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Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort - Review

Innovating High Style in the Desert

The front of the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in the evening
The front of the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in the evening

The Grand Dame of Arizona treats her guests like royalty. Known as the "Jewel of the Desert," the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort pioneered the state’s luxury hotel experience when it opened in 1929. The décor was inspired by consulting architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, whose stained glass design in an entrance foyer wall has spawned many a variation of, "Meet us at the stained glass." The gold-leaf ceiling is among the lobby's opulent features, and photos of celebrities who have vacationed in the resort adorn the lobby walls. Hollywood idols Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned here; Herbert Hoover and almost every president since has stayed at this baronial landmark; the spectacular Adobe golf course was Gable’s favorite; and Marilyn Monroe loved the Catalina swimming pool.

The Biltmore's facilities are expansive, from the hotel, cottages and villa suites (with well-appointed amenities) to winding paths, lush lawns, gardens, palm trees, cacti, dazzling fountains and eight pools. In addition, guests can choose to stay at the property's "hotel-within-a-hotel," Ocatilla at Arizona Biltmore. This luxurious mix of modern and traditional Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design houses an exclusive lounge with 24-hour concierge only available to Ocatilla guests. Rooms are equipped with top-quality features, including flat-screen HD televisions, iPod docks, high-speed Internet, granite and mosaic bathrooms with Kohler sinks and Pascal Morabito amenities and panoramic pool, garden or mountain views.

Ocatilla Club room at the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix The Catalina pool at the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix
Ocatilla Club room
Catalina pool

Two 18-hole championship golf courses, tennis courts, state-of-the-art spa, all-age-friendly fitness center and Kids Korral, with supervised weekend and holiday sports activities, arts and games cover the magnificent property’s 39 acres. Even pets (up to 50 pounds) are pampered in this sophisticated wonderland, with a welcome cookie, commemorative bowl and place mat, special room-service menu, walking tour map and dedicated areas to run and play on grassy lawns. Just strolling the grounds is a glorious pastime. You might, as we did, come upon some cheerful surprises, such as a few college scholars honing their lacrosse skills. You can also enjoy a range of activities, from a resort history tour to the more unusual cigar rolling and family pottery painting.

Eighteen-hole championship golf at the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix
Eighteen-hole championship golf

Presented every afternoon from November to May, the Biltmore’s traditional Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Tea Court is a special treat, presided over by the Tea Lady who seems to have come directly from central casting. A charmer, she serves a choice of seventeen teas accompanied by tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and pastries. The Wright Bar, with its oversized fire pits and terrace view of gardens and Squaw Peak, combines the latest martinis and one-of-a-kind Biltmore martinis with tasty "Hi-Tini Bites." Guests love the impressive indoor-outdoor Biltmore Block fireplace with a hand-fabricated steel hood at the appealing Frank & Albert's restaurant, featuring a menu of Arizona comfort foods and American classics accented with local flavors. The fine dining Wright's at the Biltmore boasts a wine cellar that is among the most extensive in the valley; it also hosts special wine-pairing dinners. Open for dinner (slacks and a collared shirt required for men) and an elaborate Sunday Brunch, it offers an imaginative variety of tastes. A menu for children twelve and under is available in all the restaurants.

Any time you visit this glamorous but casual, dynamic but serene, lively but tranquil, revered and adored Grand Dame, you will be thankful for all the wishes she grants and the wonderful memories you take home.

Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
2400 E. Missouri Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Visit the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort official website

Restaurant Options:

Frank & Albert's

Wright's at the Biltmore


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