HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- After numerous delays that pushed back the full
opening of the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa by more than two
years, the property's 1,000 room main dual towers were scheduled to
hold a soft opening Jan. 31.
The adjoining 209,000-square-foot convention center, which is
now scheduled to make its debut Feb. 10, contains a
50,000-square-foot Great Hall, four ballrooms and 39 breakout
The center can accommodate 8,000 people and has its own parking
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for both facilities will take place in
late February, according to Gary Sims, general manager of the
The latest in a series of glitches that have plagued the resort
occurred last December, when a leak in a heating distribution pipe
activated the sprinkler system in the meetings complex.
As reported, fabrics and finishes in the convention center
sustained water damage, pushing back the soft opening from Jan. 10
to Jan. 31.
The main complex is flanked by the Intracoastal Waterway and the
Atlantic Ocean and features 900 rooms and 100 suites.
Opening room rates range from $289 to $379, and suites are
priced from $475.
The building's five-story atrium lobby is canopied with palm
trees and walls of cascading water, which act as dividers between
Beyond the lobby is a 240-foot, lagoon-style pool that is
parallel to the Atlantic Ocean and is bridged by a clear-bottom
The property also has poolside cabanas that feature Internet
access and phone service.
Sims said the Diplomat, which pays travel agents 10% commission
and is a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection, is primed to
welcome its first major group on Feb. 10 -- the United Association
of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Pension Fund -- a union which also
happens to be the property's owner.
The group has a block of 600 rooms for the show.
Hotel officials, who anticipate 70% group business and 30%
leisure, expect many corporate travelers to bring along their
families because of the hotel's amenities, including the
• The Executive Club Lounge. This lounge is on the 33rd floor,
where the VIP concierge service operates.
There, guests are served continental breakfast and have access
to a private pantry, a wet bar and two ad-joining meeting rooms for
The hotel also offers a business center, nonsmoking rooms,
on-premise dining, access for travelers with disabilities, Westin
Kids Club and Westin's Service Express, which offers business
travelers direct access to service features such as laundry pickup
and fitness center and meal reservations.
• Water taxi shuttle. This courtesy service transports guests
along the Intracoastal Waterway to the Diplomat Country Club, which
has been open since March 15, 2000.
The country club features 60 Italian-villa-style rooms; dining
facilities; an 18-hole championship golf course with PGA golf
instruction; 10-clay tennis courts, and a 30,000-square-foot
European-style spa with 17 private treatment rooms, an outdoor pool
and a fitness center.
For clients, a one-night Putt & Pamper package is offered at
the country club.
Nightly rates through March 31 are from $444 per person, single,
or $589, double.
Included are a guest room, breakfast and a choice of one round
of golf or a Swedish massage.
• The Diplomat Landing. Set on the Intracoastal Waterway, this
50,000-square-foot retail complex offers upscale shops, restaurants
and entertainment for hotel guests.
A pedestrian skywalk connects the main hotel to the Diplomat
Landing, which also has a 30-slip yacht marina.
Other amenities geared to business travelers include some 1,100
data ports, an on-site technology staff, videoconferencing and
In-room business amenities include high-speed Internet access
and dual data ports -- one for Internet usage and one for private
In addition, televisions feature On-Command, a service that
details daily hotel activities as well as information on corporate
meetings; two dual-line speaker and cordless phones with voice
mail, and five-digit dialing between the Westin Diplomat Resort and
the country club.
The Diplomat is situated midway between the cities of Fort
Lauderdale and Miami.
In addition to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airports
both being within a 30-minute drive of the resort, there are two
executive airports in the area.
And the cruise ports of Port Everglades and Miami make the
property convenient for pre- and post-cruise stays, according to a
spokeswoman for the Diplomat.
For guests looking to get in some restful nights, the Diplomat
offers the 10-layer Heavenly Bed with custom-made mattresses, down
blankets and five pillows.
Other room amenities include refreshment centers, coffeemakers,
hair dryers, movies and a radio/CD unit, and in-room safes that are
capable of storing a laptop computer.
The Diplomat has several dining options from which to choose,
starting with its signature restaurant, Hollywood Prime, which
serves steaks and wines in a romantic setting.
Satine is a South Beach-inspired night spot that specializes in
international cuisine and fine wines.
The eatery has a terrace that overlooks the ocean.
For more casual dining, the poolside Splash Bar & Grill
serves up light fare.
The resort also features the Royal Palm dining room; the Links
Grill, which affords views of the golf course; an afternoon bar
called the Tack Room; the Cafe for breakfast, lunch and dinner; a
lobby lounge serving cocktails, light meals and desserts; a coffee
shop; 24-hour room service, and a kosher kitchen.
For more information, call the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa
at (888) 627-9057 or (954) 602-6000.
The property's Web site is located at www.diplomatresort.com.