Historic Arizona resort reopens after renovation

The Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, has reopened in Phoenix following a propertywide renovation. Nearly 100 years old, the 39-acre hotel has original architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright and Albert Chase McArthur. Virserius Studio, PHX Architecture and Jim Smith of Serving the Nation worked on the 15-month project.

The updated design across the 701 accommodations (36 suites, 28 standalone cottages and 54 villas) pays homage to Wright with a palette of earth tones, wood and stucco walls.

New food-and-beverage spaces include the Spire Bar (which is anchored by a 30-foot spire that pays homage to Wright), the updated Wright Bar with colorful furniture and the new Renata’s Hearth restaurant. The updated Paradise Pool has a new 65-foot triple water slide and children’s splash pad, as well as 15 air-conditioned private cabanas. The new Tierra Luna Spa has 12 treatment rooms.

The hotel also has 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including the 24,576-square-foot Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom and the new Spire Event Lawn. The historic Gold Room has been restored with the return of the gold leaf on the ceiling.

Another noteworthy design aspect of the transformation includes the restoration of the signature “Biltmore Block.” Developed by Wright and McArthur as a variation on a textile block first used by Wright to construct private homes, the blocks were made from desert sand onsite and created in 34 different geometric patterns inspired by the trunks of palm trees. The restoration team has retained as many of the original blocks as possible, and the 6,000 that needed replacing or repair were built onsite using the same earth and techniques as the originals.

Photo credit: Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort