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DIPLOMAT Magazine 2012



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Hollywood Beautiful BeacHes • lively downtown

Florida’s Hometown Beachtown Hollywood, Florida where sunny charm mingles with natural surroundings, offers a paradise for families, nature enthusiasts and luxury seekers. Take the Hollywood Trolley from The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa to discover amazing places from the only beach Broadwalk in Florida, named one of America’s best by Travel + Leisure. Head Downtown to enjoy sidewalk cafés featuring an International dining row of global cuisine. Everything is within reach. From the sand to the city, you will love what you find in Hollywood.

Find Fantastic Offers and Get a FREE Visitor Map and Guide at For information, call the Hollywood CRA Tourism Office at 954-924-2980

Entertainment & Cultural Offerings ARTWALK Third Saturday 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Enjoy art, live music, wine and refreshments at galleries, cafés and shops in the Downtown District. Meet up at Comfort Zone, 2028 Harrison Street. FREE

FunTAsTic FRidAys FoR Kids ArtsPark at Young Circle Fridays 5:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. Bring the kids to play games, create craft projects, jump in the bounce houses, hear a story or get their face painted! FREE

JosH’s oRGAnic GARdEn Harrison Street at the Broadwalk Every Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:31 p.m. Weekly organic garden featuring certified organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and juice bar.

Music And dAncinG undER THE sTARs

ART And cuLTuRE cEnTER oF HoLLyWood

Broadwalk at Johnson Street Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday , 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Enjoy cultural arts performances at the Hollywood Beach Theater. Then savor waterfront dining at its best along the oceanfront Broadwalk or Intracoastal Waterway. Music and Dancing Under the Stars, presented by Memorial Healthcare System. FREE

1650 Harrison Street Enjoy Art Exhibitions, Openings and a Hot Topic Discussion Series at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood.

FuLL Moon dRuM ciRcLE ArtsPark at Young Circle Night of Full Moon Call for dates 954-924-2980 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Bring a drum or percussion instrument and participate in a guided drum circle. All skill levels welcome. Meet at Palm Court (West Side). FREE

Fun sHops cREATion sTATion

dAncinG in THE pARK

Artist Studio at the ArtsPark Saturdays 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Interactive children fun activity. FREE

ArtsPark at Young Circle Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. Dance the night away to disco, top 40 and more. FREE

MoviE niGHTs AT THE ARTspARK Fridays at 8:00 p.m. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy an evening under the stars. FREE

GLAssBLoWinG dEMonsTRATions ArtsPark at Young Circle Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Watch master glassblowers perform live demonstrations in the theater style viewing area of the glassblowing studio. FREE

All Events Subject to Change without notice. For event information, call 954-924-2980 or visit

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WELCOME A few words from Area Managing Director Mark Kukulski.

17 YOU HAVE ARRIVED A stay at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa begins with an air of sophistication and a gracious welcome. The rest…is sublime. 22 DELECTABLE DINING Decision time: Which of the seven fabulous dining outlets here to visit first? No matter what you decide, The Diplomat makes it easy to fulfill any culinary cravings.

31 RECIPES A few favorite recipes from Chef David Hackett to sample and share from your dining experiences here. 38 FASHION From check-in to check-out in high-fashion style. 46 AMENITIES GALORE Exploring golf, tennis, the marina and The Spa at The Diplomat.

50 ECO EMPHASIS Conserving water, energy and other resources is an important initiative here.

53 A GLAMOROUS PAST – AND PRESENT A look back at the hotel’s illustrious history.

57 RECREATION Exploring the pools, the beach, the Westin Kids Club and Destination Club with the Director of Fun.

60 MEETING – AND EXCEEDING – EXPECTATIONS Whatever the size or type of corporate meeting or event, The Westin Diplomat can make it happen. 62 AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER The Westin Diplomat is the perfect spot to get married, or to celebrate any special occasion.

64 MAKING A CONNECTION Signing on to the resort’s social media network.

66 SIGHTSEEING The Hollywood Trolley makes the rounds.

68 STEPPING OUT Find a wealth of activities, art and culture minutes way.

79 WHERE TO EAT Fine dining venues in or near the resort.


ALL GOOD THINGS A last look at time well spent at The Westin Diplomat.



The Westin Diplomat’s lavish lobby features a cascading fountain, towering palm trees and plenty of comfortable seating areas to make guests feel welcome.

DIPLOMAT Magazine 2012

PUBLISHING AND EDITORIAL Mark Gauert Editor & Publisher Lori Jacoby Associate Publisher Anderson Greene Designer

Shawn T. Lee Senior Prepress Operations Manager Anna Pizzoferrato Creative Designer Scott Sherman Operations Manager


As we celebrate our 10th anniversary at The Westin Diplomat Resort &

Slade Wentworth Production Manager Christine Palermo-Wallach Print Production Manager

Elyse Ranart Fashion and Style Director



Valerie Chocron Holly Svekis Account Executives

Spa, I realize what an honor it has been to welcome millions of guests through the doors of our beautiful beachfront resort. During this time, I have had the opportunity to work with our dedicated team of Ambassadors who focus on the details that create a refreshing haven for our leisure visitors and conference attendees. Since we opened our doors in 2001 we have had the privilege of creating memorable family gatherings, weddings, proms, professional


recognition ceremonies, vacations and getaways for travelers from around the world and our own neighborhood. Each one has been special to us and we have always taken every opportunity to convey this message to each of our visitors. Through the years, our guests have indulged in all of the amenities we offer at our beachfront resort, including relaxing poolside cabanas, energetic kids’ activities, and invigorating water-sports. We have been the proud recipients of numerous awards and accolades for our restaurants, golf course, weddings and meeting facilities and are always striving to surprise and delight each individual who visits with us.

City & Shore is published bimonthly by the Sun Sentinel Co., 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. For your convenience, the Diplomat magazine also is available in a digital form – just go to and click on “our other publications.’’ Copyright © 2012 by the Sun Sentinel Co. Material may not be reproduced without written permission.

