Fort Lauderdale Travel Guide
It seems like just yesterday we were playing Guess The Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, but fast-forward five years and we’re back—and we’re talking yet another renovation. The ship-shaped hotel formerly known as The Yankee Clipper has been doing its things in Fort Lauderdale for years and years, and after a stint as a Sheraton it has been turned over and turned into the B Ocean Resort.
Upgrades and improvements are scheduled to wrap up early next year, so all those spring breakers will be able to check things out during their ins and outs of sobriety. The Sun Sentinel has all the details, but it sounds like new colors and fun furnishings are just part of the plans.
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With scene-stealers like Delanoand SLS South Beach across the street (just to name a few), the The Gale South Beach doesn't get as much attention as perhaps it should. With crisp-looking rooms, a sweet rooftop pool, and one of our favorite bars on the beach -- The Regent Cocktail Club -- you could even call this the little hotel that could.
More evidence of that get-up and go mentality? The Gale is now expanding to Fort Lauderdale. That's it above, or at least what it will look like when the project opens towards the end of 2016. We say "project," because this is not simply a hotel. The Gale Boutique Hotel & Residences will contain a 96-room hotel as well as 128 furnished residences -- which owners will be able to rent out.
The extreme makeover of the seductive hotel will be undertaken by The Related Group/Related Companies, who purchased the W last summer and the renovations will be carried out in stages throughout the year.
A B Hotel!
This is an interesting turn of events. The other day we reported that the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, formerly The Yankee Clipper, would stop being a Sheraton on December 1 but there was no clue as to who or what brand would go in its place. Now, we have an answer. A tipster tells us that the hotel will be a B Hotel. And indeed, it's been confirmed on the B Hotels website with an opening date of December 1.
You might remember the B brand opened its very first hotel in Fort Lauderdale, but that has now changed into a Sonesta Hotel. B went onto open a spot in Orlando as well as Savannah and they launched their b2 brand in Miami.
No doubt all the B programming will be installed in their FLL spot, including mood lighting, free WiFi and variety of amenities and services that all start with B. Hopefully they will let the Yankee Clipper's Wreck Bar and the Dos Caminos restaurant just "b."
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Not long after Starwood Hotels dissolved its management of the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla. (the hotel is now known as The Diplomat and it's part of Hilton's Curio Collection), comes another big brand loss in nearby Fort Lauderdale.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that The Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, remembered by most as the Yankee Clipper Hotel, will cease to be a Sheraton on December 2, 2014. However, no one knows yet what sort of brand, if any, will take over the cruise-ship inspired building which is also home to the Wreck Bar and Dos Caminos restaurant.
Interestingly, the building was sold in 2005 to the Starwood Capital Group, which is actually hotelier Barry Sternlicht's company and not Starwood Hotels'. So could this turn into a 1 Hotel or a Baccarat Hotel? Highly unlikely, as the building is rumored to be for sale, but we're dying to find out what will end up happening.
Got any inside scoop? Let us know!
[Photo: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale]
We told you earlier this year that the saga of the ill-fated Trump Fort Lauderdale would have a happy ending by summer 2015, opening as the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Hotel & Beach Residences. A $30 million-plus investment would erase any signs of half a decade of vacancy and neglect, the result of which we can show you a few renderings of now.
Above the driveway and entrance to the 290-room hotel, with an interesting lattice wood-like sculpture above what looks like a water feature. All accommodations are either studios or suites and come with full kitchenettes.
Daryl Hannah would be so proud to tie the knot at Sheraton Forth Lauderdale Beach Hotel with their newest wedding package that's fit for those with fins. While we might be over underwater hotels, we can really get behind a picture-perfect, underwater-wedding day.
The Mermaid Wedding package offers love-dovey couples the opportunity to say their "I Do's" under water with an "actual" mermaid while up to 50 of their closest friends watch from the dry deck of The Wreck Bar, the hotel's nautical-themed bar. (See a photo of a vow-renewal here.) From portholes and picture windows, your guests have a view under the surface of the hotel pool for the bride and groom's 10-minute ceremony. Something tells us there wont be a dry eye in the house.
Once the happy couple dries off, a 90-minute reception in the bar for toasts and mingling with your guests. The package includes a choreography session prior to the ceremony so neither the bride or groom look like a dead fish and mermaid tails will be on offer for photo-ops.
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A few years ago, the planned Trump Hotel in Fort Lauderdale was still "blowing in the wind" without an operator and it continued that way until last month, when Conrad Hotels announced they would be taking over the property (in partnership with CFLB Partnership LLC) and renaming it the The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Residences.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the 290-roomproperty will be a condo-hotel with different residential layouts which will be rented to guests when the owners are not staying in them. Prices for the units will start at $450,000.
But since the building was left unoccupied for so long, it will now require some loving care to get it up to Conrad Hotels luxury standards. Word is the property will get about $34 million in enhancements that will also include a fitness center, a Conrad Spa, a swimming pool and an oceanfront restaurant. It will open in 2015. Better late than never at all.
Hat tip to Thackftl for the on-the-scene observation.
[Photo: Michael Graves Design]
Despite the fact that the new wind turbines being installed on the roof of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will produce a very small percentage of the hotel's power, Randy Gaines, Hilton's VP of Engineering, Housekeeping and Laundry Operations, thinks it's a huge step in the right direction.
“The turbines will help us visualize the hotel as a place to be conscious of energy use,” Gaines told the South Florida Business Journal. “It’s not going to be a big percentage of the hotel power, but it will help to highlight the importance of conserving electricity, and to start dialogue.”
The symbolism of the six turbines is definitely a welcome sight for the hotel industry, a move that speaks volumes in terms of Hilton's determination to be environmentally friendly. Considering the appearance of the turbines has always been a source of conflict when it comes to wind energy, the fact that Hilton is putting them on its roof sends a strong message. Not to be overly dramatic, but it shows the industry is capable of making decisions based on something a little less shallow.
No hot SoFla hotel is complete without a sleek salon doling out sleek tresses, so it was inevitable that the W Fort Lauderdale would join the blowout set. And it comes with serious A-list cred, as the beachfront property is the proud new location of a Ted Gibson Salon.
For anyone who doesn't know, Gibson is the kind of hairstylist who's always in demand at events like last night's Golden Globes. You may have also seen him work his magic on What Not to Wear.
If you want to head to the hot party of the summer, go out when the moon is full. The Ritz-Carlton South Beach and Hotel Solamar throw full moon parties, but the latest to have the celestial celebrations is the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale.
The Fort Lauderdale hotel will offer a new spin on the moonlit soirees by giving it a '70s theme on its July 15 event from 7 to 10 p.m. An extra incentive to go, aside from the fact that you can break out those bell bottoms again, is that it's free.
The Fort Lauderdale hotel scene got its latest pop with the opening of B Ocean recently, but one other much-hyped opening--one that that crashed and burned--is still casting an empty shadow on the beach. We're talking about the ill-fated Trump Fort Lauderdale--which is no longer a Trump, and no longer much of anything, really...
When we last checked in on the project, we were hoping that someone else would scoop up the beachfront property, maybe in time for Christmas 2011. Yeah, well, thanks for nothing, Santa.