The Arizona Biltmore: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece
The highlight of staying at The Biltmore is definitely access to the resort’s 8 pools. There’s a bit of something for everyone depending on what you are looking for.
Paradise – This is the main hangout where 3 pools come together. A swim up bar, a 92 foot tall water slide, and summer weekend DJ pool parties and dive in movies make this the resort’s most exciting pool. It’s clean and nicely landscaped with beautiful palms and tropical plants everywhere. There’s plenty of lounger seats available with umbrella shade.
Catalina -This is the resort’s first pool, said to be Marilyn Monroe’s favorite and the place where Irving Berlin drew inspiration for his classic “White Christmas” holiday song. The pool uses beautiful tiles from Southern California’s Catalina Island, hence the name.
Octatilla – This quiet saltwater pool is open exclusively to guests staying in the Octatilla wing of the hotel.
Terrace Court – A secluded and quiet choice for those looking to escape the crowds.
Saguaro – A quiet pool choice near the Villas lodging, also featuring Catalina style tiles.
The Bougainvillea– A family-friendly pool with nice views of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.
As you can see, you have quite a few options to choose amongst!
Rooms at The Bitmore
I highly recommend choosing an upgraded room if planning your visit during the summer season. The air conditioning systems in the standard rooms are very old and will not cool the room down properly. Benefits of a Premier room include views of the gardens or pools, a larger 500-600 square foot living space (compared to 400), a larger flat screen TV, and of most benefit in the desert, a more efficient cooling system. The bed is very comfy with a nice thick comforter. While the design isn’t overly impressive, everything is very clean, modern, and well-maintained.
Pros & Cons of a Bitmore Visit
*Early and late check out with no extra fees.
*Awesome summer packages, especially for Arizona locals.
*Nice variety of pools, with both relaxing and fun choices available.
*Absolutely beautiful landscaping and gardens everywhere.
*Service is incredible. When we switched rooms and forgot an item in the fridge, the staff immediately sent someone down to bring over our forgotten item, no question. We were also upgraded to a nicer room when our air was not working properly.
*Great on-site espresso drinks.
*Lots of lovely outdoor seating for relaxing and enjoying the quiet gardens. Plenty of shade.
*Lots of fun activities conveniently located on-site. Chess, croquet, and mini golf course are an absolute blast – just get out there early during the hot summer season!
*Rooms are cozy, clean, and contemporary with a simplistic design. Nice large flat screen and a convenient Keurig coffee machine.
*A beautiful bar area with a great drink menu.
*Pool water is too warm during the summer months -think bath water temps with the sun also shining in your face – not very comfortable! They heat their pools to 82 degrees year round, which means very uncomfortable temps on a hot summer afternoon.
*The main Paradise Pool is too noisy and overcrowded during the summer. While you could just go over to one of the quieter pools, they just do not have the same beautiful landscaping, and this, takes away from the resort feeling.
*Frank & Alberts is just okay – I would expect higher quality for a resort of this caliber. It’s great as part of the all inclusive deal, but not quite worth it if you have the option to choose elsewhere.
*Air conditioning is old and outdated in the basic rooms – we upgraded to a premier room as the old air conditioning systems in the basic rooms just cannot operate efficiently enough to cool down the rooms on 100+ degree days.
*No dark roast coffee for the Keruig K Cups. Also only decaf is provided – you need to ask for regular which is a bit inconvenient as the lobby is a far walk.
*No tubs in the bathrooms.
*Self parking is a long walk (about 10 minutes in the hot desert sun) from the main resort. The parking should be included in the hefty resort fee, especially considering how far you have to walk.
*Spa is underwhelming.
*Lots of walking and not a lot of signage – hard to find all the pools.
*The entire property is beginning to show its’ age and is due for a major renovation!
The Final Verdict
Overall, The Arizona Biltmore is a nice place to spend your Phoenix winter vacation. Service is outstanding, rooms are comfortable & clean, and the pools are just great. However, it’s not quite up to par for a 4.5 star resort, and thus, is only recommended during the summer season when rates are more appropriate considering the amenities and overall ambiance. In short, the quality of amenities just does not justify the crazy winter rates.
Location & Reservations
The Arizona Bitmore is located at: 2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016