History Of Don Shula’s Hotel in Miami Lakes
The mere mention of the name “Graham” to any Miamian will evoke a sense of Miami history and tradition. Ernest Graham arrived in Florida in the early 1920’s long before the South Florida nightlife of South Beach and the downtown Miami hotel scene took hold. While working for the Pennsylvania Sugar Company Plantation in 1931, Ernest was given the opportunity to take over a parcel of land that was considered swampland and therefore useless as long as he took care of the upkeep.
With the Graham Family’s hard work and dedication this swampland became one of the most successful working dairy farms in Florida and in 1962 became the master plan community of Miami Lakes offering single family homes, town homes, championship golf, shopping areas, schools and hotels.
The first hotel, the Miami Lakes Inn & Golf Club, opened shortly thereafter and was located on the championship golf course. Years later the city town center opened, today known as Main Street and home to Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club.
The partnership with Shula’s and the Graham family began during his tenure as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Coach Shula was a long time resident of Miami Lakes with a home on the sixteenth hole of what it now the Senator Golf Course. During that time, he used the Miami Lakes Inn as the teams sequester hotel for each Miami Dolphins home game. In 1989 the Graham’s opened the first Shula’s Steak House, what a great place for the original Shula’s Steak House to make its debut. With the success of the Steak House, in 1992 the Graham Companies re-named the entire property to Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club as a special recognition of Coach Shula’s contribution to our community.
Throughout Shula’s you will find pictures of winning moments of Miami Lakes history. Each guest room proudly displays photos of the original milk bottles as our signature image. Today Miami Lakes is home to Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Hotel Indigo Miami Lakes, The Spa at Shula’s and Shula’s Athletic Club.