It was an off the cuff weekend break - booked by internet - picked up the Merc 4x4 at MIA and in 10 minutes was checking in at the Biltmore which was an experience in itself - car valet - and straight to a very old style reception desk where we were treated like VIPs even though we were staying at a low-end room. For those that hanker for modern minimalism this Hotel is not for you, this Hotel is a Grand Hotel, with everything you would expect from it (and totally lacking in American tack) - two aspects immediately grab your attention : the style and ambiance of the buildings and the facilities - all of it, typical of those grand times : the staff at all levels whose whole substance appears to exude style, patience and utter willingness to help you in every way to make your stay in the Hotel a truly unforgettable moment in your life. This is not your US have a good day hotel - this is something so special, so endearing, you feel you want to stay indefinitely - its like a movie set somewhere back in the "old money" times.
Anyway to detail:-
I personally don't do daily breakfast but in a place like this I did - the breakfasts are served in warm yellow sunlight around/in the central courtyard with its huge fountain and arched facades, freshly squeezed oranges with champagne, Earl Grey Tea in a silk pouch, eggs Benedict with shaved truffles and superb croissants, an unparalleled mouthful of paradise - all at prices you can afford!
The pool is huge with many interesting stories from the thirties where people played water polo - real polo on horses in the pool - for the concerned, the pool has since been cleaned.
The Hotel has two beautiful traditional bars with snacks, wine-by-the-glass list and cocktails that demand your return, again and again.
The French restaurant was simply great, innovative in presentation but still retains the classical elements of fine ingredients only found in French cuisine, the have a lady sommelier who knows her craft and a wine list to match whatever dish you select and more, by the glass Sauterne with my fois gras, again the service is impeccable and whatever you wish, US chatty or quiet discrete. It is very traditional with a strict maitre'D and you are expected to make some effort to dress for dinner which my wife loves being an avid clothes shopper, it just adds to the whole occasion, the clientele preening and showing themselves in their finery, all high heels no sign of a flipflop - very European!
The Italian restaurant was good but the menu needs a good work-over - having lived in Rome for a few years with many vacations to the culinary areas since then, I seek Italian food like an addict wherever I go. Whilst French cuisine is like an artform, Italian cuisine is an essential way of life - unfortunately many Italian restaurants outside of Italy take this to mean mediocre culinary skills with almost similar ingredients i.e. your very average high street Italiano Ristorante.
Whilst we were there we gate-crashed a wedding party which was in the grand ballroom - constructed like a baronial hall it is incredibly impressive in scale and style and must be THE place to tie the proverbial knot in Miami.
So in conclusion if you want to have weekend away that you will never forget, the Biltmore is that place - so for me it would earned the name The Biltmore Grand - for those of you that need a comparable as a reference - The Breakers.
A world traveler.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The AAA Four Diamond Awarded hotel features 275 guest rooms including 130 spacious Mediterranean styled suites and two famed Presidential Suites, a Donald Ross 18 hole golf course, 10 lighted tennis courts, the signature Palme d’Or restaurant, Biltmore Spa, The Culinary Academy, 75,000 square feet of meeting and function space and is a preferred venue for notable high society events and weddings.The legendary Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has been a favorite of world leaders, celebrities, and sports stars since its opening in the 1920s. Offering much more than exceptional accommodations, the Biltmore Hotel showcases championship golf, cosmopolitan dining, a luxury spa and premier conference facilities, all while exceeding our refined guests’ expectations. Perhaps this is why we’ve remained Miami’s only four-star, four-diamond hotel for six consecutive years. Graced with natural elegance and sophistication, the Biltmore Hotel offers a stunning location in the exclusive Coral Gables area, minutes from South Beach, downtown Miami, Coconut Grove and the Coral Gables business district. Surround yourself by old world charm and beauty at the Biltmore Hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables
- Biltmore Coral Gables