At a time when the recession has all but stopped hotel development, South Florida's Greater Fort Lauderdale area keeps adding new and transformed properties to its already impressive lodging industry. To showcase the destination's growing offering of deluxe category properties, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has created the Lauderdale Luxe Collection, featuring best in-market hotels and resorts.
The Lauderdale Luxe Collection includes 13 destination properties that share the common attributes of four-star, four-diamond or better ranking, full-service restaurant and on-premises spa or dedicated/contracted services. Membership in the Lauderdale Luxe Collection is by invitation only, and many of the properties included are either new or have recently been updated.
Additionally, Greater Fort Lauderdale's luxury lodging product now has its own cyber-home: www.sunny.org/luxe. The Lauderdale Luxe microsite has dedicated categories for the hotels in the Luxe Collection; along with a section on dining and insider information on the area's finest culinary experiences, such as dockside dining along the Intracoastal Waterway. It also includes a "pursuits" section that showcases Greater Fort Lauderdale's beyond-the-beach casual sophistication with information on spas, vibrant nightlife, high-end shopping, and more.
"The launch of the new Lauderdale Luxe Collection is a sure sign to visitors we are truly a transformed beach chic hot spot," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Savvy travelers will appreciate the high-end product we now have to offer here in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Following is a rundown of Greater Fort Lauderdale's Lauderdale Luxe Collection properties:
- Alantic Hotel & Spa: Overlooking an endless ribbon of pristine, golden Fort Lauderdale beach, The Atlantic Hotel offers 124 deluxe guestrooms and suites, including a signature penthouse collection, and evokes the sense of an exclusive oceanfront club. Guests can relax and indulge at the hotel's Spa Atlantic, and can enjoy dining with ocean views at East End Brasserie. The hotel also offers 1,160 square feet of fully-wired event space, including a stylish poolside patio terrace for groups of up to 100. The property is located moments away from world-class shopping, galleries and restaurants and offers an ideal location for beachfront relaxing.
- Bonaventure Resort & Spa: Located in Weston, Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa features 501 spacious, modern guestrooms, four swimming pools, multiple dining options - including the acclaimed Ireland's Steakhouse, Banyan Restaurant, Cabana Bar & Café and Bar Zen - and a state of the art conference center spanning 60,000 square feet of meeting space. Additionally, the AAA-rated Four Diamond hotel boats 48,000 square foot spa that provides guests with an unmatched experience..
- Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa: Located on 16 oceanfront acres, Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is in the final stages of a $50 million renovation to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The multimillion-dollar redesign includes the additions of a 10,000-square-foot ballroom and new restaurant, each overlooking the resort's private beach; expanded fitness facilities at The Spa at Harbor Beach, and updated décor for all 650 guestrooms and suites, most of which have private balconies. 3030 Ocean is the hotel's upscale specialty restaurant, helmed by Chef Dean James Max and offering fresh American seafood creations. Other dining options include Riva and Sea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar (opening 2010). The resort also offers 40,000 square feet of flexible indoor meeting space, 20,000 square feet of outdoor oceanfront terraces and 200,000 square feet of powdery beachfront for signature events.
- Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort: With a spirit of elegance that is personalized for each guest, this beachfront resort features 374 well-appointed studios and suites; golf at Parkland Golf & Country Club and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The 20,000 square foot Sunrise Terrace offers an infinity pool and private poolside cabanas. Other resort offerings include a beach concierge; indoor and outdoor spa treatments and poolside children's activities. Dining options include ilios, a Mediterranean restaurant and bar featuring Executive Chef Sean McDonald's Tapas Tasting Menu; 24 hour In Room Dining Service and Le Marche Gourmet Market & Bakery, offering Starbucks coffee, pizzas, paninis, and more. In 2010, the resort plans to welcome an additional ocean-front restaurant.
- Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina: Offering 589 rooms, the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina has just completed a comprehensive $70 million transformation. All public spaces were completely redesigned, including a new lobby, modernized guestrooms and suites, refurbished swimming pool and tropical deck area, as well as enhancements to the 21,000 square feet of existing meeting and event facilities. The hotel's new signature restaurant, Jeffrey Chodorow's celebrated China Grill, offers innovative Asian-inspired cuisine, while The G - a stylish lunchtime spot overlooking the hotel's 33-slip inlet marina - offers more casual fare. Guests can enjoy preferred access to Spa 66 at neighboring LXR sister property Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six and complimentary shuttle service to nearby Fort Lauderdale beach.
- Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Resort & Spa: Recently unveiling a $40 million renovation, the resort offers 384 stylish guestrooms and suites with a distinctive blend of casual sophistication. Enhancements include a complete redesign of the deluxe lanai rooms with retro-modern appointments; transformation of the lobby with a sleek, new bar; refurbishments to the resort's Tower guestrooms and suites; and upgrades to the three-pool waterfall oasis and lanai courtyard including the addition of cabanas and lush landscaping. The resort's 25,000 square feet of meeting space have also been updated, including the famed Pier Top, known for its 360 degree panoramic views, which was redesigned into a special occasion venue. The resort also features its 127 slip world-class marina and aquatic center. Dining options include Grille 66 & Bar offering steak and seafood, along with Pelican Landing, The Lounge, Mariners Cafe, Orchids Pool Bar and the Pier Top Brunch, voted South Florida's #1 Brunch.
