Getaway: Ocatilla at the Arizona Biltmore

My husband had a conference in Arizona, so the baby girls and I tagged along for some fun in the sun. We stayed at a boutique hotel called Ocatilla within the Arizona Biltmore and from the moment I looked it up online, I was excited about all of it. The architecture is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, we had a 500 sq. ft. deluxe room with 300 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, a bathroom made up of stunning marble, granite and mosaic tiles, mineral baths every night, a 24 hour on-call concierge in the executive lounge that featured a daily happy hour, and a private pool exclusively for guests of Ocatilla. This all sounded great. But the TRUE GEM of this property is the juice bikes. What’s a juice bike? It’s literally a bike with a huge table on the front that men in suits ride around the property to deliver room service. This is the picture from the website:


Needless to say, my ONE AND ONLY goal for this trip was to ride one of these juice bikes. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. For one thing, they just whiz by you at warp speeds around the resort. After two full days of searching, we happened upon this lone, unattended juice cart just waiting for a photo op. I felt kind of bad about it and wasn’t going to get on, but my husband was like, “Come on! This is your dream!” and I was like, “You’re right. I’m not gonna look back on my life and have regrets. I’m gonna LIVE!” Okay, not really, but I am glad that we got this picture. I wanted to put the baby on the front but Kevin said no.

One more quick anecdote from the trip. Only Ocatilla guests had access to the executive concierge lounge and it all seemed very formal, so when we walked in the first couple times we swiped our card and Kevin gave our name to the concierge that sits by the door who politely smiled. The third time it was a different concierge and as we casually strolled past the desk with our kids, Kevin said gallantly, “Kevin Kuhlman and company!” and the concierge was like, “Um, you don’t need to say your name, sir.” So then I shouted to the people, “DENNIS QUAID IS HERE!”

And no one laughed. Not one person.

If you aren’t laughing either, you need to watch this clip immediately.

On to the pictures from our trip!

Don’t all parents fly like this? It wouldn’t have been so bad but the guy next to me brought his two kids and expected me to hold one of them the entire time. Talk about rude!

Fun fashion find: Hat from Target in the $1 section!

Quick travel tip: On a short trip, take 1 versatile statement necklace like the white Sutton. Worn in my vacation pictures with Cleopatra studs and Amelie sparkle bracelet.

It’s probably not a good parenting technique but I always let Avery jump on the bed in hotels. It’s fun!

Gorgeous bathroom with relaxing mineral baths every night.

Mosaic Tile Pouf from Stella and Dot

I loved the hotel decor and the backlit glass on the headboard. We also had a little portable crib for Savvy and we all slept peacefully.

The grounds were so very beautiful and we took long walks every day. It’s kind of impossible not to take long walks at this resort because everything is very spaced out but you don’t feel like you’re in Arizona, it feels more like California because of all the lush landscaping.

I have always had an affinity for Southwestern style so I really loved the architectural detail throughout the property. It was sophisticated with indoor water features everywhere and beautiful caged birds in the lobby but still had a nod to native american tribal style.

I need this Delta end table! Please tell me where to get one!

It’s a Delta made of Pansies…Deltas galore!

Savvy’s like, “Ooh! Breakfast buffet! I shall eat, in one meal, more than I would normally eat in one day.” Like mother like daughter.

The girls and I had the best time just hanging out at the Ocatilla pool every day. Avery is a little fish. She just gets in her little puddle jumper and motors all over the place! Savvy had one of those little innertubes for babies but in a quick second of leaning too far forward to look at the water she ended up upside down (for like a millisecond because I was standing right there, but to me it feld like an eternity because there’s something about seeing those chubby legs kicking out of water that can cause a mother to, I don’t know, panic and scream? We certainly got the attention of the people trying to relax by the pool. In true Savvy fashion as soon as I got her upright she was smiling again like, “What a rush!” I’m still recovering.

Trying to take a sexy outfit pic is not as sexy with your child jumping around in the background. #ModelFail #MommyWin

Cheers by the fire pit on the terrace of the hospitality lounge.

Trying to get high enough to pick the oranges off the tree.

Got the whole world in my hands.

A big vacation for such a little girl.

Dining al fresco by the fire pit at one of the restaurants.

Savvy broke a plate so we yelled “Opa!” Again, like mother like daughter.

Ready for pool time! Normally I go a little more sporty but on vacation I love to dress for the pool! Getaway Bag by Stella and Dot. Swimsuit by Victoria’s Secret (my first non-Target, grown up lady swim suit) Necklace is the detachable piece from  my Stella and Dot White Sutton and the hat is from the Target Dollar Section (they have pink too!) Shoes are Marc Fisher from Macy’s. Similar

Avery’s kitten hat is from H&M Kids. She loved it and it kept the sun off her precious little face!

Exclusive pool and spa for Ocatilla guests.

Yummy Happy Hour appetizers in the lounge! Double Clutch in Geranium by Stella and Dot 

My pink hat is from Apricot Lane. It had a bow on it but I took it off.

The whole resort has an historical theme highlighting the famous people who stayed there in years past as well as the renovations over the years. All the halls are lined with black and white pictures which I adored.

With Jackie and Jack!

Good thing I recently learned to play chess! I knew it was a completely practical skill.

Vacation agenda: More Pool Time! My cover up is “vintage” Old Navy and I love it so much that sometimes I pretend it’s a shirt and wear it with jeans.

What is it about Palm Trees?

Poolside naps are the greatest.

Living ‘La Vida Roba’ wearing a “coat made from a towel. It can have a belt and you can dunk it in the toilet.” (Extra cool points if you know and  love Jim Gaffigan.) Also I apologize if Roba means something offensive in Spanish. This may come as a shock to all my amigos out there but no habla the espanol. I wish I did though. My best friend Lauren does and it’s the coolest. Lauren, what does Roba mean?

Sneaky Avery using a photo op to steal her sister’s cracker!

Daddy daughter memories.

Taking our final walk through the gorgeous grounds.

Panoramic picture of the main grounds

This was the greatest and best mocha in the world. (Tribute.) No seriously, it was the best ever.

My family!

Heading back to the airport where Daddy was off to New Orleans for a bachelor party! I don’t know if it was for an actual friend or if he was just hoping to join up with one after all this family time.

Survived TWO flights home by myself with these angels (it took a lot of DumDums and new toys!) A super nice stranger took a picture of us, probably while internally praying he wouldn’t have to sit by us.

MKM Word of the day: Bribery: brahy-buh-ree, noun: A desparate parenting technique involving the exchange of candy for silence.

Shout out to our travel agent Rob Merlin at Smartflyer!


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