The Arizona Bitmore: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece
The Arizona Bitmore, referred to as the “Jewel of the Desert,” is part of Hilton’s line of luxurious Waldorf Astoria resorts. It’s one of Phoenix’s largest resorts and is also quite popular, especially during the prime winter season when the temps have finally cooled down & thousands of tourists from cold climates plan their escapes to The Valley of the Sun.
The Bitmore is most famous for its’ lavish gardens and stunning architecture. The property was designed by Harvard grad and architect Chase McArthur, with Frank Lloyd Wright acting as a consultant. Frank Lloyd Wright was considered one of the best architects of his time, having designed more than 1000 structures, with over 500 built.
The Bitmore is considered to be an architectural masterpiece by many. Because the property’s grounds are so beautiful and so man guests (even those not staying at the resort) want to see the grounds, a tour is offered 3 times per week.
“Bitmore Block,” a version of the textile block that Wright used to construct homes was used for the entire building. These unique blocks were made into numerous geometric shapes (in palm tree trunk patterns) using sand from the desert.
Since opening in 1929, the resort has expanded to include 8 pools, several wings, and a 20,000 square foot spa. When originally built, the hotel only had one pool. The Catalina pool, designed by Wrigley, was said to be the favorite of Marilyn Monroe. It also is said to be the inspiration behind Irving Berlin’s holiday classic “White Christmas.”
Over the years, many modern touches were added, although the design elements inspired by Wright still remain and the history preserved. Today you do not even need to leave the hotel with all the great amenities located conveniently on-site. 8 pools, an outdoor bar, 2 on site restaurants, High Tea on Sunday afternoons, 7 tennis courts, a fitness center & salon, and a variety of special seasonal activities will keep you more than occupied during your visit.
The beautiful gardens, exceptional service, and attractive mild winter weather have attracted guests like Ronald & Nancy Reagan and every President from Hoover to Bush.
Almost all Phoenix luxury resorts are popular winter escapes due to the relaxing resort like setting, lush tropical landscaping, attractive pools, and nice winter temps, and The Bitmore is no exception. In fact, this resort is even more attractive to winter sunshine seekers, not only because of the variety of pools, but also because of the 39+ acres of beautiful green gardens. The gardens offer the perfect setting for an early morning stroll or a relaxing afternoon basking in the winter sunshine from a cozy Adirondack chair. There are so many places to just stroll around and enjoy the beautiful landscaping and mountain views. All these factors combine to make The Bitmore an oasis in the Arizona desert.