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“Terrible mold odor”

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The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Coral Gables
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Portland, Oregon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Terrible mold odor”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

My sister and I had a girls weekend at the Biltmore in October 2011 to celebrate our birthdays. We have very mixed feelings about our stay, as some aspects of the stay were stellar, and others left us wishing we has stayed at a reliable chain hotle, instead of a presumabley high end historic hotel.

At check-in, we were greeted with grace and extra treats: a bottle of wine brought to our room and breakfast vouchers for our stay. The bellboy was conscientious and showed us how to work everything in the room and had our bags delivered.

The room, a junior suite, was pleasantly decorated, but rather cold, even when we turned up the heat. Walking down the hallway to our room was always interesting because you hit a certain point and there was a sudden temperature drop. The bathroom was beautiful and spacious. The bedroom had two beds, with lovely linens and duvets; white and fluffy. The television had crazy reception and poor interactivity with the controller. We gave up on watching television as it was an effort in futility. It is suppossed to be set up to interact with the room billing, but it was not functional. TV spontaniously came on and off by itself a few times; there may have been a timer setting on it, but we never figured it out.

Our junior suite, while pretty and comfortable, positively reeked of mildew. It was an awful, pervasive smell. We notified staff, but did not come away with any resolution, or any sense that the staff were caring or concerned. We simply received a very false sounding, "I am so sorry." No offer to move us, or try to seek out the cause. The smell invaded our luggage and our clothing, which was very unfortunate for us, because we left on a cruise right after our stay at the Biltmore and the smell went with us.

The housekeeping staff did a beautiful job of caring for the room in a non-invasive way. We never saw them or heard them, but our room did get cleaned.

We pre-booked spa treatments, which were enjoyable, but the up-selling after the treatments completely undermined the relaxation we were going for. Attempts to lead clients in their bathrobes around the store, pushing items at them, is not a great way to keep the happy mojo flowing. While having treatments, we found the staff were clearly experts at allowing the clients to set the tone: friendly and chatty or quietly relaxing. The pricing was about what I would expect to pay at a higher end spa.

The restaurants were absolutely exquisite. The service was always impeccable and the food was perfect every time. The staff were always attentive, whether picking up a fallen napkin, helping us with a wine selection, or identifying when we were ready for the next course. Our restaurant expereinces were the highlight of our stay. Well done.

I agree with what other posts have remarked: weddings seem to take precedence over hotel guests. Restaurant service, valet parking, desk service...were all slow or non-existent when wedding parties were present. At times, we were even asked to leave areas or asked to wait so that wedding parties could have free access.

We used the gym areas and also attended a yoga class. The gym personel were not very professional, using electronic devices and having personal conversations while guests waited for service. You must sign a waiver form to use the gym, which we did on the first day. the next day, we walked into the gym and a staff member literally ran after us and told us to leave because we did not stop at the desk and sign the waiver. Wow. Very poor service when staff try to make guests feel that they were somehow wrong in that situation.

Like so much of our expereince at the Biltmore, the yoga class was a combination of good and poor take-away sentiment: the class was in a very small room, with way too many people in it and not enough equipment for all the attendees. The instructor was great - mild-mannered, patient, explained everything for those who are new to yoga. She was also rather late. There must have been a kitchen right next to the yoga room, because there was a lot of pots and pans kinds of banging going on and the occassional tirade of swearing. At one point it sounded like someone needed some serious medical treatment or maybe just a mouth washing with soap.

We spent some time walking the grounds, and again I have to agree with other reviewers: the upkeep of this hotel is faltering. There is definite decay in general maintenance; walkways and stairs are crumbling, paint flaking away, worn-looking edifices... It is a beautiful building with interesting history, I hope the owners can find the means to refurbish what they have before it becomes unamanageable.