We’re grateful to everyone who trusted us through the years with their special moments and look forward to welcoming back those who have stayed with us and extend a warm welcome to our new guests. Westin, for a better you.

Mark Kukulski Mark Kukulski Area Managing Director

The convention center, connected to the resort by a walkway, has 200,000 square feet of space for meetings and celebrations.



Contributors Robyn A. Friedman wrote all the stories in the Diplomat magazine. Mateo Garcia photographed the fashion story, beginning on pg. 38.

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I HAVE ARRIVED It’s visible for miles, from land and sea, towering 39 stories above the blue Atlantic. But I never realized how truly beautiful the building was until I arrived. With its bold architecture, gleaming art deco lines and majestic presence, The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa greeted me with an air of sophistication and a gracious welcome. I stepped into the lobby, the door held wide for me by one of the resort’s Ambassadors (what The Diplomat calls its employees), who welcomed me with a warm smile. I was instantly wowed. The lobby is stunning. It was buzzing with activity, some guests attired in beach and resort wear, others business casual while Ambassadors stood ready to fulfill my every desire. The lobby itself, an architectural wonder, stimulated my senses. I stopped and stared, Waterfall at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa.




Heavenly Beds and great views are guest room standards.

marveling at The Diplomat’s soaring atrium, the sight of the palm trees, the bathroom, I found The Diplomat’s customized White Tea bath the sound of the rushing waterfall, the aroma of White Tea, Westin’s scent products, as well as a marble vanity, glass-enclosed shower and signature scent — all played into my arrival experience. I couldn’t help separate deep tub featuring the resort’s signature plantation shutters but sigh, knowing I had made the right choice to come here. Relaxation — not to mention the opportunity to luxuriate in a warm bath while was already flooding my body — even before my appointment at The gazing at the ocean. My room contained not only the standard amenities one expects at Diplomat’s legendary spa. I knew my stay here would provide me with a resort at this level, such as a mini-bar, refrigerator, desk and in-room a peaceful escape from my everyday world. As an efficient luggage attendant whisked my bags away, I walked video games, but also thoughtful touches such as a bottle opener and past the Concierge desk to check in. A friendly and attentive Ambassador corkscrew and a plush robe. It seems that someone had planned a way greeted me, and within a few minutes, registration was complete, and I to anticipate my every need — and then meet it. I took a few minutes to relax and unpack before heading back to the was on the way to my deluxe guest room on the 17th floor, one of the elevator. Next up: A meeting with the Concierge to plan my dining, spa 998 rooms and suites available at The Diplomat’s beach location. As I entered my guest room, I caught a glimpse of the azure ocean and outdoor activities. So many choices, so many opportunities to unwind and enjoy. And waters through the glass door leading to the balcony. I stepped out, enjoying the warm tropical breeze, and looked down. Which pool I plan to enjoy every minute of my visit at The Diplomat, to take part in should I try first? The 120-foot, infinity-edged pool or the 240-foot as many activities as time permits. Tomorrow is my spa day. As the elevator doors opened, and I stepped into the lobby, I lagoon pool below it? (Note to self: Be sure to speak to the Concierge thought again how I had made the right choice coming here. It felt like about reserving a cabana). I stepped back inside my guest room. The king-sized Heavenly home — only better. I’d arrived. Bed, with its crisp white sheets, promised a blissful night’s rest. In 18




Simply... Prime.

Quite possibly the best steakhouse in South Florida. AAA Four Diamond Steakhouse 2011 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

Reservations: 954.602.8347 Located inside The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa 3555 S. Ocean Drive | Hollywood, FL |



THE DIPLOMAT’S DELECTABLE DINING Decision time: Which of The Diplomat’s seven fabulous dining outlets do I visit first? Am I in the mood for a Kobe Delmonico steak or Osetra caviar? Comfort food, such as a crisp Belgian waffle with caramelized bananas Foster and warm maple syrup straight from Vermont, or an Eel Volcano at the glitzy AiZiA? It’s great to know that I don’t even need to leave the resort to have it all. It’s all right here at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. No matter what I decide, a quick call to central reservations, at 954-602-8317, will make it easy to fulfill my culinary cravings. Maybe tomorrow I’ll opt to dine on my private balcony — or even in the delicious comfort of my Heavenly Bed. Better keep The Diplomat’s 24-hour in-room dining number (954-602-8314) handy. Hollywood Prime’s elegant dining room.



Links Terrace

Hollywood Prime’s wine menu boasts over 400 selections.

Hollywood Prime Tonight I opted to enjoy one of South Florida’s finest steak and seafood dining experiences — at Hollywood Prime, located in the lobby of The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. It’s no surprise that Hollywood Prime has captured a slew of prestigious awards, including the AAA Four Diamond Award every year since 2003. With just 15 tables, I knew I was in for a rare culinary treat, and the pampering started as soon as I walked in the door and was met by Ricardo Assunção, the General Manager of Hollywood Prime. This is not your typical steakhouse, Ricardo explained. Here, seafood is not a second choice. My server, Frank, stopped by the table to introduce himself. He has 24 years of culinary experience, has owned five restaurants and is a former chef. As he went over the menu, his knowledge and experience shone through, and I asked for his personal recommendations. After a lobster/crab amuse-bouche and a complimentary glass of sparking white wine, I made my selections, placing myself in the expert hands of Chef Will Biscoe. The choice was difficult. After all, starters include a classic Onion Soup Gratinée, Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Oysters Diplomat (with Creamed Spinach Hollandaise) and Beef Carpaccio. But the appetizers only whet your appetite for a taste of the restaurant’s 21-day dry-aged beef, from the 10-ounce Prime Striploin to the 48-ounce Prime Porterhouse — and every succulent dish in 24


