The Valley of the Sun is known throughout the world for the natural beauty of its rugged mountains, colorful desertscape, the Saguaro cactus, roadrunners, spectacular sunsets and views of a universe of stars and planets that illuminate the clear night sky. The region boasts over 325 days of sunshine each year and is one of the world’s premier resort destinations with more than 200 golf courses, 36 stylish resorts and a host of activities, attractions, entertainment and sport options that visitors can enjoy at all times of the year.
Arizona’s booming tourist industry can trace its roots back to 1926 when the Southern Pacific Railroad opened a new route that connected Chicago and Los Angeles with a stop in Phoenix. This convenient rail service enticed many travelers to vacation in the Southwest and also provided easy access to the previously remote Grand Canyon National Park. Phoenix quickly changed from a frontier town to a cosmopolitan community and a resort vacation destination. Five founding properties and attractions which all opened in 1929 to serve the rapidly growing visitor industry continue as the cornerstones of the areas hospitality community to this day.
Explore a 39-acre desert oasis found at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Throughout its history it has been ranked as one of the world’s top resorts. The property, which was designed by renowned architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Albert Chase McArthur, was constructed of Biltmore Blocks, precast concrete blocks using indigenous materials that are faced with geometric pattern designs. These blocks remain a signature architectural style of the Southwest.
The Biltmores founding partner and owner for 44 years was the William Wrigley, Jr. family of chewing gum fame. From the resorts opening day, it was recognized for its luxury amenities and services and was referred to as The Jewel of the Desert. The resort was acquired by Talley Industries in 1973. Shortly after, there was a fire and the resort was closed for 82 days while Taliesin Associate Architects of Taliesin West supervised the refurbishing and rehabilitation of the property. The work included the installation of several modern systems and enhancements, but care was taken to preserve the integrity and decorative elements of Wrights designs. This involved making new Biltmore Blocks by duplicating the methods and materials used in making the original ones.
There have been several additions to the original property, and the resort now features 730 guest accommodations and villas, eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts, an 18-hole putting course and a full-service European spa, salon and fitness center. It also offers a variety of dining experiences at its four signature restaurants plus an afternoon tea featuring a selection of freshly baked scones, miniature pastries, tea sandwiches and a variety of gourmet teas. There are also lavish landscapes of native and manicured gardens, walking paths and outdoor lounge areas.
The Biltmore is presently operated by KSL Recreation Corporation and offers guests privileges at the adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Clubs two 18-hole PGA golf courses, The Links and The Adobe. Contact: 602-955-6600
The facility opened in 1929 in downtown Phoenix and was host to the latest vaudeville reviews and talkies from Hollywood studios. It also served as a performance venue for local arts groups. The building and its decor are ornate, featuring a mixture of architectural and design styles, including Italian, Greek, medieval Spanish and baroque. Its opulent features combined with the theaters playbill ensured its reputation as the grandest theater west of the Mississippi.