BEST MANSION - 2005
There's a lot to love about the Wrigley Mansion, built by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. for his wife, Ada, and now owned by Phoenix's own jazz-playing recluse Geordie "Son of Spam" Hormel, heir to the meatpacking fortune. The interior of the regal mansion is a little dusty and threadbare in places, but the patina only adds to the place's old-school charm. First, there's Geordie's restaurant and bar at the Wrigley Mansion Club, which offers tasteful live music on select evenings. Once in a great while, the hippie-fied Hormel himself plays jazz piano there. The bar features several rooms with plush Victorian furnishings; it's the perfect place for a glass of good port or cognac. And the restaurant offers a terrific nighttime view. But the best thing about the mansion, in our humble opinion, is that, once you've finished din-din, you can wander without escort through the rooms, drink in hand, eventually landing on a set of over-the-parking-lot balconies facing the Phoenix skyline. What happens on those balconies, stays on those balconies. Trust us, the views are great.