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“Wow!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa

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Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   3555 South Ocean Drive, Hollywood, FL 33019   |  
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Ranked #10 of 66 hotels in Hollywood
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“Wow!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2005

Me and my wife just visited this beautiful resort to celebrate our anniversary. The hotel itself its the most beautiful building I have ever seen; impresive!
The staff was great, friendly and ready to accomodate all our needs. Very nice pool areas, spa and beach. The restaurants and the food was the best we have ever had in a hotel in south florida. We just have great things and comments to say about this property. It was the best anniversary ever and we will definetly come back with our entire family.
One thing that I will recomend... If you are on a budget go to a Motel 6 or a Howard Johnson, this is a luxury resort.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Arlington, VA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2005

I spent Labor Day weekend at the Westin Diplomat on a cash and points award reservation -- $60 and 4000 Starwood points per night.

It's located in Hollywood, Florida -- North of Miami, not exactly in the middle of the action but right on the Atlantic Ocean.

In the 60's and 70's the original Diplomat was frequented by Rat Pack types. The hotel closed in 1991 and was acquired by the International Brotherhood of Plumbers and Pipefitters in 1998, torn down, and rebuilt.

A building project funded by a union pension to a tune just shy of $1 billion dollars seems like a good idea, doesn't it? So it should be no surprise that the State of Florida managed to force the union to get an independent trustee appointed to oversee the money and to require that a professional management company come in, enter Starwood and the Westin brand when the property reopened in 2002.

(One secret about the property: I understand that the mattresses were purchased before Westin came on board. So while the sheets are all of the Heavenly variety, the mattress is a different -- though quite nice! -- brand.)

During high season regular rooms are well north of $300. Labor Day is still the off-season and lowest rates were around $189. That values the points component of my rate at a bit over 3 cents per point.

This is a very large hotel, I believe 998 rooms. The best features are that it's smack dab on the ocean and that it has nearly 90 suites which means that a status-based upgrade is a gimme. (In fact for Platinum members my understanding of hotel procedure is that they'll attempt to upgrade you shortly after booking rather than at checkin -- something far better than the Starwood Preferred Guest program requires.)

The Diplomat also may have the nicest club lounge of any Westin in North America -- a large room on the 33rd floor with both indoor and outdoor seating and an exceptional complimentary breakfast display (snack and evening appetizer presentations were fine, but didn't nearly live up to the bountiful breakfast which included lox and all the trimmings). I even picked up my Sunday New York Times complimentary there.

I was upgraded to corner suite on the 29th floor, with the ocean to the East and Intracoastal waterway to the South. This is the most common suite at the hotel, to be sure, but outside of the Presidential suite this may be the most desirable.

I wasn't charged the resort fee which I had read was $16 but includes high-speed internet. I was charged $9.95 for internet use (since I tried to connect daily) -- but I mentioned to the desk that internet service was intermittant for some reason and each day's charge was deducted without my asking.

Given the size of the property I was actually amazed at never waiting for an elevator or for assistance with my rental car. There was always someone available when I arrived to take my car, and it was always retrieved quickly.

Housekeeping had a few issues, I had a stained towel and only one robe on arrival, plus one of the toiletery bottles had been opened. But every item I raised was dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Room service food was good, but make no mistake it's pricey. Now, high-end resorts are pricey and this place is no exception (though also not any more expensive than what I'd expect). $6 delivery charge on top of the service charge for room service isn't cheap, but there ya go. Go in expecting it.

The rooms seriously need wireless internet -- what a shame to have to work on my laptop indoors rather than sitting out on the balcony!

While The Atlantic is probably considered the better property (and thus this isn't even the nicest Starwood in the area) and I don't generally like such large hotels, given the amazing status recognition hereand the nice lounge it made for an outstanding bargain.

It's also worth noting that beach renovations are complete - so the beach is accessible from the pool area and had sufficient space to accomodate guests.

There's a skybridge between the property and the 'Diplomat Landing' shopping area across the street. It's sparsely populated, lots of empty space and 'coming soons' -- but the gelatto shop is good!

