By Elizabeth Kang
Next up in our Scottsdale Resort Spotlight series is the locally revered and immensely family-friendly Arizona Biltmore.
Known for its captivating architecture, rich history and lavish surroundings, the Arizona Biltmore is a luxurious and fun-filled family getaway. Set on 39-acres of pristinely maintained landscaping, stunning fountains and eye-popping flora, this elegant resort leaves a lasting impression. Read on to discover our top reasons that make this Conde Nast 2018 Gold List-winning resort stand apart from the rest.
A Notable Past. First opened in 1929 and soon after dubbed the Jewel of The Desert, the elegant and iconic Arizona Biltmore was (and still is) a favorite hideaway of socialites, politicians, celebrities, and athletes. (Ronald and Nancy Reagan even spent their 1952 honeymoon in one of the resort’s original cottages.) Famous business tycoon William Wrigley Jr. — of the Wrigley chewing gum brand — became the Arizona Biltmore’s first sole owner in 1930, when he built the hotel’s very first pool, the Catalina Pool, which is said to have been Marilyn Monroe’s absolute favorite resort pool. She was often seen sunbathing and relaxing poolside.
The resort has also inspired many an artist and musician, just as it did when Irving Berlin wrote the iconic holiday song White Christmas, while sitting by one of the Arizona Biltmore’s many sparkling pools. Also created at the resort’s poolside was the original Tequila Sunrise cocktail, invented in the late 1930’s by one of the Arizona Biltmore’s bartenders at the time, Gene Sulit. It’s said that Sulit created the eye-catching cocktail after a guest requested a new poolside libation.
Guests and visitors who are interested in learning more about the Arizona Biltmore’s rich and storied history are welcome to attend one of the resort’s History Tours, which are given three times a week at 10 a.m. On Fridays at 6 p.m., the resort hosts a fun and lively Happy Hour History Tour.
The Stunning Architecture. Designed by Harvard graduate and Frank Lloyd Wright student, Chase McArthur, the Arizona Biltmore is regarded as an architectural masterpiece and Arizona Landmark. The Biltmore has the honor of being the only hotel in the world designed and inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.
In the Arizona Biltmore’s lobby, guests can look up to admire the largest gold-leaf ceiling in the world, and all throughout the resort one can spy the famous and intricately designed concrete Biltmore Blocks, with patterns that are said to represent the refraction of light.
The resort completed at 50-million-dollar renovation in 1996, with guest rooms which were redesigned and refurbished with a nod to the style of Frank Lloyd Wright’s, and 1930’s glam.
Activities & Entertainment Galore! With a staggering eight pools, 92-foot waterslide, full-service spa, weekend live music, next-door Country Club, wine tastings, onsite shopping, tennis courts, golf courses, and more, you and your family certainly won’t run out of things to do at the Arizona Biltmore.
The resort boasts a pool for everyone in the family, including an exciting waterslide desert oasis, a family pool, a hidden, secluded pool, along with others, such as the aforementioned Catalina Pool favored by Marilyn Monroe. Cabanas are available as a respite from the sun, and a swim-up poolside bar makes it possible that you may never leave the pool at all.
Aside from the sparking pools, active guests will love the two 18-hole golf courses onsite, full-sized tennis courts, the well-appointed fitness center, and steam-sauna on the property. Bike rentals are also available at the resort.
Those looking to relax will enjoy the award-winning, full-service Spa Biltmore, as well as an onsite salon and spa. Retail therapy can be found at one of the handful of shopping boutiques on the property, and epicureans won’t want to miss the culinary lessons and wine tastings offered throughout the year.
The Biltmore Block Party. For the second year-in-a-row, The Arizona Biltmore is hosting a seasonal Biltmore Block Party, which runs from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Back by popular demand, the Biltmore Block Party pays homage to the simple Summertime fun you had as a kid, but in a much more luxe environment, happily. Each weekend, the resort hosts various activities, entertainment and seasonal dining options that celebrate Summer fun.
Kids will love the poolside snow cone pop-ups, dine-in family movies shown poolside, foam parties, face painting, organized games like Simon Says, Musical Chairs, Corn Hole, ect, and much more.
Adults will get a kick out of the various themed pool parties, including Caribbean Fridays, with island-themed cocktails and a live steel-drum band, and Fiesta Saturdays, boasting taco stands, a margarita cart and more. Grown-ups and big kids alike will be tickled to take a selfie at one of the Instagram-worthy Selfie-Stations, complete with life-sized hashtags and a Marilyn Monroe cutout.
Impressive Dining Options. When it comes to food, guests don’t have to choose between quantity and quality. Guests get both a large assortment and high-caliber food options at the Arizona Biltmore. They’ll be delighted to discover a delectable assortment of dining options to choose from, ranging from casual grab-n-go selections to white-tablecloth fine dining.
At Wright’s At The Biltmore, guests are treated to a meticulously thought-out-menu that highlights indigenous ingredients and pays tribute to the cuisine of both Native Americans and early American settlers. Serving nightly dinner and a luxurious Sunday buffet brunch, expect bold flavors, fresh ingredients and upscale cuisine in a modern-luxe setting at Wright’s At The Biltmore.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Frank & Albert’s is a happy balance of farm-fresh, quality cuisine with a welcoming, vibrant ambiance. From waffles, omelets, pizzas, sandwiches, steaks and seafood, everyone will find their favorites at Frank & Albert’s.
Cabana Club offers convenient poolside dining, with a southwestern-themed-menu along with many alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options. Order a carne asada torta, quinoa salad or a big plate of nachos to enjoy by the pool.
The Cafe is your stop for hot and fresh coffee, a quick, light breakfast and grab-n-go lunch fare such as sandwiches and salads.
For a relaxing and delicious treat, make reservations at Afternoon Tea in the Arizona Biltmore’s stunning lobby. Afternoon Tea includes all of the makings of a classic, sumptuous afternoon tea, with tea sandwiches, hot and iced tea, dainty desserts and mouthwatering pastries.
For all of these reasons, as so many more, the Arizona Biltmore makes an unforgettable family vacation, girls’ trip or couples retreat. The resort is worth visiting at any time of the year, and there are especially great deals to be found in the off-season months of June, July and August.