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Arizona BIltmore

If you are attracted to the non-cookie cutter hotels, this one in the Arizona desert is worth discovering if you haven’t already. The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix is the only Frank Lloyd Wright inspired hotel in the world. The accomplished architect’s (he himself might say the MOST accomplished…if you are familiar with his reported ego) stamp is still very much preserved at the 80 year old hotel – Wright was the consulting architect.

I visited recently and fell captive to it’s charms. The linear architecture… and geometric furniture …the sophisticated design touches at this hotel are abundant.

The stained glass…and hexagons…so typical of Frank Lloyd Wright…the furniture he designed…. it all works.

Even if you don’t love Wright’s influence, the overall layout gives it the resort special feel. Spaced on 39 acres, you walk from the lobby into a large communal grass area and outdoor patio.

There were always guests lounging next to firepits, reading the morning paper with their coffee – that to me says “get-away.” It is very family friendly (that to me says not so much get away as “what can we do to keep the kids happy”) with large life-size lawn chess…

croquet…and a fun pool on the grounds.
The hotel is known for the celebs and presidents who have stayed there, mostly Republicans of course in that red state of AZ…

and lining the walls are photos of past presidents who have stayed and played there. The list is long, and the kids enjoy seeing the famous photos.

The rooms were underwhelming, I must admit… we even had stained carpet -  but the more I thought about that, the more I realized – well, you really don’t come to the desert, to a resort like this with so much going on, to sit in your room.

And that we didn’t…. I was SO excited to visit Frank Lloyd Wrights Talisien West about 30 minutes from the hotel in Scottsdale.

Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright designed

This was his west coast retreat and office that he designed, and today is the site of an architecture school in his spirit.

The experience did not disappoint. It is inspiring beyond belief listening to the tour guide explain why Wright designed the way he did – what his philosophy was. Some would say he was a mad genius.

The pool shape – a triangle. Creative.

Wright was known for using indigenous materials, and incorporating nature … He used boulders from the area in the building, and you can see how it blends with the natural landscape.

This attraction is well worth visiting. Tours are given daily, but it is best to go when it’s not so hot. There aren’t many architectural tours that I’ve been on that truly make the non-architecture student stop and think about the process of design, but Wright was so innovative, it is impossible to escape being intrigued.

If you are looking for a hot weather, with haute design – bask in the heat at the Arizona Biltmore. In March, there is a special lecture with Frank Lloyd Wright’s photographer. Visit the website for more info.

Have a great weekend -