Frank Lloyd Wright lives on in the new multimillion-dollar renovation of the 740-room Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, where his architectural influences are apparent in almost every aspect. The contemporary interior design uses the same theme of nature mixed with geometric shapes that Frank Lloyd Wright used when he originally designed the property that opened in 1929.
The makeover included guest rooms and suites, meeting spaces, the spa and the prohibition-era Mystery Room, and was directed by interior design firm Smith & Firestone Associates. The Santa Barbara-based firm designed the new guest rooms with a soft color palette of mist, linen and latte, with contrasting warm wood colors that match the natural tones of the surrounding desert. The design also incorporates bronze and gold metal accents, mimicking the materials used in the original hotel design.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s biggest influence is perhaps the wall-covering embossed with a metallic design of his that looks like the pattern of the Biltmore Blocks used in construction of the original property. Frank Lloyd Wright drawings of the hotel gardens blended with geometric shapes also inspired the design of the new carpet in the guest rooms. That same theme is also played out in the Frank Lloyd Wright and McArthur ballrooms.
The restoration of the Mystery Room brings its historic past back to life by refreshing the original Biltmore Blocks walls and gold-leaf ceiling that were there during its Prohibition days.
“The Mystery Room truly is a historic gathering place because it actually was a speakeasy during the Prohibition years at the Arizona Biltmore,” says Michael McMahon, director of sales and marketing for the resort. “Groups use it for themed events, such as a Roaring Twenties night, or for private receptions, dinners or meetings.”
In addition to the renovation, the property’s size—situated on 39 acres—provides the perfect playground for meeting planners to customize teambuilding activities on the resort’s two championship golf courses, seven tennis courts or expansive lawns. The resort also offers teambuilding activities such as jeep tours and scavenger hunts that immerse the group into the desert setting, says McMahon, as well as charitable opportunities for groups to help enhance the community.
McMahon recommends that attendees use their time between meetings to explore the adjacent Phoenix Mountain Preserve, where hiking and biking trails extend for miles. Shopping is another highlight at the Biltmore, he adds, with seven shopping experiences on property and its close proximity to Biltmore Fashion Park, which is only five minutes away by shuttle.