Pool @ Biltmore
1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-445-1926.
To enjoy this massive pool surrounded by stately Mediterranean architecture, you'll need to rent a cabana for the day. The deluxe cabanas start at $89 during the summer and include attentive waiters and a half room and shower among hibiscus and bougainvillea. The suite, a larger cabana, is a little pricier at $129 during the summer and allows up to eight guests; deluxe cabanas allow up to four people. For your money, you're renting an outdoor room with a dining table, desk stocked with fresh towels, and lounge chair (suites are larger than this freelance writer's apartment). Simply grab the nearby telephone and place your order at the bar or restaurant for speedy service.
The historic pool holds a whopping 600,000 gallons of water, and staff flaunts it as the largest hotel pool in the continental United States. The $11 hummus and $14 smoked fish dip is delicious, and the $14 frozen vanilla mango colada is also a best seller. Happy hour is 5-7 p.m. and offers half-price specialty drinks. Splash around all you'd like, but the pool chairs are reserved for hotel guests only.
-- KYLE TEAL
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