In 2011, B Hotels & Resorts launched in Fort Lauderdale with its first hotel, B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, with a very specific goal—provide an approachable, but stylish lifestyle hotel at a moderate price point, without compromising sleek design and well-thought-out amenities, especially for today’s tech-savvy traveler. After that initial hotel opening came another launch, the full-service value brand b2, with one property in Miami, b2 miami downtown.
“What makes the brand stand out from other hotel brands is the DNA that we have defined and the signature elements,” says Ayelet Weinstein, CEO and president, B Hotels & Resorts.
“We try to tie the experience to the destination, which you can see in the different design elements in each of our hotels. You feel like it’s an environment where you belong and it’s a treat for you [to stay there],” she adds.
The brand offers a bevy of complimentary amenities, ranging from WiFi to iPads on loan, fitness centers and wellness programs. Guests can also expect to find signature elements that span across the brand’s hotels, such as a full-service spa or spa suite; excursions designed around the destination; inviting social spaces; and a food and beverage program featuring signature restaurants.
The result is a hotel group that doesn’t skimp on style. As Weinstein notes, guests don’t have to “compromise because of saving money. The hotels’ approachability runs from the design of the spaces and goes through all of the services.”
Your clients only have to make one choice: city or shore?
“The B brand is defined as ‘lifestyle without attitude.’ The idea with the brand in general is to come with a fresh, innovative, unpretentious place that we can all enjoy, and something that is very aligned with our personality,” Weinstein says.
The Fort Lauderdale flagship property features 240 guestrooms, all with a catch—ocean views no matter where you stay in the building. We checked into a spacious Captivating Curve guestroom this past summer that captured its nautical surroundings, with pops of turquoise in the artwork hanging on the walls and pillows, set against an all-white backdrop and sand-colored carpet.
While we could’ve spent a weekend lounging in our room, the Atlantic Ocean views had us longing for the beach, but not before stopping by the pool on the way out. The infinity-edge pool is perfect to catch the Florida rays without dealing with the sand, and the poolside cabanas add a sophisticated touch to the intimate pool deck.
B Ocean is across the street from the beach, so guests aren’t technically beachfront, but since the area is pedestrian-friendly, it’s a quick walk from the hotel to the sand.
B Ocean is also located farther down the road from the other Fort Lauderdale properties and the boardwalk bars, so it’s surrounded by nature. Recommend your clients hop on a bike (a B-cycle bicycle rental stand is located just out front) and pedal along the promenade or explore the adjacent Hugh Taylor Birch State Park for a picnic or paddling.
Fort Lauderdale’s culinary scene is on the rise, with a bevy of options nearby, such as Rocco’s Tacos, S3 Restaurant, and the trendy Steak 954 at the W Fort Lauderdale. While guests should explore what the city has to offer, B Ocean’s restaurants are also a must-try. B’stro on the Beach is perfect for indulging in a breakfast buffet before starting the day, or for a complimentary glass of wine and light bites during the 5 p.m. social hour. The sushi restaurant SAIA, meanwhile, offers oceanfront patio seating and a sleek interior, with a selection of small and large plates, sushi, and craft cocktails. Rates at B Ocean start at $299 per night.
Overlooking Biscayne Bay, b2 miami downtown opened last May as the first b2 property in the heart of downtown near Bayside and the American Airlines Arena.
“With b2, which is the value, full-service [brand], our tagline that basically represents what the brand is about is ‘lifestyle within reach.’ The idea is that you don’t need to forgo comfort and style for price,” Weinstein says. “We try to create a very stylish, very inviting environment.”
Stepping inside the 243-room hotel, we immediately got that feeling. The property captures an urban aesthetic playing off of its surrounding environment, which can be seen in the bustling lobby that spills into the signature restaurant, Biscayne Tavern.
The b2 brand exudes a more boutique hotel-feel that is fitting for Miami, with comfortable rooms with a clean and modern design—think minimalist bathrooms, cozy couches, sleek desks and natural light pouring through expansive windows overlooking the bay or Miami’s skyline.
Not quite as luxurious as its big sister brand B Hotels, b2 captures more of the “cool” factor a downtown city hotel should have—and that definitely expands to its restaurant, a gastro tavern by Jeffrey Chodorow and China Grill Management. This neighborhood hotspot offers a laid-back setting and serves local food and craft brews. A few highlights include the shrimp & sharp cheddar grits, brick-pressed Italian lemon garlic chicken, and the chocolate chip cookies (trust us on this one). Rates at b2 miami downtown start at $179 a night.
expanding into 2014
“From a travel agent perspective, [the hotels] are something they can feel confident to send their clients to because the hotels don’t compromise on location. All of our hotels are and will be in prime locations in major destinations. We are looking into all the major destinations in the U.S. and later on we will go globally,” Weinstein says.
The brand aims to provide guests with a tailored experience and “create a very balanced model to tie what we are offering to the desire of the guest,” she says.
Next up for the brand is the spring opening of the B Resort located in the Walt Disney World Resort. The 394-room resort near Downtown Disney will offer a signature dining element, the American BBQ restaurant, American Q, in addition to the brand’s first full-service spa, B Indulged Spa.
Unlike the spa suites offered at the other two properties, this spa will feature four treatment rooms and a full-service salon. Expect to find the other B Hotels elements, as well as bunkbeds and gaming consoles in some of the guestrooms; mini-refrigerators; kitchenette or wet bars in select rooms; the Kid’s Club at B Resort; private cabanas and outdoor fire pits; and an outdoor, heated zero-entry mineral water pool with water elements.
B in the know
Travel agents can get acquainted with the B Hotels brand, while earning rewards and deals for their clients, by enrolling in the new B Our Preferred Travel Agent rewards program, available at bhotelsandresorts.com/travel-agent.php. Once agents complete an orientation and questionnaire, they become a preferred travel agent and receive higher commission rates; an annual complimentary stay; promotions for their clients, such as exclusive rates and packages; quarterly FAM trip invitations; and brand updates.