Biltmore Hotel History
History Of The Biltmore - 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.
A New Era: 1992 - Present
In June of 1992, a multi-national consortium led by Seaway Hotels Corporation, a Florida hotel management firm, became The Biltmore’s operators. Seaway, managed by Gene Prescott, is a hospitality organization that owns and manages quality hotels in Florida. In addition to The Biltmore Hotel, the company’s portfolio includes The Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Seaway embarked upon a $40 million, 10-year renovation program restoring The Biltmore to its world-class excellence. The company invested in complete guest-room renovations and also built a state of the art fitness center and spa. In addition, The Biltmore spent approximately $3 million to restore the historic 18-hole championship golf course in 2008. The Biltmore’s landmark swimming pool, one of the largest hotel pools in the continental United States, also underwent considerable refurbishment, led by noted landscape architect Emilio Fuster. The 85-foot high diving tower was transformed into a lush tropical waterfall, and private cabanas were built alongside the pool. The 600,000-gallon, 23,000 square-foot pool was emptied and completely resurfaced with polished marble.
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 a country clubs. Stately Mediterranean homes, Banyan trees, and tropical foliage line its quiet streets.