The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables

  • By: Timothy Rose
  • Date: 23 July 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.


Opulence, glamour, and mystery coalesce at the Biltmore Hotel, nestled in the heart of Coral Gables, Florida. Known for its elegant architecture and luxurious services, the hotel holds an equally compelling reputation for supernatural phenomena and ghostly encounters, piquing the interest of visitors worldwide.

History of The Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables boasts a century-long history of elegance and opulence. Constructed in the 1920s by developer George Merrick, it quickly became a renowned destination for royalty, Hollywood stars, and international elites.

The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables | Credit: erictaubert

Throughout its storied past, the hotel transformed into a military hospital during World War II and has since been meticulously restored to preserve its architectural grandeur. Today, as a National Historic Landmark, the Biltmore Hotel stands as an iconic symbol of timeless charm, offering guests a captivating blend of old-world allure and modern luxury.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has cultivated a collection of captivating urban legends that shroud the property in mystery. One legend speaks of a hidden tunnel used by mobsters during Prohibition, adding an air of intrigue and illegal activities. It is believed that this secret passage beneath the hotel provided an escape route for notorious criminals, creating an atmosphere of suspense and clandestine dealings.

Another chilling tale revolves around the unsolved murder of gangster Fatty Walsh, said to have met his demise within the elegant walls of the Hotel. Whispers of his restless spirit haunting the hotel’s halls continue to circulate, perpetuating the aura of mystery surrounding his untimely end. Visitors can’t help but wonder if they might encounter the ghostly presence of Fatty Walsh during their stay.

The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables | Credit: golfrhino

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida, is home to a chilling tale involving its elevator. According to local lore, the spirit that haunts this elevator belongs to an employee named Theresa who tragically lost her life in the elevator shaft during the 1930s. From then on, numerous guests and staff have encountered unnerving incidents. Some have claimed that the elevator appears to move of its own accord, operating without being called or stopping on floors without input. There have also been sightings of Theresa’s apparition within the elevator, contributing to its haunted reputation.

Adding to the hotel’s eerie charm is the multitude of ghostly stories associated with its 13th floor. This particular floor is said to be the most haunted space within the hotel. Visitors to the floor have described strange occurrences, from hearing inexplicable sounds to spotting spectral figures. The unnerving sensation of unease is commonly reported as well. Many believe these experiences to be encounters with the restless spirits of former guests who died during their stay at the Biltmore Hotel.

These captivating urban legends, featuring mobsters, the ghostly presence of Fatty Walsh, a tragic bride, and the mysterious 13th floor, intertwine with the grandeur of the Hotel. They beckon visitors to embrace the enigmatic energy that permeates its corridors, allowing them to immerse themselves in the haunting history and fascinating tales that have made the Biltmore Hotel an alluring destination for thrill-seekers and curious souls alike.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has made notable media appearances, particularly regarding its paranormal reputation. This luxurious establishment has been featured in several television shows, including the popular paranormal investigation series “Ghost Adventures,” where the crew explored the hotel’s reported hauntings and captured potential evidence of supernatural activity.

Additionally, the hotel has been the subject of documentaries and specials, such as “Haunted Hotels” and “Ghostly Encounters,” which delve into the chilling encounters and ghostly tales associated with the Hotel.

These media appearances have solidified its status as a captivating destination for paranormal enthusiasts and avid viewers, further enhancing the allure and intrigue surrounding the haunted legends of the Biltmore Hotel.

Investigation and Research Efforts

Paranormal investigators have flocked to the Biltmore, hoping to capture evidence of the supernatural. They have documented unexplained temperature changes, anomalous photos, and electronic voice phenomena believed to be Fatty Walsh’s spirit.

However, skeptics argue these phenomena could be attributed to natural causes or human interpretation.

Visitor Experiences and Urban Legends

Visitor experiences at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables are often intertwined with the captivating urban legends that surround the property. Guests who stay at the hotel may find themselves on the lookout for ghostly encounters or hidden passageways, fueled by the tales of mobsters, tragic love stories, and restless spirits.

Some have reported unusual experiences such as unexplained sounds, mysterious cold drafts, or a feeling of being watched.

These encounters, whether attributed to the supernatural or simply the power of suggestion, add an extra layer of excitement and curiosity to the Hotel experience. Visitors are drawn to the hotel not only for its luxurious amenities but also for the opportunity to immerse themselves in the intriguing blend of history, legend, and the possibility of encountering something beyond the ordinary.

Preservation and Tourism

The Biltmore Hotel, while preserved for its architectural significance, has leveraged its spectral reputation to offer a unique blend of history and mystery to guests.

The allure of potentially experiencing a paranormal encounter draws visitors from across the globe, bolstering local tourism.


The Biltmore Hotel, where history meets legend, offers a captivating blend of luxury and mystery. Its ghostly tales, coupled with its rich historical legacy, attract visitors and ghost hunters alike, affirming the enduring allure of places where the past and the paranormal intersect.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables

Q1: Where is The Biltmore Hotel located?
The Biltmore Hotel is located in Coral Gables, Florida.

Q2: Can I visit The Biltmore Hotel?
Yes, you can visit the Hotel. It is a luxury hotel open to guests.

Q3: What kind of paranormal activities have been reported at The Biltmore Hotel?
Reports at the Hotel range from sightings of apparitions to unexplained sounds and lights, often attributed to the ghost of mobster Thomas “Fatty” Walsh.

Q4: Has The Biltmore Hotel been featured in any media?
Yes, The Biltmore Hotel’s ghostly tales have been covered in books, documentaries, and paranormal-themed TV shows.

Q5: Are there skeptics about the hauntings at The Biltmore Hotel?
Yes, skeptics suggest that the reported supernatural phenomena could be explained by natural occurrences or human interpretation.

Q6: How does The Biltmore Hotel contribute to local tourism?
The Hotel, with its luxurious accommodations, historical significance, and reputation for hauntings, attracts a diverse array of guests, thus playing a significant role in local tourism.

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