I would not recommend this hotel to others, simply because at times, I felt hotel guests were not treated in the manner that this calibre of hotel should be treating its customers. Additinally, the mold and mildew are not just offensive, but a health hazard to those with allergies and asthma.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that does not reek of mold.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lavendou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCoralGables, General Manager at The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables, responded to this review, 11 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay at Biltmore. I am sorry the experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincere apologies. With regard to the staff comments you expressed, we have dealt with the particular personnel involved and are confident these issues have been effectively resolved. We also inspected your accommodations and those surrounding rooms. There was no evidence of mold or mildew present. However, given South Florida's occasional humidity in summer and early fall, we will monitor HVAC in this specific area of the hotel more closely This incident is certainly not reflective of our normal standards or service culture. As well, we'd welcome the opportunity to personally address these issues with you directly.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

We stayed here last year in November for just one night. I had great expectations as the reviews from other travellers were faultless. The building is very impressive and quite sprawled out. The decorations is definitely old world charm but very well maintained. The rooms were well appointed and comfortable, linens were soft as well as the pillows. Bathroom was spacious enough. Breakfast was not included on the price, and we felt it was too expensive so we skipped altogether as it was not value for money. Everything is as it should be for a 5 star luxury hotel but.... if I compare to other 5 star hotels I have stayed in over many trips it is just lacking that something. If we were to pay for 5 star quality, I think I rather go to Miami Beach and stay at The Delano Hotel for the same price or the Four Season in Downtown Miami.

The evening we spent there, we went to the bar where there was a fashion show from the local boutiques in Coral Gables, seemingly this happens quite often and it was fun to have models going around the tables showing various outfits. Drinks were quite expensive but the sliders were divine. Was a nice experience? yes. Lovely setting, and Coral Gables is pleasant enough but it doesn't have the vibe or atmosphere of Coconut Grove. It is pricey for a 5 star hotel but you do not get anything extra or make feel like a 5 star traveller....and that is just it, if you go to these hotels you want to be made feel special.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Abril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCoralGables, General Manager at The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables, responded to this review, 17 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay. At Biltmore, one of The Leading Hotels of the World, we continuously strive to meet your needs and expectations; therefore your feedback is very important to us. Biltmore is also a designated National Historic Landmark property, known for its rustic Mediterranean charm, which is usually embraced by our guests. I sincerely regret that your experience did not meet expectations. We would welcome an opportunity to address these issues with you directly.
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Miami, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

I just spent aweek staying at the Biltmore, with my husband, daughter and her husband, and my 2grandchildren age 11. This a wonderful hotel, lots of ambiance and the rooms are large. The swimming pool is fabulous and great for the kids . Also enjoyed the golf course, staff always very friendly. We have stayed there many times over the years, definitely a favourite.

Room Tip: Connecting suites are wonderful for families.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Arlene M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCoralGables, General Manager at The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables, responded to this review, 10 April 2012
It is always a pleasure to hear from our loyal repeat guests and know that their warm Biltmore experience keeps them returning year after year. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon!
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Virginia
Level Contributor
74 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

This is a classic Florida resort from a bygone era. It's an aging dowager and has high and low points. The property is architecturally significant and is a pleasure to see. The present management of The Biltmore fails to live up to the rich heritage of this property and does it a significant disservice. He are the particulars....

Condition of the Property. If one sits poolside (if you are lucky enough to snag one of the very few seats) you may gaze upon the rear facade of the hotel. Look at the cornice where the exterior walls meet the roofline. Entire sections of facia are missing - at least 6 with dimensions of approximately 8" x 8' leaving a wholly unimaginable gap-toothed appearance - a vivid indicia of owner's obvious tollerance for neglect. I would receive a building code violation for this where I live. Wonderfully ornate friezes anoint a good portion of the building's cornices - they are cracked and patched at random and are not being maintained or replaced. Another indication of the owner's failure to appreciate and care for this grand old place. Finally, a balustrade runs the legnth of an open second floor piazza adjacent to the pool area. That balustrade is cracked and shot through with what appears to be mold. A real shame. Paint peels just about everywhere and anywhere outside. The lack of stewardship is palpable.

A Trip to the Mini Bar. Our room had a mini-bar and I was in the mood for a cold one just after checking in. I expect to pay a premium for a beer under such circumstances and and am grateful that my wife saw the mini-bar charge sheet - cleverly tucked away behind a basket on the dresser - before I could locate the key. Check out this math: A Heinekin is $8. No big deal. The Biltmore charges a "re-stocking fee" equal to 20% - so another $1.60. OK - that's a bit much - but I want that beer. Sales tax is 9% - so another $0.72 - no biggie. Finally, our host, The Biltmore - in fine print - discloses that it charges a $40 "charge fee if guest wish to remove items from the mini bar" (sic). Nice syntax. Classy. That one beer totes up to $50.32. I'll just leave it at that.

