04 September 2012

Sustainable Indulgence in Phoenix

My recent trip to Phoenix wasn't all gawking at landscaping, tearing apart a condo, and installing a Nest thermostat. I also had a vacation-within-a-vacation when I spent the last night at the Biltmore Resort.

The Biltmore was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and/or one of his students (depending on what you read) and built in 1929, and although it's not what I expected of Frank Lloyd Wright, it was impressive. The resort's sprawling grounds contain several buildings and over 700 guest rooms, and all of the buildings share the same art deco-style textured block exteriors.

Even this slide structure at one of the resort's many pool areas tied into the theme:

Phoenix's characteristic oleanders softened the buildings' lines:

Inside the hotel, the vibe is more of a cross between arts and crafts/prairie and art deco. Here's Wright's, the restaurant where we ate during our stay:

And the more casual Frank and Albert's (Albert is one of the three brothers who built the hotel):

The resort's website boasts a lengthy list of sustainability initiatives/features, including reclaimed water for landscaping, key cards made from corn, and food scrap donation -- 800 pounds a week! -- to keep food out of landfills and avoid the resulting production of greenhouse gases.

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