“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
This quote perfectly captures how I inadvertently became a travel writer – the sheer astonishment of experiencing new and beautiful places, followed by the compulsion to give voice to those experiences so that others may see a part of the world they may not have otherwise discovered.
This quote also spoke to me because you don’t need to travel across the globe or even the country to be amazed. Some of my most memorable travel experiences have occurred within 30 minutes of my home, like my recent stay at The Arizona Biltmore; one of the best luxury hotels in Arizona.
Where is The Arizona Biltmore?
The Arizona Biltmore is in Phoenix, centrally located within a few minutes of Downtown Scottsdale and Downtown Phoenix, and various sporting arenas, museums, concert halls and other attractions. (Google Maps) The hotel is also approximately a 15-minute drive to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
Some Arizona Biltmore History
Construction of The Arizona Biltmore began in 1928 under the guidance of the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his former student Albert Chase McArthur. Wright inspired the use of the “Biltmore Block,” which was a variation of the block that Wright used to construct private homes.
The property opened in 1929 to socialites, business titans, celebrities and prominent politicians, and the hotel soon earned the moniker “Jewel of the Desert.” In 1930, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. became the hotel’s sole owner, and proceeded to build its first pool – The Catalina Pool. For more history, Click Here.
The Entry and Lobby
The Arizona Biltmore is regal, classic, and majestic; and all characteristics are on full display from the moment you walk into the property. The architecture is astoundingly unique and exquisite, and I love the ode to the history and style of the property through various displays and historical objects.
One of my favorite parts (maybe my favorite!) is walking into my room for the first time, especially when I’m staying at a luxury resort like The Arizona Biltmore. It’s better than Christmas!!! And our suite was absolutely stunning!! Not to mention that it featured the most succulent and magnificent welcome gift I’ve ever received!!
The property’s grounds are lush, luxurious, and expansive – a symphony of natural stone, deep green grass and plants, and classic architecture. I took a myriad of pictures, too many to post, but here are some of my favorites.
Here is a very cool image of the main grounds from the air.
The Spa Biltmore
I LOVE going to spas, and I couldn’t contain my excitement since the moment I had scheduled my spa treatment. The Spa Biltmore has a glimmering reputation for high-end luxury service and facilities, and specialty treatments and therapies. Click Here to check out the Spa Menu.
This was NOT an easy choice. I only had time for one treatment, and I needed to make it count! So, after much deliberation, I chose the “Jewel of the Desert” therapy – a full body massage employing seven aromatic healing oils. Oh my goodness, it was sublime – 80 minutes of therapeutic and luxurious bliss. I even managed to get a decent image of the oils! And check out the super-cool splash pool in the Men’s changing area!
After my lovely spa treatment, I walked to meet my wife and our two friends who had already gotten settled in our most awesome poolside cabana; which was really like a small hotel room; complete with a refrigerator, couch, table and chairs, umbrella, and a bathroom with a shower! I unfortunately didn’t capture great images of the cabana since there were people around who didn’t want to be on the Internet in their bathing suits!! Here’s a great pic supplied by the hotel. It’s more of a living room than a cabana – just awesome.
I did manage to get some good images of the pool on Sunday morning, and you can see how large the main pool area is and how many cool features are available to guests.
Here’s also two images from the hotel that give you a true sense of the scale of the main pool area and water slide.
Ocatilla at The Arizona Biltmore
Just when I thought I knew everything about The Arizona Biltmore, I learned about Ocatilla, which is actually a “hotel within a hotel”; featuring 120 entirely separate luxury accommodations, a private Ocatilla Club Lounge, a private Ocatilla Pool, and other complimentary amenities. How cool is that?
There are a number of luxurious and varied dining options on property, such as Frank & Albert’s, The Wright Bar, The Cafe, and the Cabana Club Restaurant & Bar; and of course 24-hour Guest Room Dining.
However, we were most fortunate to enjoy dinner and brunch at Wright’s at the Biltmore, the resort’s signature dining venue, where classic dishes such as Beef Wellington and Veal Loin Oscar have been refreshed with innovative touches and current culinary trends.
I enjoyed our experiences at Wright’s so much that I decided that Wright’s deserved a separate article! Click Here to read the full separate article.
Traveling is about experiencing new places, trying new things, meeting new people, living a fuller life – and whatever else is important to you, and the people you love and who travel with you.
I try not to get to preachy with these articles, but I would like for you to remember a very important takeaway from this article – that you don’t need to travel thousands, or even hundreds of miles to be transformed by travel.
The Arizona Biltmore is only 30 minutes from my house, but the experience felt as if I’d flown across the globe to a very special and timeless place. In fact, it had been here all along. I just needed to take the time and go learn more about it; and that was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I urge you to take a night, a weekend, or a week to go and explore our “Jewel of the Desert.” You’ll be delightfully and blissfully speechless, and after you’ve left, you’ll find yourself to be quite the storyteller.
The Arizona Biltmore – Contact and Social
The Arizona Biltmore (Website) – 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85016 (Google Maps)
Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g31310-d115484-Reviews-Arizona_Biltmore_A_Waldorf_Astoria_Resort-Phoenix_Arizona.html
HUGE thanks to Marian, Samantha, Andra, and everyone at The Arizona Biltmore for your kindness and generosity. I had an incredibly special and memorable experience at your lovely property, and I can’t wait to come back!
Thanks also for the use of the high resolution images, which make a tremendous difference in the quality of the article.
Last, thanks to the readers for spending your valuable time with my blog and this article. It is very much appreciated.