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“WA Builtmore Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85016   |  
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Ranked #39 of 175 hotels in Phoenix
San Diego, United States
1 review
“WA Builtmore Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

Outstanding hotel with great service!! Grounds are luxurious and well maintained. Stayed here as part of a National Performance Improvement / Quality Assurance conference related to Trauma Care. Service was impeccable, rooms are fabulous, quiet and quite large. I especially liked watching the room service personnel pedal their trikes around the grounds!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Niles, Ohio
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed at the Arizona Biltmore for 6 nights. We were in the Ocatilla Wing. We were NOT part of a conference or group...just a leisure trip for us. Both of us really wanted to love this hotel but there were just some nagging things that just made us not feel like it was "special". Let me preface this by saying that the only other Waldorf property that we have stayed at was the Grand Wailea in Maui which we absolutely loved, so in an effort to compare apples to apples that is my standard of comparison. These nagging things would not have bothered us if we were staying at a Hilton Garden Inn but this was the Biltmore!

Things just felt "not quite right" from the time we checked in till the time we left. It was almost as though we were "invisible" for the entire stay. The check in experience was "odd". We arrived and went to the desk and were greeted by a somewhat stuffy desk clerk. Ok...it's the Biltmore...maybe it's supposed to be somewhat stuffy. My husband is a Diamond HHonors member. We had requested an e-upgrade but they were not able to accommodate us. That happens..no big deal. However, no one mentioned it at check-in and the desk clerk leaned over to another desk clerk and loudly whispered....."Diamond". At which point the second clerk pulled out an envelope with a form letter and wrote our names on it in front of us. A little odd since all the other Hilton Brands have these prepared ahead of time and many times in the room waiting for us along with water bottles. We were handed the letter which contained discounts for dining and spa along with an explanation that we were receiving these since they had been unable to upgrade us. We had never been to Arizona Biltmore before. We were handed our room keys and told to make a left by the plant and a right on the path to get to our room. We were then told to call the bell desk with our room number when we arrived and they would bring our bags up. Again...no big deal but most "high end" hotels arrange for the bags to be brought to the room without the guest having to make the call. We left the check in area and made a left by the potted plant and headed outside. It was a pretty long walk to the Ocatilla Wing. (Tip: Make sure to have the bellmen bring your bags unless you don't have much luggage....the property is huge and you will be happy that someone else is bringing them for you!)

We got to our room...called the bellman and our bags were brought to us immediately. The room was very nice. It was large and spacious. The only thing that was missing from the room that you find at most hotels anymore is a refrigerator. There is a minibar but no refrigerator. There are cold drinks in the Ocatilla Lounge so it wasn't so bad but a couple of times we had leftovers that we would have put in a refrigerator. The bathroom was large with a soaking tub as well as a walk in shower. The toilet was in a separate room inside the bathroom. I mention this because one of the things that drove us crazy were the doors in the bathroom. You have the main bathroom door which opened inwardly into the bathroom. The shower door was right next to the main door and opened toward the main door. The mini toilet closet also had a door which opened toward the main door and was directly across from the shower. So all three doors kept smashing into each other. We finally figured out that you had to shut the main bathroom door...go into the toilet closet...shut the door...while the other person got into the shower and opened that door! Just odd that all the doors are in one area. Also the toilet closet has no windows and is quite small so if you are claustrophobic at all...this might be a problem LOL.

We checked out the Ocatilla Lounge after we got settled into our room. It was very nice. Concierge was there to help. There was even a massage therapist there giving chair massages (that was the only day that we saw that). There were beverages available...water...iced tea..lemonade. Beer and Wine were free during the early evening (like a manager's reception) along with some small finger foods. There are tables indoors as well as outside. TV's. Outdoor Firepit area with 5-6 chairs (that were in need of some repair) that was nice to sit around. During our time there we found the concierge's to be nice but not overly friendly. The exception to that was Derek who was absolutely wonderful. I can't say enough about him. He was friendly....Always welcomed us back (we were in there for a week...yet he was the only one who seemed to remember that we had been there before....again...just the little things that you expect for a hotel of that level especially in their Club Wing!).

