Jose, a friend of Edmundo invited me to attend a Meditation session at the famous Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. The lady guiding the Meditation was so good with her comforting chants and mantras, I passed right out and Jose had to make noises to wake me up. How relaxing was that!
I felt more than a little guilty in these grand surroundings walking into the Golf Club and ordering only a hamburger and an Australian Coopers Ale. Time doesn”t seem to move very quickly in these surroundings. Immaculately got-up young caddies return to the club house carrying the golf bag while the older golfers in timelessly conservative “American” gear look like they”ve just stepped out of a silent movie.
The Biltmore is the heart of Coral Gables and was built in 1926 at the same time as the imposing Hotel Nacional de Cuba located on the Malecón in Havana, which we will be visiting next month.
Al Capone had a suite in the Biltmore that he turned into a gambling parlour. It was used as a Veterans” rehabilitation centre during the Second World War and refurbished to its “Grand Dame” status by the City of Coral Gables in the Eighties. It is also the venue for most meetings of US Presidents and their South American counter-parts. And here am I eating a hamburger!