Biltmore Hotel – Miami – Coral Gables
What We Love
- The hotel’s many activities, from cooking lessons and tennis workshops to spa treatments and aerobics classes
- The hotel’s iconic status — it’s a certified National Historic Landmark — and country club feel
- Families will especially love the hotel, as many of the activities are geared toward the younger set
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What To Know
- A $20 resort fee (including gratuities, WiFi and valet parking) per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Pool is weather-permitting and is closed during winter; property is not on the beach
- The vibe can be overly formal, and be sure to pack a jacket if you want to dine in the property’s signature restaurant
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Coral Gables’s iconic Biltmore Hotel is a historic, family-friendly alternative to the strip of party-loving properties over on South Beach. The Spanish-style hotel — built in 1926 and modeled on Seville’s Giralda bell tower — holds a place on the list of National Historic Landmarks, and it drips with old-school glamour thanks to vaulted ceilings, ornately carved pillars, crystal chandeliers and a grand piano.
Bed and Bath
After the grand show downstairs, the 273 guestrooms are a bit underwhelming. The hotel calls them Moorish in style, but they fall more toward the neutral end of the spectrum, with pale color palettes and chintz flourishes (arched headboards with hand-painted floral decorations). But all rooms are supremely comfortable, with feather mattresses and 340-thread-count sheets, Frette robes and bamboo towels.
Guests here are kept busy by the on-site tennis program, the top-notch spa and the culinary academy — and the lobby bar, which serves the best English afternoon tea in town. The golf course, designed by Donald Ross in 1925, is a duffer’s dream. Dining options include the very formal Palme d’Or (jacket required), where award-winning chef Philippe Ruiz serves highbrow French-inflected cuisine, such as braised sole with carrot and cumin beurre blanc. And then there’s the pool, which, with its grand styling, private cabanas and alfresco bar, provides a pretty spectacular setting in which to see and be seen. This is still Miami — what would you expect?
How to Get There
The property is great; the restaurants good but over priced, the pool beautiful. Owned by the city. Today the pool was disgustingly dirty. Water was murky and full of trash including plastic cups and cigar butts.. The pool boys must have taken the week off. Very disappointing. My wife and I visit frequently as we live nearby.
An exquisite antique hotel spanning 90 years of Miami history. A jewel located in teh heart of the Gables which still remains one of the finest communities Miami offers plus the nations first planned town. The Hotel is furnished well, huge swimming pool, golf course, bars and excellent cuisine. A favorite of mine as I recall when as a child in Miami it was once a VA hospital and then essentially abandoned for many years. Not now.
Staff Ariana, Nate Anabis and Karin made the weekend most enjoyable with excellent service complete with a friendly attitude. Very accommodating.
Terrible and obnoxious people who work at this hotel. It's a decent and a historic property but not a good location if you are visiting so you are not missing anything. Stay away and don't waste your time
While this place is understated luxury, you will find it to be a most wonderful place to spend a few days or a week at. Simply stated, the rooms are absolutely beautiful, the swimming pool is to die for as it's one of the largest in the country. The service while at the pool area can't be beat and you can order drinks, soft and hard, food, or pretty much anything else that you need. We ate at one of the restaurants at The Biltmore named Fontana which was wonderful, serving Mediterranean style dinners with an Italian feel also. All in all, The Biltmore Hotel is a very unique, fun, and fabulous place to stay.
I visited as a one-night short getaway over the Memorial Day weekend with my children, ages 17, 15, 11, and 9. We arrived Saturday afternoon around 2:30pm, after visiting the University of Miami campus. Our room was not ready, but we were given an access card to the pool so we could enjoy the facilities. We explored a little first, and as soon as we decided to get the in the pool, I got a call from the front desk that the room was ready! (Other than the fact that check in time was technically 3pm, and our room wasn't available until closer to 4pm...everyone at the front desk was friendly and efficient!)
Although I booked a rate that included valet parking, I just utilized self-parking located in the lot adjacent to the hotel. We grabbed our bags from the car, and brought it up to the room...and what a room it was! I booked a Junior Suite with 2 Queen beds and a sofa. It was not 100% clear from the online room description if the sofa was just a sofa, or a sofa bed...but I figured we were only staying 1 night, and we'd just make the best of it. (Well, it was a sofa bed after all!) The room was absolutely huge - 2 queen beds with a tv for the beds, and then a separate sitting area with the sleeper sofa and another tv. The bathroom was adequate, but not overly luxurious; I liked the orange-scented toiletries.
We were given room 649, which according to the fire escape plan on the back of the door, was one of the largest rooms on the floor! We had 2 or 3 sets of french doors that opened to this humongous patio...but the walls were probably about 8-10 feet high, so there was no view to be had (we did have another window in the room that did have a nice view of Coral Gables, however). It was actually really strange, but also like having our own private rooftop deck. (And just a reminder that in a historic property, it's likely that most rooms are unique.)
That evening, we wanted pizza from The Big Cheese, and we ended up just bringing the food back to the room and eating al fresco on our patio, which was really enjoyable. Even though it was late May, there was a surprisingly refreshing breeze, and it was really pleasant - not humid or muggy at all.
Note: there are tons of parrots flying around the resort. Back from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Parrot Jungle had serious damage, and many parrots were released into the wild. I think a lot of them set up their new home at the Biltmore! Ha! I'm not a bird fan, but they did not bother us, even with food on our patio.
Our room rate also included breakfast in the morning. But be forewarned if you take a breakfast-included rate for a Saturday night: on Sunday morning, they put on a HUGE Sunday brunch that is not included with the "free breakfast", so instead of the regular breakfast buffet, you have to eat in one of the a la carte restaurants. We ended up at the poolside restaurant, and had a very lovely breakfast: eggs benedict, fruit + yogurt platter, belgian waffles with fruit, etc. And it was still included with our room rate, which was nice.
We spent the rest of the morning swimming and relaxing poolside until check-out time. The pool is really a nice experience (it does get really deep in some parts!). But if you come late in the day (like the afternoon we checked in), pool chairs are really hard to come by. There just isn't enough seating to accommodate everyone. We did see pool attendants moving peoples' belongings after a while - those people who put their stuff down and reserved a chair and then never came back for literally hours. A for effort on their part. It's always impossible to police the chair hogs.
We left to get lunch at Chicken Kitchen in South Miami (an old favorite), and came back in time for the Sunday afternoon historical tour that is offered each week by local volunteers. These tours are free and open to the public, and are very interesting and informative (although maybe a little boring for really young kids). It was really fascinating to hear the whole story behind the property (first it was a luxury hotel, then a military hospital, then abandoned for years until the 1990s), as well as the background of Coral Gables, and we got to see some different areas of the hotel that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. If you stay at the Biltmore, I highly recommend this tour (only on sundays) to get a full appreciation for the property.
All in all, it was a short but sweet stay, and we didn't have a single complaint about the hotel, except maybe we could have gotten in to our room a little bit earlier...which is really not a complaint.