We arrived on a Thursday and had some day trips planned the first few days that we were there. The first morning we headed down to the Ocatilla Club for continental breakfast. I'm not sure how to describe the "breakfast". The hotel itself seems very into the "little plates" theory. Everything at breakfast was tiny. Mini bagels....mini pastries....fruits in martini glasses (very elegant presentation). Not really your typical continental breakfast but very nice presentation. They had an espresso machine in the back of the lounge and beverages available.

On Saturday we decided to locate the spa. I had called a week before our arrival to book a couples spa for my husband and I. I called the main hotel number selected spa reservations from the menu, spoke with someone who asked whether I preferred male or female therapists and took my credit card information to guarantee the reservation. She also told me that I would receive a confirmation call 2 days prior to our service. Ok...great. We had planned Sunday to be a relaxing day at the hotel. Sunday Brunch at Wright's and dinner at Frank and Albert's with a massage in between. The time was available that we wanted and we were happy that it was all working out. So on Saturday we decided to see where the spa was located. After walking around for quite awhile trying to follow the signage for the spa we realized that you have to go into the main pool area and walk all the way through to the back. This isn't a problem but the signage leaves a little bit to be desired. We stopped in and just said that we had a couples spa booked for the next day and were looking forward to it. Later that night it dawned on me that we had never received the confirmation call that we were supposed to for the massage. I mentioned this to my husband but the spa had closed for the day and we decided that they must have just not called after all this is the Biltmore....they wouldn't screw up our spa appointments! Well....... Sunday came and it was time for our massages. ....now mind you this was the highlight of our day. We had purposely planned everything around the couples massage for that day. We get over there and they can't find a reservation for us!!! They checked several places.....nope...no reservation!!! REALLY? I explained that I had called the front desk a week ago and had given my credit card info. OH....well there have been some problems with the software at the front desk communicating with the software in the spa. Again....REALLY?? So they stared at us and said they could see if a couple of the therapists would be willing to extend their hours to accommodate us. (We weren't the ones who made the mistake but felt like we were really putting them out at this point). They couldn't do a couples massage but maybe we could have individual massages. They checked....nope the therapists were "gone for the day". They offered to rebook us with a 20% off discount. We explained that we already had a 20% discount because we were Diamond Members so this was not anything that we didn't already have. The desk person said...."Oh then....sorry." REALLY?? We finally did rebook the couples massage for Tuesday (and they did give us a small gift of spa items for our inconvenience). What high end hotel doesn't have computers that communicate with each other??? So the relaxing day we had planned was ruined at this point. The massage on Tuesday was very nice by the way and the therapists were awesome.

Sunday Brunch at Wright's was good. We had heard really good things about the brunch so were anxious to try it out. We had read the dress code on the website which listed it as "Business Smart". We dressed accordingly just to walk in and run into an entire group of guests that had shorts on. So I guess it doesn't really matter what you wear to the brunch. There was a crazy amount of selection at the Brunch. Lots of seafood and small plates (again that small plate theme) The buffet section was all cold items....there was a menu that you could order from as much as you wanted with small plates of hot food. I had the eggs benedict and pancakes. The pancakes were amazing! William was our server and he was fantastic. He asked if we had been there before and explained the entire process to us. I would definitely recommend this if your stay is over a Sunday.

Dinner at Frank and Albert's. Ok this is where things went from bad to worse. We had a nice brunch....then our spa reservation was screwed up. We ended up sitting in the Ocatilla Lounge for hours waiting for housekeeping to service our room and then we went to dinner at Frank and Albert's. We were seated outside (which is what we requested). Our server started to wait on us and then was seated with a party of 8. We never received any bread (all the other tables had bread). We couldn't find the server because he was waiting on this large party the entire time. Our meals came out almost immediately after we ordered. We both ordered the Prime Rib that was supposed to come with au jus. It had no au jus....dry cold Prime Rib. My baked potato wasn't done...cold...lumpy. My creamed spinach was cold. My husband's meal was no better. By the time the server got back to checking on us we were half done and it wasn't worth trying to complain because we had eaten half the meal. We felt totally invisible...couldn't get refills on our drinks....nothing. It was like we didn't exist. It started to get funny because it was incredible how bad the food and service was and no one even noticed that we were there! So all in all not a good experience at Frank and Alberts. Again...just not the level of service that you expect at a "high end" hotel.

