The Biltmore Hotel: the perfect place where to stay in Miami
Where to stay in Miami even if spending a lot but for a quality hotel? Can avoid South Beach and choose another area? For me it’s a yes and the Biltmore Hotel could be the solution. The Biltmore is a piece of history of Miami and it is one of the most amazing places you can think of if you are in Miami. Located in Coral Gables, one of the less touristic areas of the city, it is a luxury hotel that despite an apparent sumptuousness is actually very simple and informal. Or at least the feeling that you have, lodging, is that of simplicity.
Biltmore Miami: History of a place and its people
The Biltmore is a place of national historic interest because it was built in 1926 as part of the redevelopment plan of the Coral Gables area, once used as agricultural land, and for some time was the tallest building in Miami, viewable from all over the city. After being passed from hand to hand as a result of the failure of the builder George E. Merrick (who ended up working in a post office!) during the Second World War was used as a military hospital and then as a campus of the medical school of the University of Miami returning to be again a hotel in 1987. Today it is a luxury hotel with a good number of restaurants inside, an award-winning golf course, a swimming pool that was once the longest and largest in the United States and it is now the largest swimming pool in a US East Coast hotel and finally a Spa which is part of the Leading Spas of the World circuit. Not only can you stay at the Biltmore but you can also just stop to visit and maybe eat something.
The rooms at The Biltmore Hotel
The peculiarity of the Biltmore Hotel is an architecture that recalls, not so loosely, the typical architecture of Spain and Italy with lots of references to Turkey as well. A series of cloisters overlooking the pool, the restaurant and the golf course and the golf course surrounded on the structure and incorporates. In total there are 273 rooms, including 133 suites, many of which look out over the pool and the golf course offering breathtaking views; Obviously the presidential suite, those still confidential by US presidents and high diplomatic missions when they are in Miami, are located inside the Biltmore tower with views of Biscayne Bay.
Eating at the Biltmore Hotel
The experience of eating at the Biltmore is one of those that both if you’re staying at the hotel or if you are just passing by in Coral Gables, you cannot miss. If you are looking for French cuisine then the Palme d’Or is the perfect restaurant for you, with its thin and retro air while for an Italian experience (or vaguely Italian) Fontana is a must also because of its wine list and a brunch that is truly unforgettable offering Champagne and dishes ranging from classic up to the sushi.
Cascade, overlooking the pool, has been my favorite because of the location (literally beautiful) and also because of the menu, slightly less formal than the others and attentive to the seasonality of the ingredients and their origin.
Even more casual and sporty the 19th Hole Bar & Grill and if you’re looking just for a drink you can visit the Biltmore Bar or the Cellar Club Bar which also works as a tea room. If brunch is especially popular at the Biltmore, same thing happens for the afternoon tea that is served every day, from 2pm to 3.30pm in the hall with the blue vaulted ceiling like the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
Relaxing at the Biltmore
Probably you will have little spare time to relax but if you can carve out the time you cannot miss a few hours in the pool (2,000 square meters!), a visit to the Spa for a treatment (not cheap but considering the type of hotel it’s acceptable), a ride at the free fitness center and a walk on the golf course, playing or just watching. If, like me, you love to cook and learn then I suggest a lesson at the Biltmore Culinary Academy choosing from the many available workshops.
How much does the Biltmore cost?
Sore answer: the Biltmore Hotel is expensive and prices start from about $300 a night (breakfast is usually not included, like in most of the American places) and for this reason it requires a better planning. If you don’t want to stay at The Biltmore, visiting the entire building alone is worth a walk even to discover a neighborhood, Coral Gables, where you can breathe richness and feel the distance from what is the Miami that everyone knows.
Why should I choose the Biltmore for my staying in Miami?
- It’s an historical structure and this is absolutely charming;
- It’s located in a neighborhood with no mass tourism;
- It’s close to all the attractions and things to do (including The Salty Donuts, if you love fried donuts like me!);
- If you do not want to go out one day or one evening, you can stay in the hotel given the impressive number of activities offered, including food;
- In some time of the year, or by booking in advance, you can find super discounts that allow luxury experience even on a budget (not low cost!).
Why should I not choose the Biltmore for my staying in Miami?
- The price, the undisputed element to be evaluated;
- The location, away from South Beach and for some people too far away from the most touristic Miami;
- It is not a modern hotel but a retro one and therefore lacks the technological component.
Ultimately, for me the Biltmore Hotel is definitely a winner, to be chosen carefully and well in advance for a staying in Miami without being forced to sleep in South Beach or just settle for something, let’s say, miserable; if the Biltmore is not the solution for you, then I suggest another hotel, completely different and very close to South Beach, the Sense Beach House. A stylish hotel with a few rooms, very contemporary and trendy: maybe, if you’re looking for the famous Miami nightlife without wanting to lapse into trash, this could really be your hotel of the heart in Miami.
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[Pics by Giuseppe. The trip to Miami has been sponsored by VisitMiami on whose website you can find all the information you need to plan your trip and choose among the wide array of activities to suit your preferences. Thanks to the amazing The Biltmore Hotel of which we’ve been guests of. All the information and experiences during the trip are not influenced in any way by the partnership with the Board]