Coral Gables, Florida
VINTAGE VACATION: From the moment your feet hit the cobbled pavement and an ultra-attentive staff member whisks your bags upstairs, a certain tranquility descends. The property on which the Biltmore Hotel has stood for more than 80 years is as lush and tropical as an island paradise, without the lengthy commute. The Mediterranean-style resort is an iconic hotel from the 1920s, having welcomed guests including Robert Redford and Oprah Winfrey. Areca palms and coconut trees tower over the brilliant blue of the pool, and sprawling bougainvillea cascade from wooden rafters, shading swimmers from the afternoon sun. The suites are luxe, with plush pillow-top mattresses. The beds are comfortable, but don’t get too attached. You won’t be spending much time in your room. DETOX, SPA-STYLE: The seventh-floor spa is a sanctuary, with panoramic treetop views of the championship golf course and city of Coral Gables. Treatment rooms branch off from a bamboo bridge, suspended over a bubbling brook complete with river stones and waterfalls. Set aside some time and book yourself for the Ayurvedic Experience, a full-body treat. The session includes an Abhyanga body massage, Indian head massage, Ayurvedic body scrub, Gotu Kola Ayurveda firming botanical mask, body wrap, and application of Ayurvedic hydrating lotion. The relaxing ritual is designed to purify and restore, leaving you feeling invigorated. Next, head to the locker room and inhale the eucalyptus steam and sip a fruit-infused seltzer. You’ll understand why this treatment is called an “experience.” POOLSIDE PARADISE: Reserve a private cabana on the edge of the Biltmore’s oversize pool. Curl up in an overstuffed chaise lounge, wrapped in Egyptian cotton, and enjoy the wireless Internet access and private outdoor showers. You can schedule spa services in the seclusion of your suite, and butlers are available to bring you drinks from the Boules, an organic juice bar that the locals flock to for live entertainment when the sun goes down. DELECTABLE DINING: If you choose to venture out of your cabana for dinner, you have two delicious options. Palme d’Or, the Biltmore’s signature restaurant, offers a contemporary take on classic French dining. Guests have the opportunity to create their own menu of more than 20 tasting plates paired with the chef’s selection of wines. For a more casual meal, sit out by the pool and enjoy cuisine from Cascade, including chilled Costa Rican prawns with spicy curry or chargrilled churrasco steaks. Here you can also partake in organic spa cuisine such as salad niçoise or seasonal vegetable tartare with herb mousse. But, please, don’t check out until you’ve had Sunday’s signature champagne brunch. Take a seat in the lush, tropical garden courtyard, where musicians provide live entertainment, then peruse table after table of lavish cuisine, from caviar and crepes to a raw bar and a tapas station. (The blue crab and avocado martini is scrumptious.) Finish with a dip in the chocolate fountain—a sweet ending to a treat of a trip.
|The Biltmore opened in 1926.|
photography courtesy of Biltmore Hotel
CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA
How To Get There
American Airlines (www.aa.com) flies daily nonstop to the Miami International Airport. The resort can arrange airport transfer.
Where To Stay
Biltmore Coral Gables
1200 Anastasia Ave.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Rates: $405 for superior rooms; $475 for junior suites