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“Stunning grounds and hotel but service/value lacking sorely” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Biltmore Hotel

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Biltmore Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134   |  
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Ranked #1 of 12 hotels in Coral Gables
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Stunning grounds and hotel but service/value lacking sorely”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Stayed here for a 3 day/4night conference and pleasure trip. The hotel is a 1926 landmark with stunning grounds and well-appointed rooms, but we found the service lacking for a property of this caliber. Our room was a junior suite with a nice seating area, small balcony and well appointed bathroom with all the extras. However, the mini bar was extremely expensive, charging $8 for a bottle of water, which did not include “tax and gratuities”! Most luxury hotels I have frequented would have included two bottles of water as a courtesy, moreover, the hotel charges a $20 per day resort fee, which includes services such as a daily newspaper and gratuities! Charging an additional gratuity for the mini bar is just piling on in my opinion, not to mention the ridiculously high prices to begin with. Needless to say, we did not use anything from the mini bar (which is something I’ll come to later).

Having two drinks at the poolside bar was a treat until I got the bill for $16 per drink plus and automatic 18% service charge, AND another $9.18 added as “misc. tip.” When I questioned about the misc. tip the bartender said the computer added it automatically, but he did promptly remove it!

We ate at the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Fontana. The ambiance was excellent, sitting outside in the hotel courtyard area; however, my meal was extremely salty and overcooked and the service was very slow. I had to send it back and it was removed from the bill. Two other parties sitting near us also sent back one of their entrees and complained about the service. On the other hand, we did use the hotel’s spa services, which were one of the best I have experienced.
Some other issues included housekeeping not cleaning the room the first day (I had to call to have that done), and when we checked out their computer system was down and they had to send me the invoice via email, which included, to my dismay, a $28.43 mini bar charge! I contacted the hotel and explained to them that I did not use anything from the mini bar. They did remove it from my credit card charge.

Overall, it was a disappointing experience, as my expectations were much higher.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCoralGables, Managing Director at Biltmore Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
We are very appreciative of this feedback and regret that our service failed to meet your expectations in a variety of ways. The Biltmore prides itself on an outstanding service culture worthy of its luxury status. We have dealt with the particular personnel involved and are confident that the issues have been effectively resolved. While we cannot discern your identity solely by your email name, we would welcome an opportunity to address this situation with you directly.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

I came away from my three-night stay here with my daughter impressed by the level of service, the hotel's setting and design and its facilities (particularly the pool and fitness center). Hotel staff always made certain they had catered to our requests and that we were fully satisfied before turning to their next task.

I'm a fan of the gratuities built in to the daily resort fee, and it appears the staff are happy with it, as well. We used the free hotel car service every day, including a Saturday, which was the only day with a significant wait because of demand. The food on-site is a little pricey but prepared and presented well, especially at the Cascade and Fontana restaurants.

We would certainly return on a future trip to Miami.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCoralGables, Managing Director at Biltmore Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back very soon.
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Barrington, Illinois
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

We were looking forward to a conference at this hotel--we enjoy history, architecture and lovely accommodations. We experienced a bit of history and architecture and found our accommodations terribly disappointing. After an easy check in with a complimentary glass of champagne we were shown to room 1042. It was small (adequate as European hotels are), but with tired decor and a musty smell. We immediately opened the door to the balcony for some fresh air--a nice thought except with exposed re-bar on its gouged cement floor and rusty railings we were afraid to use it!

After our evening conference activities we retired for the nite. As we lay down on the bed I was at least 18 inches higher than my husband and the bed slanted from side to side with a huge sag in the middle. He needed the middle space or he would be on the floor and I was trying hard not to roll sideways into him. This was the worst bed we have ever slept in culminating in a terrible nite's sleep for both of us. The next morning we investigated by pulling up the dust ruffle to find that half the mattress was not resting in the bed frame. Once weight was put on the bed one side dropped to the floor while the other remained in the air! We were sleeping--or rather NOT sleeping--on a ramp!! Oh, what a night!

When the front desk was told of the problem the next morning the two young ladies there looked at one another with raised eyebrows and said, "Sorry, we will notify housekeeping." That was indeed the appalling extent of their concern. Hospitality and service are definitely not the forte in this hotel. Guests being nice about a problem meant a serious imposition was brushed aside and for that reason I take my first negative review to tripadvisor.

This venue is an annual financial conference--and after this experience we do not look forward to returning. Conference food was adequate, rooms for hosting client meetings were somewhat dated. The pool and golf course views were quite nice, and most staff were pleasant. However this aging hotel is not up to the hotel standards one would expect or that a $400+ per nite room would warrant. Because it is on the Historic Register is no excuse for it to be tired (and without a decent bed for heaven's sake!) as evidenced by other noteworthy luxury historic hotels that we have experienced.

One more jab at guest services--I tried to buy a book to read at the pool. If you like five different choices of romance novels you will be in luck!

