TRAVEL

Arizona Biltmore's $35-million makeover keeps Frank Lloyd Wright close

If you're going to the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix anytime soon, expect things to be a little different.

The geometric patterns of the Frank Lloyd Wright-style block exterior haven't changed at the Waldorf Astoria resort, which opened in 1929, but its 740 guestrooms and common areas have.

This spring, the hotel will complete a $35-million face-lift that creates a contemporary feel yet stays true to its design roots. The geometric patterns of its block exterior have been spun into hallway carpeting and guestroom accents.

In guestrooms and suites, soft colors ("mist, linen and latte") set the tone of walls and accents.

Wall coverings, artwork and furniture in the hotel's two ballrooms channel Wright's drawings of the gardens and geometric shapes. (Wright was not the primary architect for the Biltmore but he consulted on the plans.)

The hotel's Mystery Room (a speakeasy during Prohibition years), spa and salon have also been part of the makeover.

At the hotel's Paradise Pool, 15 cabanas have been rebuilt with lavish interiors that include flat-screen TVs and full baths.

So what does all this cost? If you want to go this weekend, room prices start at $389 a night (from an online check). Don't forget to roam around the building to see what's new and what's old.

Info: Arizona Biltmore, (602) 955-6600

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