The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa,
grande dame of Phoenix hostelry, is sporting a new restaurant, room
furnishings and brand designation.
hotel, which opened in 1929, is the only property in the world
whose design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright was a
consulting architect on the Biltmore who maintained a winter home
and operated an architecture school, Taliesen West, in nearby
This year, the
Arizona Biltmore added to its distinction, becoming one of four
luxury properties to form the Waldorf-Astoria Collection brand
managed by Hilton Hotels.
Hilton as of Feb.
1 took over the management contract for the Biltmore, formerly
managed by KSL Resorts, but kept the hotel's management staff
joined the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui and La Quinta Resort in La
Quinta, Calif. -- both, like the Biltmore, owned by Orlando-based
CNL Hotels & Resorts -- and New York's legendary
Waldorf-Astoria, in the new brand.
The name of the
Biltmore did not change, but the Waldorf-Astoria Collection
designation was added.
hotel's restaurant, is undergoing an extensive renovation. The
eatery name will be tweaked slightly to become Wright's at the
Biltmore, to emphasize its location and significance in the hotel's
history. The restaurant, its bar and patio are being redesigned in
keeping with Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural style.
project, which includes a revamping of the menu to include what's
termed "American lodge" cuisine, was scheduled for completion at
year, the hotel finished an upgrade of bedding, including
installing new plush mattresses, duvet covers and
Wright-inspired design includes gold-leaf ceilings, copper porte
cocheres and its most famous space, the Aztec Room, which is
distinguished by a dome supported by copper filigree
The hotel was
built of "Biltmore Blocks," which are precast blocks made on the
site from desert sand and decorated in 34 different geometric
All the features
have been carefully preserved, and the hotel conducts tours each
day for guests and nonguests alike, focusing on the architecture of
The Biltmore is
popular with holiday visitors, as well, setting the stage at its
entrance with a towering Christmas tree -- the tallest in the area,
typically between 60 and 65 feet -- on its front lawn.
Inside, there's a
colorful gingerbread house and twinkling lights and other holiday
decor. Special activities include holiday buffets and dinners,
afternoon teas with Christmas treats, marshmallow roasts outside
and music of the season played at the lobby piano each
Decorations go up
just before Thanksgiving, and a tree-lighting ceremony is held on
tradition, and we've got families who come year after year," said
Kim Westhoff, director of leisure sales, describing the holiday
season as "a great opportunity for guests to come during a time
when there's not only a festive atmosphere but great weather here,
with [temperature] highs in the 70s."
season, the Biltmore has set rates of $229 and $299 (with a $100
credit per stay) available Nov. 20 to 26 and Dec. 10 to
The $229 rate
includes accommodations in a 400-square-foot Classic Room; the $299
rate, with credit, is in a Resort Room, which features a patio or
balcony. The credit can be used at the hotel's spa, seven retail
shops and its restaurants and lounges. No minimum stay is required.
To book, visit www.arizonabiltmore.com or call (800)
To contact reporter Laura Del Rosso, send e-mail to [email protected].