Hotel Review: The Arizona Biltmore

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The Arizona Biltmore is a Waldorf Astoria property, and is one of the best luxury resorts in the Phoenix area. Its historic association with Frank Lloyd Wright makes this place special; he was a consulting architect for the project. And, his influence is very evident, from the precast “Biltmore Block” to the Solemn Sprite statues. This place is a masterpiece! I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to visit the resort in the past on several occasions for both business and pleasure, and enjoyed it every time. However, this was my first stay made possible by an offer from my college alumni association.

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Booking

Through the Arizona State University Alumni association I received an email containing summer offers for Phoenix area hotels, including the Arizona Biltmore – I knew this was a great opportunity I shouldn’t ignore.

I decided to take advantage of the offer to experience one of Phoenix’s finest hotels. I reserved a Classic Resort Room for two nights over the 4th of July weekend. And, I received a deep discount on the room rate, $106 per night. In addition, the offer waived the resort fee of $28 per night – which made this a really good deal.

Check-In & Lobby

img_0249When I checked-in I was upgraded to a Classic King Room, a perk for being Hilton Honors Gold. I also received a voucher for two drinks, up to $30 of value, which I really appreciated. The check-in process was pleasant and staff were welcoming. I was alerted to the fact that the main building will be shut-down starting the next morning for a couple of months for restorations and renovations. As a result, the reception will be relocated to the building next door, which was a bit disappointing.

The Room

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My room was on the ground floor of the Paradise Wing. To my surprise, the hallway leading to the rooms was dark, dated and a bit tired. The room, while spacious and well-appointed, looked like a room in any other luxury hotel – nothing about the interior design is Frank Lloyd Wright!

The room and bathroom were both of good size and had all the amenities you would expect in a resort of this category. I was a bit surprised to see only a shower in the bathroom, no bathtub – not that I needed it, just that I expected one. The bed was comfortable, although the mattress was a tad soft for my back. My room was on the ground floor and had a terrace with outdoor-chairs and a table. However, the terrace was semi-private as it was open to the other terraces of the adjacent rooms, which was odd!

The Resort

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The grounds of the resort are well maintained, manicured, and had water features to provide some relief from the Phoenix heat. The resort has several pools; the main attraction is a 92 ft slide in the Paradise Pool. This pool gets very crowded in the afternoons and is a favorite among families and kids. The spa and gym are located in the same area of the Paradise Pool. The gym is of a good size and has adequate cardio and weight lifting machines. There is also a steam and sauna rooms accessible through both the spa and gym. I checked the spa prices, and they were expensive – over $140 for a 50-minutes massage is rather steep!

The resort is located in the affluent Biltmore Estates area, and close to shopping and restaurants in the Biltmore Fashion Park. For food, I decided to venture out and explored what the area had to offer. The only meal I had at the resort was lunch at the Frank and Albert’s restaurant, service and food were average – gets 3.5 stars.

This resort has a great golf course, from what I hear, which I cannot speak to because I did not golf during this stay.

Bottom Line

Overall, this was a good experience and I may do it again, but only for a deeply discounted price like the one I was able to get. I am not sure it’s worth $400 per night in winter, in addition to the hefty resort fee, $28/night, and self-parking fee, $12/night.

Final note, I could have used Hilton Honors points for this stay. However, it would have been more expensive considering the value of points and what I had actually paid out-of-pocket.

Update 07/10/17

Upon checking my credit card transactions, I discovered a charge of $29.39 by the resort. I called to inquire about it, and was informed by Annette that this was a minibar charge. I told her that I did not consume anything from the minibar during my stay and she credited my card. I asked her if next time I should ask them to remove the minibar contents and she said it is possible but there will be a $60 charge for it – I am like, say what!

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