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The Biltmore Hotel is located in Coral Gables, Florida. The hotel sits proudly on the corner of Anastasia Avenue and Columbus Boulevard.
The Biltmore is a lovely mix of Victorian and European and was built in 1925. It is advertised as a luxury golf and spa resort. The hotel has long catered to high society and has seen guests like Al Capone, the Roosevelt family, the Vanderbilts, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Ginger Rogers.
The hotel was built in the Mediterranean Revivalist style and has become one of the grandest hotels in the U.S. After its heyday for some years it was used by the federal government, the University of Miami’s School of Medicine and then sat vacant.
The Biltmore then went through two major restorations in 1981 and in 1992. Today the hotel welcomes not only guests but hosts various events like fashion shows and weddings. People can come just to take a look at this lovely hotel and dine at the patio restaurant. Visitors can choose to take tours and are treated along with guests on Thursday nights to ghost stories.
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The hotel features an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, and a country club. Right from the start it is an impressive building with a red tile roof, resembling a European palace and has an archway over the entrance road leading up to the hotel’s main entrance. From the outside, you can see the 300 foot copper-clad top of the Biltmore’s central 12-story tower with many suites and even rooms. the tower was inspired by the Baroque, Gothic Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain.
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The Biltmore opened its door in the winter of 1926. When the Depression hit Florida the hotel let the giant-sized pool be used to offer all kinds of water-based entertainment like synchronized swimming with Ester Williams and even alligator wrestling. Thousands of people would come each week to see the show.
During the Prohibition, the private 13th-floor suite became a speakeasy and gambling joint to entertain hotel guests and wealthy people from all over Miami. It was managed by the local mobster, Edward Wilson, and gangsters from New York City. Edward formed a partnership with a man named Fatty and during a heated argument between them, Fatty was shot dead. After this happened the tower elevators were locked and all traces of the speakeasy were whisked away and all the people involved in the illegal activity were safely sent away before the police came. When the police arrived all they discovered were the body of Fatty and his friend Arthur but he survived.
The Biltmore fell on hard times during WW II in 1941 at which time it was purchased by the federal government and used as a military hospital. When the war ended it became a hospital for veterans and later was the University of Miami’s Medical School. In 1987 the hotel opened up once again as a deluxe hotel but shut down once more in 1990. It was once again thoroughly renovated and as a result became the top hotel for Hollywood stars, politicians and the elite catering to such people as Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, and Robert Redford.
During the years that the Biltmore stayed vacant people could see the windows in the vacant hotel open and close by themselves while standing on the golf course behind the hotel. Mysterious lights could be seen in the windows and some even heard musical sounds. People suspected ghosts because the electricity was shut off in the hotel.
The police were convinced that transients were using the hotel as a shelter. They checked out the hotel even sending in dogs. They found absolutely no one but they did hear breaking glass, saw windows opening and closing and even phantom apparitions in the hallways. The dogs sensing the entities ran out of the hotel.
Guests at the hotel have seen doors open and close by themselves and lights that turn on and off. Some guests have woken up to see male entities in hospital gowns staring at them. Some of these entities have also been seen in the hallways and disappear when encountering the living.
In one of the ballrooms, a transparent couple has been seen dancing and then simply vanishes. There is a female entity, who fell to her death from one of the towers and is now referred to as “The Lady in White”.
The entity of gangster Thomas Fatty Welch has been seen. This is a jovial spirit that is full of fun and really appreciated good Cuban cigars and women. Fatty enjoys wandering around the 13th floor, helping out in the elevators, going to the restaurants and enjoys the company of the living, particularly women. He really enjoys spending his after-life at the hotel, loves playfully teasing the guests and staff and has been particularly cooperative with paranormal investigators and psychics.
It is thought that Fatty is the one playing with lights and doors. Guests have heard him chuckling and one guest notice the word BOO written by an unseen finger on a fogged mirror in a bathroom. His apparition has been seen in bathroom mirrors.
The hotel elevators go from the 2nd to the 12th floors. To get to the 13th floor bellhops need to use a special key since the suite is only for VIP guests like presidents, political leaders, rock stars and such. Fatty has taken guests to the 13th floor and once there they have heard people talking, laughing, smelled cigar smoke and felt a presence standing close to them. There have been times when the elevator door shuts before the woman’s male companion can get off leaving his woman companion with Fatty and friends.
Waitresses working in the restaurant when their hands have been full of dishes have found Fatty opening up the door to the dining area for them.
One woman was taken to the 13th floor by Fatty by elevator and saw a wispy, female entity floating in the air.
Fatty has become a well-liked entity by both guests, staff and paranormal investigators. So if you would like to get in on some of the action head for The Biltmore Hotel.