Summer’s almost here and that means Greater Fort Lauderdale’s savings season is off and running, with 2-for-1 deals at more than 55 attractions for group delegates and an exclusive Vacation like a VIP package at a selection of the destination’s Resort Collection properties featuring a room upgrade, complimentary valet parking, $25 American Express gift card, $100 resort credit, complimentary valet parking at The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills and a complimentary Savings Passport coupon book for Sawgrass Mills – both specials are valid through October 15, 2017.
HYDE Resort & Residences, a sparkling glass-clad jewel soaring 43 floors directly on the Atlantic Ocean in Hollywood. The resort’s 363 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening to wrap-around terraces and chef-caliber kitchens, along with two rooftop infinity pools, spa, and fine dining located on pristine beach.
The Ikona Hotel (formerly the Shell Motel) has opened its doors following a multi-million-dollar renovation that restored key features of the mid-century modern building while modernizing the interior design with smart technology and stylish amenities. A contemporary re-imagination of a seaside cottage, the Ikona’s 24 deluxe rooms, family apartment suites and penthouses include custom-made modern furnishings. The three-story hotel overlooks a private pool and courtyard garden with indoor and outdoor event space, including a second-level balcony overlooking the ocean.
The Plunge Beach Hotel had its grand debut in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea in early 2017. The 163-room oceanfront hotel complex, formerly the site of Lauderdale Beach Hotel offers direct beach access and is comprised of three individual buildings referred to simply as the Island, Beach and Bungalow residences, each with its own distinct vibe and design aesthetic. Among the resort’s perks is the soon-to-be-famous Backflip Beach Bar, the only true toes-in-the-sand beach bar in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, along with Octopus Lobby Gastropub and the Wells Coffee Shop, serving locally roasted coffee, fresh sandwiches and gelato. The hotel’s amenities include a beachfront swimming pool with spectacular ocean views, free WiFi, a 24-hour fitness center and ample street level parking.
The $23 million TRYP by Wyndham Maritime Hotel will be opening its doors in the spring 2017. The eight-story, 150 room, maritime-themed hotel will cater to business and leisure travelers and offer a European-style Spanish Tapas Bar, Rooftop Bar & Lounge, free Wi-Fi, 5,200 sq. ft. of meeting space, shuttle to the airport & cruise port, and featuring 11 aquariums.
The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is expected to open in late fall 2017 with 290 expansive studio and suite accommodations, indoor and outdoor restaurants, a 4,000-sq ft ocean view spa and fitness center, elevated deck oasis with an ocean-facing pool and plush cabanas, and 10,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and event space.
The Le Meridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport, formerly Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port Hotel, is undergoing a $30 million renovation and conversion and will feature 245 contemporary guest rooms, 20,000 square feet of state-of-the-art flexible meeting space and two redesigned restaurants. Anticipated to open fall 2017.
A new property, the Melia Costa Hollywood is expected to open in fall 2017, on Hollywood Broadwalk on the beach, bringing 307 new condo-hotel rooms ranging from oceanfront studios to one to three bedrooms apartments.
A new $21 million, 142 room Wyndham Garden Hotel in Dania Beach is expected to open late 2017 and plans to offer casual dining, flexible meeting space and an inviting lobby and lounge.
The historic Escape Hotel is being reborn and transformed into the Gale Boutique Hotel, with 96 rooms and 129 condo residences in Fort Lauderdale’s North Beach Village. Estimated to open in early 2018, the Gale will feature sleek furnishings and luxury amenities, rooftop sky deck, fitness center and spa, concierge services and pool.
A new dual branded Starwood Hotel is coming to downtown Fort Lauderdale. The 24-story, 323-room hotel will offer a sky lobby, lobby bar, pool deck, secret garden, and fitness room—all on the sixth floor—as well as 12,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space, and a ground-floor coffee shop, plus the city's first high-rise rooftop bar. The property is divided into two hotels: The Dalmar, from the Starwood Tribute Portfolio (209 rooms) and The Element by Westin (114 rooms). The hotel is expecting to open spring 2018.
In addition to 136 loft-like rooms at Aloft Weston, the new property will offer 600 sq ft of meeting space and all the brand essentials such as WXYZ® bar, and a Splash pool. Opens Apr 2018. Aloft Fort Lauderdale will also provide loft-like rooms and all the brand’s signature amenities, along with 1,500 sq ft of meeting facilities. Opens Jan 2019.
