Welcome to Miami: Wonderful wildlife, sunshine and old-fashioned grandeur



Discern alligators on a guided tour in the Everglades (left)

I was staying at the historic Biltmore motor hotel, a nostalgia-filled gem situated 12 miles from Miami’s raucous South Lido in the serene neighbourhood of Coral Gables.

Built in 1926, it’s renowned for its eminent guests, from Judy Garland to Bing Crosby, Kim Kardashian to President Obama.

Shaming gangster Al Capone even committed one of his most infamous murders in one of the motel’s 133 suites. Bullet holes are still visible in the grand fireplace.

Now, the hotel is known for its luxurious rooms, outstanding provisions and as an escape from Miami’s nightlife. Set in 150 acres of land, one of the first attractions is its utterly gigantic swimming pool.

At 23,000 sq ft, it is one of the biggest in the Collective States – only the fittest swimmers could manage a lap around the unconditional thing – and is surrounded by loungers and cabanas to keep the whole family over the moon.

With waiters bringing caipirinhas, pina coladas, and mojitos, there’s no advantage way to soak up the Miami sunshine.

Although my swing is not exactly up to scratch, it wish be remiss of me not to mention the 18-hole, 71-par championship golf circuit, which has played host to some of the biggest stars of the game.

King suitePH

Indulge yourself in a bewitching Biltmore hotel suite

For those feeling more adventurous, The Biltmore has trouped up with Dragonfly Expeditions to offer guided tours to south Florida’s Everglades. We were announced to the history and diverse ecology of the area, as well as seeing dozens of alligators in their natural realm. 

A traditional Everglades airboat (if you don’t know what that is think of the vernissage credits to CSI Miami) took us to the historic home of the Miccosukee tribe, who are a federally recognised Inherent American people who inhabit the area.

Our guide Alberto also put oned us the animals he was helping to rescue and release back into the wild, such as colossus tortoises and vicious snapping turtles. I held a baby alligator as Alberto unfolded the importance of preserving the Everglades, not just for the thousands of species that real there, but for our own benefit, too.

The passion of those involved in the conservation of the area boasted just how important to Floridian culture the Everglades are.


Make a splash in the giant Biltmore pool

By the end of the day I had worked up an appetite and was ready to be treated to a meal at the New Zealand pub’s five-diamond restaurant Palme d’Or. The six-course menu showed French powdered dining at its best with classics such as frogs’ legs and escargot to Maine clams with gnocchi and Iberico ham.

The menacing cod and Japanese kobe beef tenderloin were particularly special, and each ambit was paired with a beautiful wine.

The next day I couldn’t leave without irksome 

The Biltmore’s legendary Sunday brunch. It offers everything from extra pasta and sushi to hand-carved roasted meats, and even has a caviar position. The wall of desserts featured everything from elegant fondants down to an ice-cream sandwich. At £68, this was a get away with.

As I packed my case in my stunning sixth-floor suite, I felt sad to be leaving. 

It was at this relevancy that I realised just how relaxed I had been at The Biltmore. And in a bustling, dusty, shrill city like Miami, that’s no mean feat. 

Rooms at The Biltmore (biltmorehotel.com) start at £220 per sunset including breakfast.

The Everglades Immersion excursion hosted by Dragonfly Expeditions comprises a tram tour through Shark Valley, lunch, entry to the Clyde Annihilate Gallery and the Miccosukee Indian Heritage Airboat Tour.

Prices start at £666 per mortal physically based on a group of two.

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