I’m always looking for creative ways to live my transient lifestyle, whether it’s being the first permanent resident of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt or moving to Tianjin, China.

Anyway, last summer I wrote about how ridiculously good hotel rates in Phoenix are in summer. Like most things, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is, and in this case there’s a reason no one goes to Phoenix in summer.

That being said, I’m committed to dining at Amy’s Baking Company this summer to enjoy one of her fresh, homemade pastas (hopefully served with a side of self righteousness), and I’ve been looking at hotel options. Hyatt and Starwood both have hotels for ~$60 per night, so I’ll likely be checking into multiple hotels each night.

But last summer I highlighted what a good value the Arizona Biltmore was, and it’s an even better value this summer.

I love the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts and Virtuoso programs, which offer additional benefits at select luxury hotels. For example, American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts offers the following benefits at the Arizona Biltmore:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily continental breakfast for two
  • US$100 food and beverage credit to be used during your stay
  • Noon early check-in, upon availability
  • 4:00 pm guaranteed late check-out

And the nightly rate for much of the summer?


Yep, so for a one night, $99 stay you get a room upgrade, daily breakfast, $100 food and beverage credit, early check-in, and late check-out. On top of all that I’m a Hilton Diamond member, so earn a good number of points for a stay as well.

The hotel is even running an offer for the third night free, so you’d be paying an average nightly rate of ~$67 if you chose to stay for that long.


That being said, even if you plan on staying three night it almost makes sense to book different reservations for each night so you get the $100 food and beverage credit each night, and forgo the free night. This requires two people staying, though, since you can’t otherwise book back-to-back nights and get the unique property amenity each day.

Anyone else tempted?

  1. July 26th, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Dax said,

    “I’m committed to dining at Amy’s Baking Company this summer…”

    You’re committed to rewarding delusional assholes with money?

  2. July 26th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    lucky said,

    @ Dax — It’s a bit like a car crash — you want to look away but you can’t.

  3. July 26th, 2013 at 11:22 am

    ALCO said,

    I’d rather travel to Mogadishu than visit Phoenix in the Summer.

  4. July 26th, 2013 at 11:28 am

    CP@YOW said,

    When they find out you’re a blogger, I suspect the reaction of ABC will be slightly different than that of the Boba people…

  5. July 26th, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Tao said,

    what SPG hotel is at ~$60? the cheapest I’ve found is ~$72 pre-tax.

  6. July 26th, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Be said,

    Maybe you need to tell the people who comment that you want insight instead of the type worthless comments that Dax, lucky and CP have posted.

  7. July 26th, 2013 at 11:39 am

    ABC said,

    @ALCO, yes the potential of being abducted makes Mogadishu a much more attractive place.

  8. July 26th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Maybeshouldnitmentionbut said,

    What? no love for a weekend bounce between RC Phoenix and Dove Mountain to earn a free night at a tier3?

  9. July 26th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Jason said,

    Please don’t go eat at ABC, the curiosity helps keep them in business when they are clearly nuts.

  10. July 26th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Jim said,

    Awesome ideas here, Ben! These are some amazing ways to maximize your travel dollar while scoring all types of bennies! I chuckled when I read you would check into more than one place a night, until I remembered I did the same thing last year to reap mad points during a family reunion! :-)

  11. July 26th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    coalharbour said,

    Are there any bonus points promo for the hotels in the area? I recalled SPG had some crazy points bonus in the past.

  12. July 26th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Geoff said,

    @Dax: That was hilarious. Gotta like some pure hatin’:)

  13. July 26th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Moises said,


    Don’t stay at the Biltmore, beautiful exterior property with rooms in bad need of a renovation. Stay at the Westin Phoenix downtown… fabulous new hotel with great rooms and good elite recognition. Substitute Matt’s Big Breakfast for Amy’s baking company and maybe hotel hop over to the Sheraton downtown too.

  14. July 26th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Tao — Whoops, you’re right, sorry. Don’t see SPG below ~$70, but do see Hyatts for ~$60.

  15. July 26th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    lucky said,

    @ coalharbour — Yep, loved the promo last year, though don’t think there are any good ones right now, unfortunately.

