“What’s it like to work in an office inside the Biltmore Hotel?” is a question we are almost always asked by first-time visitors to our office. The Biltmore Hotel is a truly unique place to work. After all, the building appears on the National Register of Historic Places, boasts a spiraling Moorish Giralda tower, houses a pool that was unrivaled in size for many years, and is rumored to be haunted. Walking into the main lobby, visitors are greeted by amicable bell boys, two small aviaries, and soaring, barrel-vaulted ceilings complete with hand-painted frescos. The interior also features travertine floors, marble columns, elaborate leaded glass fixtures, and carved mahogany furnishings. As a company that believes strongly in preserving important Miami landmarks, it seems only fitting that Dragonfly Expeditions’ office should be located inside one of them. Below are some examples of what we and some of our neighbors think about walking into the Biltmore Hotel each morning for work.
Most people don’t know this, but there is a large area of executive offices available for rent inside the Biltmore Hotel. A variety of companies ranging from luxury transportation to high-end stereo systems occupy these spaces. The tenants might be diverse, but what we all have in common is a shared love and respect for our place of work.
Inés, President of the non-profit organization Calderón & Associates, has been working in the Biltmore for 12 years. In addition to the convenience of working close to home, she says that “the [historical] atmosphere is wonderful. It is a beautiful place to come every day, every single day. I’ve never had any trouble with the hotel staff – they are wonderful. I’m just passionate about this building, even with all its quirks.”
Sasha works for Vine Communications and she told me: “It’s awesome to be able to walk through such a historic and important Miami landmark. It puts me in a good mood at the start of every day.”
“One of the reasons I like to work in the Biltmore is that it is a beautiful historic South Florida monument and when I come to work here I have the experience of being grounded in Miami’s history and future – I feel the wealth of Miami’s past and the hopes for its future,” says Jody, owner of Action Coach. Her company, just down the hall from Dragonfly Expeditions, specializes in business coaching. “If I want to entertain a client, what better place is there? And if I want a warm meal or a cup of coffee, I have the resources at my fingertips. I love it here – I just love it.”
Jody makes an excellent point about the hotel’s available resources. There is a reason politicians visiting South Florida almost always stay at the Biltmore Hotel. In fact, the place has been a favorite hangout of famous icons such as Bill Clinton. Everything here is deluxe: the hotel includes 275 guest rooms, 3 restaurants, a culinary academy taught by Biltmore chefs, private pool-side cabanas, a championship golf course, tennis courts, a fitness center, a cycling studio, a juice bar, and a full-service spa; the hotel also supports countless clubs and hosts numerous weddings and monthly events. The hotel is continually winning awards for its restaurants, golf course, pool, and hospitality.
The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, which opened in 1926, isn’t the only Biltmore. Hotel magnate and Canadian businessman John McEntee Bowman founded the original Bowman-Biltmore Hotels chain. The name “Biltmore” is an echo of the Vanderbilt family’s Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Bowman bought his first hotel in New York exactly 100 years ago and established Biltmore hotels in California, Florida, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and even Cuba.
Here at the Biltmore in Coral Gables, I have seen a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot taking place across the street, spied iguanas basking in the sun on the hotel grounds, enjoyed a martini at the bar overlooking the golf course, browsed the gift shops, and wandered throughout the building and its peaceful gardens. For about seven months, I have been working inside the very focal point of “The City Beautiful.” Each day I discover more of the Biltmore’s secrets, but I have yet to see a ghost!