We had a day trip planned Monday and then Tuesday we finally had our massage. We ended up eating lunch at Frank and Albert's...I was not thrilled about it given our dinner experience however the cobb salads were fantastic (we figured they couldn't screw up a salad). Service was spotty again but better than the dinner experience.

Housekeeping......again I know these are little things but these little things are not things that you see at chain hotels let alone high end hotels. One day we had a large empty box sitting next to the garbage can...it was not removed. Ok...maybe housekeeping thought we were keeping a large empty box...we put it in the hallway and it was removed from there. Another day we came back to find the room made up but the bathrobe rolled in a ball and laying on the middle of the bed. Other days they had either hung it up or laid it across the bed. This day it was literally in a ball! Another day we had to ask them to service our room and sat for a couple hours in the lounge (in the middle of the afternoon) waiting for it to be done. Another day they didn't empty the trash can. Again...it was starting to get to be a running joke between us as we were never sure what was going to be forgotten next! Also we had read this about the Ocatilla Accommodations on the Biltmore Website:

"Ocatilla redefines the luxury hotel experience. This is a retreat and private sanctuary, where a dedicated concierge attends to individual needs in a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment and continuous culinary offerings are showcased throughout the day. Ocatilla features Club & Club Deluxe room types. An extensive menu of Signature Services is offered to guests of Ocatilla.

Below is a sampling:
Personal Ocatilla Concierge prearranges your visit and tends to your needs.
Ocatilla Personalized Morning Start coffee, tea or orange juice brought to your room upon request.
Therapeutic Turndown Bath, a hot bath drawn with soothing sea salts.
Pre-Departure Services arranged by your Ocatilla Concierge to take care of airport transportation, print airline boarding passes, tend to any shipping needs and rental car return.
Two-hour Pressing Service guaranteed to keep your clothing fresh and crisp daily.
Complimentary Beer, Wine & Refreshments available daily in the lounge.
Complimentary Continental Breakfast served daily."

So we were expecting turn down service if not a relaxing bath with sea salts. The first night...no turn down service but we were in the room fairly early so we figured we just missed it. Well obviously not.....this obviously isn't something that is offered or else you have book it although no ever explained it or offered it. Again...it's a little thing...I certainly didn't need a turndown bath but why put it on your website if you don't offer it and what "high end" hotel doesn't at least have a regular turndown service. Comparing to our other Waldorf experience where we had turndown service every evening...this was a bit of a disappointment.

Ok so here was the kicker. The day before we checked out we received a phone call from our "personal concierge" saying that if they could be of any help at all for our travel arrangements or checkout experience to be sure to contact them. We are pretty self-sufficient people so the only thing we needed was to arrange for a bellman to pick up our bags the morning of our departure. So the evening before we checked with our "personal concierge" in the Ocatilla Lounge and told her that we would need bell service at our room at 8:15 AM the next morning. She gladly helped us out and even located us after she had booked the bell service to confirm with us that it was all arranged and to expect them to be there at 8:15 AM. So 8:15 the next morning comes and goes....no bellman. By this time my husband was getting really annoyed. I looked at him and said..."You better call them...I'm sure they screwed this up too." He said we would give them another 10 minutes. Still no bellman. So he calls the bell desk and tells them that someone was supposed to be at our room at 8:15 AM to pick up our bags. Obviously they didn't have a clue that they were supposed to be there or had missed the appointed time. (Perhaps the computer didn't communicate from the Ocatilla Lounge to the Bell Service??) There were no apologies but they did come promptly after we called and transported our bags to the car. The bellman even arranged to have the valet bring our car up and by the time we were checked out our luggage was in the car and ready to go. Funny thing is once we got to the airport and opened the back hatch...some of the bags fell out onto the ground but hey they were at least loaded into the car for us!