Rest Up Before You Go - because you may not get much sleep. The Biltmore apparently has developed a robust wedding reception business and utilzes its Fontana Restaurant to stage many receptions. It's lovely. Check it out. http://www.biltmorehotel.com/dining/fontana.php
The Fontana opens onto a beautifu open air courtyard which is surrounded by many many floors of guest rooms. The Biltmore allows those celebrating their marriages at the Fontana to party with utter abandon and to blare music through the Fontana's wide open courtyard doors at an incredibly loud volume without any restraint whatsoever. Calls to the front desk recieve a rote sounding "we're very sorry but there is nothing we can (or will) do about it. The music will end at midnight." I laid in bed quite literally vibrating from the pulsating bass. It was unbelieveably loud and unrelenting. It did end at midnight - but reoccurred the following evening as well. (Congratulation you crazy newlyweds!!!!)

From this, I conclude that if one has enough money to cater a reception at the Fontana, The Biltmore is perfectly willing to subject its paying and very sleepy hotel guests to an incredibly obnoxious experience. Why would they do this? Could anyone possibly be this inconsiderate? I've never experienced anything remotely approximating this and I have traveled extensively. Read the other reivews with lower rankings and know that this was not an isolated occurrence. I will note in all fairness that an obsequious manager did in fact credit my bill for the first night's hotel charges. But understand, that in no way compensated me for a sleepless night and the outright rancor I felt with each pulse of that unyielding celebratory bass beat. Rock on Biltmore!

My suggestion is that if you're interested in staying here, call and insist upon a written confirmation that that no receptions will be held or that you insist on a room on a wall furtherest away from the decible ridden courtyard.

The Biltmore is historically rich and architecturally significant. Go see it before it crumbles due to neglect. Have dinner at one of its highly regarded restaurants. Just think carefully before staying the night.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Griller333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCoralGables, General Manager at The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables, responded to this review, 9 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay. The Biltmore is a designated National Historic Landmark property, known for its rustic Mediterranean charm, which is usually embraced by our guests. We regret that the property profile did not meet your expectations. The building has been well maintained and will be undergoing the final phase of structural repairs later this year. With reference to the ballroom noise, we did experience unusual activity that evening, but were able to address appropriate concessions with all guests who were affected. As well, the $40 fee for removal of mini-bar items is meant to be for those guests who want ALL items removed so use can be that of an empty refrigerator. We would welcome an opportunity to address these issues with you directly.
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france
Level Contributor
234 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

Upon arrival we had an upgrade to a junior suite with a wonderful view.
Stayed 2 days and enjoyed every minute.
Everything was beautiful in and around this hotel.
Service top! Extremely good breakfast!
Poolchairs reserved by locals already early in the morning. That is the only negative thing about this hotel.There should be a limit to non guests using the pool.

Room Tip: Try to book a room on a higher floor with view over the golfcourse!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FranceMartine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCoralGables, General Manager at The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables, responded to this review, 6 April 2012
We are very appreciative of your comments and delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. Please know that we do not allow anyone but hotel guests at the pool on the weekends and that we are addressing further security with reference to that issue.
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Additional Information about The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables

Property: The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables
Address: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Region: United States > Florida > Coral Gables
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Coral Gables
#1 Business Hotel in Coral Gables
#2 Green Hotel in Coral Gables
Price range (per night): $320 - $1,717
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables 4.5*
Number of rooms: 273
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Graced with effortless beauty and sophistication, The Biltmore Hotel is a national historic landmark located in the exclusive Coral Gables area with close proximity to Miami Beach and downtown Miami. The 273-room resort resembles classic Italian, Moorish, and Spanish architectural influences spread over 150-acres of tropical landscape. A favorite of world leaders and celebrities since its opening in 1926, the hotel offers a restored Donald Ross 18-hole, 71 par championship golf course, tennis courts, the largest hotel pool on the East Coast of the United States with private cabanas, a European spa, and an award-winning fitness center. The hotel's dining destinations include the award winning Palme d'Or, recognized by Zagat as one of the best restaurants in the country; Fontana, a traditional Italian restaurant surrounding The Biltmore courtyard and fountain; the poolside Cascade and the 19th Hole Golf restaurant. The hotel also recently unveiled its culinary academy offering an array of hands-on cooking classes for adults and children. The Biltmore is one of South Florida's preferred sites for leisure and business travel, high-level corporate briefings, public policy conferences, and an extraordinary wedding destination. The Biltmore is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables
Biltmore Coral Gables

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