between. I considered splurging on a 12-ounce Australian Kobe-Style Delmonico Steak, straight from Greg Norman’s Ranch. I also thought about seafood, such as Live Maine Lobster, Salmon Filet or Tuna Loin. In the end, I opted for the 18-ounce Prime Ribeye, which arrived perfectly seared, with a nice crust, and piping hot. The steak was well done, as I had requested, but it melted in my mouth. There is no question that this is the best steak I have ever eaten. The excellent and personalized service by Frank and his team of three assistant servers only made it better. I felt like royalty. Side orders are served family style and include steakhouse classics such as Creamed Spinach, along with Jumbo Green and White Asparagus with Hollandaise, White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and Yukon Gold Potato Hash Browns with Truffle Oil. Don’t miss the Roasted Mushrooms. Hollywood Prime’s wine menu boasts over 400 selections, including organic, boutique and rare vintage wines. I enjoyed a 2008 Groth Cabernet, a perfect complement to my ribeye (and recommended by Frank — great choice!). After dinner, Frank pressed my coffee right at the table. When I hesitated at ordering dessert, he offered some advice. “Moderation is only appropriate when excess is not available,” Frank said, with a hearty laugh. Well, OK. He convinced me. A little Crème Brûlée — Tahitian Vanilla Bean, to be exact — couldn’t hurt. Could it? Hollywood Prime is clearly the ideal setting for a romantic evening

for two, a family reunion or a quiet business dinner. It has two private dining rooms that accommodate parties from nine to 30 and is open from 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Don’t forget — reservations are required.

Café Café is the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch. This contemporary café serves up comfort food with a twist and features a menu comprised of healthy, locally sourced ingredients. Dishes include creative soups, salads and sandwiches as well as Westin’s Superfoods, health-enhancing choices that are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Breakfast offerings include Steel-Cut Cinnamon Scented Oatmeal, drizzled with honey and topped with sliced bananas and pecans, and Blueberry Orange Granola Pancakes. Tempting lunch entrées include the Chairman’s Reserve Steak and Green Tea Infused Salmon. Be sure not to miss the daily buffet and the seasonally themed holiday buffets. Café serves breakfast daily from 6:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Splash This beachfront and poolside bar and grill serves casual fare in classic Florida style. Bite into a juicy burger as you enjoy the Atlantic breezes, or enjoy Florida and Caribbean delights such as a bucket of peel-and-eat Florida Gulf Shrimp, Blackened Mahi Soft Taco or a classic Cuban sandwich.

I was happy to learn that I didn’t even have to leave the comfort of my cabana to enjoy a meal at Splash. The full menu, not to mention some delicious tropical drinks, can be delivered to my cabana or poolside chaise lounge — or yours. Splash is open from 11 a.m. until dusk.

The Links Restaurant & Lounge Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Links is located at The Diplomat’s golf resort, just a short complimentary shuttle ride away from the beach. Golfers can grab a quick bite before they tee off for the day – or enjoy a leisurely lunch on the veranda after their round as they gaze at the panoramic views of the resort’s lushly landscaped golf course. I plan to eat at Links after my spa appointment tomorrow. Breakfast offerings include a Belgian Waffle, or Egg Panini with maple-cured ham and provolone on a grilled soft roll. Lunch specialties include Fresh Seared Salmon Ciabatta with lime-cilantro mayonnaise and The Old Diplomat, a shaved roast beef sandwich with three melted cheeses, tobacco onions and herb mayonnaise. After a full day on the course, golfers can replenish with Seared Florida Snapper with Coconut Sauce, a Certified Angus New York Strip Steak or the Montrachet Salad, a delightful blend of greens, goat cheese, caramelized onion and pancetta. A full wine list is available, as are kids’ and spa menus.



AiZiA, located across the skywalk at Diplomat Landing, serves pan-Asian cuisine and exciting nightlife.

AiZiA I can’t wait until my dinner at AiZiA. I have heard so much about Chef Mauricio Gutierrez’s exotic dishes and hip menu. AiZiA is The Diplomat’s Pan-Asian contemporary restaurant, where Chef Mauricio’s goal is to delight all your senses — sight, smell, hearing and touch, in addition to taste — via the dining experience. Located at Diplomat Landing, just across the skybridge from the beachfront resort, AiZiA offers guests their choice of dining indoors or alongside the Intracoastal Waterway. I opted to dine inside the chic, contemporary restaurant in a plush and very private booth. The dramatic menu features specialties such as Lava Seafood (served in a bubbling cauldron), Kona Coffee Rubbed Beef Satay (which arrives on a sizzling rock), Wild Salmon (served on a flaming cedar plank) and a full slate of nigiri, sashimi and sushi. The homemade vanilla gelato with figs and walnuts — served in a hand-carved ice bowl — is to die for. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 6 p.m., AiZiA transforms into a high-energy dance club on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. A unique Sunday Brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Rivals Waterfront Sports Grille Located at Diplomat Landing, Rivals is a casual restaurant and gathering place with a unique open kitchen that allows guests to take 26


note of the culinary expertise evident in menu items such as Florida Crab Cakes with a rum butter sauce, Pilsner Beer Battered Florida Mahi Mahi or a 10-ounce Kobe Patty Melt. Rivals also offers a full wine and beer menu, along with specialty cocktails and signature beer-tinis. With 32 big-screen televisions and a championship billiards room, you’ll come for the games — but stay for the food. If weather permits, grab a table outside, or sit by the Tiki Bar, and watch the yachts sail by on the Intracoastal Waterway. Large groups can be accommodated in two private dining rooms. Rivals is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and from noon to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Common Grounds When I needed my mid-afternoon fix of Starbucks coffee, Common Grounds was right there to provide it. Located in the lobby of The Westin Diplomat, Common Grounds also offers delicious pastries, Italian gelato, salads, sandwiches, energy bars and cold drinks. This is the place to plop down in a comfy chair and check your email; wireless Internet service is available. Common Grounds is a great spot for a quick bite anytime during the day. It’s open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rivals Waterfront Sports Grille



