Immediately upon making plans to visit Scottsdale, my husband turned to our trusted advisor, TA. We would most definitely have chosen to visit Teliesin West on our own since I am a great lover of architecture, but having TA say it is one of the top sites to visit in Scottsdale, how could we go wrong? We were even fortunate because we sort of dillydallied in waiting to go and when my husband called, we found we could "just make" the last tour of the day (4:00). The other surprise was that the price was discounted ($26 per person) for this day. I did not hear the explanation but perhaps it was because it was 12/12/12?
Our guide was very informative and I enjoyed his personality. Don't you just hate those tour guides who are excessive chatterboxes who tell you things that are not even appropriate for the venue? Sorry I do not have his name but he was excellent -- a tall, rather reserved man who knows the fact and history of the house, area and Wright.
Before the tour began, we had a small amount of time to peruse the gift shop which has all sorts of goodies from the eclectic (sculptures particularly) to the conventional (tee shirts and the like), FLW books, DVDs and so on. There were several sets of gift cards which had photos of his work and collections.
Experiencing a FLW work is much better than seeing it in a book or learning about it in an art class. Walking through a door (non-foyer) and learning why he had a hexagonal shape to the door (more welcoming and it is uncomfortable to stand there so you enter into the space he has provided for you to be comfortable), sitting in a reproduction of one of his chairs and seeing for yourself how you enjoy the landscape and outdoors only when you sit, enjoying the slanted seats in the auditorium which ensure your comfort and encourage attention to the stage, to learning about his life (a mistress in Wisconsin, his children, his niece Ann Baxter who gave him access to Hollywood stars such as John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe who he entertained in his home), to discovering his other talents (playing the piano, learning it on his own), to his lack of formal education (he did not graduate from high school) and learning many little things about his life such as he never slept per se but rather catnapped here and there and virtually worked 24 hours a day and that he had actually gone 10 years with no work at all when he experienced the problems of the Great Depression.
There was so very much to enjoy, both inside and out. The location is just beyond description. There are many pieces of art on the outside of the property, lots of Asian art everywhere and nature as the backdrop creating its own interest. Obviously FLW and his work are the subject of many books and a review of a 90-minute tour just seems a bit trite. This home where FLW lived during the winters is also an accredited, operating school of architecture with currently only 15 students.
Ninety minutes just flew away as we enjoyed this wonderful opportunity. It is well worth the time and money.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.