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The Arizona Biltmore: a true desert oasis

Opened in 1929, this iconic grand dame hotel is a true Phoenix landmark. Built by the McArthur Brothers, its design was heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, who spent time on site as a consultant during construction.

The property was then acquired the following year by William Wrigley Jr.—the chewing gum magnate—and his family, who made numerous expansions, updates and enhancements until selling it to Talley Industries in 1973.

During its heyday, the Biltmore was a playground for the rich and famous—Marilyn Monroe lounged by the Catalina pool, and Irving Berlin penned many well-known songs, including “White Christmas,” while in residence.

Visits and parties hosted by the wealthy and famous of the day helped to distinguish the resort, and the area, as a desert oasis of privacy and opulence. Hollywood stars, dignitaries and every president from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush came to stay.

Built using the innovative textile block system—the materials were made from desert sand cast on site. Frank Lloyd Wright’s influences are prevalent in both the design and other features throughout the property, including stain glass windows and artwork, and the famous Wright “Sprites” statues, gifted to the hotel in 1985. With its light color and geometric style, the resort blends seamlessly into the area’s landscape and nearby foothills, inviting visitors to relax and marvel at the sweeping desert vistas.

With more than 740 rooms, eight swimming pools—many with private cabanas—seven tennis courts, a full-service spa, nearby golf courses and a multitude of other amenities, this four-season resort has everything a guest could desire. Indoor and outdoor spaces, along with three restaurants, invite guests to sample regional cuisine and custom cocktails including the Block and the Rusty Nail—a favorite with the Rat Pack when they came to town. The hotel also serves iconic afternoon tea, with parties designed for both young and old.

Currently owned as a Waldorf Astoria Property, this hotel is the first stop on Orbridge’s Southwest National Parks program. Guests who desire a longer stay can join the Scottsdale pre-tour, which offers two additional nights at the Biltmore while exploring the surrounding area.