Time Capsule

The Beauty and the Biltmore
“All right, Mr. DeMille,
I’m ready for my close-up;’
The Biltmore Hotel Gets Beautified
By Alona Abbady Martinez

Spread over 150 acres of tropical landscape in the exclusive neighborhood of Coral Gables, The Biltmore Hotel has been capturing the hearts of the affluent and famous since it opened in 1926. Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Clinton, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor have graced the iconic property along with stars like Sylvester Stallone, Ricky Martin, and Christina Aguilera. Even notorious figures like Al Capone could not stay away from the prestige and splendor of Miami’s landmark hotel. His favored Everglades Suite, is on the 13th floor, and yes, unlike many build­ings that superstitiously omit this number-The Biltmore embraces it. The suite occupies two entire floors of the hotel’s tower. And although there isn’t much evidence to prove this, legend has it that Capone ran a speakeasy from this suite during Prohibition. This of course only adds an air of mysticism to the already architec­turally captivating property.

Designated a National Historic Landmark, and ennobled for its Italian, Spanish and Moorish influences prevalent in the archi­tecture that gives it its unique flail; the hotel boasts the largest pool on the East Coast, a European spa, as well as the famed French restaurant, Palme d’Or, considered one of South Florida’s finest dining destinations. The golf course, designed by legendary architect Donald Ross, has been the annual host site of the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship, which has helped launch the professional careers of greats like Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, and Ricky Fowler: Now, this glorious gem steeped in Miami history is about to get a little bit sparklier as it finishes up the final rounds of an extensive $25 million dollar renovation, which began in 20 I 7. For starters, the main lobby, once defined by insipid neutral tones, has been replaced with lush pops of vibrant emerald and blue hues, as a nod to George Merrick (the visionary developer of both the hotel and Coral Gables) and his love of the city’s green canopy trees and bright blue skies. Expect a facelift for all 275 rooms as well. Under the design expertise of D’Shakil Designs and Studio 5 Design + Architecture, the rooms pair the regal elegance found in the lobby using tones of plum, silver sage and gold. Extra touches include roman­tic gemstone chandeliers, plush carpets, and couture fabrics as well as framed art created from the original architectural blueprints of the hotel. Changes don’t stop there. The golf course will be extended to over 7,100 yards and maintain signature holes, making it worthy of PGA Championship-level play. The spa unveiled a Beauty Bar in partnership with BABOR and the fitness center working with TechnoGym, will roll out brand new equip­ment.

Duke and Duchess of Windsor with General Manager George MacDonald in 1940

Babe Ruth and his wife in 1930

The Everglades suite


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