Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the Hotel Colonnade at Coral Gables is a beautiful historic property that has a broad appeal to a range of different travelers.
It’s full of grand architecture features and has done a good job of implementing modern design while still preserving its roots.
Below, I’ll take you through a tour of the Hotel Colonnade at Coral Gables and show you what this charming hotel has to offer!
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Hotel Colonnade history
Coral Gables is the product of George Merrick and its history dates back to the City Beautiful movement of the 1920s. Merrick drove the town’s development and turned a tropical wilderness into the city of Coral Gables, now known for its carefully planned development and strict zoning.
His taste for lavish design is evident in different buildings in the area as they embody the unmistakable Beaux Arts style which made its way into the US in the late 1800s at places like the Library of Congress in Washington DC and Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
The historic portion of the Hotel Colonnade was designed by architect Phineas Paist and was completed in 1926, meaning that this property is soon approaching its centennial.
Initially designed as the sales center for the community, after completion the building served a lot of different purposes ranging from a pilot training facility, a movie studio, and even a parachute factory during World War II.
Location: Miracle Mile of Coral Gables
The hotel has a great location along the famed Miracle Mile of Coral Gables. Restaurants, bars, and shopping spots fill the blocks just outside the hotel’s door steps making this a great place to get around on foot.
The Coral Gables Museum is just a couple of blocks away and the University of Miami is under 10 minutes away. Expect it to take you about only about 10 minutes to get from Miami’s airport (MIA). And if you want to head over to South Beach, it’s about a 25 to 30 minute drive.
If you like to stroll around and just soak in a city’s vibe, the tree-lined boulevards of Coral Gables are a perfect place to do just that.
When I first entered the hotel I was immediately impressed by all of the beautiful interior features.
The grand staircases, shimmering chandeliers, and towering columns come together in a masterful way at this historic property.
It quickly became apparent to me why so many people like to have weddings and special events at this former Westin. It’s got some serious glam.
Some of the building caters to commercial offices like the rooms found in the stunning rotunda, which is complete with an indoor fountain in the middle.
If you look closely, some of the fine details will amaze you like these birds native to Florida that are found practically hidden in the molding atop the Corinthian columns.
The hotel is constantly connecting with members of the community and putting on special events like special art nights where they feature things like local art galleries. So before your stay, it might be good to check with the hotel to see what will be going on.
After marveling at some of the architecture, it was time to head upstairs to the check-in desk.
Two agents were attending to the check-in desks and everything went very smoothly for us.
Once again, I had luck with early check-in which was such a wonderful thing given how much traveling we had been doing.
We’d just arrived on a redeye flight from Santiago, Chile on AA’s 777 after spending a couple of weeks in South America exploring places like Easter Island. It was an amazing trip but we were running on E (empty, not the other type of E). So early check-in couldn’t have come at a better time.
The hotel issued us an entire suite of benefits which included free breakfast (via elite status), and then included in the $22 resort fee was: a $25 food and beverage credit, $15 Uber credit, two free citrus sangrias, and some additional perks like a complimentary bike rental.
We ended up putting all of those to use except for the bike rental. As fun as it sounded, we didn’t really have the time or energy and I didn’t notice bike lanes nearby which didn’t give me a lot of confidence considering it’s been a while since I’ve ridden a bike.
Tip: Make sure that you head to the right elevators when going up to your room. The elevators for the rooms are located to the left of the check-in desk (when facing the desk). There is another set of elevators but those are for the commercial tenants.
The executive bi-level loft
I don’t know what it is about bi-level hotel rooms but I’m just a major fan of them.
There’s just something so cool and charming about having a staircase in your hotel room and I’m always sort of a sucker for them.
So when I saw the executive bi-level loft I knew I had to go for it and I’m glad I did because it is such a beautiful room.
As soon as you enter the room, you’ll find a closet on the left with a hotel safe along with a branded robe and iron/iron board.
Then there’s a workstation which came with a couple of (non-complimentary) spring water bottles.
There’s a phone along with branded hotel stationary which I’m always a fan of.
I’ve really noticed that historic properties (especially recently renovated ones) tend to do a superb job with executing their branding and this hotel was no exception.
Next to the phone, there was this cool little outlet station with a handful of power outlets.
In the corner there was a chair next to the night stand and you’ll find outlets in the wall for your power needs.
On the other side of the bed there’s some outlets along with a round nightstand and an interesting light fixture hanging above.
Another thing I loved about the room was that it had some great views of Coral Gables from the 5th floor.
Downstairs a modern bathroom with a walk-in shower is situated next to a beautiful vessel sink with a good amount of counter space.
After getting a feel for the downstairs, it was time to explore upstairs.
These stairs are pretty steep so if you have issues with steep stairs, going up and down the stairs (especially at night time), could be an issue.
Upstairs you’ll find a sofa with a coffee table and large TV. There is a family version of this loft that features bunkbeds on the second level which I think would be perfect for a family of four or five.
There’s also a full second bathroom upstairs, which once again would be good for families.
Just outside the bathroom you’ll find a sink, microwave, mini fridge, coffee maker, and some counter space along with some cabinets.
The game room
The hotel has a game room downstairs that I thought was pretty interesting.
Inside you’ll find a foosball table, pool table, darts, and some other games.
This is definitely something you don’t often see at a hotel and so I appreciated the uniqueness (and swankiness) that went into this room. I also just enjoy when a hotel doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Platinum elite members and above can get a free entrée and a free non-alcoholic beverage for breakfast.
We were able to partake in breakfast one day at Aragon Cafe and I was thoroughly impressed with the dining.
I wanted to try something different so I went with their breakfast tacos that had some different ingredients in it like pickled onions and it was such a good choice.
Brad also thoroughly enjoyed his meal, the Colonnade sandwich.
So if you have a breakfast perk from your status, I think you’ll be able to put it to good use here!
For the other meal, we tried out the bar on the second level, where we cashed in the tickets for the food and beverage credit and citrus sangrias.
The hotels offers happy hour events where they offer things like discounted fresh oysters so you can check those out when you visit.
Both Brad and I were surprised at how good the fried chicken sandwich was and how well it hit the spot. Perfect food item to split when you’re not overly hungry.
The pool is located on the rooftop terrace where it’s lined with shady green cabanas and palm trees.
One unique feature about the pool is that they have pool side rooms.
I don’t recall seeing those type of rooms on a rooftop terrace before and I could see it being pretty fun if you were visiting with a group and rented all of those out. You could practically jump into the pool from your room.
Apparently the pool is due up for some renovations sometime soon but I honestly thought it was still a very nice rooftop pool area.
On the other side of the terrace there are chairs and tables set up with umbrellas. Perhaps this area is blocked off for certain events?
There’s also a nice viewing deck out there with great views. It was the perfect place to watch the sunset one night on a breezy evening.
You’ll find a very well equipped gym at this hotel with a free weights section, multiple benches, workout station, and multiple cardio machines, including a couple of Peloton bikes.
With 157 rooms, the hotel had a good ratio of equipment to rooms so it shouldn’t be hard to find an open station during your workout.
I was a major fan of the Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables. First, it’s just a beautiful historic property that’s impressive to admire from both the outside and the inside.
We received great service during our stay and I thought the bi-level executive room was unique and charming. The dining and drinks were solid and made even sweeter with some elite benefits.
So I would definitely recommend this property especially for families and for others looking to put on special events, including weddings or even romantic getaways.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.