Graced with effortless beauty and sophistication, The Biltmore Hotel is a National Historic Landmark located in the exclusive Coral Gables area,
Picture a dreamlike setting complete with exquisite, hand-painted frescos on barrel-vaulted ceilings, brilliant travertine floors, fine marble columns, intricate leaded glass fixtures, carved mahogany furnishings, and lavish gardens. Then picture this all in the shadow of a spiraling Moorish Giralda tower. Is it a Spanish castle or a grand Venetian palazzo?
Although The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida does resemble the finest in classic Mediterranean architecture, it is neither an Italian palazzo nor Iberian castle. Instead, it is the centerpiece of George Merrick’s vision of Coral Gables as an elegant, stately suburb, which he called “The City Beautiful.” Combining his deep affection for the lush South Florida landscape with high regard for Italian, Moorish, and Spanish architectural influences, Merrick realized his dream in the construction of his masterpiece. This is The Biltmore Hotel.
At the 1926 gala opening of the Miami Biltmore Country Club, Dr. Frank Crane predicted, “Many people will come and go, but this structure will remain a thing of lasting beauty.” Dr. Crane’s prediction came true on June 19, 1996, when the National Register of Historic Places designated The Biltmore a National Historic Landmark, an elite title offered to only 3 percent of all historic structures.
In keeping with traditional European grand hotels, Old World charm permeates the property. Consistent with the architectural style of the affluent homes of Coral Gables, The Biltmore’s design is considered “Mediterranean Revival,” based predominantly on Spanish style with Moorish and Italian accents. The Biltmore’s centerpiece is its 93 foot copper clad tower, modeled after the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain. Guests arrive at The Biltmore via an arched driveway that leads to an impressive façade. Throughout the property, guests will encounter grand architectural ornaments, from the colonnaded lobby with hand-painted ceiling beams, to the open-air courtyard and fountain, plus balconies with balustrades and gleaming terrazzo and tile floors.
Today, the 273 room hotel and resort is known as The Biltmore and is indeed as elegant as the day it opened. The Biltmore’s rich history makes it Coral Gables’ most preeminent historic landmark. Coral Gables is a largely residential, affluent area graced with broad, planted boulevards, golf courses, and country clubs. Stately Mediterranean homes, Banyan trees, and tropical foliage line its quiet streets.