Perhaps one of the best-known hotels in the Phoenix metro area, the Arizona Biltmore bears the title “jewel of the desert” even after more than 85 years. Over those years, it saw plenty of remodeling and changes but still retains its classic charm.

Built in 1929, the Biltmore showcases the influence of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Writer. Its gilded guest list includes Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Irving Berlin — he penned the classic “White Christmas” while staying there — and just about every president in office since it opened.

Today, as a Waldorf Astoria Resort, it defines old-school luxury with exclusive restaurants including a High Tea room off the lobby, a spa and salon, tennis and 8 pools, including one with a 92-foot water slide tucked into the classic outdoor decor. If blue tile and peace and quiet are more your style, don’t miss the Catalina pool. It was said to be Marilyn’s fave.

Location: 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: (602) 955-6600

– Justin Ferris,