Soon to break ground in 2017, a new 23-story Four Seasons will open in 2019 with 150 hotel rooms and 95 residences, two restaurants, a spa, fitness center, children’s recreation room, “Beach Butlers” and ballroom and meeting facilities.
Fresh and fabulous after a $100 million transformation, The Diplomat Beach Resort ushers in a new era of oceanfront perfection with view-inspired guestrooms and suites, luxe amenities and 10 all new culinary experiences helmed by celebrity chefs including Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Schulson. Beachfront and brilliant, The Diplomat Beach Resort is a shimmering gem overlooking the Atlantic surf, delivering an iconic resort experience in a lush playground by the sea.
Fresh off a $55 million restyle and renovation, W Fort Lauderdale brings a high-contrast, sleek design to its 517 guestrooms & suites, Fourth Floor Living Room (lobby) & Terrace, two infinity-style WET Deck pools, and all its chic public spaces. Delectable cuisine from James Beard Award Nominee Stephen Starr still reigns supreme with award-winning Steak 954 plus a brand new addition, The Sushi Bar, featuring the freshest rolled sushi on Fort Lauderdale beach. A new 4,000 sq ft ballroom will enhance existing event space options and bring the property’s meeting space total an extraordinary 40,000 sq ft. Twenty versatile indoor and two spectacular outdoor spaces provide a stunning backdrop for 5-500 people corporate meetings, lavish weddings, reunions or retreats. New to the scene will also be an additional three-meal-a-day restaurant featuring ocean view sidewalk dining. Both the new ballroom and restaurant are slated for Q3 2017.
B Ocean Resort, one of South Florida’s most iconic beachside properties has recently unveiled its all-encompassing renovation. The resort is conveniently located right on the ocean, on the famed coastal highway A1A, just minutes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades and downtown Las Olas Boulevard. Offering 484 spacious guest rooms and suites including an oceanfront presidential suite with picturesque, panoramic views, guests are treated to two outdoor infinity edge swimming pools, a 24-hour state-of-the-art B Active® Fitness Center, two B Indulged® Spa Suites and over 14,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space. As a full-service property, B Ocean Resort has partnered with Yes Hospitality Group and chef and TV personality, Ralph Pagano to lead the hotel’s food and beverage concepts including NAKED CRAB, Salty Siren, The Clipper grab-n-go, and its world-famous Wreck Bar, a favorite to locals and travelers since the 1950s.
The Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa has refreshed with major renovations in 2016. Redesigned guestrooms and suites feature sea-inspired décor, tile flooring and walk-in showers. The refreshed lobby invites guests to mingle and enjoy the scenery of the beachfront location, along with 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space The signature restaurant, 3030 Ocean, provides an inspired culinary experience with new design and menu.
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort completed a $5.5 million renovation in January 2017, transforming the arrival and dining experience with a more inviting guest arrival experience to the Porte cochere, lobby, and a new oceanfront restaurant Siren’s Table.
The Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port completed a total brand transformation with renovations to the hotel lobby, restaurants, and meeting space in January 2017 (guestrooms were refurbished in 2015).
The Sun Tower Hotel & Suites has newly remodeled suites, along with a refresh to The Sandbar Grille.
Beginning this spring, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood is adding a $1.8 billion, guitar-shaped tower with 800 rooms adding to its already 500 guest rooms. In addition, the project will bring a number of new dining and entertainment venues, and an estimated 50,000 square feet or function space to be completed by late 2019. Currently the property has Hard Rock Live (a 5,500-seat arena) and 40,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 16,000-square-foot ballroom, as well as a 4.5-acre water complex including cabanas and beach and operates a full-service Rock Spa.
The Comfort Suites Airport & Cruise Port transitioned to Four Points by Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port and opened April 2017.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport opened Concourse G in Terminal 4, with new concession areas and 5 new gates and is part of the first phase of a $450 million expansion and modernization project. Phase Two of the expansion and modernization project will include an Interactive Walkway and 9 new gates. When completed in mid-2018, the terminal will have 12 international and 2 domestic gates. The addition of Concourse A in Terminal 1 is underway and will include a Customs Inspection Facility with five gates handling both international and domestic flights and is expected to be completed May 2017.
