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REVIEW: Tempe Mission Palms, a Destination by Hyatt

We review a rarely talked about Hyatt property in the Phoenix area. We may have found value and a hidden gem with this Destination by Hyatt hotel.
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

REVIEW: Tempe Mission Palms, a Destination by Hyatt

We review a rarely talked about Hyatt property in the Phoenix area. We may have found value and a hidden gem with this Destination by Hyatt hotel.

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

On a recent trip to the Phoenix area, I tried to find a Hyatt property that did not break the points bank and was not a Hyatt Place. Finding a resort feel or something close to it and somewhere to enjoy the great Arizona weather was key. I found that with the Tempe Mission Palms, which is a Destination by the Hyatt brand.

Tempe Mission Palms is a Destination by Hyatt brand

Booking

I had been searching the Phoenix area vigorously. I am usually quite thrifty with my World of Hyatt points. Many of the Phoenix area resorts cost 20-25,000 Hyatt points per night. There are also a wide range of Hyatt Place or Hyatt House properties in the area. While I have stayed at those, I was looking for something in between.

I stumbled upon just that with the Tempe Mission Palms, which was just 12,000 Hyatt points per night. The two-night cash rate would have been over $658 dollars. This meant I got almost 2.75 cents per point, which is great value for Hyatt points. The hotel charges a destination fee of $22.76 per night. However, one of the great perks of Hyatt is that award bookings do not incur taxes and fees.

The destination fee covered the following services:

  • Use of Phoenix Airport Shuttle
  • Valet Parking
  • Self-Parking
  • In-room coffee and tea service
  • Premium High-speed wireless Internet
  • Local and 1-800 telephone calls
  • Fitness Center
  • USA Today Newspaper
  • Poolside Cabana Use – Based on availability
  • On-site UPS Store
  • Specialty Coffee in the Lobby every morning
  • Electric car charging station
  • $2 off Admission to Hall of Flame
  • $2 off Admission to Arizona Heritage Center
  • 10% off rentals from The Bicycle Cellar
Cash price for a two-night stay, which includes a daily destination fee.

I always use my World of Hyatt credit card (review) for any incidental charges while staying on points. If you do not have a Hyatt card, then a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve would work as well.

Check In

The hotel sits in downtown Tempe and is very close to Arizona State University and Sun Devil Stadium, making this a prime resort for sporting events.

Convenient location right in Tempe close to bars and restaurants.
Outside the building, signage, a fountain, and flags were proudly displayed. Parking is complimentary (tips accepted), and they were busy checking out many guests when I arrived. I asked about self-parking, but it's less convenient here and you would have to park behind the hotel. The valet-parked cars were in front of the hotel. I tipped the valets each time as they were fast and efficient.
 
The front desk staff thanked me for being a World of Hyatt Globalist and upgraded me to a Junior Suite. During my online check-in, I was able to view this upgrade before my arrival. The larger one-bedroom suites were already fully booked.
 
The staff did not give much information about the hotel or amenities during check in. When I asked about breakfast, the front desk staff pointed towards the courtyard area saying it was across the way. I asked about the pool and was informed it was on the second floor and open until 10 PM.
I loved the entrance to Tempe Mission Palms

Lobby

The lobby was spacious and had plenty of room. I like that it had plenty of seating as well. Sometimes it's nice to get some work done somewhere other than the room. This lobby has plenty of space for that.

Large spacious lobby

It also had a quite area with some separation from lobby that included  a fireplace.

Lobby fireplace with sitting area

Elevators & Hallways

As I left the lobby area, I realized the hotel had a modern feel in areas where it was updated. The elevator, while having a very old feel, had a Southwestern décor that fit being in Arizona. This would be the theme of the hotel where some areas feel modern, while others feel old.

Old elevator but cool desert décor

The hotel is set up in a rectangle with a courtyard in the middle. This led to some long walks depending on where I was located. There are sets of elevators on each side of the hotel rectangle. The carpets were clean. I found this large sitting area odd outside the elevator on the fourth floor.

