I stayed at this property in late September for a conference put on by my profession's national association. Thus, the Diplomat was the only choice for lodging. I had not been to this part of Florida before, so I had no frame of reference of the area prior to my arrival. As it turned out, this is quite the jewel on the beach in Hollywood/Hallandale.
Due to some flight delays, I arrived at around 11:30pm. However, the property was well-staffed (valets and front desk). Check in took a little longer than anticipated, in part due to a computer glitch that did not recognize/locate my Starwood member number right away. However, the desk agent that checked me in was quite professional, courteous, and thorough.
My room was on the 29th floor of the north tower, facing inland with a lovely view over the Intercoastal Waterway. (The beachfront view would of course have been nicer, but it was of little concern). The room had some minor signs of wear and tear, though was very clean and well appointed. It was nice to have a "college boy" refrigerator as a standard room amenity - separate from the minibar unit - to be able to store drinks and a few snacks, though I think the unit wasn't cooling really well, no matter the setting. Storage space was perfectly adequate, and better than in some extended stay properties that I have stayed in for business over the last few years. The bathroom was more than spacious, featuring a large shower and a separate deep tub (near some partitions that could be opened to see into the rest of the room and TV in particular). The balcony was functional, though I did not have a lot of opportunity to take full use of it. Lighting throughout the room was very good, including a good LED desk lamp.
There were a few drawbacks with the room, starting with the bed quality, which almost singlehandedly altered my overall review and - had the rest of the facility not been as good - would have been a key factor in a highly negative rating. The Westin "Heavenly" bed was highly touted in all the hotel materials and promotions, but it was far from "heavenly". The bed was incredibly firm and unforgiving, while the pillows were overly soft and too forgiving. The bedding featured a thick down comforter and a down mattress cover, which was nice though not really necessary in a warm, humid location. The end result was little to no sleep - certainly not of a quality that was refreshing/restful - for the five nights of my stay. In terms of the other drawbacks, wi-fi was unreliable (disconnecting frequently) and very slow. The electrical outlets seemed to have a low current, meaning the phone and other devices didn't really get a decent charge. Also, noise from adjacent rooms and the hallways were more than audible, especially on the last two nights of my stay when others on the floor got fairly loud and "rowdy" into the early morning hours.
Also, the facility is heavy into the "green" initiative, and so you are told at check-in that you could waive housekeeping service for all or a portion of your stay. As an incentive, you were offered 500 bonus points (for reward members) or a $5 food/beverage voucher for their on-site dining options. I don't know that I view this program favorably, but I took part in it because I typically only take housekeeping every other day at this kind of property. Somehow, though, I was only given the vouchers despite asking for points.
Despite the poor bed and these other minor drawbacks, the rest of the facility was excellent. Facilities throughout - including the conference facilities - were immaculate. Even the pool area and beachfront, which could easily be thrashed and dirty with all the traffic, were orderly and clean. This is not common in my experience in staying at a property that has a high volume of conference and leisure travelers, so this is noteworthy. Valet parking service was affordable, and their staff excellent at retrieving cars promptly. I never had a wait when I called down to request my car, even with as little as 5 minutes' notice. Customer service throughout the rest of the facility - from maintenance staff to those working the various dining/bar outlets - was exemplary.
There are a few on-site dining and bar options, and though the prices are to be expected for a resort property, the portions were worth the prices paid, and - as mentioned - the service was impeccable. Room service is also excellent; meals are delivered within the time promised, and the service great. The only negative in terms of dining/bar options was the Rivals Sports Bar, which is across the street from the Diplomat, though operated as part of the resort. Its posted hours never seemed to mesh with when it was actually open, and on one of my attempts to go there for something to eat, the bartender was less than courteous.
Those seeking other dining options in the Hollywood/Hallandale area are advised to have a car, because other off-site choices are further than a reasonable walk from the Diplomat property. There is taxi service in the area, but I cannot evaluate the reliability of that, and it's irrelevant to the assessment of this property.
Overall, the Diplomat is a great property. They definitely need to address their beds, so that guests can get decent sleep during their stay. But the cleanliness of the facilities throughout, and the exemplary service, make this a property I can easily recommend. It makes for an enjoyable stay, and is a place that appeals to solo travelers and families alike. I would like to be able to return sometime when I am not obligated to attend a conference, so that I could take more advantage of the beach!
- Also Known As:
- Westin Diplomat Hotel Hollywood
- Westin Diplomat Resort
- Westin Hollywood
- The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa
- Westin Diplomat
- Hollywood Westin
- Hollywood Westin Diplomat Resort
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida is located on the Atlantic Ocean close to two major airports, our 898 guest rooms and 100 suites feature stylish and soothing beach tones. ... more less
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