New international service:
Emirates: Dubai; British Airways: London, Gatwick (July 2017); Norwegian Air Shuttle: Paris (France), Guadeloupe (West Indies) and Barcelona (Spain) (Aug 2017); JetBlue: Providenciales (TC), Quito (Ecuador), Santa Clara (Cuba), Camaguey (Cuba), Holguin (Cuba), Havana (Cuba) and Aruba; Southwest: Nassau (Bahamas) from Varadero (Cuba), Havana (Cuba), Cancun (June 2017), Montego Bay (June 2017), Belize (June 2017) and Grand Cayman (June 2017).
New domestic service:
JetBlue: Chicago O'Hare, New Orleans, Long Beach (May 2017) and Atlanta (TBA); Allegiant: Ogdensburg (NY), Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Louisville (May 2017), Belleview, IL (May 2017), and Myrtle Beach (June 2017); Frontier: Cincinnati (seasonal); Spirit: Newark, Akron-Canton, Hartford (June 2017), and Pittsburgh (June 2017); United: Washington Dulles (seasonal) and Southwest: Newark (May 2017), Orlando (June 2017), Washington Dulles (June 2017).
FLL offers Mobile Passport Control, a free app allowing eligible travelers to submit their passport information and customs declaration form prior to arrival allowing faster processing: mobilepassport.us.
Port Everglades welcomed two newly built cruise ships, Holland America’s ms Koningsdam and Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas in November 2016.
Port Everglades will be the first and only cruise port worldwide to have a terminal specially activated with Carnival Corporation’s new Ocean Medallion wearable technology that will enable passengers to seamlessly connect to enhanced services before and after they cruise. Regal Princess will be the first ship to offer the Ocean Medallion technology beginning in Nov 2017.
Carnival Cruise’s Carnival Splendor will be joining the summer roster. And Silverseas Cruises’ newest cruise ship, Silver Muse, will begin sailing Oct 2017 for five sailings in addition to voyages on Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper and Silver Wind also sailing from Port Everglades. Luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises will also begin sailing from Port Everglades Oct 2017.
Princess Cruises will begin year-round sailings in April 2018 with the Caribbean Princess, which will be equipped with Ocean Medallion technology. Summer 2018 will include Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Princess, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Balearia Caribbean and Royal Caribbean's newest Celebrity Cruises' 2,900 passenger ship Celebrity Edge in Dec 2018.
At The Diplomat Beach Resort, Geoffrey Zakarian’s Point Royal opened February 2017. A modern take on a coastal-influenced brasserie with a comfortable eatery that functions on a number of different levels, from breakfast and take-out to dinner and cocktails at the bar, with exceptional quality and a beautiful, vibrant atmosphere. Chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson opened his latest creation, Monkitail also at The Diplomat Beach Resort. A modern Japanese fare, a contemporary izakaya — or Japanese gastropub — featuring sharable small plates and sushi, as well as an array of specialty cocktails and sake.
Also at The Diplomat Beach Resort, Diplomat Prime underwent a complete dining and design revamp and reopened in September 2016. The 108 seat restaurant boasts a refined décor, designed to add an approachable beachside feel to the traditional steakhouse. The redefined layout encompasses a 24 seat bar, 68 seat dining room, along with two 16 seat and 30 seat private dining rooms. And at the Diplomat Landing, are Bristol’s Burgers featuring ingredient-driven burgers, and Portico, a rustic outdoor beer and wine garden serving more than 20 beers, wines and cocktails, all on tap.
Park & Ocean, located at Fort Lauderdale’s Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, is a casual eatery sitting amid a shady grove on the Southeast side of the park along A1A, facing the Atlantic Ocean. A fresh, fun menu along with its own in-house brewery, Shady Brewing, featuring cold-brewed coffee, teas and soon-to-come craft beer, plus full access to the park and its activities.
MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza, a new restaurant and wine bar in Flagler Village, recently opened with meal choices for health-conscious foodies and epicureans.
Chef Josie Smith-Malave of Bravo TV's Top Chef opens her first restaurant, Bubbles & Pearls, a whimsical concept featuring a champagne raw bar in Wilton Manors.
