Restaurants

Airlines, Hotels, Me, Restaurants, Travel, Venues

Arizona Biltmore

Alright, the Arizona Biltmore Hotel! What an amazing property this is. A lot of people believe Frank Lloyd Wright was the architect of this property, but he was actually just a design consultant for about 4 months in 1928 for this property. The property first opened in February of 1929. It is now managed by Waldorf Astoria.

Fun Fact: There is an actual speakeasy in the hotel. There is a room on the second floor called the “Mystery Room” that used to be a speakeasy for the guests staying at the property. The roof of the room has a glass skylights, and when there were police approaching the hotel to do a raid during the prohibition days, the hotel would shine their large spotlight into the room to warn all the patrons that it was time to scatter. They would then sneak off through these other doors in the room back to their rooms long before the police ever showed up. The “Mystery Room” is still used today, and they serve cocktails in there on some Sundays during the year.

Ok, now that the crazy cool facts are out there, lets talk about the hotel as a property for your next meeting…

The Arizona Biltmore has 740 guestrooms ranging from a “Classic Room” to “Suites” and even private “Cottages.” I have personally toured each of the types of rooms and stayed in their “Classic” room as well as the private “Cottages,” and I can tell you they are very nice (they have been updated since 1929 haha).

One of the coolest things about this property, (can also act as a drawback, depending on who your client is), is that it is very spread out. There are two main meeting space buildings, and each are about a 6-7 minute walk from the furthest guest rooms. Most clients are cool about it, and like it, but there are some who prefer to go down an elevator and be put right in front of the meeting space.

Speaking of meeting space, they have PLENTY of it, and can handle just about any type of meeting/event you need. From their meeting planner guide:

Over 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space is supported by a team of event, culinary and banquet service professionals that ensure every event is executed with precision and grace. The Biltmore offers unique historical event spaces such as the Gold Room, the resort’s original main dining room, or the Aztec Room, which served as a venue for movie premieres in the hotel’s early days. The two largest ballrooms, named after the architect and his mentor, both received complete renovations and technical upgrades in the summer of 2014. The Arizona Biltmore’s outdoor function spaces include manicured lawns, lush gardens, sparkling fountains and ambient terraces for gatherings of all sizes and occasions.

I have been witness to multiple events on the Squaw Peak Lawn (main lawn outside of lobby), and their Paradise Garden space (second largest lawn space), and you just can’t beat it for dinners or cocktail receptions, especially on a warm desert night under the stars. They are very flexible with the types of events you want to do in their lawn spaces, and even allow live bands.

Their staff was absolutely amazing. They were very responsive, prompt and accommodating. They seemed to be just as invested in the success of the event as we were. That is hard to find at some properties.

So overall I’d say this is one of my favorite properties, and can’t wait to get back there soon. If you are planning your next event, I’d say go for. But you have to be mindful of a few things…First off, the Biltmore can be expensive. It is what it is. They are a great property, and can be. You just need to be diligent and work closely with their team on getting the right concessions and room rates that will ultimately help your client save money, and not break the budget. Secondly, you have to be mindful of how spread out the property is. You’ll need ample signage to get your attendees headed in the right direct, especially that first day when they are all walking around “lost” because they didn’t check out the map you supplied them with, didn’t review the mobile app which tells them exactly where to go, and probably didn’t listen to the person at registration check-in who explained to them multiple times “Out the lobby and hang a right, follow the signage.” But overall I think being spread out is a good thing. It makes for a more unique property and experience.

For some visuals, check out the gallery below. It shows some of the property, and the meting space.

If you have any questions, or any additional input, feel free to leave it in the comment section below, or email me at: evan@smashouseevents.com

Thanks Guys!

The Arizona Biltmore
2400 E Missouri Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85016
http://www.arizonabiltmore.com

Hotels, Me, Restaurants, Venues

Pendry San Diego (Review Coming Soon)

Even though the Pendry San Diego is a brand new property, I feel like I know that property inside and out. I got a first hand look at the Pendry being built from the ground up, and it was one of the coolest experiences of my planning career. We did multiple hard hat site visits and walkthroughs. We had a client buyout of the property in early January 2017, and were slated to be the first group ever at the property. As it turned out, that event never happened at the Pendry, but that is a story for some other time.

A few weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to visit this amazing property for the first time since it has opened. Although I only spent a few hours there (hanging by the pool for a bit, then the lobby cocktail bar, and wrapping up with an awesome VIP tour hosted by one of my favorite Pendry sales reps), this property has quickly grown on me. It doesn’t hurt that it is located in the heart of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego, which is one of my favorite places on earth!

Since I was only there for a few hours this time, I don’t feel like I am able to give it a proper review just yet. I have plans to stay there a few times over the next couple of months, and will make sure I do a proper write up.

Ok, first post out of the way, that wasn’t too bad, was it?!?