TOP CHEF Executive Chef David Hackett (known as “Chef Dave” to his friends and colleagues) has been responsible for some of the most memorable cuisine on the menus at the fine restaurants he manages at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. On a personal level, though, he’s most proud of the Mexican dishes he cooks up at home. “I grew up in a Mexican house,” says the 45-year-old chef, who has over 30 years of top-level culinary experience. “My tacos, enchiladas, chile rellenos and guacamole are the best I’ve ever tasted. And that’s not bragging.” Chef Dave, who joined the Westin Diplomat as Executive Chef in 2008, is responsible for the overall food quality in the resort’s seven dining outlets, inroom dining and both social and group banquet Executive Chef David Hackett



services for the Diplomat’s over 200,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. He also manages corporate compliance, menu development and costing, food cost control, productivity and staff development. Whew. Luckily, Chef Dave loves his job. Since joining The Westin Diplomat, he’s worked to change the corporate culture in the kitchens, streamlining the way teams work and cross-training staff throughout the various restaurants and banquet and catering facilities. He also improved the quality of the ingredients used while reducing costs. And, of course, he’s tweaked the menus at the restaurants, providing guidance to the chefs on their menu choices. “My style is a little sexy and kind of a little bit out there,” says Chef Dave. “When it comes to presentations, I like them to be unique and different.” That style is evident in particular at AiZiA, The Westin Diplomat’s pan-Asian restaurant, where dishes involve all of the senses, not just taste. “We tie in a lot of natural elements to help show off the food,” he says. “We use stone, ice, dry ice, fire. So you get a lot of the visual, but you also get the smell and see the smoke. You hear the crackle and pop. We went with something that nobody’s ever done before.” A graduate of Chicago’s Washburne Culinary Institute, and the recipient of numerous awards, Chef Dave was the Executive Chef for other prestigious resorts, such as The Westin Charlotte, Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six and Bahia Mar Beach Resort, before joining The Westin Diplomat. He has competed in many culinary and ice competitions, including the 1996 Culinary Olympics and the 1998 Hotelympia in London. Chef Dave is a professional member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international food and wine society, and a Lifetime Ambassador with the Emirates Culinary Guild. Besides cooking, Chef Dave’s passions are his two children and HarleyDavidson motorcycles. 32



(Provided by Chef David Hackett)

Cedar Plank Salmon with BBQ Tamarind Glaze, served with Udon Noodles and Stir Fried Vegetables BBQ Tamarind Glaze


1 6-ounce salmon filet

3 each ripe tomatoes charred on the grill

1 cedar plank

1 cup tamarind paste

2 ounces of BBQ Tamarind Glaze

2 cups brown sugar 1 can chipotle adobo 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar 1 tablespoon garlic 1 tablespoon ginger Salt to taste

Mix all glaze ingredients in a blender. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then pan sear the flesh side until crispy. Brush the salmon filet with the glaze. Place on top of the cedar plank and bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes or until desired doneness. Noodles and Stir-Fry Vegetables

2 ounces Udon noodles 1 ounce soy sauce 1 ounce oyster sauce 1 ounce butter (optional, to finish) Mixed vegetables (julienne carrots, julienne celery, onions, bean sprouts and peppers; amounts as desired) SautĂŠ vegetables and noodles. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce. Finish with butter (optional).

Cedar Plank Tamarind Salmon

(AiZiA entrĂŠe)



Hollywood Prime Steakhouse

(Winning recipe of the first “Grid Iron Grill Off”)

“The Triple B”

(Beef, Bacon and Bleu) appetizer

Dry-aged New York Strip, Pork Candy and Creamy Bleu Cheese Skewer Ingredients

1 12-ounce dry-aged New York strip steak 3 pieces of pre–cooked smoked bacon (can be done at home or bought pre-cooked) 3 teaspoons granulated sugar ½ cup bleu cheese or gorgonzola 1 tablespoon olive oil Kosher salt and pepper to taste Non–stick spray for the grill Steak Method Soak 6-inch or 10-inch bamboo skewers in water overnight. Cut the strip steak into 2-ounce portions (cut against the grain of the meat). Skewer the beef using the pre-soaked skewers. Lightly rub the steak with olive oil, and season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Pork Candy Method Coat the pre-cooked smoked bacon with granulated sugar and lightly blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes on the bacon or place the bacon coated with the sugar in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until the sugar is caramelized on the bacon. Allow the bacon to cool slightly, cut the pork candy in half and set aside. Bleu Cheese or Gorgonzola Method Crumble the bleu cheese in a stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl on the hot grill for one minute or just long enough so that the cheese gets soft and can be whipped or mixed until creamy. Place the softened bleu cheese in a disposable pastry bag and set aside. “The Triple B” Build Method Grill the seasoned aged New York strip skewers until they reach an internal temperature of 120 to 125 degrees or to desired doneness. Pipe the bleu cheese on top of the beef. Place the pork candy on top of the beef. Serve and enjoy!



Westin Mango Bellini In a champagne flute, add:


2. 3. 4. 5.

2 ounces sweetened mango purĂŠe Âź ounce Malibu rum 3 1/2 ounces Santa Margherita Torresella Prosecco Stir gently until ingredients are combined Cheers!



At Rivals, it’s always game on. Sliders, wings, beers and 32 plasma TV’s to make sure you don’t miss a single score! Rivals is the perfect place for bites and pints! Reservations: 954.602.8760 Located inside Diplomat Landing across the street from The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa 3460 S. Ocean Drive | Hollywood, FL | | FREE Self Parking









Tank top, $95, and linen shirt, $195, polo tee, $85, seersucker jacket, $475, and cotton-twill trousers, $145, from Faรงonnable. DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE


Embroidered chiffon tunic, $129, by Zingara Swimwear; and linen trousers, $225, from Faรงonnable. Plaid plisse shirt, $195, and khaki jeans, $155, from Faรงonnable.



Safari dress, $295. Polo tee, $85, and plaid shorts, $145, all from Faรงonnable.



Striped swimsuit, $169, from Zingara Swimwear. Drawstring trousers, $175, from Faรงonnable.







Where to find fashions featured in our fashion story: Sweater, $125, and linen trousers, $225. Linen shirt, $170, and khaki jeans, $155, from Faรงonnable.

