Jewel of the Desert
The prestigious "Waldorf Astoria" experience to some may seem like something unattainable. I am here to let you in on my little secret to 24hrs of luxury at the beautiful Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria, in Phoenix, AZ.
Architecturally designed by Albert Chase McArthur, and constructed in six months the "Jewel of the Desert" became the playground for the rich and famous throughout the 40s & 50s. The Biltmore has had the privilege of hosting 12 US Presidents from H.Hoover to B.Clinton and many Hollywood figures. Some would say the timeless beauty, The Catalina Pool, is the most historic place onsite. It remains in the original location even after several property renovations. It has been said that this was THE spot to sunbathe for another timeless beauty, Marilyn Monroe.
I believe in loyalty programs, and as a status holder with Hilton Honors, the check-in process was quite rewarding. As a Diamond member, I was given the option of a complimentary room upgrade, and a book on the history of the property.
I was blown away by the architecture upon my arrival to the villa suite that over looked a beautifully tiled pool. Unaware at the moment, this was "The Catalina Pool". I slipped into my swimsuit, and opted to head down to the main pool for a few cocktails, with my new book in hand. Soaking up the Phoenix sun, sipping champagne, and flipping the pages through time, I found myself captivated by the nostalgia of this place dating back to the 1920s. After a few glasses of champagne, I caught the last bit of sun rays that day poolside to the Catalina. Later, I primped myself for a solo dinner at Frank & Alberts. My walk to dinner was illuminated so elegantly by the Biltmore Sprites. These alluring stone statues placed throughout the property designed by Frank Lloyd Wright glowed with a sense of protection.
Proper planning to fit this stay within a budget of $220 a night, allowed me to pull up to valet on the Monday following Labor Day. I checked into a one night stay at the historic "Jewel of the Desert." There are certain times a year this beautiful hotel drops its rates to allow for a more moderately priced stay. The week I was there just so happened to be one of those weeks. Phoenix tourism begins to grow after this week to meet its peak during the winter months. Visiting during the "off" season, not only gave me the chance to stay within budget, but also the hotel capacity was at a low. While staying more than one night somewhere as beautiful as the Biltmore would be ideal, my 24hr Waldorf Astoria experience was nothing more than exquisite.