Updated: May 21, 2015
Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables ReviewWhen it comes to luxury hotels, there are plenty to choose from in the Miami and Miami Beach area. But if you are trying to find luxury combined with a historic national landmark on your Miami vacation, then think about checking in 10 minutes south of Miami in Coral Gables. Coral Gables is an upscale community filled with Mediterranean homes, tropical foliage, and golf courses. And since 1926, it has been home to the awe-inspiring Biltmore Hotel. With an amazing pool (check out photos below), indulgent spa, 18-hole Biltmore Golf Course, 275 rooms and suites, the Biltmore is a must see while in the Miami area, even if you don't stay there as a guest. The hotel itself is hard to miss with a 300 foot Spanish-style tower (15 stories of rooms) dominating the local skyline, complete with the colorful pastel palette of yellow, orange, and cream that you would expect of Miami. The golf course was designed by Donald Ross, and they offered preferred tee times for hotel guests -- you can check out 3-D virtual flyovers of each hole on their website. But let's take a closer look at the hotel and accomodations.
Biltmore Hotel Map - Coral Gables FloridaYou can see where the Biltmore Hotel is located in the map below (the blue marker towards the lower right). It's only 10-15 minutes away from the airport and downtown Miami, and 20 minutes from South Beach. A lot of Miami visitors like to stay in the South Beach area -- beautiful beach, great restaurants and shopping and clubs. But the Biltmore is very close by and worth the drive if you want to stay somewhere a little more extraordinary.
View Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables Florida in a larger map
Biltmore Hotel Room Rates and ReservationsThe architecture, pool, and grounds are what really set this hotel apart from the crowd, but let's start off with some of the basic information you need to know. There official website is BiltmoreHotel.com. Room rates start at $250-$300, and go up to $350 or so for basic rooms in the high season. One word of warning - Florida is usually hot and humid, so the AC tends to run year-round here and the hotel can be on the chilly side. Keep a sweater nearby if you're the type that gets cold. The standard rooms themselves are large and elegantly appointed -- with Mediterranean and Moorish themed decor, 340-count Egyptian cotton linens, European feather bedding, large windows and separate sitting areas, etc. They also offer 130 more luxurious suites, which range from $400 to several thousand dollars per night. If you need to ask, you probably can't afford it, as they say! Regular suites located in the tower run about $450 per night, while suites with an outdoor terrace are closer to $500. The really expensive prices begin when you get into rooms like the Everglades Suite or the Merrick Suite -- located high in the Biltmore tower, they occupy 2 floors and have things like dining rooms, fireplaces, and 2-story living rooms, all with magnificent views all around, of course. There is a $20 per day resort fee that covers self-parking (valet available for additional charge), fitness center, internet access, and local phone calls. It's supposed to cover bellman as well, but they generally tend to look like they expect something extra. The lobby and grounds are also spectacular -- you'll enjoy the scenery wherever you go on the property. On TripAdvisor, the Biltmore Coral Gables received 4 out of 5 rating based on 100 traveler reviews.
Biltmore Dining and Restaurants
- Palme d'Or -- a fancy restaurant you'd expect at a first-class hotel property. French dining, located off the main lobby with views of the pool area (closed Sunday and Monday). We had the lamb tenderloin, but the large menu offers many choices.
- Fontana Restaurant and Courtyard -- great courtyard setting at the back of the hotel, facing the golf course. Dramatic arches and architecture abound above and around you. The Sunday brunch is popular, reserve in advance.
- Cascade Poolside Bar & Grill -- you can't beat a poolside grill when you're hanging out in the tropics. Lunch is good, happy-hour even more fun. A pool like this just begs you to spend more time nearby.. Calamari rings and mini-burger appetizers were tasty, and try the mango mojitos!
- The 19th Hole Sports Bar & Grill -- you can sit inside or out, great lunch spot before or after your round of golf. It's a sports bar with lots of TVs -- not really a romantic spot, more for the guys.
- The Biltmore Bar -- right by the Palme d'Or restaurant, great spot for a nightcap (more than 100 wines by the glass). Also serves afternoon tea right nearby if that's more your style.
- The Corkscrew Bar -- try some tapas and wine for a late afternoon snack.
- Boules Bar -- what better place to have a drink than next to the waterfall by the pool? You get your lawn bowling equipment here as well..
Miami Biltmore Amenities - Pool and SpaThe Biltmore Hotel has the bragging rights for the largest pool in the US, clocking in at over 23,000 square feet of water wonderland. When we were there, the beautiful people were spending more time sunning themselves than swimming. A narrow deck surrounds the pool with plenty of lounge chairs, and some reserved private cabana spaces ($79 for half day). The spa offers all the expected services and treatments -- massage (Swedish, shiatsu, thai, hot stone, deep tissue, couples), facials, body wraps, manicures, hair removal, body scrubs, and more. There are also 10 tennis courts out behind the hotel by the parking area. When we visited, it seemed like it was ladies-only -- maybe the men play golf and the women play tennis, I don't know. The fitness center is large (15,000sf) and has all the equipment you would want -- Cybex machines, free weights, etc. It was actually ranked among the top 10 hotel fitness centers in the US. They offer more than 100 classes each week if you want a more structured workout (charge). The fitness center is actually open to the public on a membership basis, something I hadn't seen before at a hotel.
Nearby the BiltmoreSome other things located nearby the Biltmore to consider during your vacation are:
- Venetian Pool (closed for renovations in 2009, check before going)
- Jungle Island
- Miracle Mile Shopping
- Miami Science Museum
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (Mansion)
- Miami Children's Museum
- Miami Metro Zoo
- Miami SeaQuarium
- CocoWalk in Coconut Grove
- Some other popular nearby restaurants include: Ortanique on the Mile, Romeo's Cafe, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Graziano's, Cafe Vialetto, and Christy's