Sitting area near the elevator

Room

As I entered my room, my first thought was that it's older than the lobby, and I might be at grandma's house. All the furniture matched but felt odd with the other more modern things like bed, artwork, and carpet. Not necessarily a bad thing, just an initial impression. It actually grew on me during the stay.

The furniture gave me a grandma's house feel but it also had a modern blend with carpet and artwork
More old-looking furniture. Not a bad thing just felt odd with other parts of room
Lots of dresser space for those long term stays

The 500-square foot room felt very spacious, which I enjoyed. It featured a couch and table, plus a work desk area. The room had a safe and a fridge which was nice.

Large spacious room

The artwork above the bed felt more Southwestern, while other artwork felt more trendy and bold. I slept great and felt it was one of the more comfortable hotel beds I have stayed in recently.

Comfortable king bed

Bathroom

The shower was a bit small. Of course it was one of those half-glass showers we see a lot today in hotels, which have become a pet peeve of mine. No way to reach into the shower, without almost putting your whole body in or having long arms like I do. They had the bulk toiletries in the shower. One of the bottles looked a bit gross and in need of cleaning.

Small, half glass showers; my pet peeve

The bathroom area was fine, just a bit narrow. I do like when there are plenty of towels. These days, I find hotels limiting housekeeping and not giving enough toiletries or towels. That was not the case here.

Lots of towels is always a nice thing to see

Amenities

The hotel did not communicate its amenities very well. They have a fitness center, which is directly next to the outdoor pool. I had a hard time finding the pool, as I was told it was on the second floor, which the elevator also showed. However, when I got off on the second floor, I found no signs and just ended up walking almost the entire floor. As mentioned, the hotel is a big rectangle so the pool was on the opposite side I was on. I located the outdoor area and walked by the fitness center, which looked well-equipped.

I found the outdoor pool area to be a tranquil oasis with low occupancy. It included a large outdoor seating area, the main pool, two hot tubs, and a snack bar that was available at peak times. There were also plenty of seats. Aviation geeks can also spot planes from the outdoor pool area as they land at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport very close to the hotel.

I love the outdoor pool area
Plenty of seating and some cover at the pool area
Great Arizona views from the pool area too

Food

The hotel has a bar and restaurant, which I did not visit but looked nice. I had breakfast both mornings. I found my way through the courtyard to the restaurant area. The hotel also has conference and meeting space, and it looks like they offer  a separate breakfast and coffee area for conference attendees.

The breakfast restaurant sits across the large spacious courtyard
nice courtyard area outside

It was a bit confusing for me initially on which door was the restaurant. This was due to conference space and attendees going into a similar area. I eventually found the right place and was seated by a friendly staff.

Breakfast menu
Omelet, which came with 3 ingredients of your choosing. I opted for no toast

There was a bit of a dated feel to the dining area. The server seemed unhappy to be there. On the first day, I ordered an omelet, which was came quickly and was hot and delicious. As one of the perks of having globalist status, all breakfast costs were included, including tips.

On the second day, I was seated without a menu and not told anything. I was greeted by the not-so-happy server who asked if I was doing the buffet. He offered me a menu, but I decided to try the buffet instead.

Large buffet set up. Can be configured and stocked based on capacity of hotel or conferences.
Pretty typical buffet selections, although the Prime Rib hash was really good.

Other

I highly recommend exploring the local bar and food scene, including breweries. I found the Tempe location really close to plenty of options. While I typically choose a rental car in the Phoenix area, you could relax here for a couple days without one. I also highly recommend making the short walk behind the hotel to Hayden Butte. This is a fantastic hike that takes you above Tempe with amazing views of the valley.

That big rectangle below me is the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel

Final Thoughts

Even though it was located in a busy area, the hotel felt quiet and relaxing, just what I was looking for. If there were events going on at Arizona State University, things could get loud, but I did not experience that here in January. I enjoyed relaxing in the pool and hot tub areas while enjoying a beer as I had the area all to myself. The few awkward things, such as some features feeling old, faded for me. Bottom line: the 12,000 Hyatt points price is a great deal, especially when compared with the cash price here. I definitely plan to return.

I loved the Tempe area and the hotel.
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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