TEMPE, Arizona — A new hotel opened its doors in Tempe last week, breathing new life into a classic building.
The Graduate Tempe is part of a growing number of hotels opening up in college towns around the country. It has taken over the former Twin Palms Hotel on Apache Boulevard at Forest Avenue.
The seven-story, 140-room hotel is meant to be an attractive location for students, families and businessmen and women alike, according to General Manger Jeremy Dougherty.
“You can’t ignore 62,000 students across the street, so that’s a big part of what we’re really hoping to capture,” he said. “There’s (also) a lot of businesses in Tempe, it’s got such an influx of jobs.”
Blending modern design with the building’s vintage mid-century roots, Dougherty said the hotel offers a unique experience tailored toward patrons looking for something different.
“This property will lend to those people that want that uniqueness and they want something different than that same type of brand that you can see in any other city,” Dougherty said.
The hotel’s designer, Andrew Alford, said he sought local inspiration behind much of the building’s design, an example of which includes the hotel’s front desk, which was made as a tribute to Arizona State University’s Institute of Human Origins.
“The front desk is a digital print where we got an antique copy of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ and basically digitally reproduced on that,” Alford said.
Another tribute to ASU sits in a hallway behind the front desk.
“The big claim to fame is our ant farm that we actually worked with the College of Life Sciences on,” he said. “They were over here (Wednesday) helping us install it.”
The Graduate Tempe also features two restaurants: one a unique take on traditional diners and the other a Mexican-themed eatery.