The Diplomat Resort With Kids For A Luxury Florida Family Beach Vacation - My Family Travels

If your family is aging out of South Beach party nights, plan a Florida beach vacation at the glittering Diplomat Beach Resort with kids. Located in Hollywood, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, The Diplomat’s historically grand reputation has been revived and updated for the 21st century. 

Two boys playing on top of a paddleboard at the Diplomat Hotel on a Florida beach.
Rent paddleboards, jet skis or just enjoy the gold sand beach when staying at The Diplomat Resort with kids. Photo. c. The Diplomat Hotel.

There are several reasons why vacationing at The Diplomat Resort with kids is a good idea. First, Hollywood has the same spectacular stretch of gold sand beach facing the Atlantic as Miami. You will discover the great food, wine and cocktails you know from your Ocean Drive days at this resort. Next, large guestrooms are better value than most SoBe options. And last but not least, families with children of any age are treated to the same level of service as adults.

The Diplomat is a Curio Collection Hotel and, just as the Hilton brands describe themselves as being part of a” family,” yours will feel right at home and well taken care of.

The Diplomat Has Always Been A Grand A-Lister Hangout

Sunset view of The Hotel Bar at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida.
The Hotel Bar at the Diplomat Resort competes favorably with the hotspots in Miami’s South Beach. Photo c. The Diplomat Beach Resort.

The Diplomat Beach Resort is one of those sprawling 1950s Florida properties that has lived nine lives (if not more.) As in many families, I first stayed there with my parents to visit grandparents living in Hollywood.   

To put this vintage resort’s long history in perspective, the original Diplomat Hotel opened in 1958. Many of the era’s most famous singers and comedians, such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Xavier Cugat, Milton Berle and others (ask your parents and grandparents) performed for the affluent crowd. Many of the Kennedy family, as well as every U.S. President since 1974, attended events and balls at The Diplomat’s legendary ballroom.

Financial troubles eventually caused the hotel’s doors to close in 1987. Finally, in 2002, a new and bigger resort with thousand rooms (10% suites), a convention center, spa, retail center, marina, and nearby golf course happily opened its doors in the same beachfront location. Once a Westin, it joined Hilton’s Curio Collection in 2014. After months of closure and a big post-pandemic refresh, the Diplomat Beach Resort is on Conde Nast Traveler‘s Reader’s Choice list and has earned four diamonds from AAA.

Enjoy The Diplomat Resort with Kids For Its Great Location

An aerial view of the two large pools, waterfront cafe and beach zone at The Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Photo. c. The Diplomat Hotel.
An aerial view of the two large pools, waterfront cafe and beach zone at The Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Photo. c. The Diplomat Hotel.

We know many young couples with infants long for an adult escape to Miami’s South Beach neighborhood. However, multigenerational groups and adults with older children prefer The Diplomat’s location beachfront in Hollywood (about 15 miles north of SoBe.) It’s quieter, there’s less traffic and more room to roam on an easily accessible beach.

The lively, stroller- and bike-friendly Hollywood Beach Boardwalk is a 10-minute walk away.

The Intracoastal Waterway is across the street. The Marina at Diplomat Landing provides deep-water dockage for yachts and mega-yachts with easy ocean access to the north at Port Everglades or the south at Haulover Inlet. Kids will enjoy seeing the boats that pull in for lunch at the resort (complimentary dockage is available while dining in the resort.)

On less than perfect beach days, hail a rideshare to the Aventura Mall or posh shops at Bal Harbour and enjoy window shopping a gourmet lunch. If you’re at the Diplomat Resort with kids, you’ll appreciate that it’s just 20 minutes from the shops and dining on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Kid And Family Amenities At The Diplomat Resort

Boy playing with a hoop in a waterpark at The Diplomat Resort, Hollywood, Florida.
The Dip + Slide splash zone is a major highlight of the Diplomat Resort with kids. Photo. c. The Diplomat Hotel.

Families flock to the Diplomat to enjoy the sun-filled playground’s two large pools and 26 rentable poolside cabanas. The huge lagoon style pool befits the resort’s 1950s vintage. This is the place to rent specialty cabanas created by fashion designer Trina Turk. The modern round pool, on a lower level, has a glass bottom that permits swimmers to peek into the resort’s lower-level arcade.

