6 Reasons This Miami Hideaway Is The Hotspot To Visit This Summer
Discover the other side of Miami...
When you picture Miami, it's a near Pavlovian response to imagine Will Smith partying until the break of dawn and singing "welcome to..."
Yeah, you get the point.
And while all of that is a huge part of the location (and tons of fun), there’s a whole other side to the city that proves Miami can be the dreamy and hella historical getaway you never knew it could be.
We came to this realisation when we hopped on a plane to the Miami-Dade city of Coral Gables, legit nicknamed "the city beautiful," to stay at the fancy AF Biltmore Hotel. If you’re into luxury travel, stunning architecture and not opposed to gangster ghost stories, then listen up.
So without further ado, let's check out six reasons this Miami hideaway is the hotspot to visit this summer…
Coral Gables is a true hidden gem
We’ll hold our hands up and say our knowledge of the Floridian city extended little beyond the world famous Miami Beach area - but we quickly realised that Coral Gables is a proper hidden gem.
Home to the University Of Miami, the city oozes beauty from the mesmerising banyan trees that line the residential roads to the Mediterranean Revival architectural style found throughout the neighbourhood.
We embarked on a tour with The Museum of Coral Gables to learn about the city’s rich history, discovering that its founder, George Merrick, meticulously developed the neighbourhood according to his vision in the 1920s. So we guess it’s thanks to him that the unique area acquired the nickname, “the city beautiful.” Nice one George.
You can experience endless luxury at The Biltmore
Dubbed the centrepiece of George Merrick’s vision of Coral Gables, The Biltmore hotel is nothing short of breathtaking inside and out. The hotel's aesthetic resembles the Mediterranean style of the city with added Italian, Moorish and Spanish architectural influences. In other words, it’s hella Instagrammable.
Stunning scenery aside, our stay at the hotel was the epitome of luxury as we took advantage of the five culinary experiences, including the award winning Palme d’Or, recognised by Zagat as one of the best restaurants in the entire country, no biggie. Plus you can hit the 18-hole golf course, (which has seen the likes of Tiger Woods), head to the spa and take advantage of the more-than fully-equipped gym.
There’s a whole lotta history (watch out for Al Capone's ghost)
The Biltmore (established 1926) is the only hotel in Miami to receive the distinction of ‘National Historic Landmark’, but this is unsurprising given its fascinating history.
It’s no coincidence that the hotel’s grandest suite (The Al Capone Suite) shares it’s name with one of America’s most notorious gangsters, since Capone, AKA Scarface, ran a Speakeasy in the precise room on the 13th floor. 1920’s gangster Thomas “Fatty” Walsh was shot dead there in a gambling dispute. Rumour has it his ghosts haunts both the elevator and the 13th floor, but you didn’t hear that from us…
Walk in Presidents' shoes
Barack Obama stayed there during his presidency, in the Al Capone suite no less. In fact, the hotel is a bit of a fave amongst world leaders and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was at the hotel when he found out he was elected as the 32nd president of the United States.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson filmed there for his series, “Ballers,” AND Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian have all stayed there.
If it’s good enough for The Rock and reality TV royalty, count us in.
Enjoy the brunch to end all brunches
Imagine a place where 11am cocktails are totally encouraged while you enjoy unlimited access to all your fave foods, prepared to perfection. Yep, heaven on earth exists in the form of the Sunday Champagne Brunch hosted at Fontana.
It’s easy to see why it’s been voted the best brunch in South Florida, with the lavish affair offering delicacies from caviar to carved meats to pasta prepared to your precise liking - and if that doesn’t tickle your foodie fancy then the entire wall of desserts will definitely win you over.
Just make sure you’re ready for the inevitable food coma, but don’t worry, it’s so worth it.
Talk about beauti-pool
Coral Gables might be 11 miles from Miami Beach, but that isn’t so bad when you’ve got access to what can only be described as a mini ocean. The Biltmore casually boasts the largest pool on the East Coast of America, and when you throw in a Miami Vice cocktail to enjoy poolside you’re in for absolute bliss.
Another must-see, or rather must swim, is Coral Gables’ stunning Venetian pool. The tourist attraction, which was created in 1923 from coral rock quarry, features multiple waterfalls and is another example of the mesmerising architecture that inhabits the “city beautiful”.
MTV Travelled With... The Biltmore Hotel (a member of the Leading Hotels Of The World). Prices start from $223.20 per night for a superior room and $343.20 per night for a king bed suite. Located 5 miles from Miami International airport, 9 miles from port of Miami, 11 miles from Miami Beach and walking distance to shopping and dining in Coral Gables’ acclaimed Miracle Mile.