Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Miami Biltmore Hotel - A Coral Gables Home to Celebrities Past and Present

Biltmore Hotel
Built in 1926 by John McEntee Bowman and George Merrick, the Miami Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida, was the tallest building in Miami of its time. Centered in the heart of Coral Gables, an affluent and stylish city which is also home to over 100 hundred international companies and corporations, the Biltmore Hotel, not to be confused with the Biltmore Los Angeles Hotel or the Biltmore Phoenix Hotel, is a grandiose luxury hotel which caters to golf enthusiasts and those looking for the rest and relaxation only a world class spa can deliver.  Ever thought about working in Miami?  Search for Miami jobs @ job.com!

“The Great Hotel,” as the Miami Biltmore Hotel was referred to by its builders, was built to accommodate the many guests that were discovering Coral Gables, Florida during the early 1900s. Mr. Bowman and Mr. Merrick visualized the hotel as the center of Florida sports and fashion.

At a cost of 10 million dollars, the Miami luxury hotel brought guests from cities throughout the Northeast United States on trains appropriately named, “Miami Biltmore Specials.” On its inaugural night, the hotel instantly became the best Miami hotel for its sheer beauty and ornate elegance. Hotel guests partied until the wee hours of the night dancing to jazz music while drinking champagne in celebration of the momentous night.
The Miami Biltmore Hotel instantly garnered international attention by counting Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, and even Al Capone as its frequent guests. Celebrities such as these and many others called the hotel their Coral Gables home. Franklin D. Roosevelt used the hotel as a Miami White House of sorts when vacationing in South Florida.

There are urban legends that state the hotel is haunted. Not included in any prominent Al Capone biography is the fact that Al Capone considered the hotel as his Coral Gables home of sorts. His luxury hotel suite, now known as the Capone Suite, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Fats Walsh who was knocked off in the same room. Hotel tours are available.

The hotel fell on tough economic times at the beginning of World War II, eventually being converted to a hospital by the War Department. The “Great Hotel,” remained a medical facility in one form or another until its full 55 million-dollar restoration in 1987. Over 600 guests celebrated the hotel’s return to glory at a black-tie affair at its grand reopening.

Today, after benefiting from millions of dollars more in renovations, the Miami Biltmore Hotel is considered a top destination of world travelers and one of the best hotels in Coral Gables. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996, the hotel is a beacon of what Miami once was, what it is, and of the future it promises.


  1. I'm from Brazil and I've been in Coral Gables and visited the Biltmore Hotel. Fantastic, amazing, a Masterpiece of architecture.

  2. Miami is a beautiful place Far and away the most exciting city in Florida, Miami is an often intoxicatingly beautiful place, with palm trees swaying in the breeze and South Beach's famous Art Deco buildings stunning in the warm sunlight.

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