It was interesting to see the diverse mix of guests constantly walking through the busy lobby. It came as a bit of a surprise that people coming in from the pool and beach would traipse by without changing clothes or even cover up their swimsuits with a towel. A downside to some, no doubt a bonus for others.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waxahachie, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2005

The Westin Diplomat is definitely overpriced and overrated in my opinion.

Everything you read about there being no or very little beach is true.

I don't know why they even call this a resort. It's a big hotel, rooms are the same size as a hotel at Holiday Inn. They do have some nice bathroom features -- but how much time am I really spending in there? It has a nice infinity edge pool, but all you are really looking out to in the ocean are big ugly barges. You have to rely on shuttle service to get to the spa or golf course. And if you have a spa appointment, you better call to confirm before getting there -- they may have forgotten to write you in!!!

When my room was cleaned, the shampoo wasn't replaced. Food was mediocre but the price was expensive. Room service was very slow.

They also advertise that the Diplomat Landing with shopping is just across the street. Well, it is, but half the building doesn't have stores.

It's really a "conference" hotel -- not a resort. Yet, they charge just as much as the Four Seasons on the Big Island. If you are looking for someplace to have a conference and you'll have very little free time, then it's probably doable (although it would probably be a very pricey conference). For a vacation though, I prefer not to be amongst so many people on a business trip.

This just didn't meet my expectations for a Westin property, a property that charges so much for its rooms, or a property that calls itself a resort.

When I'm fronting this much money for a "resort" vacation, I'm expecting so much more than this.

If you go, definitely don't pay more than $200/night or you'll feel ripped off.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2005

Here's some advice.....save yourself a heap of money and go stay somewhere else. This place is a total bomb!
I will list things in order of importance....

Accomodations
It advertises something called a "Heavenly Bed" which I have no idea what they mean by that. The bed is just that....a bed. They had the bright idea of putting a whole store's worth of sheets on it (5 that I counted) and then to top it off, they added a duvet which weighs more than a small child! Sleep under all this weight and I guarantee you that you will wish you had died and gone to heaven. Maybe that is what they mean by "Heavenly Bed". If you do manage to "wake" up in the morning (more than likely you won't have to worry about that since you'll be awake most of the night trying to find your way out of the "sheet" mess). then make sure you book one of their massages at the spa (take out a small loan first) because you will certainly need it! Now, if you don't have the money for the massage, then you can always go to your "Heavenly Bathroom" and use your "Heavenly Tub". What is this, you ask? No idea! Basically, it's a bathroom. Regular bathtub (no jets, or anything), regular vanity with sink, plain old shower with a plain old showerhead and a toilet (which they hide behind a door). Why they call it "Heavenly" is beyond me!
Oh yes, least I forget....In case I have not mentioned it, we booked the room for three adults. Unfortunately, for us, one of the adults was not a "ghost". At least as far as we were concerned. Nonetheless, everything in the room was for two people....two glasses, two sets of towels, two coffee mugs, etc. Oh yeah, there was a coffemaker in the room (the size of a small salad bowl) with some coffee and sugar. Some tea bags too. We did not have the courage to use any of it....afraid of being charged for it. Nowhere did it state that this was complimentary.
Last but not least....getting back to the three of us in the room....called the front desk to ask for an extra duvet to put on the sleeper couch. Forget about it! You'd think these duvets were heirlooms or something. We were told that they would not provide any more duvets. Sent up a blanket instead. This blanket must have been used during the first World War and they must have gotten it cheap. It certainy looked like it. Old, ratty and not very appealing. Certainly not a "Heavenly" blanket!


Room Service
If you like eggs, bring a hen along when you go. Otherwise, empty out your bank account before you get there so that you have money on hand. You will need it if you want to eat something during your stay. We ordered two plates of eggs with bacon and one cheese omellete (there were 3 of us), one coke and a bowl of fruit. They did give us toast with the eggs (lucky us!). They seem to have forgotten to put the cheese in the omellete...well, not entirely; there did appear to be something yellow oozing out of the edge which might have been a half teaspoon of cheese.
The fruit bowl was okay, although at $13.95, we could have done without it!
Now, here's the grand total for this amazing meal - $80+ ! Just for the record, we ate this magnificent "breakfast" for dinner....it was the cheapest things on the menu. Had we chosen from the dinner menu, we would have had to pay far more than the cost of our plane tickets! Don't forget about the room service charges (18%+), not to mention that you still have to tip the person who brings up the stuff!

