Florida Hotels Hit the Refresh Button

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Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa has undergone sea-inspired guestroom renovations in addition to reinvigorating its lobby space.
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa has undergone sea-inspired guestroom renovations in addition to reinvigorating its lobby space.

In the past year we’ve reported on the Florida hotel boom that has taken place across the state in several articles, including Florida’s 2016 Hotel Forecast and Third Update: Florida’s 2016 Hotel Forecast. Yet it would be remiss of us not to expound upon the many hotel renovations occurring from Central to South Florida. Here is a small sampling of a few Florida staples that are hitting the refresh button on everything from guestrooms and lobbies to dining venues and one championship golf course.

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa
Featuring improved furnishings, fixtures, flooring and cool-toned decor including natural woods and textures with sea life-inspired artwork, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa has undergone sea-inspired guestroom renovations, in addition to reinvigorating its lobby space with an artwork installation, indoor greenery, ample seating and neutral-toned decor. With 650 guestrooms and 11 room types, ranging from accommodations boasting Intracoastal Waterway views to an oceanfront Presidential Suite, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa’s guestroom renovations took inspiration from the New River in South Florida, and is based on the movement of the river leading towards the ocean. The new accommodations are now sporting neutral linen fabrics, accents and textures that are complemented by striated carpets that mimic sunrises and reflections over the waves and sand, as well as sand-colored lounge chairs, nightstands, ottomans, lamps, sleeper chairs, and new balcony furniture. Additional highlights include modern and spacious desk spaces accented with a quartz finish, artwork illustrating sea life hanging above the beds, and a bathroom design that incorporates functional improvements such as sliding doors to maximize space, a low shower bar and a shower head that is placed on the wall opposite of the handles.

Earlier this year, the onsite 3030 Ocean restaurant completed an extensive 3-month renovation with enhancements such as a fresh color palette, romantic lighting, modern artwork and tempered glass walls. Rates start at $244 per night. For more information, call (954) 525-4000 or visit harborbeachmarriott.com.

Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
Located in the Disney Springs area, the 1,011-guestroom Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, formerly known as Buena Vista Palace Resort & Spa, has completed an extensive multimillion dollar hotel-wide renovation. The newly transformed property, an official Walt Disney World Hotel and product of Hilton’s continued expansion in the Orlando market, features upscale refurbishments including a new guestroom design; modern lobby; new lobby bar and outside terrace, Sunnies; new signature restaurant, Letterpress; grab-and-go market, Cirtus28; and revamped Kay Casperson Spa, Salon & Boutique. In addition, the hotel has opened a re-imagined recreation area with a Float Lagoon lazy river, new pools and cabanas, plus a new poolside restaurant, Shades, serving lunch and dinner.

Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is located inside Walt Disney World Resort with access, via a new pedestrian skyway bridge, to Disney Springs, and also participates in Hilton’s free-to-join Hilton HHonors loyalty program. Rates start at $169 per night. For more information, call (407) 827-4000 or visit www3.hilton.com.

Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables features newly imagined spaces, including sleek and modern guestrooms.
Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables features newly imagined spaces, including sleek and modern guestrooms.

Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables
Centrally located on Miracle Mile in the heart of Coral Gables—one of Miami’s most picturesque neighborhoods—yet distanced from tourist-laden South Beach, Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables, formerly The Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables, and the newest addition to Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide’s Tribute Portfolio, has wrapped up an $18 million renovation. The 157-guestroom property, resting on the site of The Colonnade Building—erected in the 1920s by Coral Gables founder George Merrick—features newly imagined spaces from glamorous event venues to the sleek and modern guestrooms, with each space reflecting the local destination’s Latin vibe. The existing vaulted ceilings and grand staircase in the lobby are now centered under a dramatic stained glass “rosary” style window and oversized Murano glass chandeliers. The newly revealed lobby bar offers guests and locals alike the chance to taste the evening’s signature cocktail or enjoy a bite from the new small plates menu. Each morning at the onsite Aragon Cafe, guests are offered tastes inspired by Miami’s international culture made with the freshest ingredients sourced from local partners.

In addition to providing access to the nearby stylish shops, art galleries, and the upscale Shops at the Village of Merrick Park, all accessible via the Coral Gables complimentary trolley service, Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables offers its own entertainment in the form of a state-of-the-art game room, complete with a pool table, shuffleboard, oversized TVs, and a bar area. Completing the renovation are elegant new guestrooms featuring wood floors and contemporary stainless steel pedestal beds, complemented by sleek sectional sofas and intricate bronze and smoked glass desks. Rates start at $199 per night. For more information, call (305) 441-2600 or visit starwoodhotels.com/tributeportfolio.

The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is nearing the completion of its $9 million golf course redesign. 
The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is nearing the completion of its $9 million golf course redesign.

The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
Set on 125 lush acres, complemented by seven miles of white-sand beach, the 319-guestroom Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Southwest Florida is set to complete the dramatic renovation of its championship golf course this November. The AAA four-diamond resort’s course is being redesigned in collaboration with architect John Sanford and input from golf legend and acclaimed course designer Jack Nicklaus. Following its $50 million resort-wide renovations and enhancements over the last few years, the total redesign of the resort’s course, which began in April, includes a brand-new par 71 course, featuring five tees, ranging from 4,800 yards to over 6,900 yards. Designed to challenge experienced players but also be enjoyable for all golfers, the course offers new holes, including the signature hole #16, a medium-length ‘Redan’ par 3. In addition to the new course, the resort has added a 300-yard practice and teaching range, and will add new golf carts with GPS tracking systems.

The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club also features a spa, fitness center, the Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center with six Har-Tru courts, a complimentary Beach Kids Club for children ages 5 to 12, retail shops, beach rentals, and scenic outdoor venues, plus multiple restaurants and lounges, including the signature beachfront restaurant HB’s on the Gulf, serving breakfast daily and providing panoramic views of the golf course. In addition to its location near Naples’ fashionable 5th Avenue South and historic 3rd Street South shopping districts, the resort also provides access to multiple entertainment musts such as the Everglades, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Corkscrew Swamp, The Botanical Gardens, and Conservancy Nature Center. Boat and fishing trips can also be arranged at the hotel. October rates start at $289 per night on weekdays; $319 per night on weekends, and include complimentary self-parking and valet parking, and complimentary access to the resort’s fitness center. November rates start at $329 per night. For more information, call (239) 261-2222 or visit naplesbeachhotel.com.