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Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel 4.5

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

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Review Summary

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  • Elegant and historic luxury resort with unique style and impressive features
  • Ocatilla, a "hotel within the hotel," offers premium rooms and services
  • All spacious rooms come with luxe decor, massive flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks
  • Adjacent to two 18-hole PGA golf courses, The Links and The Adobe
  • Luxurious 20,000-square-foot spa with a bright fitness center and beauty salon
  • Eight pools, one with a 92-foot-long waterslide and private cabanas
  • Five chic dining options, including terrace seating overlooking Phoenix Mountain Preserve
  • Seven well-kept outdoor tennis courts
  • Kids' camp and playground


  • Lobby and some balconies receive second-hand cigar and cigarette smoke
  • Golf courses can be booked far in advance due to tournaments
  • Hotel hosts events often, which can cause noise and crowding
  • Wi-Fi fee in rooms

Bottom Line

A luxury resort built in 1929, the Arizona Biltmore has hosted presidents, celebrities, and socialites, from Marilyn Monroe to the Kennedys. The resort is a sprawling property studded with tall palm trees, and Camelback Mountain provides a stunning natural backdrop. Scattered throughout the resort you'll find 740 guest rooms decorated in a relaxed, elegant style; 78 one- and two-bedroom villas with gas fireplaces and balconies; and Ocatilla rooms with specialty services. The hotel is suited to both leisure and business travelers, with its full-service business center and luxe ballrooms. Couples and families are close to attractions and can enjoy golf, tennis, and swimming in multiple gorgeous pools on-site. The five dining and bar options include a swim-up bar and cafe with terrace seating. Some areas of the resort can get a bit smoky, and facilities can become crowded during golf tournaments and other on-site events.

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Distinctive architecture and recreational pursuits

Surrounded by an upscale neighborhood and golf courses, the Biltmore was designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's students in 1929, and Wright served as the consulting architect. The distinctive gray exterior was created with "Biltmore Block", concrete blocks molded on-site with a geometric pattern sculpted into them. The expansive two-story lobby is capped with a copper ceiling and Art Deco-style lights illuminating wood floors and patterned carpets. Reception desks are lined with Biltmore block and there are several comfy areas with red, gray, and turquoise seating. Outside, the manicured grounds have colorful flower gardens in geometric configurations, elegant fountains, and sculptures occupying vast lawns. Guests, including families and business travelers, relax around the grand pools, lined with palm trees, stone fountains, and beige lounge chairs with umbrellas. 


In central Phoenix, close to culture, shopping, and restaurants

The hotel is set amidst upscale neighborhoods and two lush golf courses, and is convenient to central Phoenix. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is a 15-minute drive from the property, while popular shopping and dining areas, such as Biltmore Fashion Park, are within a few minutes' drive. Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak) towers about two-and-a-half miles to the north and can be hiked. About a half-hour away is the former winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright and current architectural school, Taleisin West. Phoenix Zoo and the botanical gardens are about 20 minutes away.


Modern decor with luxurious Art Deco touches

Guest rooms run the gamut, from spacious studios, to one-bedroom villas with full kitchens, to Ocatilla rooms with perks like dedicated concierge service and private pool access. Decor includes Art Deco touches, Mission-style furniture, and vintage black-and-white photography. Some rooms offer patios or balconies with stunning mountain, garden, or pool views. Bathrooms are sleek and stylish with sand-colored walls and ivory tile floors; some have glass-door stall showers with metallic statement walls, or indulgent Roman-style bathtubs. Classic Rooms with garden views are decorated in restful shades of sand and ivory with soft blue accents, and have thoughtful extras like reading lamps and Keurig coffeemakers. Club Deluxe rooms mix 1930s style with modern conveniences, like flat-screen TVs embedded in dark- and blonde-wood cabinets; a sitting area with glass table and a small patio are included in each of these rooms.


Multiple elegant pools, two golf courses, and five dining options

Leisure time at the Biltmore can be spent amongst eight pools, seven tennis courts, and two golf courses. A life-size chess set and putting green are also fun ways to pass some time. The 20,000-square-foot spa uses natural and organic products for face and body treatments, and the sunny fitness center has a full range of modern equipment. The kids' playground has a canopy and a stay-cool rubberized floor, and a "Kids Kamp" for ages four to 12 is available in the afternoons. Five varied dining options include a casual cafe with terrace, poolside restaurant with swim-up bar, and fine dining -- including seasonal cuisine at Wright's. In a nod to its Prohibition era roots, the hotel has reopened its original speakeasy on Sundays -- password (via Twitter) necessary. The resort offers a free history tour of the grounds three times a week. For working guests, there is a well-equipped business center and plentiful meeting space, including two ballrooms -- one inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wi-Fi is free within the main lobby, Ocatilla lounge and patio, and the Paradise pool.

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2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, Central Arizona 85016-3106, United States

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