As focal point of George Merrick’s urban vision comes out Hotel Biltmore in Coral Gables, a structure with a Mediterranean style that enthralls tourists and locals visiting Miami.
1924 was the year in which George Merrick set to building Hotel Biltmore in partnership with John McEntee Bowman. The idea of the real estate developer interlocked perfectly in the back then recently founded Coral Gables, an area offering all the Mediterranean allure just 20 minutes away from Miami.
The hotel was built not only as a lodging place but also as a center of sports and fashion. During its heyday, the hotel’s facilities were in the spotlight of many parades, big banquets, prestigious international golf tournaments and flamboyant spectacles of synchronized swimming and divers who performed their dives in the 23,000-square-foot pool considered at one time to be the largest in the United States and the world.
Interesting and surprising facts
The glamor of the Old World reflected in Biltmore’s design did not go unnoticed by the eyes of many a personality; from Spanish royalty, Hollywood’s big movie stars, former American presidents to even mafia gangsters, all have been accommodated in one of Biltmore’s numerous spectacular suites and quaint rooms.
After the onset of the World War II, well into the ‘40s, the hotel was turned into the “Army Air Forces Regional Hospital” by the U.S Department of War. Gone were the fantastic rooms, the glistening marble floors; all the majesty of Biltmore was covered with layers of government-issue linoleum while most windows were sealed with concrete.
Once the war was over, the building continued being a hospital for war veterans until the late ‘60s when it was abandoned and left in tatters due to its poor condition.
A design that will leave you spellbound
With its Spanish-style, The Hotel Biltmore boasts a main tower modeled after the Giralda tower in Seville, Spain. This 93 foot copper clad tower welcomes visitors and guests alike who are then spellbound by its architecture, one that combines Italian, Moorish and Spanish features.
Upon entering the hotel you will feel as if you had just traveled in time; Biltmore’s hand-painted frescos on barrel vaulted ceilings, brilliant travertine floors, majestic columns, carved mahogany furnishings and lead inlaid glass fixtures are just a few of the many characteristics that have turned Biltmore into one of the finest and impressive hotels to have ever existed.
To have fun is a matter of perspective
After years of abandonment and a multi-million investment on the part of the City of Coral Gables, the old hotel reopened in style in 1987. Biltmore’s comeback as a four-star hotel and resort reasserts the former grandeur of its facilities and services.
In June of 1992, thanks to the multi-national consortium Seaway Hotels Corporation, the Biltmore finally made its official debut into a new era after a previous setback in the midst of the country’s economic downturn of 1990 which forced the hotel to close once again. Seaway embarked upon a renovation program; as a result, new areas were created for the enjoyment of guests: poolside private cabanas, the iconic pool of the hotel was refurbished and resurfaced with polished marble; and the 85-foot high diving tower of the pool was transformed into an impressive tropical waterfall.
As of today, the Biltmore has undergone more transformations throughout to modernize its facilities and services; from the creation of a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, up to its new, secured reservation system, all of these new add-on features allow for an unforgettable experience without losing sight of the magnificence that has characterized the Biltmore Hotel for 90 years.
1200 Anastasia Avenue Coral Gables, FL 33134