As I stepped inside The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida on a late fall afternoon, I noticed straight away the grandeur of the sweeping lobby. The early holiday season was in full swing in South Florida and a giant Christmas tree was on display directly next to a large blue and silver menorah, both with twinkling lights.
Located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, this spectacular beachfront property with 998 rooms is a monolithic structure and could be intimidating to some at first glance. But just beyond the usual check-in line awaits a plethora of pleasing options.
Our room on the 34th floor was an awakening for the senses. The expansive view from our balcony out to the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean seemed surreal. The only thing visible as far as the eye could see was bright blue water, with a few clouds on the distant horizon. We were strategically located literally steps from the first-rate Executive Club Lounge, a superbly appointed and cozy space with impressive arrays of food and beverage presentations, which were offered throughout the day into evening starting with happy hour at 5 p.m.
What was most notable and inspiring about our two-night stay was the opportunity to experience Westin’s enthusiastic commitment to helping the environment. They start by using sustainable and/or recycled materials in all guest rooms; and their focus, or theme if you will, concerns the overall well-being of their guests. They want you to “eat and drink well” in their restaurants and lounges, “sleep well” in those now famous Westin Heavenly Beds, and “be well” in the peaceful serenity of The Westin Heavenly Spa. The goal is to return home from a stay at a Westin Hotel feeling healthy and revived.
All beverage and food outlets spotlighted this admirable goal by stating their objective on menus and any printed materials, as well as by incorporating fresh and locally grown ingredients wherever possible. The farm-to-table movement is indeed alive and well, even at such a large property. They were certainly able to convey and execute their mission seamlessly to me as a guest, and I found this approach utterly refreshing.