Watch younger kids test out the slides in the Dip + Slide water play area and get dumped on from the comfort of your lagoon pool chaise lounger.

Ask the concierge about watersports which are free of charge for guests. Oceanfront vendors rent jet skis, kayaks and paddleboards.Resort guest programs like non-motorized boats, loaner bicycles, live music and group fitness classes keep families and older children busy.

Teens will love the glass-walled 24 hour fitness center, free weekly yoga classes (four mornings a week) and twice weekly outdoor spin classes.

When you want to relax at the spa, check kids ages 4-12 into the Diplomat Kids Club, which opens Wednesday through Sunday. Counselors lead kids’ activities focused on the ocean, marine environment and play. Expect beach and pool games, arts’n’crafts and cooking classes. Depending on the season or holiday, themed activities are planned too. Rates begin at $30/hour if you’re dropping the kids briefly. The full day session includes lunch and costs $150 per child, booked in advance.

Guest Rooms and Suites For Kids At The Diplomat

This Oceanview guestroom at The Diplomat Resort has a balcony and kid play space. Photo c. Diplomat Beach Resort.
This Intracoastal view guestroom at The Diplomat Resort has a balcony and kid play space. Photo c. Diplomat Beach Resort.

At this size, the Diplomat is well suited for conventions and large meetings. The good news is, when there’s no business crowd, families can often plan a value-priced, luxury beachfront getaway. For even greater savings, it’s a good place to redeem Hilton Honors points.

Hotel Tip: The bad news is the Diplomat’s super-sized public areas will tire out little ones who want to walk everywhere. Before booking, call the hotel and ask their agents which rooms are closest to the elevators.

Spacious, bright rooms with natural wood furnishings and a bit of nautical style line both sides of the long corridors. To the west, modern rooms offer a sunset view of the Intracoastal Waterway and sprawling city of Hollywood beyond. To the east, guest rooms are decorated in earth tones with blue accents that complement the pool view below.

Several have balconies where you can have coffee while gazing out to the broad sand beach and sparkling Atlantic Ocean as the sun rises over south Florida.

Eating Well At The Diplomat with Kids

The Playa Restaurant and deck overlooks the beach at The Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida.
The Playa Restaurant and lunch deck are favorites hangouts for kids at The Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Photo. c. The Diplomat Hotel.

There’s plenty of buzz within the hotel from the six bars and restaurants, which draw in many locals. Tropical themed lounges, swaying palms and rattan furnishings add a Caribbean vibe to some venues. All ages will enjoy the expansive lobby that runs from the circular driveway to the pool deck overlooking the beach.

Among several dining choices, our family especially enjoyed the Canteen – Supply & Trading Company. Canteen specializes in snacks, small meals and drinks served in a cafe or in the lobby, where guests lounge on cushioned rattan chairs. There’s also a coffee bar serving light breakfast, pastries and sandwiches that won’t break the bank.

Playa is the hotel’s beachfront location, serving Nuevo-Latina fare and doing poolside service. Diplomat Prime is the elegant steakhouse run by Chef Rashaad Abdool, featuring prime beef aged in-house and seafood dishes that change with the seasons. Those traveling with over-21s will appreciate its extensive tropical rum and tequila selection. The Hotel Bar has a casual, living room vibe with outdoor and indoor seating.

Trip Planning Tips for a Family Getaway to the Diplomat

Check out family packages, including summer stays with guaranteed oceanview rooms at a 15% discount. Or, take advantage of the perks like $100 nightly resort credit, welcome drinks, room upgrade and complimentary parking that come with two-night minimum stays. Check their website for more offers at Diplomat Resort.

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1 Reply to “The Diplomat Resort With Kids For A Luxury Florida Family Beach Vacation”

  • alli65

    Reading this story has been a stroll down memory lane.  I stayed at the Diplomat as a little girl in the 1970's, and still remember how impressed I was with it.  So glad to hear that the resort has bounced back to its original glory.  

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