This is a very nice property....with very nice accommodations.....the grounds are beautiful but it seems like it could just be so much more. This is an arcitechtural gem. We found out from another guest on our last day there that they offer tours of the grounds.....no one ever mentioned that to us. Why wouldn't you promote that to guests. Show off your facility. A little bit of guidance in locating things or attention to details would make this a much better experience. We were not impressed with the level of customer service...I have had better at much cheaper hotels.

Room Tip: I would recommend the Ocatilla Wing if you have a chance to get a room there. Also make sure that y...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macon, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

A really nice place to stay during my first trip to Phoenix. Most of our group found activities at the hotel to do without ever leaving. Geoffrey S. Weiss, the Concierge, was a big hit with us. He was so knowledgeable and all of his suggestion were fantastic. Kudos Geoffrey--job well done. Also the surroundings were breath takingly beautiful!!

Room Tip: Ask Geoffrey!!!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

Great place to stay. Recommend the Ocatilla rooms/concierge. Comfortable and didn't need to go off site to do anything. Very relaxing. Our 2 year old son was treated like any other guest with all of his needs met and with help for sometimes frazzled parents.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, United States
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

Overall it was nice, everything you need is right there! Enjoyed Sunday seafood brunch!! If you eat outside, watch out for the birds the minute you leave your table they will take your food...at least it's brunch you can always go back and get some more!!! Beautiful grounds!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waukon, Iowa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

This was my first stay at the Arizona Biltmore resort. The service was excellent. I especially appreciated Geoffrey, the Concierge, who went above and beyond providing local information and hospitality! The conference accommodations were superb. Thank you!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

Grounds - beautiful sprawling grounds with gardens, fountains, sculptures, including views of the mountains. Loved the Frank Lloyd Wright-styled architecture inside and out.
Room - I was upgraded to a suite (explained below) but it was quite a walk from the main building. It had a large living area, full kitchen (with no plates or utensils though), small dining area, a large walk-out patio, very large walk-in closet, bedroom and large bathroom with separate shower and tub. This may sound petty but it annoyed me that the shower had no shelf to put my toiletries (nice ones provided by hotel). The place was very clean and the bed comfortable.
Amenities - the most extensive hotel fitness centre I've seen! The main pool was quite nice with bar and hot tub. There are several other pools on the grounds but they didn't seem to be heated (which would've been nice as I was there in November) so it seemed that everyone congregated to the main pool while the others were always empty. There are also a number of tennis courts too.
Food - every meal I had there was amazing.
Spa - didn't pay a visit as the prices were exorbitant!
Front desk - arrived around 10:30 pm after a 5 hour flight, only to have to wait about 45 min because their computers were down (by then almost 1:30 am my time). I was compensated with 2 drink vouchers and a room upgrade. The guy at the front desk wasn't apologetic or even friendly. It was made up by a female staffer who smiled, gave me the drink vouchers, and apologized for the delay.
So minus 1 star for the unsympathetic and unfriendly front desk guy, their computer problems, and lack of shelf in the shower!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Phoenix
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Phoenix
#5 Spa Hotel in Phoenix
#8 Luxury Hotel in Phoenix
#16 Romantic Hotel in Phoenix
#26 Family Hotel in Phoenix
#35 Business Hotel in Phoenix
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arizona Biltmore,a Waldorf Astoria Resort has been a destination of inspiration for over 85 years. 39 Acres of lush gardens, 8 swimming pools and iconic architecture stir a city to life, provide safe haven to celebrities and presidents, and play muse to guests' whims and wishes throughout this historical luxury resort. Championship golf, a 22,000+ square foot spa and fitness center, multiple restaurants, and a variety of amenities await you. Experience the unrivaled grace of this timeless treasure with a spirited soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arizona Biltmore Hotel Phoenix

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