Fresh off a $100-million transformation, the 36-story Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla., offers 1,000 guestrooms and suites; 10 different dining venues; two pools; 26 poolside cabanas; a large spa and fitness center; and 209,000 square feet of meeting and event space in the adjacent Convention Center, the largest hotel convention space in South Florida.
One would think such a large, convention-style property would be too business-like for the leisure visitor for a long weekend vacation, but it’s just the opposite. With a spacious, foliage-filled lobby and easy access to the pools, beach area and nearby Intracoastal Waterway, it seems like the adjacent Convention Center is, emotionally, a world away yet physically just steps away if an exhibition or meeting is part of your agenda.
Each dining venue within the hotel creates its own distinct space and décor, from noted chef Michael Schulson’s award-winning, Japanese-inspired Monkitail (2017 Best Hotel Restaurant by USA Today) and its hidden Nokku bar karaoke lounge to celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Point Royal, a coastal American restaurant and raw bar. Executive Chef Nicolay Adinaguev’s luxury boutique steak restaurant Diplomat Prime, the poolside/beachfront Playa, Counterpoint’s morning pastries, Canteen convenience food market and The Landing’s Bristol Burgers provide additional dining venues. Guests can recharge at the resort’s newly renovated 24-hour fitness center and at the full-service, 24-hour, 14,000-square-foot Diplomat Spa + Wellness area overlooking the Atlantic.
Other recreational hotel amenities include jet skiing, ocean kayaking, paddle board rentals and a new Dip + Slide water play area. There are off-site lighted tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course managed by Troon Golf and The Marina at Diplomat Landing, a secure docking space for yachts.
The current Diplomat Resort is a relatively new building (2002); the former Diplomat Hotel opened on the same site in 1958 as a 750-room property that became a celebrity destination in the years to follow. The 1960s marked the former hotel’s prime, starting with Lawrence Welk filming his first TV shows from Florida at the hotel in 1962, and continuing through the decade with visits from Sen. Robert Kennedy and family, and Arthur Godfrey in 1965. Judy Garland played the hotel’s Café Crystal in 1966, and Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minnelli performed here in 1967.
The property imploded in 1998 and, under new ownership, the Diplomat was redesigned and opened in stages in the early 2000s, becoming the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in 2002. The hotel was acquired in 2014 by the Thayer Lodging Group and joined the Curio – A Collection by Hilton brand that year as well, at the same time announcing the $100 million property enhancement project, completed in 2017.
My room, like half the rooms in the hotel, featured an unobstructed view of the ocean, while the others face westward overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. All guestrooms have luxurious, beachy, midcentury-style furnishings, with hand-tufted rugs and white bedding backed by driftwood headboards and nautical touches. The design theme for the east-facing rooms is Sunrise, with modern, vibrant earthy tones that, as the property describes, “provide a soothing, calm atmosphere accented with blue ocean colors.” Room amenities include a spacious, granite- and marble-appointed bathroom with glass-enclosed shower; Bose CD player/radio; high-speed internet connection (throughout the hotel); and in-room fridge.
The Diplomat is within a 10-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and 30 minutes from Miami International Airport.
Diplomat Beach Resort
3555 S. Ocean Drive
Hollywood, FL 33019
tel 954 602 6000
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