Arizona Biltmore Exterior Dusk

Condé Nast Traveler Names Arizona Biltmore as Hotel of the Week

Condé Nast Traveler senior editor Megan Spurrell visited Arizona Biltmore and proclaimed the property the “grandaddy of Phoenix resorts.”

Conde Nast Hotel of the Week, Condé Nast Traveler Names Arizona Biltmore as Hotel of the Week

Why Book?

This historic hotel—built in 1929 by an architect who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright—has seen decades of desert glamor and celebrity, but a much-needed refresh means the amenities speak to today’s travelers: there’s an adults-only pool and a massive waterslide for kids, a mezcal and Pan-Latin restaurant, and a new-age spa with astrology-inspired treatments.

This property is a Gold List winner and five-time Readers Choice Award winner.

Set the Scene

I jetted in from the Phoenix airport to the Phoenix burb where this giant property is located—there’s no need to really leave. You’re here to be here, though the surrounding desert landscape and Piestewa peak in full view behind the main lawn deliver the you’re-in-Arizona memo. Walking the snaking passageways from one building to another, you’ll see families with small kids toddling toward the Twister waterslide, bachelorettes booking out cabanas at the adults-only Saguaro pool, couples unwinding over lazing brisket dinners, and conference attendees power-walking through the hallways as they plot out how to escape to the mister-covered Spire Bar at some point.

The Backstory

Built in 1929 by Albert Chase McArthur, this hotel has seen it all—Marilyn Monroe by the pool, Jerry Seinfield at dinner, Frank Sinatra playing the lobby piano. But a 15-month renovation, completed in Spring 2023, restored the resort to its former shine, and then some. There are entirely new bars and restaurants, a lux gym and spa, and even brand-new pools—though a 140-year-old Saguaro remains at the adults-only pool. Of course, the historic modern-meets-desert architectural style anchors it all, for a stay with a little more sentimentality than your average resort. 

The Rooms

For a hotel with over 700 rooms (amazingly, it doesn’t feel like it), each manages to feel classically luxurious without steering into the cold or cookie-cutter. Plush beds, desert-scape artwork, and bulbous ceramic lamps all-over the room feel both set in the Southwest, but tony enough for a Waldorf Astoria. Stay in a Citrus Club room for lounge access (it’s pretty legit), or book a bungalow for a little extra privacy.

 

Conde Nast Hotel of the Week, Condé Nast Traveler Names Arizona Biltmore as Hotel of the Week

Food and Drink

For a resort where you plan to stick on-site most of your time, the food has to deliver—by and large, it does. McArthur’s serves reliable American classics, though Renata’s Hearth with its smoke-inspired menu is the place to dress up and dine at after a long day in the sun (the eight-hour brisket was fantastic; so was the Los Muertos cocktail).

The Neighborhood/Area

Phoenix is constantly growing and ever-expanding—just as writer Chris Malloy has covered for Traveler (check out his guide to Phoenix). I struggled to leave the pool, but with a couple more days I definitely would have headed to the Heard Museum for Native American art, or hopped around eating great Mexican food.

Conde Nast Hotel of the Week, Condé Nast Traveler Names Arizona Biltmore as Hotel of the Week

The Service

Saying the staff are the highlight of a property feels like a cliché—so many kind, friendly people work in hospitality, and I’ve been spoiled by my experiences. The Arizona Biltmore was a reminder of how true this is though. The team at the Citrus Club greeted me so warmly every time I walked in (and I visited often—the food was very good for a club level); Orlando, at the pool, would be the life of any party; and team at the spa made me feel like I’d spend any amount to stick around longer That’s not even getting into everyone I found myself chatting with at the restaurants. When you’re planning to stay on property, having those ties to locals who are willing to answer questions or chit chat feels even more precious—though I know they all had great recs for the surrounding area up their sleeve, if I wanted them. 

Worth it?

Yes, the revamped amenities are a stand out amongst other stays and serve the whole family. Plus, family-friendly features like connecting rooms, activities, and areas just for kids (the kids pool is always popping), and the ease with which parents can take turns escaping for a yoga or pickleball class (it’s a very big place), make this hotel a great stay for all ages.

Read the full article here.

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