabis use separate.
This summer, the team will suspend the alcohol license at the pool for designated cannabis consumption hours where vaping and edibles will be permitted. The rooftop Skydeck will be another potential cannabis smoking space during events because the liquor license can be suspended upstairs but kept intact in the bar down below.
The team also hosts budtender appreciation parties where brands and retailers sponsor budtenders’ complimentary passes throughout the year. In addition, the team is planning an art walk featuring live installations and cannabis consumption zones.
As their offerings grow, the events calendar will too, and many of the events will feature the work of their Head Chefs Chef Jordan Savell, a Hell’s Kitchen alumni, and cannabis Chef Derek Upton, who both have experience in fine dining and cannabis infusion. Currently, the chefs serve a specially designed seasonal tapas menu at partner restaurant The Edgemont on Central on Thursdays and Fridays. They look forward to crafting menus for infused six-course VIP meals and small plates alongside whiskey tastings and wine dinners. The Clarendon team is still developing its events calendar and is currently open to discussing any event size or concept.
The newly cannabis-infused luxury boutique art hotel is the prototype for a larger vision for Pro Hospitality Group. The team that purchased The Clarendon currently owns seven other hotels and plans to raise that number to 10 this year. Eventually, the group will build out five to ten cannabis-friendly hotels under Elevations. The Elevations brand intends to encompass far more than just a hotel chain and hopes to grow into a platform for bringing cannabis into the fold of luxury wellness.
Opening up the first hotel in the franchise to cannabis consumers is only the beginning of this process, which Brotherton speaks of with open excitement. “We’d like to see our cannabis franchise branch off throughout the country and that’s what we’re working on right now. Some of these hotels we’d like to see dispensaries in them, not in all of them, and then just taking it back to the platform, now we would have a lifestyle platform with franchised hotels and you can be a member and just earn points like you would for a Marriott or a Hilton.”
Eventually, there will be a direct booking option on The Clarendon Hotel & Spa website. For now, those visiting Phoenix, Arizona (or Phoenicians looking for a staycation) can book cannabis-friendly rooms at The Clarendon through Bud and Breakfast or by calling the front desk. Learn more about The Clarendon Hotel & Spa, their events, advertising opportunities, and more at goclarendon.com.