Room Tip: Do not request 1042.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCoralGables, Managing Director at Biltmore Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay at Biltmore. We regret that the experience did not meet your expectations. With regard to the staff comments you expressed, we have dealt with the particular personnel involved and are confident these issues have been effectively resolved. We also inspected your accommodations and those surrounding rooms and will monitor HVAC in this specific area of the hotel more closely. This incident is certainly not reflective of our normal standards or service culture. As well, we'd welcome the opportunity to personally address these issues with you directly.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

If you appreciate the detail that goes into restored historic hotels you have to visit the Biltmore. We stayed in an upper floor junior suite overlooking the golf course and appreciated the understated appointments. Management has done a good job keeping the charm (gotta love the wood paneling in the elevators!) while making this a property that works in 2013. The staff is fantastic. We enjoyed a drink in the golf course bar and the bartender was very personable. The pool area is a nice retreat. The spa is small but nicely done. We went to a dinner in the one of the ballrooms and the décor reminded me of a European salon. We also indulged in the Sunday brunch which was fabulous - the quality champagne alone was worth the price. We would highly recommend this as a quiet place to stay in the Miami area.

Room Tip: Go for one of the junior suites - you will love the extra space.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCoralGables, Managing Director at Biltmore Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
The Biltmore is a designated National Historic Landmark property known for its rustic Mediterranean charm, which is usually warmly embraced by our guests. We’re delighted your stay with us was enjoyable.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

My wife and I recently stayed at the Biltmore. The best way to sum up our stay are 2 stories: The first night, my wife was ironing her pants to go to dinner. Something was on the iron and stained her pants. She took them to the concierge, they were cleaned and waiting for her in our room the next day. We forgot to make dinner reservations on Sat. night. At 6:15pm we wanted to know if we could find anyplace to eat at 6:30 or 7. The concierge showed us a list. We picked a popular very good restaurant. She called. Had a limo ready for us in 10 min. The driver was extremely friendly, took us to the restaurant. We were seated by 6:40. The manager and Chef made sure we were all set. The driver came immediately after dinner. And everyone smiled and told us, thank you for staying at the Biltmore. We will be back.

Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCoralGables, Managing Director at Biltmore Hotel, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
As a world-class luxury destination resort, the Biltmore enjoys a stellar reputation for professionalism, services and quality of product within the industry. We’re delighted you enjoyed your stay with us.
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jersey city nj
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I stayed 3 nights at Biltmore recently. This is a really interesting historic hotel and for the most part has held up well. But it is showing aging issues. If it wasn't a Leading Hotel of the World I would forgive the minor issues--
The Staff --really wonderful staff. Everyone we encountered were helpful and accomodating. Loved hearing a real voice for my wakeup call and not a computer.
The food- for the most part very very good. Fontana was solid the times we ate there..they were able to make their bolognese with a gluten free pasta which was really nice (although unfortunately undercooked but still delicious!). The food by the pool..not what I expected. Good but not great. Not worth the price tag. Eggs Benedict with truffle hollandaise at the Fontana tho...Just what I expected. I hope I didn't embarrass myself by licking the plate....
The room--very comfortable. Bed perfect. Shower good pressure but shower head and controls need to be upgraded. Asked for foam pillows and got them--however the sheer curtain in room had what looked like a huge chunk of peanut butter on it. Told concierge when I checked in..he said he'd have housekeeping change it the next day. They never did. I had a small balcony off my room. I went out for fresh air and noticed so many of the tiles missing and paint chipping. No flowers...kind of just old. Loved the turndown service.
The resort--I can't speak of the pool--it looked lovely but the water was VERY cold. The gym was well equipped but i opted for a walk which they had directions for at the club--great way to see the neighborhood. Which is stunning!
Overall--wouldn't be upset if I stayed there again--clean, great service, good food and a great history. Rumor has it there are ghosts...I guess they liked their stay there too!

Room Tip: I stayed in a room high up facing front of hotel. Doves and birds have nested above on roof. I use...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCoralGables, Managing Director at Biltmore Hotel, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
As one of The Leading Hotels of the World, we continuously strive to exceed the needs and expectations of our guests; therefore your feedback is very important to us. We appreciate the time you took to comment in detail about your stay with us, and regret that your experience did not completely meet your expectations with regards to the housekeeping issues. Please rest assured that we have taken the appropriate measures to address this issue to prevent any future occurrences. Regarding your comments about the balcony, we are in the process of updating all the balconies, and we can assure you that you will see a big difference in our appearance upon your return visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I love this hotel and it's a great change of pace from the craziness of downtown or South Beach.
This is a historical property and it's fun to just walk around and explore the hotel. Walk over to the ballrooms as well because they are beautiful. The lobby is gorgeous with the painted ceiling and the live birds in cages. Early in the morning and late at night you can see them curled up in their nests.

Sitting in the bar around the pool is a great treat and they make a fabulous mojito. Don't miss it.

The rooms are a bit small but very charming.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCoralGables, Managing Director at Biltmore Hotel, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
The Biltmore is a designated National Historic Landmark property known for its rustic Mediterranean charm, which is usually warmly embraced by our guests. We’re delighted your stay with us was enjoyable.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Biltmore Hotel

Also Known As:
Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables
Biltmore Coral Gables
Address: 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Coral Gables
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Coral Gables
#1 Family Hotel in Coral Gables
#2 Business Hotel in Coral Gables
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Biltmore Hotel 4*
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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