I rarely give a hotel five stars. There always seems to be something that drags it down. In this case, however, I simply must give the highest possible rating. From check-in to check-out, everything was absolutely perfect.
My partner and I were at The Biltmore for a few days while attending a wedding event. We arrived very early, around 10:30 AM. I went to the front desk, asking if there was any possible way we could check in early (I realized that check in is technically at 3 PM but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask). The front desk agent, Katie, was very polite but informed us that the hotel had been "fully committed" overnight, and that no rooms were currently ready. She then offered to take my cell phone number and call me when a room was ready. I didn't expect much, but said "sure". Imagine my surprise when my phone rang at 12:15. It was the front desk informing me that the room was ready. Now THAT is service! We had reserved a "deluxe" room (room 312). It was lovely with a separate sitting area including a sofa, two-sided armoire, king sized bed, large bathroom and an outside balcony, facing the front of the hotel. I was pleased to be facing that way because the rooms around the pool and banquet areas can get very noisy with weddings and other events. Unfortunately there was a very noisy family directly across the hall., They had two rooms, 309 & 311, and left the door wide open in 309 all day long, shouting (mostly the adults, not the children!) in Spanish, and the door to 311 slamming constantly all day long. After hours of this I finally called the front desk. Apparently security went up there because the noise subsided shortly thereafter. Although the hotel is wonderful, I guess there are tacky people everywhere. If I had one complaint about the structure, it would be to install guest room doors that closed more quietly and slowly. The current doors have the ability to "slam", and they did slam quite a bit.
At 2 PM we went to the lobby for afternoon tea. This is a must! Reservations are recommended, and there are two seatings, 2 PM and 3:30 PM. It was a traditional English Tea, with many choices of teas and a huge 3-tiered platter of finger sandwiches, tea cakes and scones. We kind of wished there had been more "non-sweet" offerings, but otherwise it really was nice. There was a harpist playing classical music and a very sweet Hispanic lady was the waitress. We had to wait a long time for her to bring us our check when we were finished; that was the only problem.
The only real complaint would be the entrees at the wedding dinner. There was only one choice for the entire party: A chicken breast on mashed potatoes with a few asparagus spears. In principal, this sounds fine but apparently the chicken was plated far too early, or overcooked, because it was dry and rubbery. Salad was fine, service was polite and unobtrusive.
I hung out the room service "doorknob menu" last night with great trepidation. In other hotels, the doorknob option is hit or miss, with the food usually arriving far later than the time selected. I checked "between 7 and 7:30". To my delight, there was a knock on the door at 7:05. It was room service. The server, Kimberly R. was very polite and quiet. She noticed that someone was still asleep and spoke to me in a whisper. The continental breakfast was fine; nothing spectacular, but fine. Coffee, juice, 4 assorted pastries.
All in all, this is a great place if you want to splurge and relax. I would recommend spending a bit more and reserving one of the poolside cabanas. The pool gets very busy and the cabanas offer some privacy and shade. We did not go to the pool because of our other obligations but agreed that if we came back, we would definitely get a cabana. There were really a LOT of people out there, but surprisingly, not many were actually IN the huge pool.
Upon checkout, the doormen thanked us for visiting. We did not need a taxi or any help at all since we only had two small overnight bags. By the way, whenever I went to my car (in self parking) to get something, a doorman/valet attendant would always say, "welcome back". Very nice touch.
Given the opportunity and the reason, I would come back to The Biltmore in a heartbeat. Service truly DOES make the difference, and they nailed it this time. Bravo!
- 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