Imagine a family beach vacation at the newly renovated Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Florida and what do you dream of? A spectacular stretch of gold sand? A dreamy bed in a spacious room? Great food, wine and cocktails? A championship golf course? Tennis courts? A luxurious spa? A Kid's Club? Several pools? Families will find all this plus a focus on service by an extremely pleasant staff. Just as they describe themselves as being part of a" family," yours will feel right at home and very well taken care of.
The Diplomat Has Always Been Grand
Located in Hollywood, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, The Diplomat's historically grand reputation has been revived and updated for the 21st century. To put this in perspective, note that 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.
Famous people in the political sphere, such as Bobby, Ethel and Rose Kennedy, as well as every U.S. President since 1974, attended events and balls at The Diplomat.
Financial troubles eventually caused the hotel's doors to close in 1987. Finally, in 2002, a new and bigger resort with 1,058 rooms, a convention center, spa, retail center, marina, and nearby golf course happily opened its doors in the same beachfront location.
Welcome to The Diplomat's Great Watersports Facilities
The Art Deco curves and blue-green glass of the new building's exterior are stunning, and the inviting lobby, full of spectacular fresh flower arrangements and a beautiful water feature, leads out to the pool and beach areas.
Many guest rooms have a fabulous beach view, and most offer balconies with views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, the city or the golf course. Here is where Westin's signature "Heavenly Beds" await you, ensuring a comfortable and luxurious night's rest.
Most people come to Florida for some fun in the water, and The Diplomat has just what you'll need.
The pool complex includes a 120-foot infinity saline pool with a feature through which you can see others swimming below you in a separate 240-foot lagoon pool. Younger kids will enjoy the 6-inch-deep shallow end, and more serious swimmers will head to the lagoon pool where they can do laps through the gentle waterfalls. Private cabanas are available for rent.
Just steps from the pool area is the beach where families enjoy the sun, sand and surf. Rental catamarans, kayaks and JetSkis are available. Or, just relax with a chair and umbrella, and catch up on your reading, if you can get Dad to take the toddlers to the Kids Play Zone on the beach.
Kids Fun Led by Diplomat's Professional Director of Fun
Most family properties offer some kind of kids camp or club these days, but The Westin takes this so seriously, that there is a staff member whose title is "Director of Fun." Really.
Jeffrey Mikus loves The Westin and he loves kids, and it's a perfect match. He overseas the Kids Club as well as the pool and beach areas, interacting with the kids as often as he can. His program is a hit, and The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is proud to have recently received the distinction as the “Best Family Experience” by Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum members.
The Westin Kids Club facility is a series of sunny rooms right near the beach where kids play, do arts 'n 'crafts, sing songs, and watch movies.
Throughout the resort, young guests can play golf and tennis, go on beach walks, swim, play beach games, tour the extensive kitchens, and have cookie-decorating sessions with the pastry chef. The Westin Kid’s Club is for children ages 4-12 and includes a half-day ($30) or full-day program ($70) with snacks and refreshments. The full-day program includes lunch. And, for moms and dads who want to bring back “date night,” there is a Kid’s Night Out each Friday or Saturday, when kids enjoy a pizza and movie night ($50) allowing adults to be alone for a delectable dinner on the resort property.
Family Together Activities at The Westin Diplomat
Jeff also overseas the Westin Destination Club which encourages family together time. This complimentary program offers activities such as bingo, stargazing, movies under the stars, ice-cream socials, cookie baking, and some family competition with scavenger hunts, sand castle building and Wii contests.
The Westin's Director of Fun really takes his job to heart and says, “We see firsthand how much it means to families to have these special moments — whether it’s the family reconnecting during fireside “S’mores and Stories” or mom and dad rejuvenating their mind, body and spirit in the spa, sharing a romantic meal, or reveling in our gorgeous beachfront and golf locations."
"I’ve watched children grow up as they come back year after year with their families," says Mikus.
Golf, Tennis & Spa Keep Diplomat Guests Busy
When you want to play a round or a match, or indulge yourself with a spa treatment, take the convenient shuttle from the main building beach location for a 5-minute trip to the Diplomat Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort. This facility, located on the Intracoastal Waterway, is separate from, but very much a part of, The Westin Diplomat. Here you will find a much quieter, more serene setting, with a building fashioned after an Italian villa. Additional luxurious accommodations (60 guest rooms and 6 suites) are available if you want to stay overnight here.
The 18-hole championship golf course, managed by Troon, is sent amongst lush greenery and offers a driving range, putting greens and expert instruction. The tennis center features 10 clay courts, including one with stadium seating and offers clinics and private lessons. Both facilities offer full-service pro shops.
The 30,000 square-foot Spa at The Diplomat promises (and delivers) pampering and rejuvenation. In addition to the elegant, restful indoor lounge, there are spacious locker and vanity areas with private dressing rooms, separate men and women's saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools, landscaped private sunning areas, and direct access to the outdoor, adults-only outdoor Spa swimming pool. These amenities will get you ready to settle into one of 22 treatment rooms for the wellness therapy of your choice from the extensive spa menu. Massages are also available in your guest room. Additionally, a full service salon provides hair styling, manis and pedis.
The Spa facility also offers a full fitness center with weight training, a cardio studio, an exercise studio with classes, and a spa boutique where you can purchase some of the wonderful products used in your treatments.
Quality Cuisine & Service at the New Westin Diplomat
The Westin Diplomat offers nine restaurants from casual fare to fine dining, with a venue for every type of family reunion. Cafe and Common Grounds off the main lobby serve coffee, breakfast and lunch. There are two other venues for casual American fare and the fun Splash Bar & Grill for poolside meals. The athletic crowd will be close to Golf Course dining and the Spa Cafe for light, healthy meals.
For a superb steak dinner with a choice of over 500 wines, reserve a table at Hollywood Prime, the hotel's AAA four-diamond-rated steakhouse. If you prefer Asian fusion cuisine, make a reservation at Aizia and experience delicious food, spectacular presentations and waterfront serenity. And, if you aren't in the mood to go "out," 24-hour room-service is available.
After a few days of relaxing at The Diplomat, my parting impression is that while this is a large hotel with an adjoining convention center and a separate Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, guests here don't get lost in the crowd.
Just as it lured celebrities and ritzy vacationers with its fine service back in the 1950's, today's Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa maintains an intimate atmosphere where staff (many of whom have been with the hotel since its reopening) strive to provide every guest with a memorable vacation and a desire to return.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.