I flew to Phoenix with my partner, a luxury travel geek. Since I’m more a budget traveller the one thing we compromise on when we travel together is: he gets to pick the hotel.
He picked The Biltmore. Yes the Frank Lloyd Write resort which is now a Waldorf Astoria owned resort.
This place is MASSIVE! I don’t normally do resorts… If it were up to me, we would sleep in a tree, but just like anyone else, I’m totally okay with luxury.
Lets get on with it:
We rented a car from the Airport rental center and drove over to the resort. This place is gigantic. You arrive and enter through a field with luxury homes. Grassy field on either side of you as you continue to drive towards the lobby. The architecture of this place is gorgeous.
Frank Lloyd Write had a way of making his buildings look natural, but almost primitive, like he was inspired by the Olmecs (he was inspired by the Native Americans and natural setting of this particular environment).
We parked in the parking garage and proceeded to walk. My first critique of this resort is the parking. It’s so far from the resort! Valet parking is $25 and $50 per night for your car… Not worth it in my book. So we walked our asses. It seemed like half a mile back to the hotel lobby in 115 degree, sun drenched heat.
As you walk, you begin to feel like the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Perhaps my skin is dehydrating at the moment. I am cooking alive, in an oven known as Phoenix Arizona.
We arrive and the lobby is packed and the line is 25 people deep.
I am not ready for the crowd.
Since my partner booked this hotel and booked the club level room we were escorted to the club lounge with no wait.
It’s an indoor/outdoor resort. We exited the lobby and headed towards the club office. It was a tad far but at least we were shielded by the harmful rays of the sun.
We get to the Club office and they tell us about our included breakfast, lunch, snack time, and free champagne throughout the day. We book a couple of massages for the next day and look for our room.
The hotel is set on a small hill with a mountain right behind it. The desert view is gorgeous. The interior of the building is art deco, 1920’s and dark, almost gothic. It’s very nice.
My second complaint is walking in and out of the buildings. If I had in my way, I wouldn’t leave the building in the scorching heat.
The room was very nice. For whatever reason they gave us two queen beds instead of one king bed. Thats fine with me. I had a giant bed all to myself. The bed was ridiculously comfortable. I wanted to lay in it all day. The AC was strong. Naturally I set it to ‘arctic.’ Theres nothing like shivering inside a hotel, wrapped in thick comfortable duvets.
The room was filled with a small table, snack bar, big flat screen TV. It was a big room. The restroom had a shower and a jacuzzi sized tub. The vanity had 2 sinks and great lighting. The only weird thing was the toilet. It was inside a closet sized room within the restroom. All and all, it was decent. For a luxury resort, I thought it would be more, but I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to be objective here.
The resort had multiple pools. Some pools had slides, snack bars, and restaurants attached to them. There was a gym and wellness spa for massages and facials and such. It had multiple restaurants and cafes to choose from. It even had a golf course.
Here was my main issue. I don’t like it when your vacation is all about the resort. I want to venture out. I want to explore the city. I DO NOT want to be kept in a box, even if the box has thee pools and several restaurants. YOU CANNOT CONTROL ME, haha.
When I wasn’t out at my clients properties taking pictures I was relaxing under my comfortable duvet, readjusting to home again.
I had a massage, checked out the pool for a minute but got out before I become too crispy under the sun.
I had lunch and dinner at one of the restaurants. All dishes were $50 and over. It was a tad pricey and to be completely honest the food was just okay. Nothing spectacular. Nevertheless I was not complaining. I actually had the food for free since we got the club level room. I also took advantage of the unlimited champagne in the club room. I had free breakfast every morning. I drank coffee all day long and even lounged near the bar at times. However, this was all minimally done. My bed was my sanctuary and the AC caressed my face as I dozed in and out of consciousness.
As the weekend progressed, I got my work done and I headed back to Santa Ana Airport from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.
I was 100% adjusted. The culture shock was gone. It was nice to be back in LA. It was nice to be home.
Let me break it down for you:
- $400 a night for a total of 3 nights. $1200 total
- $100 for a massage with an automatic 20% tip $120 total (my partner got one too)
- Club lounge had free breakfast, snacks, lunch and champagne throughout the day for free
- We got free vouchers for the restaurants a total of three meals — We used two. Two free meals
- The pools were nice but crowded. Lots of families and kids running around
I did not feel like I got my moneys worth. If I’m paying that much I don’t want to see families or kids running around. I want to be completely isolated. The sun was way too hot to be outside. If the food wasn’t free, I wouldn’t want to pay for it. It was too pricey and it wasn’t amazing. Also I’m not big on resorts… but thats just me. I’m not complaining it was a great weekend but would I stay here again? I wouldn’t.
Total spent $1500 for the weekend.