Faรงonnable, Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, 305-792-2610. Zingara Swimwear, Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-405-1212. DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE





I wake up to a gorgeous South Florida morning, the sun streaming through the windows of my guest room and welcoming me to another fabulous day at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. Today I will try out the private guest shuttle to check out the championship golf course and worldclass tennis facilities a few minutes away. Afterward, it’s time to restore my body and soul with an indulgent visit to The Spa at The Diplomat. I’m definitely looking forward to some “me” time. I hopped on the complimentary shuttle, which was waiting at the front entrance of the beachfront resort. Just a few minutes later, the lush golf course, with its palm- and banyan-lined fairways, came into view. The Diplomat’s golf course and tennis facilities are nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway in a lovely tropical setting. Instead of the hustle and bustle of the beachfront resort, the golf course facilities are strikingly quiet, with a serene beauty. I felt like I had discovered a hidden oasis. My senses came alive as I took a look around. Water cascaded down a nearby coral-rock fountain, the sweet fragrance of bougainvillea and other exotic plantings was in the air and the warm tropical breeze tickled my cheeks. I started to explore. The Joe Lee-designed golf course features water elements on 16 holes and new PGA-grade sand bunkers.



Golf at The Westin Diplomat

The Diplomat Tennis Center

I started chatting with Jamie West, the manager of the golf course, and he offered to give me a private tour complete with history and details. The golf course at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is just spectacular. It was redesigned by renowned golf architect Joe Lee in 2000 and is currently managed by Troon Golf, the world leader in upscale golf course management. Though it’s in a country club setting, The Diplomat Golf Course is open 7 days a week and the public is welcome. The 18-hole course features four par-5 holes and a 570-yard hole that is one of the longest in South Florida. Stretching 6,800 yards amid 3,000 coconut and royal palm trees and 50-year-old banyans, the course has rolling fairways, eight acres of lakes and 76 bunkers, combining for a 72.9 course rating from the blue tees. A signature hole highlights a magnificent island green. In addition to rounds for two-somes and four-somes, West and his team specialize in planning golf outings, from private private 12-player groups to 144-player tournaments. They run a lot of team-building activities there as well. The ProLink GPS system in each golf cart has state-of-the-art touchscreen technology that provides a graphic overview of the hole as well as distance to the pin, pro tips on how best to play each hole and weather alerts. With this type of technology, even a novice can golf like a pro. You can even use the system to order food and drinks for delivery right on the course – love that! Also available is a driving range, putting and chipping greens and a complete pro shop offering the latest apparel and equipment, as well as personalized club-fitting to improve your game. Private and group lessons are available. Tee times are booked through the Golf Pro Shop at 954-883-4444.

What a perfect setting for a game of tennis! Named one of Tennis magazine’s “Top 50” resorts in the world and ranked 24th in the world by Tennis Resorts Online, The Diplomat Tennis Center features 10 clay courts, six of which are available for night play, and a stadium court capable of seating 150 spectators. A full-service pro shop offers the latest equipment, apparel and accessories, as well as racquet stringing. There’s a picturesque veranda, just perfect for relaxing before or after a match. And, if I decide to play but don’t have a partner, the staff will find me one. There are also social round robins, adult and junior clinics, a computerized ball machine, lessons and competitive tournaments. The Dean Goldfine International Tennis Academy, headed by the former coach of top 10 players Andy Roddick, Todd Martin, Mary Jo Fernández and Aaron Krickstein, offers clinics, lessons and adult tennis camps (Wednesday to Saturday) that consist of intense training on and off the court.



The Diplomat Tennis Center, 954-883-4400

The Diplomat Yacht Club A 48-slip marina is available for registered guests and other boaters. (The docking fee is waived for registered guests.) Monthly leases are also available. Slips are intended for boats 30 feet or longer. Each slip is 15 feet, 6 inches wide with a 6-foot draft. A complimentary shuttle is available for guests traveling to the beach resort. Marina information, 954-931-5210

The Spa at The Diplomat After checking out the golf and tennis facilities at this magnificent resort, it’s now time for my long-awaited spa appointment. The minute I passed through the entrance into The Spa at The Diplomat, I knew I had come to the right place. I took a deep breath and started to relax. I was about to be pampered, to renew and rejuvenate. With 30,000 square feet, this world-class space features 22 treatment rooms, a fitness center, a private Spa Pool, full-service salon and a fully stocked Spa Boutique. The desk attendant welcomed me warmly, leading me into the luxurious locker room area and providing me with a plush white robe and sandals. The locker room had a sauna, steam room, whirlpool, outdoor patio and top-of-the-line personal amenities. There were separate facilities for men. “This Spa is just beautiful — it’s 30,000 square feet of marble with the feel of an Italian villa,” said Spa Manager Allicyn Hughes, who came to introduce herself. “We’re very passionate about what we do here. It’s the level of service that sets us apart from everyone else.” I was about to experience that level of service for myself with The Diplomat Massage, 50 minutes of pure heaven in the form of a full-body Swedish massage. My therapist began to work her magic from my scalp down, and in a matter of minutes, I was somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, in a state of pure bliss. Signature rituals here feature a perfect combination of Asian ingredients and philosophies combined with Western techniques to provide a complete spa experience. These include the Zen Ritual (Green Tea Body Scrub, Herbal Soaking Bath and Full Body Massage), World Ritual (Hand or Foot Reflexology, Anti-Stress Bath and Full Body Massage) and the Balance Ritual (Mud Body Mask, Healing Bath and Full Body Massage). I could have opted for one of the other types of massage therapies, from a Hot Stone Massage to the Diplomat Thai Massage — by myself, or side by side with a special someone in the private “Best Friends’ Suite.” Massages also are available in the privacy of your own guest room. Maybe next time I’ll purchase a spa package, which combines several requested services. Spa packages also are available to meet the unique needs of the bride-to-be, the expectant mother and the gentleman guest.