Siren's Table recently opened in the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. A getaway for the senses serving impeccably-sourced seafood and prime, juicy steaks that are sometimes innovative, sometimes classic, but always fresh. Siren’s Table is a reference to the irresistible lure of the singing sirens in Greek Mythology. It is the promise of pristine seafood, rousing refreshments, ocean views, and the call of the sea.
NAKED CRAB Seafood Kitchen | Cocktail Bar, the B Ocean’s signature seafood and steak restaurant by Chef Ralph Pagano, is a modern seafood restaurant with all things surf or turf, pairing the finest prime steaks with the freshest seafood and the highest quality ingredients in a picturesque, beachside setting. The 150-seat restaurant and curbside patio also includes The Florida Bar, a wraparound bar with lounge seating.
Nisi Restaurant recently opened in Fort Lauderdale (formerly Thasos). A Mediterranean menu with a few "Asian touches at play." One Door East, located literally one door east of Valentino's in Fort Lauderdale, recently opened offering internationally inspired small plates and cocktails.
Bistro 17, at The Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel, was recently renovated as part of a $5 million modernization of the hotel. The restaurant was refreshed with a coastal-contemporary atmosphere where guests and locals alike can experience a unique-American mix of comfort foods and locally inspired options, and a touch of maritime culture while revealing a casually eclectic mix of wood tones, contemporary metals, and hues of blue and white accents ambiance.
B Square Burgers + Booze, gourmet burgers with a twist, recently opened on Las Olas Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. Other newcomers on Las Olas Blvd include Raw Poke Bar, a new fast-casual Hawaiian eatery, focusing on raw, cubed fish salad and CASH ONLY, an equal parts bar, a shake of lounge, and twist of nightclub.
New to Fort Lauderdale, the Poke House, a fast casual eatery offering Hawaiian poke bowls and many more island Pacific favorites and Bar Red Beard, a new craft beer bar and restaurant with homemade recipes and American crafted products.
New to Hollywood, American English Kitchen and Bar features an eclectic mix of regional American and globally influenced dishes. Amsterdam Bar and Restaurant features American fare such as the crowd-pleasing half-pound burgers, authentic Greek and Lebanese specialties, and healthy, vegetarian and high-protein selections prepared fresh from scratch. And in downtown Hollywood, Sons of Rome Ristorante, a family-owned and operated Italian restaurant and gourmet food store, recently opened serving authentic Italian cuisine and La Docta offering empanadas from around the world, preparing everything fresh on the premises.
The Halal Guys recently opened at the Tower Shops in Davie, bringing their world famous white sauce, along with the popular beef gyro and chicken sandwiches and platters. More locations coming soon, including Pembroke Pines.
The Restaurant People are busy opening three new dining concepts in Fort Lauderdale: Township, a casual beer hall, will open in November in downtown Fort Lauderdale (formerly Titled Kilt); Rooftop, a bar/restaurant eight stories above Las Olas, aims to open this summer, and TRP Taste, a culinary events space on Las Olas Blvd, will open in June.
El Camino, a 6,000-square-foot Mexican restaurant, is scheduled to open in December 2017 on Las Olas Boulevard (formerly Grill Republic and Voodka) serving tacos, margaritas (available in more than a dozen specialty flavors) and tequila offerings with more than 300 selections and around 100 different types of mezcal.
Bar Rita, an exciting new concept featuring a modern take on Mexican bar food with a rooftop margarita bar in Fort Lauderdale will be opening in 2017.
Watch all things Greater Fort Lauderdale 24/7. Check out live events and other exclusive Greater Fort Lauderdale content on the new Hello Sunny TV Network. You can also watch on Apple TV (4th gen) - visit the app store & search Hello Sunny.
Pembroke Pines City Center (PPCC) recently opened in the heart of Pembroke Pines, nestled between Mediterranean style residences, with casual-chic and family-style restaurants featuring international cuisine and numerous name-brand stores and shopping malls. The city center is a multi-use facility that is being built to serve the community by hosting events offering 35,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. The two-story structure, which spans 47,000 square feet, encompasses the Cultural Center (which includes an art gallery, a digital media arts center and a flexible space for performances and special events) and the new Broward County Library, opening this fall. Click here for more info and upcoming events.
Sawgrass Mills welcomes the first New York-based Century 21 Department Store in Florida, featuring women's, men's, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry, children's, cosmetics and home departments.