- Lago Mar Resort & Club: The Lago Mar Resort & Club is located between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Mayan in the exclusive Harbor Beach neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale. The hotel features 164 spacious suites and 40 oversized guestrooms, with a mix of Mediterranean and Key West influences. Other resort amenities include a 6,000-square foot spa; a Cybex-equipped fitness center; Acquario, the resort's signature restaurant featuring Northern Italian cuisine; and a conference center offering 12,000 square feet of flexible event space.
- The Pillars at New River Sound: The Pillars is one of Fort Lauderdale's premier boutique hotels and the only member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World in the destination. The hotel offers 18 beautifully appointed guestrooms and five suites, decorated with a mix of British Colonial and Island Plantation themes. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, The Pillars is home to The Secret Garden restaurant - an exclusive experience available only to hotel guests and select friends of the hotel - along with contracted spa services available in-room, dockside or poolside.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale: The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale debuted on August 11, 2008, and features 192 guest rooms and suites; 24,000 square feet of light-filled meeting space; a raised 29,000 square foot tropical sundeck with an infinity pool and private cabanas and a destination Spa with an 8,500 square foot, water view fitness center. Four dining and entertainment options include three-meal-a-day restaurant with seating indoors or al fresco on an ocean-view patio, a picturesque oceanfront Lobby Bar, a dramatic Wine Room with a 5,000 bottle wine cellar and rare Scotch collection, and a seventh floor Pool Bar with commanding ocean views.
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: Located in Hollywood, Florida, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino affords guests the opportunity to play, stay, dine, and shop. The Green Lodging Certified, AAA, Four Diamond-rated resort showcases 500 luxurious guest rooms, 16 restaurants and lounges, 40,000-square-feet of meeting room space, a European-style spa, auto salon, 22 retail shops, 14 nightclubs, Paradise Live, and Hard Rock Live. The property's casino features eighty-seven tables offering Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai-Gow, Three Card and Texas Hold'em Poker and Vegas-style slots.
- W Fort Lauderdale: The first W Hotel in Florida, the $205 million hotel opened its doors on April 30, 2009, and is located on a 4.5-acre site offering dramatic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Amenities include W Hotel's Whatever/Whenever services, a signature Stephen Starr gourmet restaurant- Steak 954, an inviting Living Room lobby, Whiskey Blue bar, a state-of-the-art SWEAT® fitness center, the renowned Bliss® Spa, and a one-of-a-kind oceanfront infinity-edge pool. In addition, the W Fort Lauderdale boasts 12,400 square feet of meeting and event space including Sensory® Set Up.
- The Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale: Recently re-opened after completing the first phase of a multi-million dollar rebirth, the resort's 433 spacious guestrooms and suites have been designed to restore mind and body in a prime oceanfront setting. Resort offerings include an alluring Heavenly Spa by WestinTM, beachfront Starbucks bistro, and the signature restaurant, Shula's on the Beach, which also received a new look. The resort provides more than 32,000 square feet of flexible event space, including two ballrooms and a rooftop deck with more than 5,500 square feet of space and inspiring Atlantic Ocean views. The resort's final phase of renovations will be completed by December 2009.
- The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa: The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa: A premiere beachfront destination with 1,058 guestrooms, The Westin Diplomat Resort offers ocean, Intracoastal or golf course views. The resort offers a luxurious getaway in Hollywood, Florida with world-class amenities including two beachfront pools with private cabanas, water sports, marinas, a 72-par golf course managed by Troon Golf, tennis courts and a full-service Spa at The Diplomat. Dining options include fine seafood and steakhouse cuisine at Hollywood Prime; Aizia offers playful traditional Asian cuisine; and BarSu brings together the freshest Sushi Bar and unique libations. The Café opens early for breakfast and lunch, while beachfront dining is a South Florida must at Splash Grill & Bar. At Rivals Waterfront Sports Grille, you may go for your favorite team but you'll be sure to stay for the food. For meetings, the resort's convention center boasts over 209,000-square feet of flexible space along with ample outdoor options.
For more information on the Lauderdale Luxe Collection, please visit www.sunny.org/luxe.
About Greater Fort Lauderdale From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a “beach chic” vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping. For more info, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit www.sunny.org.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visitlauderdale or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitlauderdale or join us on Foursquare at www.foursquare.com/visitlauderdale. To have Greater Fort Lauderdale in the palm of your hand, download the free iPhone applications, Defrost Your Swimsuit and ‘Fork’ Lauderdale, and Mild to Wild the LGBT mobile site at www.sunny.org/apps.