Like the Biltmore, this vintage Coral Gables charmer is a perfect example of the romance and Mediterranean flavor the city’s creators were aiming for back in the 1920s—except on a more intimate scale, at a fraction of the rates, and with the advantage of a location right in the downtown Gables, thus an easy stroll to a slew of dining, shopping, and cultural options. Built in 1926 as the Hotel Sevilla, later deteriorated into a flophouse, and restored by new owner Stuart Bornstein in the early [‘]80s, the vine-covered St. Michel proudly displays lovely original details including tile work, wood floors, ceiling fans in the hallways, and a vintage elevator (you have to ring the front-desk person to operate it for you). The individually appointed rooms have a gracious mix of early-20th-century antique and early-21st-century amenities. The in-house restaurant, Segundo Muelle, is Peruvian.
- David Paul Appell