Finishing touches, such as waxing, make-up applications and salon services, also are available at The Spa. After my treatment, I checked out the other amenities at The Spa. There’s a Weight Training and Cardio Hall, a fully equipped weighttraining and cardio studio offering the finest in both equipment and fitness classes. Here, I discovered a full line of Life Fitness resistance machines, along with treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical machines and recumbent and upright exercise bikes. I could even work out while enjoying the fabulous golf course view. Or, I could take a class in the 1,000-square-foot Exercise Studio, where choices include the latest in aerobic workouts such as spinning, as well as stretching, toning, Yoga, Pilates and much more. The Spa Café features a nutritious spa menu. Imagine having lunch under the bougainvillea-laced pergola or by the mineral-based pool. “Guests come here to escape the hustle and bustle of the beach resort,” Hughes says. “We are a hidden treasure.” I couldn’t agree more. The Spa at The Diplomat, 954-883-4900. The Spa Boutique, decked out in elaborate natural woods, offers all of the products and signature lines used during treatments, allowing the Spa experience to be brought home. Logo apparel, robes and mineral make-up are all available. Call The Spa front desk, at 954-883-4900, for details. Aura Salon offers head-to-toe styling, with separate manicure and pedicure studios and a private VIP studio. 954-455-8100. The Spa at The Diplomat





ECO EMPHASIS I’ve always been an avid environmentalist, so I couldn’t help but notice the door hanger in my guest room that describes The Diplomat’s “Make a Green Choice” program. Conserving water, energy and other resources is an important initiative for The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. To encourage guests like me to help, the resort offers a $5 voucher at participating food and beverage outlets, or 500 Starpoints, for each night I decline housekeeping (except for the day of departure). Of course I made the green choice and it felt good. After all, even one night can mean significant savings on water, electricity, and even natural gas and chemicals. Since conservation is so important to me personally, I wanted to learn more about how Guest room furnishings are chosen with the environment in mind, incorporating LED lighting and recycled materials. The furnishings are recycled at the end of their useful life.



The Westin Diplomat donated exterior furniture from the Club Lounge to Gilda’s Club, Fort Lauderdale.

such a vast resort handles trash and recycled materials. I found out The Diplomat has a “Green Queen”, Sharon Zamojski. Her official title is “Architect and Capital Projects Manager,” where she’s responsible for managing the resort’s capital improvement projects, but her true passion is sustainability. “It’s really important for us to be engaged in the green movement,” said Zamojski, who leads the 12-member Green Team at the resort. “It’s just the right thing to do.” The Diplomat Green Team is comprised of Ambassadors from 12 key departments and meets once a month to go over new initiatives, maintain and track existing ones, and discuss how to best implement them. “It’s been a good morale booster for the staff,” Zamojski said. “We’re totally engaged. Everyone wants to participate.” The Diplomat has been so successful at recycling that it has become the top participating property in the program for all Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “In Florida, we are the leading Starwood property forging the way for sustainability,” Zamojski said. “It’s good for reducing our costs. It’s good for the local community. And it’s good for Mother Earth. Everyone benefits.” Including me, the avid environmentalist. Another reason for me to feel good here. 52


Sharon Zamojski


As I walk through The Diplomat, relishing the contemporary décor and amenities, I see little reminders of the hotel’s glamorous history. Old photos of movie stars - and other celebrities adorn the walls here. Easels hold articles that tell the story of The Diplomat, an integral part of Hollywood’s Golden Age and a frequent homeaway-from-home for Rat Packers Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and others. The Diplomat’s lineage begins in 1958, when Sam Friedland, founder of the Food Fair supermarket chain, opened a 750-room Diplomat hotel on Hollywood Beach. Suddenly, a cultural void between Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale was on the map. Bing Crosby, Maurice Chevalier, Xavier Cugat, Buddy Rich, Buddy Hackett, Milton Many celebrities through the years have enjoyed the many activities offered at The Westin Diplomat.



Berle, Danny Thomas and Bill Cosby were just some of the name acts who regularly appeared in the Café Crystal or the Tack Room Lounge. In 1962, Lawrence Welk filmed his first TV show in Florida from The Diplomat, and politicians also made regular stops here through the years. Bobby, Ethel and Rose Kennedy all attended the 1965 JFK Memorial Ball at the hotel, and Harry Truman, as well as every U.S. president since 1974, has passed through its doors. In 1967, Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minnelli did their first joint concert here, with a record 3,200 people attending. Frank Sinatra made his legendary return from retirement on New Year’s Eve in 1974 at the Regency Ballroom, drawing a crowd of 3,500. The 1980s began with a visit from President Jimmy Carter, who addressed the International Transport Workers’ Federation and attended a Democratic National Convention fundraiser. But in 1983, after a series of arson fires, the hotel was closed for the winter season. 54


It reopened in 1984 and welcomed President Ronald Reagan, who addressed the International Longshoremen’s Association. Bob Hope performed at the hotel’s 1984 New Year’s Eve Gala, but later, as the decade drew to a close, financial difficulties resulted in entire floors of guestrooms being closed off. Finally, in 1987, Irving Cowan, the son-in-law of Sam Friedland, ceded control of the hotel to a consortium of labor union pension funds, whose managers agreed to bail out the hotel with a $44 million loan. Renovations began in June 1988, but financial troubles persisted. Ultimately, in May 1991, the hotel was sold to one of its lenders, the Union Labor Life Insurance Co. In 1997, the United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing & Pipe Fitting Industry of the U.S. & Canada (UA) purchased the hotel. It then hired the Coral Gables architecture firm Nichols Brosch Sandoval & Associates to design a new 1,000-room hotel, convention center and retail complex.

