Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam | Phoenix, Arizona | They call themselves “The Jewel of the Desert”, I rather refer to them as a piece of heritage from the old, longed, Hollywood Glamour, setting the standard for elegance and style. Arizona Biltmore became world renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state, captains of industry and other famous travelers. One of the only existing luxury hotels in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design, and if you know who he is, you will understand my excitement. I mean, to this hotel, I gave a pass on any minor details or issues, this property cannot be seen or judged as a regular resort, but as for its iconic architecture, and legacy of elegance and opulent luxury for nearly a century.
Differently to what many assume, this resort was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a Harvard graduate, who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. Reason why I mentioned “influenced by”. One of the many things I learnt, after taking one of their History Tour (signature service by Waldorf properties worldwide).
Among other things I learnt, including some juicy gossips of that time, was the nature of the “Biltmore Block” (see photo above), which is the DNA and structure of this hotel. The Biltmore Block features a geometric pattern that is said to represent a freshly cut palm tree, made out off indigenous materials, pre-cast concrete blocks were molded on-site and used in the total construction of the resort.
The pools at the Arizona Biltmore have many interesting stories to tell and share, perhaps Marilyn Monroe’s favorite pool is the one to top. Did you know that the famed song composer Irving Berlin penned many tunes, including “White Christmas” while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore?
The Arizona Biltmore boasts 740 guest rooms and is one of the largest hotels in Arizona. 78 one-and two-bedroom villas. Eight swimming pools. Seven tennis courts. A full-service resort spa, salon and fitness center. Five dining options. The adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts two of the best 18-hole PGA golf courses in Phoenix: The Links and The Adobe. The resort is managed by the Waldorf Astoria group. Yes I do agree that most rooms in need of a facelift, process that has started at the Ocatilla Wing and will continue throughout the entire property next.
The resort is divided and structured by Wings. I was hosted at their premium wings called Ocatilla at a Club Deluxe Room. This is a retreat and private sanctuary within the resort itself, where a dedicated concierge attends to individual needs in a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment and continuous culinary offerings are showcased throughout the day.
The resort has undergone major renovations, and my Club Deluxe Room (which you can see above), is a clear example of the new concept and style the rest of the hotel will be going for within the next year and so. Ocatilla has access to its own private pool.
Dining at Wright’s Restaurant, was an outstanding culinary experience. Signature dining venue at the resort offering fresh cuisine that reflects an innovative culinary style characterized by fresh, local ingredients that are hearty, yet simply elegant. You can read my full post here. Unfortunately I was not able to try any of the other restaurants.
The Wright’s Bar, features a Piano and lots to stories to tell. Birthplace of the Original Tequila Sunrise, was not strange gathering for celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., hiding from the glitz of Hollywood.
One of my favorite rooms at the Main Building of the resort is the legendary “Mystery Room” which opened in the midst of Prohibition. A club masqueraded as a “Men’s Smoking Room” requiring a secret password for entry and accessible only through a secret passage that started behind the resort and traveled up a hidden staircase from the kitchen. The striking stained glass ceiling, was the key for the gentleman in the room, to return to their rooms and the booze to be tucked back into the room’s hidden bookshelf. Their was a spotlight, out in the roof, that was officially known to guide guests at night, and unofficially used to search the desert for police raids. Whenever a raid approached, the spotlight would shine through the Mystery Room’s stained glass roof warning the guests. There are plans and rumors of the soon return of this Speakeasy Glory to the resort.
Arizona’s historic Grand Dame radiates an undeniable mystique of refinement and splendor. I will say this in a very positive and constructive way, which I openly shared with the management and marketing team… I so wish they would further embrace and revive the heritage and glamour of their time. What else can I say, other than, I would have need more time to connect and explore this incredible property. I look forward for a soon return. For those of you interested to experience the Arizona Biltmore, know that when booking through me, you will get other than advantageous deals, the following extra amenities: Continental Breakfast for two Daily + $100 Food and Beverage Credit Voucher for Frank & Albert’s, per Room, per Stay + subject to availability at the time of check-in: Upgrade. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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