Maintaining the Art Deco elements was important to the designers. “The Wright Bar has the best Art Deco feel, with its ceiling details and metal ironwork,” says architect Peterson. Wright and McArthur created the signature precast Biltmore Block, depicting abstracted leaves inspired by palm tree trunks. The design team worked with a company to re-create and cast blocks on site to replace those that had been damaged through the years.
Additional spaces in the remodel include Central and South American–inspired restaurant Renata’s Heart, refreshed stand-alone guest cottages, a reimagined family pool equipped with a triple water slide, a 250,000-square-foot meeting space, a new spa and fitness building, and a new adult pool and bar.
As a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright’s ornate stained glass and mosaics, the design team created exclusive, bespoke Italian mosaics at the bottom of the Saguaro pool. The tiles at the bottom of the pool match the Saguaro art glass in the lobby, said to be attributed to Wright. The limited-edition sculptures along the cabanas are by Italian manufacturer Bisazza.
Arizona Biltmore is one of the last standing Wright-inspired hotels (Pennsylvania’s Falling Rock Hotel and Iowa’s Park Inn Hotel are still hosting guests). Unfortunately, most of Frank Lloyd Wright’s hotels have disappeared: A fire destroyed Montana’s 1909 Bitter Root Inn in 1924; Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, completed in 1923, was demolished in 1968; and Wright’s 1911 Lake Geneva Hotel burned to the ground in 1970.
“Wright never wanted his buildings to become museums, but instead, they were to be lived in, modified, and adjusted to how life changes over time,” the architect Peterson adds. “That is what makes living architecture and organic design.”