I do not lead a glamorous life. Most days you will find me in a tank top and flip-flops, tapping feverishly away at my keyboard from the comforts of my couch in between trips to school, dance, baseball practice, and a variety of other activities I have somehow squeezed into an already overfull schedule. A Friday night out is usually us and the neighbors in lawn chairs in the front yard, beverages in hands while watching the kids tear up the cul de sac on their scooters until the street lights flicker on. I love the little existence my family has carved out in suburbia, but every once in a while, Mommy needs to get her swank on. Our recent stay at the Arizona Biltmore, a luxury resort near the base of Phoenix’s Squaw Peak, allowed me to experience a little bit of sophistication for the weekend without having to compromise my children’s undying love for waterslides.
A Hollywood Getaway
Imagine, if you would, Phoenix without the urban sprawl. It’s easy to do if you have ever driven on Interstate 10 between Los Angeles and the Valley of the Sun. Just shift your mind forty miles to the west of the city and visualize that semi-barren landscape dotted with varying shapes and sizes of cacti, ancient boulder-strewn mountains that seem to rise from nowhere, and the occasional roadrunner scampering in between. That is what the land eight miles northeast of downtown looked like to most folks in 1924. But to Charles and Warren McArthur, it looked like the perfect setting for the next big Hollywood getaway.
A Jewel of the Desert
Four years and $2.25 million dollars later, the Arizona Biltmore opened for business by throwing what was said to be the party of the decade. The exquisite ball gowns worn by society women reflected the luxurious detail of the resort’s design. The buildings were made from 250,000 sun-baked blocks of desert sand, with gold leaf ceilings, and a copper roof atop the main building. The Arizona Biltmore was grand and historic from its moment of conception, leading every president since Herbert Hoover (Obama still has a bit more time to keep the streak going!) to spend some time at the “jewel of the desert.”
Dining at the Biltmore
You don’t need to be presidential or wear a ball gown to stay at the Biltmore. Heck, if they welcomed my rag-tag group, they will likely welcome anyone. Gone are the days of black tie at dinner time; back in the day it was 6pm sharp or you were locked out. Welcomed are today’s options from the casual, yet slightly sophisticated comfort foods at Frank & Alberts (I recommend the meatloaf and the kids recommend the sliders) to the posh signature dining at Wright’s at the Biltmore.
The Arizona Biltmore has several different pools, all beckoning for you to find reprieve from the desert heat inside their cool and crystal clear waters. Two in particular got our attention. The first is the Catalina Pool, adorned with striking and colorful tiles kilned in the Wrigley’s famous factory on Southern California’s famous Catalina Island. The second, and my kids’ favorite, is the show-stopping Paradise Pool. What’s not to love about a 92-foot waterslide and a swim-up bar?
Kids Korral Program
Still want more? How about life-size chess or croquet on the lawn? Perhaps you would rather take in 18 holes or perfect that backhand on their tennis courts. Or perhaps you are more like me and a day at the spa followed by a sunset cocktail sounds like your idea of heaven. But what about the kids? No worries, the resort’s Kids Korral Program has been keeping them blissfully entertained for hours.
Summer is a great time to find an amazing rate for your stay at the Arizona Biltmore. Book through Trekaroo and find rates as low as $109 per night.
Looking for things to do while visiting Phoenix with kids?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Have the kids go on a botanical scavenger hunt at Desert Botanical Garden. Keep an eye out for wild quail and road runners scurrying about the grounds.
- Listen to the sounds of music from around the world at the remarkable Musical Instrument Museum. Kids will love banging on instruments you never knew existed in the Experience Gallery.
- Go for a desert trail ride at McDonalds Ranch in north Scottsdale. Kids as young as 5 can head out and ride the range.
- Ride the miniature railroad at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The shaded playground and air conditioned model train building offer fun and cooling reprieve from the heat.
- Play in a flying bathtub and then make pretend pizza at the Childrens Museum of Phoenix. Yep, you have to see that one for yourself.
Discover even more activities for kids in the Phoenix area on Trekaroo.
Disclosure: The author received a complimentary stay at the Arizona Biltmore in order to write this story. The hospitality was wonderful but all opinions are her own.