Thursday, September 23, 2010

Built To Last

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a few days at the Arizona Biltmore while in Phoenix for business meetings:

Known throughout the world as the "Jewel of the Desert," the Arizona Biltmore provides a restful oasis of 39 acres covered with lush gardens, glistening swimming pools, and Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture. Set in the heart of Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore has been a favorite of celebrities and U.S. presidents throughout its colorful history.

The Biltmore is indeed an oasis and an architectural gem, especially if you enjoy the Art Deco period and Mr. Wright's designs. Although he was only a "consulting architect" when the Biltmore was built in 1929, his influence is obvious and everywhere.

The Wright "look" was also evident on the interior rooms from the chairs in the lobby to the light fixtures in the ballroom and bar that bear the renowned art school dropout's name.

As is the case on most business trips, I had scant time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and many ammenities the Biltmore had to offer. The only exception was Friday morning. After delivering a twenty-minute main stage presentation to a crowd of around three-hundred (and, if I do say so myself, nailing it), I really had no pressing obligations until my mid-afternoon flight home.

So I had a chance to take a dip in the aptly named Paradise Pool and get a bit of lounging about in. Alas, it was not nearly enough time to truly appreciate the splendors of relaxation that could be taken in, but that small taste did help me understand the Biltmore's appeal as a sanctuary to chill in the heat of the desert.