Top left: The Calcutta Room Bar served as a gathering spot for guests before and after their round at The Diplomat’s golf course. Top center: The bridal suite. Top right: The old Diplomat hotel.  Lower left: An aerial view of the original Diplomat. Lower center: The Bristol Room, the hotel’s original coffee shop.  Lower right: A new era began for The Diplomat on April 17, 1998, when the historic hotel was imploded to make room for the resort here today. On April 17, 1998, dynamite was used to implode the historic hotel, marking the beginning of a new era for The Diplomat. On March 15, 2000, The Country Club at The Diplomat opened to the public, boasting a Joe Lee-designed golf course, pro shops, 60 guestrooms, 10 clay tennis courts, The Links Grill, the Tack Room Lounge and various meeting rooms. A few months later, The Spa at The Diplomat opened, with 20 treatment rooms and a fitness center. In August 2001, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. was appointed the management company for the hotel, which was renamed The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. And, in January 2002 the new beachfront resort, with 998 rooms, an adjacent 209,000-square-foot convention center and The Diplomat Landing, a connected retail center and marina, opened with a flourish. It was, at 39 stories, the tallest and most expensive building in Broward County at the time.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the gold and crystal chandeliers may be gone, as are the tapestries that used to line the walls of the old Diplomat. They have been replaced by art deco curves, hand-cut marble and granite and chic restaurants and nighttime venues. Sammy Davis Jr. and other members of the Rat Pack may no longer walk the halls of The Diplomat, but George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry Seinfeld and Ludacris are just a few of the celebrities and politicians who have been welcomed here more recently. As The Diplomat celebrates the 10th anniversary of its grand re-opening this year, I can only wonder what the future holds for this magnificent resort - a big part of local, and national, history.



relax into spahhhh.... Walk into our naturally hued spa and inhale soothing white tea scent and eucalyptus. surrounding water features accentuate the room’s immediate calming effect, as guests prepare to experience our appealing menu of facial and body treatments and fresh, healthy cuisine. To book your appointment, call (954) 883-4900 or call the Concierge Desk at 28925.

here, it’s par For the course our 6,800-yard championship course boasts perfectly manicured tif eagle greens accented by emblematic Banyans and royal palm trees. experience the rolling fairways of the course and tee off Westin Diplomat style. To schedule a tee time, call (954) 883-4444 or call the Concierge Desk at 28925.

3555 south ocean Drive, hollywood, Fl 33019



I ran into Jeffrey Mikus as I was heading to lunch at The Café. There he was in the lobby, surrounded by giggling children, as he led them to their next activity in The Westin Kids Club. He was laughing, clearly enjoying his time with the kids. And, he was definitely having fun. Which makes sense, considering his official title at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is “Director of Fun.” “I’ve been with the resort for 10 years now, and I’ve been the Director of Fun for three years,” Mikus said. “It’s been the funnest three years of my life.” Who wouldn’t have fun working in an office decked out with Mr. Potato Head toys, a host of children’s movies on DVD and a poster from some of the resort’s younger guests thanking Mikus and heaping praise on him for the fun times they’ve had? Jeff Mikus, The Diplomat’s Director of Fun, performs his job duties with some of the resort’s younger guests.



Mikus supervises as guests in The Westin Kids Club make s’mores - just one of the many fun activities kids can do at The Diplomat.

What does a Director of Fun do? Well, at The Diplomat, Mikus is in charge of all the activities at the resort’s four pools, its beach operations, The Westin Kids Club and the new Westin Destination Club. Mikus, originally from a small town in Canada, has a background in culinary arts. He joined The Diplomat 10 years ago, starting as a chef and then moving to Director of Recreation, Service Express Manager, Director of Guest Services and, now, Director of Fun. “The best part of my job is seeing my guests grow up and evolve and come back every holiday — building relationships,” he said. “Maybe they were just a guest when they entered, but now they’re my friends. This is why I got into the hospitality industry.” Mikus starts his days at 4:45 a.m., when he arises to care for his two English bulldogs. He arrives at the resort by 6 a.m. to watch the sun rise and to greet the guests first thing in the morning. “We offer guests a sense of renewal, so that they leave our property feeling better than when they arrived,” Mikus said. “It’s all about letting them know that when they come here they are not just a guest but they become part of The Westin Diplomat family.” Some of the activities Mikus oversees include:



Pool Pursuits Whether you prefer swimming laps or a relaxing float, The Diplomat has a pool for you. The beachfront resort offers a 120-foot infinity-edged pool with a one-of-a-kind circular, see-through feature (you can wave to your friends below) and a 240-foot lagoon pool below. The infinity pool is filled with saline water, ideal for young children because it has fewer chemicals, resulting in a softer feel against their sensitive skin. The pool’s 6-inch shallow end also provides a perfect splash zone for the little ones. For those preferring to swim laps or float on a raft through the two waterfalls, the lagoon pool is the perfect spot. Looking for some privacy? For the ultimate in poolside comfort and relaxation, reserve a pool or beach cabana, upper deck casita, beach lounger, bed or umbrella. For more information or reservations, dial 954-602-8690.

Beach Business If you prefer the feel of the warm sand under your toes, hit The Diplomat’s beach. Chair and umbrella concessions await here, as well as rental kayaks, catamarans and Jet Skis. Tots will enjoy the Kids Play Zone,

The Westin Kids Club offers an extensive collection of activities from dawn until dusk in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Rent a boat, relax in a cabana or catch some rays on The Diplomat’s Blue Wave certified beach - the choice is yours.

featuring the Sailboat Sandbox. There’s also a life-sized checkerboard. Three times each week, The Westin Workout program includes a morning beach walk for guests — a good workout while you watch the sun rise. There’s also a running concierge who escorts guests on their morning runs. For beach activity information, dial 305-535-8177.

younger of Starwood Preferred Guest members can enjoy all-inclusive access to a variety of dining options, including children’s menus, buffets and beverages at The Westin Diplomat’s Cafe Restaurant, Splash Pool Bar and Grille and Rivals Sports Grille. Sign up at check-in or anytime during your stay.

