Opened in 1929, the renowned Arizona Biltmore was owned for over 40 years by the Wrigley family of chewing-gum fame and fortune. Long a playground for the rich and famous, the Arizona Biltmore has wined and dined generations of celebrities, politicians and presidents, but fortunately, you dont need to be part of the glitterati to enjoy a stay at the Arizona Biltmore. In fact, guests visiting Paradise Valley, Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona often need a home away from home and the historic Arizona Biltmore has long been a destination of choice for discriminating visitors or those visiting the Valley while looking to purchase Phoenix homes and real estate.
Here are a few fun facts relating to this legendary Phoenix landmark.
Hollywood Honeymooners: A number of well-known couples have spent their honeymoon at the Arizona Biltmore including Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. One story goes that a frantic Clark Gable lost his wedding ring on the golf course only to have it returned by an eagle-eyed employee.
Marilyn Monroe: The Catalina Pool was Marilyns favorite and when in town, she could frequently be seen lounging by the water. The pool takes its name from the colorful tiles used in its construction, which were from Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles (the island, like the Biltmore, was owned by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr.).
Irving Berlin: In 1939, song-writing maestro Irving Berlin soaked up enough inspiration, in the warm Arizona sun no less, to pen his famed White Christmas while staying at the Biltmore.
Impromptu Concert: In 1988, an impromptu late-night concert at the piano bar was conducted by none other than Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minelli.
Tequila Sunrise: Circa 1940, a guest asked the Biltmores bartender to create a refreshing beverage for him to enjoy poolside using his preferred spirit, tequila. The resulting concoction became known as the Tequila Sunrise, a now-iconic cocktail made famous in songs, movies and American pop culture.
Prohibition: During Prohibition, the McArthur brothers, the original owners and builders of the resort, found an inventive way to keep their guests happy: a liquor cabinet that conveniently converted to a bookcase in case of a raid. In the Mens Smoker, referred to as the mystery room during Prohibition, guests could purchase a set-up which included a glass, ice and mixers for bootleg liquor. Some of the influential guests during these times were heavy gamblers and bookies who would commandeer the phone lines at certain times of the day. Although betting was illegal, card games were popular and prevalent. Employees who stayed after work to serve players often were treated to winnings.
Taj Mahal: The lobby of the Arizona Biltmore boasts the worlds second-largest gold-leaf ceiling; the largest is in the Taj Mahal in India.