Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comArizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam  |  Phoenix, Arizona  |  They call themselves “The Jewel of the Desert”, I rather refer to them as a piece of heritage from the old, longed, Hollywood Glamour, setting the standard for elegance and style. Arizona Biltmore became world renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state, captains of industry and other famous travelers. One of the only existing luxury hotels in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design, and if you know who he is, you will understand my excitement. I mean, to this hotel, I gave a pass on any minor details or issues, this property cannot be seen or judged as a regular resort, but as for its iconic architecture, and legacy of elegance and opulent luxury for nearly a century.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comDifferently to what many assume, this resort was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a Harvard graduate, who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. Reason why I mentioned “influenced by”. One of the many things I learnt, after taking one of their History Tour (signature service by Waldorf properties worldwide).

Biltmore Block by www.carlosmeliablog.comAmong other things I learnt, including some juicy gossips of that time, was the nature of the “Biltmore Block” (see photo above), which is the DNA and structure of this hotel. The Biltmore Block features a geometric pattern that is said to represent a freshly cut palm tree, made out off indigenous materials, pre-cast concrete blocks were molded on-site and used in the total construction of the resort.

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe pools at the Arizona Biltmore have many interesting stories to tell and share, perhaps Marilyn Monroe’s favorite pool is the one to top. Did you know that the famed song composer Irving Berlin penned many tunes, including “White Christmas” while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore?
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe Arizona Biltmore boasts 740 guest rooms and is one of the largest hotels in Arizona. 78 one-and two-bedroom villas. Eight swimming pools. Seven tennis courts. A full-service resort spa, salon and fitness center. Five dining options. The adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts two of the best 18-hole PGA golf courses in Phoenix: The Links and The Adobe. The resort is managed by the Waldorf Astoria group. Yes I do agree that most rooms in need of a facelift, process that has started at the Ocatilla Wing and will continue throughout the entire property next.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe resort is divided and structured by Wings. I was hosted at their premium wings called Ocatilla at a Club Deluxe Room. This is a retreat and private sanctuary within the resort itself, where a dedicated concierge attends to individual needs in a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment and continuous culinary offerings are showcased throughout the day.

The resort has undergone major renovations, and my Club Deluxe Room (which you can see above), is a clear example of the  new concept and style the rest of the hotel will be going for within the next year and so. Ocatilla has access to its own private pool.
Wright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comWright's Restaurant at Arizona Biltmore by www.carlosmeliablog.comDining at Wright’s Restaurant, was an outstanding culinary experience. Signature dining venue at the resort offering fresh cuisine that reflects an innovative culinary style characterized by fresh, local ingredients that are hearty, yet simply elegant. You can read my full post here. Unfortunately I was not able to try any of the other restaurants.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe Wright’s Bar, features a Piano and lots to stories to tell. Birthplace of the Original Tequila Sunrise, was not strange gathering for celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., hiding from the glitz of Hollywood.
Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comOne of my favorite rooms at the Main Building of the resort is the legendary “Mystery Room” which opened in the midst of Prohibition. A club masqueraded as a “Men’s Smoking Room” requiring a secret password for entry and accessible only through a secret passage that started behind the resort and traveled up a hidden staircase from the kitchen. The striking stained glass ceiling, was the key for the gentleman in the room, to return to their rooms and the booze to be tucked back into the room’s hidden bookshelf. Their was a spotlight, out in the roof, that was officially known to guide guests at night, and unofficially used to search the desert for police raids. Whenever a raid approached, the spotlight would shine through the Mystery Room’s stained glass roof warning the guests. There are plans and rumors of the soon return of this Speakeasy Glory to the resort.

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by www.carlosmeliablog.comArizona’s historic Grand Dame radiates an undeniable mystique of refinement and splendor. I will say this in a very positive and constructive way, which I openly shared with the management and marketing team… I so wish they would further embrace and revive the heritage and glamour of their time. What else can I say, other than, I would have need more time to connect and explore this incredible property. I look forward for a soon return. For those of you interested to experience the Arizona Biltmore, know that when booking through me, you will get other than advantageous deals, the following extra amenities: Continental Breakfast for two Daily + $100 Food and Beverage Credit Voucher for Frank & Albert’s, per Room, per Stay + subject to availability at the time of check-in: Upgrade. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Arizona Biltmore signature Hollywood Glam by*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

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My long Weekend in Los Angeles for 429 MAGAZINE

My long Weekend in Los Angeles for 429 MAGAZINE
 |  Los Angeles, United States  |  Hi there dear readers, my weekly column on Luxury Gay Travel for 429 Magazine at dot429 is OUT and ONLINE. Check it out. This week, I share with you my long weekend in Los Angeles, California. My favorite hotels, restaurants and attractions. Till next week in full luxury. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

(*) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, linking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Carlos Melia LIVE from Hollywood

Carlos Melia LIVE from Hollywood  |  Los Angeles, United States  |  Reporting live from Hollywood in Los Angeles. Our local friend and colleague took us for an out of the beaten path tour of Hollywood, to areas most tourist do not access, and those that guarantee the best looks of the iconic Hollywood Sign. Continue reading Carlos Melia LIVE from Hollywood