Parking
Try to walk to this place if you can. If that is not an option, take public transportation to get there. Otherwise, you will be paying $18 a day to "valet" your car! So, you don't want to valet? No probem. You can park it yourself. That will only cost you $13 a day. Those are the two choices. Nothing else! Do you hear the cash register ringing yet?!!!!

The Pool
Nothing much to say about it. It is big. As far as pools go, it is okay. Pretty to look at. Free towels are available if there's any left by the time you get there. The towels are about the only free thing in this place.
You can rent a cabana (they are scattered all over the place....little rooms with doors) if you want more privacy, as they say. They come with a television. What the heck would one need this for anyway? It is bad enough what they rip you for the rooms. Why on earth would anyone want to pay extra for these things? If you go to the pool I would assume that you want to be in the pool. Why would you want privacy? Can't you just go to your room for that? The rooms do come with a "free" television and if its privacy that you really want, they provide this little thing you can hang on your door that says something like "Do not disturb....I'm in heaven right now". When I first saw this I thought the people in the room might be dead!
I guess it all goes back to the "Heavenly Bed" thing!!! You hang the thing on the door before you get into it. Just keep in mind that if you get "trapped" in the bed, nobody will find you since you have the thing hanging on the door that tells them not to disturb you.

Restaurants on Premises
Going to any of these all depends on what you had in the bank account that I spoke about earlier. If it was a lot, then, by all means, go eat in one of their restaurants. I promise you that you will go home penniless. Better to book a room at the Hard Rock Cafe and lose your money at the casino. At least you will feel more justified when you empty out your wallet! When we were there we noticed some people bringing in their own groceries. Very smart people. They must have seen the menus posted at the doors of the restaurants and decided to go to a supermarket instead. Probably needed money to get home with.

The Lobby and the Building
I feel really bad saying this but this really is one beautiful place. In fact, it is what initially "sold us" on staying here. If you are impressed with appearances, then you will be very impressed with this place. It is breathtaking to look at both inside and out. Here's an inside tip....find a way to get there. Maybe you can have someone drop you off and pick you up later. Go inside as if you are staying there. There will be plenty of people to open the doors for you so you will feel very important for no money. Walk around the place....don't worry....nobody checks. Well, that is not quite true. During the day you cannot get through to the pool. They have people standing there asking to see your room key. Now, at night, when one would think that security would be increased, you can walk in anytime you want! Go figure!!!!
Speaking of security....should you need to fax something or print something or use a computer, there is a room on the second floor for business services. ( Don't get any ideas that this is complimentary in any way. The use of this service is $6.50 for the first 10 minutes and then another amount after that....never bothered to ask once we heard the 10 minute price.) Anyway, do not go there alone if you are a woman.....the place is eerie. There is virtually nobody around and nobody seems to care who wanders through the place. There is no way to know who is a guest of the hotel and who is not. Not a very "safe" feeling to say the least!


Okay, that about does it......one of the "three" of us does not think that I should be saying all this....he liked the place. Sooooooooo, maybe you can read "his" review if he decides to write one! I guess he is not alone since most of the reviews I read have been quite favorable. I guess we are all entitled to our opinions. As for me, I stick to my assessment of this place. It was not a very good experience as far as I am concerned. Highly overpriced and overated! I will NEVER STAY AT ANOTHER WESTIN AGAIN!!!

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronx
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2005

My husband and I visited the Westin Diplomat for a long weekend from 8/26/05-8/30/05. This was the weekend that hurricane Katrina hit, so you can imagine how chaotic it was. The hotel was booked solid with both locals and tourist. Despite this, the staff remained courteous and prompt, we have no complaints about their service.

Here are a few things I would like to share with you.

The Hotel: This is a beautiful structure both inside and out. The hotel is quite large, so you never feel crowded. Not a romantic getaway. More of a family hotel (kids club, inflatable rentals, nanny available). Be prepared to spend lots of money for everything and also be prepare to dish out tips for just about everything.

