Built in 1926, this landmark hotel has had several incarnations over the years—including a stint as a hospital during World War II—but through it all, this grande dame has remained an opulent reminder of yesteryear, with its palatial lobby and grounds, enormous pool (largest in the lower 48), and distinctive 315-foot tower, which rises above the canopy of trees shading Coral Gables. Fully updated, the Biltmore has on-site golf and tennis, a spa and fitness center,
and the celebrated Palme d'Or restaurant. The magnificent pool is steeped in history—Tarzan's Johnny Weissmuller was a lifeguard here, and in the 1930s, grand aquatic galas featuring alligator wrestling, synchronized swimming, and bathing beauties drew thousands. More recently it was former President Bill Clinton's preferred resort for golfing. To the west is the hotel's Biltmore Country Club, a richly ornamented Beaux-Arts–style structure with a superb colonnade and courtyard. The Sunday champagne brunch is a local legend; try to get a table in the courtyard.