  16. July 26th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    james said,

    OK, I’ve now spent a good hour researching Amy’s – of all the food reality shows, that’s the only one we don’t watch. My life is now complete!

  17. July 26th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    The Mystery Traveler said,

    I’m going up to Scottsdale in a few weeks. Will take advantage of the Ritz Carlton promo for a likely trip to Maui later, as the more expensive Ritz properties for the promo are Kapalua and Moscow.

  18. July 26th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Bits 'n Pieces for July 26, 2013 - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    [...] News and notes from around the interweb: Where the money goes: How reimbursable business travel expenses break down My American Airlines Android App updated. It now lets me view the upgrade list on day of departure, and the problem of boarding passes not showing up sometimes after taking first flight is obviated by the ‘boarding pass’ function. No more need to take screen shots of my boarding passes. Amidst US Airways and American agreeing to mollify European regulators by giving up its Philadelphia – London Heathrow flight, it’s worth remembering that American itself used to fly Philadelphia – London, having purchased the right from TWA which it later acquired, and competing against the US Airways-British Airways partnership.. now merging with the former and in a joint business venture with the latter! “Confused? You won’t be, after this week’s episode of…Soap.” Make money by staying at the Arizona Biltmore [...]

  19. July 26th, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    James said,

    Speaking of desert benefits, had you seen this?
    “Present your Titanium, Platinum, Premium or World MasterCard* and enjoy privileged access to the following airport lounges:

    Cairo: First Class Lounge and Exclusive Service Lounge
    Dammam: First Class Lounge in the international terminal
    Dubai: Marhaba Lounges (T1 and T3)
    Jeddah: First Class Lounge in the international terminal
    Kuwait: Pearl Lounge
    Riyadh: Premier Lounge in the international terminal
    Amman: Crown Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport

    Cardholders can enter with two children under 12 years of age.”


    (scroll to bottom)

  20. July 26th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Jan said,

    I agree. Don’t actually sleep at the Biltmore. As a Hilton Diamond over New Years we had an awful room. The restaurant is ok though

  21. July 26th, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    jerri said,

    hi lucky
    when you say check into the phoenix biltmore for 3 nights with 2 people – is that 1 person for 1 night, then the other person, then the first person again?

  22. July 26th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    lucky said,

    @ jerri — Exactly right.

  23. July 26th, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Tom said,

    Hi Ben if you make to Phoenix an have any sort of a meet up let me know. I am a native an work in the Biltmore area. Tom

  24. July 26th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    alastairdeacon said,

    Staying in Scottsdale right now at the Marriott McDowell Mountain going through Pointshound to get Marriott points, platinum status benies, and doubledipping for AA miles. We ate at the Pita Jungle (really good food, highly recommend) and walked by Amy’s on the way there (a couple of doors down). Absolutely no one in the place, but could see Sammy at the register. Weather not so bad, yes hot during the day, but really pleasant at night and the price is certainly right. And Marriott upgraded us to a nice suite for the 4 nights we’re here.

  25. July 26th, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    alastairdeacon said,

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, if you got to Restaurant.com, they have some certificates for the Hyatt restaurants which could be quite useful and Living Social has a spa package also for the Hyatt.

  26. July 29th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Dax said,

    “@ Dax — It’s a bit like a car crash — you want to look away but you can’t.”

    @ Lucky – Look all you want, even point and laugh if you desire, but please don’t give them any money. Even your bizarre fascination with Honey Boo Boo was easier to swallow than this. Those people may be nuttier than a fruitcake, but they strike me as relatively harmless. Amy? No, she’s borderline evil.

  27. August 8th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    How To Book Cheap (Almost Free!) Summer Deals with American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts and Visa Signature Hotels | The Points Guy said,

    [...] week, Lucky spotlighted some great Phoenix summer hotel deals through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, which got me thinking about some other summer destinations [...]

  28. August 11th, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Mike said,

    Was wondering if you had any tips or suggestions on which room/location of the hotel to stay at Arizona Biltmore? Any restaurant recommendations at the resort? Any other tips/tricks to know? I already booked 3 separate nights through virtuoso to receive their perks.


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