Welcome to Makeover Monday, my weekly roundup of renovations at hotels, resorts and airports worldwide.
Each Monday, this column will discuss renovation projects in various stages of planning or completion, so you (depending on who you are) will know where you might run into construction or if your competitor’s one-upping you! I’ll rely on a variety of sources to pen Makeover Monday, including my personal travels (like this week’s inaugural piece), phone or Skype conversations with industry insiders; emails, Tweets and Facebook messages with readers, an occasional press release and/or the scores of traditional media, social media and blogs that I consume practically 24/7. If you know about an interesting renovation that savvy travelers will want to know about, send me a brief email! – Barb
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – The Courtyard by Marriott – across the street from the city’s white, sandy beach – is in the midst of a $5 million renovation that will update all of its 261 rooms and most public areas. Once complete, the hotel will have an new lobby, a communal food and beverage area that serves Starbucks coffee, new breakfast dining room and an updated pool deck. The exterior of the 12-story building – now painted a dull brown that looks dated against Florida’s blue skies – will also be given new life with a new paint color, the hotel’s longtime general manager, Bill Cunningham, told me during an interview and tour.
What to expect:
- Pool deck: The pool will get a makeover as an infinity pool and the deck will be resurfaced to give it “a completely different feeling,” he said. The life-size chess game and bar will stay put, Cunningham said.
- Guest rooms: Expect to see new floor coverings and fresh paint in the rooms, along with new beds, bed frames, curtains and lamps. Accent color will be blue, accentuating the ocean views.
- Restaurant: The hotel will continue to have a restaurant with a view of the pool and a buffet, since most people use the buffet. “They’re on vacation,” Cunningham said. The hotel will also have the Courtyard’s chain’s Bistro food, coffee and bar concept with counter service.
The update comes as Fort Lauderdale’s oceanfront strip – once the home of the famously rowdy spring break scene – continues to go increasingly upscale with $1 million condo units and luxury hotels including one of Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton locations, one of Starwood’s W locations and a future Conrad hotel from Hilton Worldwide.