The Rooms: Really nice, somewhat understated though, and the bed was truly “heavenly”. We had a balcony, which offered us a great view of both the intercoastal waterway and the ocean (south tower/23 floor). The bathroom was just great with a roman tub and separate shower stall and toilet stall. Coffee maker and free Starbucks ™ coffee included.

The pools: Are very nice, smaller than I imagined, so it can get quite crowded during the weekend. Best time to enjoy, is during the weekday mornings. There are plenty of plush lounge chairs and towels. Splash is at this level average drink $10.

The Restaurants: There are several restaurants on site; all of which are quite expensive, average dinner $100+ for two. The best deal for the money is $19 for a breakfast buffet at the “Café”. My husband and I ordered room service, which included, an appetizer, wine, a shared main course and shared dessert for $60 + tip + surcharge for bringing it to the room.

As mentioned before there isn’t much to do in the hotel’s immediate area, so I advise everyone to rent a car and venture out into the neighboring cities (Fort Lauderdale and Miami). If you have a chance I would recommend you go into Young Circle in downtown Hollywood and try Argentango; an Argentinean steak house which boast of serving “the longest skirt steak”, live music and a pleasant atmosphere. Overall our stay was nice and we were pleased with how smoothly everything went despite the hurricane and the many people the hotel had to service.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2005

Our four day stay at the Westin Diplomat was a fabulous get-away. I traveled with my 14-year-old son and we stayed three nights. We loved everything about this hotel. From the moment we checked in, to the moment we left, customer service at this hotel was impressive.

Our room was beautiful - a full ocean-view on the 28th floor. The 'Heavenly' beds were incredible. This property is well maintained and managed.

We did not have a rental car, so we were limited in our dining options. We ate lunch at the beach grill "Splash" and ordered Room Service several times. We were never disappointed with our meals. But, you can expect to pay quite a bit for food and drinks.

The pool is beautiful. One several days, we practically had the pool to ourselves! Construction next door was only minimally heard on two days of our trip.

I was so concerned about the beach from previous posters, but was pleasantly surprised. We had a great time collecting little shells and swimming in the ocean.

We hope to return to the Westin Diplomat next year!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassau, New Providence Island
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2005

Everyone was very accommidating at the hotel, from the time we arrived to the time we left. We were ment to stay for only two nights, but because of Hurricane Katrina, we ended up staying five nights in total. The reservation staff were very accommidating when we requested to stay a few more nights. The management staff kept us informed, with information on the storm, and the steps that they were taking to make the hotel as safe as possible. Unfortunately, the glass roof in the lobby leaked, most of the storm, but they took every step to make sure the guests were safe at all times.

We were given an ocean view room on the 29th floor, which was very clean and comfortable. The Heavenly Bath Tub was WONDERFUL, as you could watch the tv whilst you were relaxing! The Heavenly Bed was also a plus to the room.

We ordered Room service a couple of times - the food was good, but over priced, and there is not much of a selection. The Pool bar and restaurant for lunchwas very good - The Mahi Mahi wrap was excellent, as well as the hot wings. We ate at Satine the night of the Hurricane. The food was excellent, as well as our server Julie, who was one of only 3 waitresses!!! The last night we ate at Hollywood Prime. I was not very impressed. We were put in a back room with only one other person, who was reading a book!!!! There was absolutely no atmosphere - no music, the decor was awful - from our table, we could see chairs stacked up in a storage area. Apart from that, the food was excellent, as well as the service. The main courses are VERY big, as well as the salads.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay, and will return next time I am in Fort Lauderdale. I will say that this hotel is not very accommidating for children.

It is a great Hotel to ride out a hurricane in!!!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa

Address: 3555 South Ocean Drive, Hollywood, FL 33019
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Hollywood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Hollywood
#2 Business Hotel in Hollywood
#6 Family Hotel in Hollywood
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Hollywood
#8 Romantic Hotel in Hollywood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is a refreshing escape offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean or Intracoastal Waterway. Located beachfront in Hollywood, between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the AAA Four-Diamond resort's amenitites include 2 pools, private cabanas, watersports, Heavenly Spa by Westin, Westin WORKOUT Fitness Studio, Kids Club and 7 onsite restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westin Diplomat Hotel Hollywood
Westin Diplomat Resort
Westin Hollywood
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa
Hollywood Westin Diplomat Resort

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