The Biltmore is a majestic property that truly inspires the senses. For its age we were pleased to see how well maintained it was. We had dinner at Palme D'or, went to the bar and ate breakfast so we got a feel for the place. Sadly, many things are askew.
1. The valet howled at us as we stopped off the main entrance. He was some distance away and at 3pm no other people were there to receive us so I merely parked out of the way and proceeded inside. The valet shouted to wait, arrived panting and gasping, demanded my keys and rudely threatened to impose the valet fee of $25 if we did move the car in 10 minutes. That is an absurd way to receive guests.
2. The Bar - The bartender would rather make calls and chat with his cohorts in the back room. His lack of attention detracts from a truly great hotel bar that looks as a bar should. We struggled to get drinks and of course he added a 18% gratuity that was entirely unearned.
3. Palme D'or - We advised them we are having drinks but they only gave us 10 minutes to take our table. The place was 20% full. Why be difficult?? The food was average and not worth its Zagat rating. The "special" white truffles from Alba were flavorless and not worth the surcharge. Service was sluggish but the staff were polite.
4. Breakfast Buffet- The buffet is uninspired and small. My omelet was overcooked, the pastries were stale and dull, the bread dry and the service very slow. The omelet chef delayed my order to serve someone in line after me. Oh well, I do not speak Spanish and should know my place.
5. Nickel and Dime Policies - Adding an 18% tip to everything is absurd.The staff feel entitled and thus do not offer consistent service. They also have a $20 resort fee for internet service, local calls, self parking, and bellman services. The informational guide says this fee covers the bellman's tips but they stand around expecting money anyways.
6. The turndown service maid simply chucked a bucket of ice on our things on the desk knocking over my change and vitamins leaving a mess. Thoughtless!
7. The Front Desk - Check in took forever. The clerk must have been new. When her colleague came to help he suggest they upgraded us to a junior suite. I BOOKED a junior suite. The breakfast credit of $40 falls about $16 short on the buffet when you add taxes and service fees. That is wrongheaded.
8. "A junior suite" - is a regular 350 sq foot hotel room with a small sofa. The name is misleading. Though the room was nice.
1. The room was clean, the bed comfortable and the view from our room on the 5th floor was very good.
2. The grounds are a delight.
3. Location is close to many Coral Gables and Miami attractions.
I travel 200+ nights a year and must say the Biltmore is not a 5 star hotel. The lazy attitude towards service, bland food offerings, and wrongheaded policies deter from the guest experience. For the price you will be better served at the Four Seasons Miami. For a lesser price the Hyatt Coral Gables or the Westin in Coral Gables are fair choices.