On December 14, the iconic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida, reopened its 18-hole, par-71 golf course, marking the finale of a property-wide renovation of the national historic landmark established by land developer George Merrick in 1926.
The firms found inspiration for the interiors in the glamour of the property’s storied past–which includes hosting celebrity and royal guests–as well as the estate’s original Mediterranean-style architecture.
Still, modern touches keep the hotel from being rooted completely in the past.”I wanted to bring a lot of life to the lobby through color, through interjecting some fresh shapes that could be mixed in with the traditional,” says Dee Malone, principal of D’Shakil Designs.
The team restored the original chandeliers and selected rich, luxurious fabrics–such as embroidered damask and cut velvets–for the drapes and furniture. “It’s the type of fabric that’s typically reserved for residences,” observes Malone.
They pulled color inspiration from aspects of the hotel’s initial design. “You’ll see that the blue and greens we used are in those old tiles,” says Malone. “It blends seamlessly. The draperies, rugs and furnishings complement and enhance the original colors and architecture.”
In the guest rooms, an elegant blend of silvery sage, soft beige, regal gold and a deep plum brings to mind royalty. Framed prints of the hotel’s original blueprints adorn the walls, while gemstone chandeliers and opulent fabrics echo the glamour of the lobby.
The golf course, originally designed by Donald Ross, was restored by golf course architect Brian Silva, who extended the course to more than 7,100 yards and added new Bermuda grass and bunkers.
The final result is a hotel of grandeur that will continue to draw visitors for years to come. “Even though we knew it was going to be beautiful and luxurious,” says Malone, “when it actually was executed I believe it exceeded everyone’s expectations.”