Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Civilized families gather far from the drunken hordes.
While you might observe a few scotch-swigging businessmen in the Cellar Club, the Biltmore typically draws quiet professionals and middle- to upper-middle-class families in town for business or pleasure. There's no raucous spring break crowd here.
Top of the line -- just remember to keep your room key with you.
The bellman took my bags the second my taxi pulled up to the entrance and promptly disappeared -- no tip necessary. Unlike any other hotel in Miami, all gratuities are included in your $28 resort fee so there's no need to grease palms in order to get the level of service a hotel of this caliber demands.
Do remember to carry your room key, though. Your name will be printed on it, so it doubles as an ID card. This helps separate guests from locals who stop by to dine at the Biltmore's award-wining restaurants.
Suburbia, Miami style, with a blend of multimillion-dollar homes and frat-party blowouts side by side.
Surrounded by luxurious homes and its famed golf course, the Biltmore doesn't have anything in terms of entertainment or restaurants within walking distance.
The Biltmore is located in Coral Gables, a Miami suburb that balances multimillion-dollar homes, high-end shopping, excellent dining and the University of Miami. This means plenty of beer pong tournaments that get out of hand and move out onto impeccably kept streets.
But a 20-minute walk -- or a short cab ride -- will get you to the Miracle Mile, which has plenty of shops and restaurants.
Hardly cutting-edge, but the design is classic with great attention paid to details.
I marveled at the lobby, with its soaring, vaulted ceilings and carved pillars. My superior room, in comparison, wasn't as awe-inspiring, but it was comfortable and serene. Though painted a simple cream, little decorative flourishes like a veil whimsically festooned around the bed make the room feel special (or at least worthy of haughty language like "whimsically festooned.") The bathroom is simple but beautifully detailed as well, with carved moldings, marble countertops and a brass tissue box.
Technologically speaking, the rooms have been updated to include flat screen televisions and iPod docks, what you would expect from a hotel of this caliber.
Everything but the beach, from a legendary golf course to a gym that even attracts the locals.
As if to excuse its landlocked location, the Biltmore is overflowing with high-grade facilities.
Great sports classes for kids, plus water shows and free cribs.
There's no kids' club, but the Biltmore has a lot of activities to offer children. Apart from tennis lessons, children can also learn how to play golf on the freshly restored Donald Ross 18-hole par 71 course. But the Bitlmore's most unique feature is its culinary class where kids receive training in cooking from the hotel's award-winning chefs. Younger children can enjoy water shows with synchronized swimmers doing vintage routines at the hotel's historic pool. The Biltmore also has free cribs for infants.
No complaints -- well, maybe one small complaint.
Considering the amount of dirt and water tracked in from the golf course and swimming pool, I was surprised not to see a grain of dirt anywhere. My only complaint was that there were some rust stains on our sheet.
With more than 100 different wines by the glass and a famous afternoon tea, the options are enticing but not cheap.
Miami's most elegant and historic hotel is also its most prestigious black-tie wedding destination; its prices reflect this.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to weddings at the Biltmore, and each event can be uniquely styled by the dedicated in-house company, Biltmore Event Design. In general, the hotel organizes its weddings into five-hour loosely defined packages, which you are open to build upon and elaborate on -- the only real restriction depends on how much you're willing to spend (a six-figure wedding is common). Even the most basic wedding can cost an exorbitant amount and the average dinner starts at a not-too-modest sum per plate.
Built in 1926, the iconic Biltmore (a national landmark) brings timeless luxury to a hotel scene overwhelmed by skin-deep glitz. Though far from any beaches, it offers doting (tip-free) service, a miraculous pool, a prestigious golf course and a catalog of amenities. Unfortunately, its residential neighborhood can get boring.