Concierge Confidential by Michael Fazio

Concierge Confidential by Michael Fazio |  New York |  A new book is out and about in the travel world available to all those interested on the True and Dare of being a Luxury Concierge in New York City, and wait it gets even better Hollywood as well. Juicy right.!!! Well get your reading glasses ready, sharpen your teeth and set to read and dish over some of the deepest secrets, myth, tabus, eccentricities and facts – names included – of the Concierge world, hoping and praying not to find yours there.
The Globes Come off  and the Secrets Come Out. ! – Tales from the Man Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls and Madmen. The travel world and in particular the Concierges community has not pronounce a final verdict yet, and the reactions have been very mixed, but nothing major at this point.  Some have said “Finally someone will tell it like it is…”, others …” this book comes from and angry man who has never been able to overcome and accept his role as a luxury servant…”, many …” I would not dare to read it, it is of bad taste to laundry dirty dishes in public…”, and the overall consent of non-related direct customers …” can’t wait to read what he has to say after some many years of dealing with some of our beloved celebrities, world politicians, fortune 500’s, their wives, mistresses, hidden boyfriends and all their entourage…”
I think I should find my own personal ghost writter and write my memoirs which I would entitle The Memoirs of a Geisha… mmm what.? Already taken.? Shoot. Ok then … Gay Travel Expert, Life of Champagne with Salaries of Beer. How about that.? Publishers I am listening open for proposals…

Michael Fazio, nowadays is a partner owner of a Concierge company in New York City, dealing with ove 20.000 condominiums and private clients. To get your own copy of Concierge Confidential go to CM

Mission of San Juan Capistrano

Mission of San Juan Capistrano |  Orange County, California | Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic landmark and museum is the Birthplace of Orange County, was founded more than two hundred years ago as the 7th of 21 missions statewide, and one with a chapel still standing where Fr. Serra once celebrated Mass. Only a one hour and twenty minutes driving from Los Angeles and West Hollywood, Capistrano is worth a visit. A different experience from what people would expect when coming to Los Angeles. The Mission is a registered Historic Landmark & designated a National Historical Treasure.
The minute you arrive to Capistrano, you will say to yourself … What am I doing here ? This is a tourist trap… and that was my first impression when I got there, almost getting to the point of turning back to Los Angeles without stopping. But then I said, let’s give it a try and indeed was worth it. (wont take you more than 2 hours and USD 9 per person). Capistrano, today is a monument to California’s multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Native Americans, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion.
General Facts: The Mission San Juan Capistrano is located at the Corner of Ortega Highway & Camino Capistrano. Founded by Father Fermin de Lasuen and Father Junipero Serra. Original from October 30, 1775  (by Lasuen) and refounded in November 1, 1776 (by Serra). Named after St. John of Capistrano, Italy, a theologian and inquisitor of the 14th century.
One of the most important highlights of this Mission is the Great Stone Church begun 1796; competed 1806; destroyed by earthquake 1812. The church of which today still remain the ruins, had the shape of a gigantic cross. Mission secularized 1833, sold 1845, and returned to Church 1865.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, became the seventh of twenty-one missions to be founded in Alta California. Like the previous six missions, San Juan Capistrano was established to expand the territorial boundaries of Spain, and to spread Christianity to the Native peoples of California.

The impressive golden altar, a gift of the late Archbishop Cantwell of Los Angeles who had received it from Spain in 1906, and other decorations were acquired during the course of reconstruction. Of particular interest is the fact that the little church at Capistrano is the only existing structure in which Father Junípero Serra is known to have said Mass.
Once the visitor enters the mission grounds, he finds paths that seem to lead everywhere. To the right is the ruin of the great stone church. A stretch of wall and a single dome remain but they are more than enough to give evidence of the builder’s skill.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, became the seventh of twenty-one missions to be founded in Alta California. Like the previous six missions, San Juan Capistrano was established to expand the territorial boundaries of Spain, and to spread Christianity to the Native peoples of California.
Immediately when I read about Capistrano, I felt a intense interest and attraction, that was telling me to come and visit. Later on I found out the connection between myself and the Mission. Capistrano is visited every year by this birds called Swallows. The miracle of the “Swallows” of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistano, on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. As the little birds wing their way back to the most famous Mission in California, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a fiesta air and the visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life, gather in great numbers to witness the “miracle” of the return of the swallows.
Now you may be asking your self, where is the connection.? Well the Swallows fly every single year from Goya in Argentina all the way up to Capistrano in a journey of 15.000 miles. There you go… well despite I am also from Argentina, this time I just flew 5 hours from New York City on JetBlue
Capistrano is a fusion among Native American, Mexican and Spanish heritage, away from the glitz and hussle of Hollywood. Please next time you are in Los Angeles or Orange County, take your time to explore Capistrano. It is worth the visit and once you are done, it is surrounded by small charming mexican restaurants to enjoy an outdoors lunch.

(*) For the general information and mass schedules at Mission San Juan Capistrano Basilica and Serra Chapel do not hesitate to visit their official website |