World Class Hotels: The Graduate in Tempe, Arizona


Located in Tempe, Arizona — just across the street from the campus of Arizona State University (ASU) — The Graduate Tempe is the latest hotel destination from AJ Capital Partners’ string of hotels opening in college towns across America that focus on the local history of the various towns. Coupling literature, education, and local Arizona styles, The Graduate Tempe is a fun and inviting hotel for those who love books and an eclectic style.

Graduate Ant Farm

The Ant Farm Sign and Front Desk Made of Pages from Charles Darwin’s Book

Arriving at The Graduate Tempe, guests walk in to see the front desk is wallpapered with pages from Charles Darwin’s book “The Origin of Species. Behind the front desk is a real living ant farm emblazoned with The Graduate’s Logo. The ant farm itself was installed with the help of ASU’s School of Life Sciences Social Insect Research Department.

The Twin Palms in Tempe

The Twin Palms in Tempe

Formerly the Twin Palms hotel, and only recently receiving extensive renovations, The Graduate Hotel is much more than just a place to stay a night or two, it is truly an experience. We at International Bellhop had the pleasure of staying in the hotel before and after the renovations, and while the former Twin Palms hotel had an outdated design — awash with pink and pastel colors, and looking like a set from Miami Vice — The Twin Palms was always comfortably ugly, and we were a bit worried that renovations would lead to the hotel losing some of its outdated charm.

Graduate Hotel as it is today

Graduate Hotel as it is today

Upon staying at the Graduate Hotel after its extensive remodel, we were pleased to find that the new style and look incorporated much of the design from the original hotel, while modernizing it and adding a definitively Tempe flare to the rooms, the lobby and the two delicious restaurants that are attached to the hotel. In-short, we love everything about The Graduate Tempe, and felt so comfortable and at home, we could easily see ourselves making excuses to go and stay in this world class hotel again.

King Room1

The interior design of the rooms is bold, with an Americana meets retro-modern feel to it.


Bathrooms are modern, clean and very spacious.

Graduate Hotel Patio

Offering great views, The Graduate Hotel is located right across the street from ASU’s campus, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Gammage Auditorium theater, and conveniently close to Sky Harbor International Airport — for parents visiting their kids attending Arizona State University.


While much more spacious and comfortable than your average college dorm room, the fact that this truly is a college campus hotel is peppered throughout the interior design.


At times the wild interiors meet traditional Arizona styles.


While many hotels these days have little more than an ashtray out front, The Graduate has outdone themselves, creating a patio and relaxation area where guests can plan their days activities or simply take-in the beautiful Arizona weather.


Tapacubo Poolside Cantina

What we love most about our stay at The Graduate Tempe, is the 5 star dining options that are located right within the hotel itself with the Normal Diner and Tapacubo. Tapacubo is a Mexican bar that serves up tacos, tortas and a huge selection of beers, wines, tequilas and cocktails. The bar itself is made up of 38,000 Mexican Pesos inlaid into the counter, and the dining room itself is mimicked after a 1950s filling station, complete with antique gas pumps.


Offering poolside service and playing host to the many gourmet food trucks that meander around Tempe, not only is Tapacubo a great option for quick snacks and meals while staying at the hotel, but has become a dining destination for those living on campus or in the area as well.


Our Favorite Tapacubo Menu Items:

Honduran Ceviche
Ahi Tuna / Coconut Water / Puffed Rice / Plantain Crisp

Cerveza Battered Cod Tacos
Chipotle Mayo / Cabbage / Shaved Radish

Crispy Pork Rinds / Chile-Lime Salt

Visit Tapacubo for Yourself:

225 East Apache Boulevard
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Phone Number: 480.967.9431

The Normal Diner Tempe

The Normal Diner

The Graduate Tempe’s second in-house dining option is The Normal Diner, located just outside the lobby in a connected building. The building used to be home to an IHOP diner, but has stepped up considerably with the Normal Diner. Still modeled as a traditional breakfast diner, the food at the Normal Diner is wonderfully crafted and worthy of even the priciest high-end breakfast spots.


The interior of the restaurant is just as wild and strange as much of the rest of the decorations inside The Graduate Hotel, with a full spectrum of colors. Our favorite pieces of art were the ugly and outdated paintings that were salvaged from the rooms of the hotel before remodeling and graffiti-ed with with black paint.


The food dishes at The Normal Diner are beyond words… Breakfast is served all day long and features many of the most common breakfast staples such as hash, Eggs Benedict and bacon and eggs, but with presentations that look as though they belong in high end bistros.


Our Favorite Dishes at The Normal Diner:

Eggs Benedict
Poached Eggs / Chorizo / LGO English Muffin / Citrus Hollandaise

The Hash
Braised Beef Short Rib / Roasted Potato / Guajillo Chile Sauce / Eggs Any Style / Corn Tortillas

Gringo Burrito
House Made Chorizo / Yukon Potato / White Cheddar / Spinach Salsa Verde / Eggs / Local Flour Tortilla

Visit The Normal Diner for Yourself:

The Normal Diner
225 East Apache Boulevard
Tempe, Arizona 85281


After our wonderful trip to Tempe, Arizona and the wonderfully renovated Graduate Hotel, it is safe to say that this is one of our favorite destinations and hotel stays in the world. We invite our fellow travelers to visit The Graduate Hotel for a night, see the many sights and shopping options in Tempe, and definitely stay in for dining at the hotel’s two wonderful dining options.

Visit The Graduate for Yourself:

The Graduate Tempe
225 East Apache Boulevard
Tempe, AZ 85281, USA

Graduate Website Banner

And Check Out Our Graduate Hotel, Tapacubo Poolside Diner and The Normal Diner Photo Gallery Below:

Like This Article?
Follow Us On Facebook to Continue Your Adventure:

Ibellhop Facebook

6 responses to “World Class Hotels: The Graduate in Tempe, Arizona

Leave Us Some Love

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s