This is strictly a case of a historical hotel forgetting that in today's environment, price and value need to be connected in some manner. The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has a history dating back to the mid-1920's. It was built by the founder of Coral Gables to be a playground for the rich and pampered wintering in the Miami area. Its walls are covered with the photos of the wealthy and priviledged of the first half of the 20th century enjoying what money and priviledge buy. I found the price of the hotel to have nothing to do with value. The hotel makes sure that all convenience items and services are priced alacarte. You want a soft drink in your room. There are no choices but o get it out of the locked refrigerator in your room that is jammed with various beverages, with and without alcohol. The coke will cost you $4, plus sales tax, plus service fee, plus a "restocking" fee. Your $1.50 coke will end up on your final bill as nearly $6. God help you if you want a beer or a half-carafe of wine. You could order up room service. A breakfast of buttered croissant, choice of coffee or tea and juice is $19, plus gratuity of 18%, plus sales tax of 9%, plus service charge of $3.50. For a buttered bun, coffee and a juice, you choke up around $27.00. And that is per person.
For these prices, you would expect the service of a lifetime. We were met by the super bell hop. He insisted that he grab our luggage out of the car. I explained that our room was not ready yet and I thought it would be better if the luggage stayed with me. He assured me he would make sure it got to our room when it was ready. Well, let's just say that didn't happen. In fact, someone elses luggage was in our room. It took them a while to figure out where our luggage ended up. After an hour of angst, our luggage was found and delivered to our room. I hope the other person ended with their bags. The concierge wanted to do something to make up for the mistake. I told him that a nice glass of chardonnay delivered to the room would be nice. He effusively promised to have it there as his way of apologizing. It never arrived and when I walked through the lobby later that day, he looked through me like I had just arrived from another planet.
The room we had was small, cramped and the only thing comfortable was the bed. A very nice king sized bed that was comfortable. The other furniture in the room consisted of two straight-backed chairs that were nearly impossible to use and a small table.
The Biltmore is not the choice if you're looking for value for you money. And you will spend the money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Graced with effortless beauty and sophistication, The Biltmore Hotel is a national historic landmark located in the exclusive Coral Gables area with close proximity to Miami Beach and downtown Miami. The 273-room resort resembles classic Italian, Moorish, and Spanish architectural influences spread over 150-acres of tropical landscape. A favorite of world leaders and celebrities since its opening in 1926, the hotel offers a restored Donald Ross 18-hole, 71 par championship golf course, tennis courts, the largest hotel pool on the East Coast of the United States with private cabanas, a European spa, and an award-winning fitness center. The hotel's dining destinations include the award winning Palme d'Or, recognized by Zagat as one of the best restaurants in the country; Fontana, a traditional Italian restaurant surrounding The Biltmore courtyard and fountain; the poolside Cascade and the 19th Hole Golf restaurant. The hotel also recently unveiled its culinary academy offering an array of hands-on cooking classes for adults and children. The Biltmore is one of South Florida's preferred sites for leisure and business travel, high-level corporate briefings, public policy conferences, and an extraordinary wedding destination. The Biltmore is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables
- Biltmore Coral Gables