Finding an inexpensive hotel in Scottsdale  is challenging, though not impossible. The retro Best Western Papago Inn & Resort (7017 E. McDowell Road, 480/947-7335, www.bestwesternarizona.com , $60–90 d) offers a bit of personality and rooms that overlook a grassy, flower-filled courtyard and swimming pool. Its location near Tempe , Papago Park , and the airport makes it a handy option if you plan to explore the rest of the Valley of the Sun.
There’s nothing like clean and functional when you are on a budget. Motel 6 Scottsdale (6848 E. Camelback Rd., 480/946-2280, www.motel6.com , $50–85 d) is downtown’s cheapest hotel, and its location next to Scottsdale Fashion Square cannot be beat. Have breakfast at the on-site pancake house, which is frequented by locals on the weekend.
The hip Hotel Indigo (4415 N. Civic Center Plaza, 480/941-9400, www.scottsdalehiphotel.com , $125–200 d) packs a lot of style into a converted motel. Younger guests will love its incredible location near Scottsdale’s best bars and clubs, not to mention the boldly decorated rooms that were clearly inspired by more expensive boutique hotels. Guests can take advantage of the gym and outdoor swimming pool, or head out to the second-story terrace for cocktails by the fire pit on cool evenings. It’s a bit of Scottsdale  flash for not much cash.
Hyatt Place (7300 E. 3rd Ave., 480/423-9944, http://scottsdaleoldtown.place.hyatt.com , $100–175 d) also is conveniently located within walking distance of Scottsdale Stadium and Old Town ’s shops, restaurants, and nightlife. The comfy, modern rooms feature a fridge, free Wi-Fi, and a 42-inch flat-screen TV. Downstairs, the convenient food counter prepares takeaway sandwiches and salads perfect for breakfast or a quick snack.
The budget-boutique 3 Palms (7707 E. McDowell Rd., 480/941-1202, www.scottsdale-resort-hotels.com , $90–135 d) creates an intimate resort feel, thanks to its white-on-white lobby, mod guest rooms, inviting poolside bar, and neighboring park. The remodeled property, a 10-minute drive from Old Town, isn’t perfect, but it’s a terrific value. The in-room DVD player, refrigerator, and microwave make it practical for families, and its location near Tempe  attracts parents and friends visiting students at Arizona State University .
Classic mid-20th-century modern architecture and a chic decor make Hotel Valley Ho (6850 E. Main St., 480/248-2000, www.hotelvalleyho.com , $225–300 d) a swanky place to hang your fedora. The 2005 overhaul restored the 1956 property to its golden age glory, when Hollywood celebrities like Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh lounged by the pool, and Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood held their surprise wedding reception at the hotel. The translucent walls, Philippe Starck tubs, and hip bar attract a younger crowd, but the large patios, mod rooms, and Trader Vic’s restaurant are fun for everyone.
The too-cool-for-school Mondrian (7353 E. Indian School Rd., 480/308-1110, www.mondrianscottsdale.com , $275–300 d) epitomizes Scottsdale ’s love of trendy style over substance. Its nightclub vibe starts in the white-on-white lobby and continues throughout the property, with strategically placed alfresco lounges and oh-so-mod rooms that feel a little small. Count on spotting MTV-ready crowds at the always-packed pool or in the Euro-chic Red Bar. The hotel’s handy location on the Scottsdale Mall means guests are within easy walking distance of downtown restaurants, bars, and shops.