Westin Kids Club

Westin Destination Club

This unique program provides supervised childcare for guests in three sessions: morning, afternoon or all day. Reserved just for kids ages 4 through 12, this fun and activity-filled program is designed to entertain and delight. Activities may include VIP tours of the banquet kitchen, private classes with the executive pastry chef (including sampling, of course), beach walks, arts and crafts activities, bounce houses, swimming, movies, beach sports, karaoke and computer games. A half-day session, from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., is $35. A full-day session, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is $70 and includes lunch. Kids Night Out, on Friday nights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., is $50. Advance reservations are recommended. Visit the Fun Desk in the main lobby for information or reservations. The Diplomat also recently introduced the SPG Kids Pass program, a dining program for children. For a flat rate of $18 per day, children 12 and

We are all so busy these days that it’s hard to carve out time for family. So The Diplomat does it for us. The Westin Destination Club offers a host of activities that encourage families to enjoy some together time. These activities, which are complimentary, include scavenger hunts, bingo, movies and even stargazing. Maybe you’d like to participate in a sand-castle building contest on the beach or a water balloon game that promises to get you soaked. Or perhaps an ice cream social is more your style? Catch a movie on family movie night — under the stars on an inflatable 32-foot screen. For more information or a schedule, visit the Fun Desk in the lobby. There seems like so much to do here, and so little time to get it all done. As Mikus said, we’re all big kids at heart. Time for some fun. DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE


MEETING – AND EXCEEDING – EXPECTATIONS As I walked through my home away from home here at The Diplomat, I couldn’t help noticing the large crowd gathering outside the enormous Great Hall, located in the Convention Center. I’ve heard The Diplomat is the largest convention hotel in South Florida. Even though I was not working, I was impressed with how well laid out the convention facilities are for those who were. There were probably hundreds of attendees at the convention, but they all seemed to move smoothly among the many meeting rooms. The lobby was decked out with beautiful displays of food — and the attendees were enjoying every bite before their meetings kicked off. I wasn’t really surprised. After all, who wouldn’t be enjoying time spent in this beautiful space? The hotel 60


towers 39 stories above the Atlantic, situated on beachfront property with views of the ocean or Intracoastal Waterway from private balconies. Indeed, with an 18-hole championship golf course, 10 clay tennis courts, a full-service spa and eight on-site restaurants, The Diplomat really is a perfect venue for any type of corporate meeting. The electronic billboards show that in addition to the Great Hall, there are four ballrooms, 39 breakout rooms and several permanent boardrooms here. The technology is state-of-the-art, with satellite and T-1 connections and videoconferencing capability. There’s full-service on-site catering -- and even a kosher kitchen. I was far from ready to go back to work, but I made a mental note when I did to mention The Diplomat to the convention planners in my office. Seems like whatever the size or type of corporate meeting or event, The Westin Diplomat can make it happen.

The Westin Diplomat’s elegant lobby is a perfect backdrop for a wedding or other celebration.

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER Late one evening, as I relaxed in the lobby with a cocktail, a group of young men and women approached, clad in formal attire. Following closely behind was a bride and groom, holding hands and beaming with joy. Their wedding had just ended, and the guests were returning to their rooms. What a perfect spot to get married, I mused – or to celebrate one of life’s other special occasions, such as birthdays, engagements or family gatherings. The Diplomat has so many distinctive venues that it would be an appropriate setting for any type of affair, whether an intimate party, formal gathering or anything in between. In fact, I later learned that The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa was the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Bride’s Choice Award for Ceremony and Reception Locations from WeddingWire, a leading wedding technology company. It’s easy to see why The Diplomat won. After all, each bride and groom receive the assistance of a wedding specialist, allowing them to relax and enjoy their special day. The specialist



customizes every picture-perfect and memorable detail, including table settings, floral arrangements, menus – even the happy couple’s farewells. Who wouldn’t want to say “I do” or celebrate a special occasion amid the warm Florida sun and refreshing ocean breezes in a luxury resort with superb amenities, as well as a full-service spa, golf course, tennis facilities and other relaxing activities? With a Great Hall and four ballrooms with private balconies overlooking the Atlantic or Intracoastal Waterway, The Westin Diplomat can accommodate celebrations of from eight to 8,000 – and transform any celebrant’s vision into reality. In fact, as I walked around later that evening I thought it must be hard to choose just one perfect spot to exchange vows here. Brides could get ready in the luxury of their complimentary bridal suite, for example, and then tie the knot on a picturesque stretch of beach as the crests on the Atlantic sparkle in the distance. The same view can be enjoyed from an elegant oceanfront ballroom, too; or, for something smaller, more intimate, I’m sure there’s a quiet spot against the resort’s striking backdrop. I’m also sure The Diplomat’s planning and catering staff could create the perfect menu — and then its awardwinning chefs would expertly prepare it, no matter what the cuisine or personal preferences of the hosts. “If the bride and groom like chicken wings and meatballs, then that’s what we’re going to do,” said David Hackett, The Diplomat’s Executive Chef. “We will provide what they want to have and customize the menus to accommodate the guests and family members.” Wedding cakes are created inhouse by Executive Pastry Chef Henry Martignago. “We bring our bride and groom in and they sit down with the pastry chef and taste three different cakes, baked especially for them,” Hackett said. “They can choose the type of cake, the filling, whether they want butter cream or fondant, what flowers they want, and then Chef Henry and his team develop a threedimensional cake on the computer and show them exactly what it will look like. That makes the bride and groom feel a lot more comfortable.” Just another way that The Westin Diplomat can make every wish come true. For a personal consultation, please contact The Diplomat’s wedding coordinator at 954-602-8607.

Guest room furnishings are chosen with the environment in mind, incorporating LED lighting and recycled materials. The furnishings are recycled at the end of their useful life.

MAKING A CONNECTION I enjoy a good bargain, so I was happy to sign up to receive information about special events and promotions at The Westin Diplomat via the resort’s social media network. By becoming a fan on Facebook, at www.facebook. com/WestinDiplomat, I’ll be among the first to know about special promotions and events, news about the resort and everything else Westin Diplomat related. 64


I started following The Diplomat on Twitter, @WestinDiplomat, to get immediate updates on my smartphone, iPad and other mobile devices. I also signed up on The Diplomat’s website to receive regular email updates from Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Preferred Guest with great offers and other information. I just entered my email address and set my preferences to control the type and frequency of the communications I wanted to receive. Of course, special offers and packages are always available via The Diplomat’s website, I made a mental note to check out the website every Thursday, when the resort posts its upcoming weekend events. I also need to remember to “check in” on my mobile device so I can earn those valuable bonus Starpoints. By connecting my SPG account with foursquare or Facebook, I also can search for specials at participating hotels and resorts. Connecting this way definitely makes me feel like part of The Westin Diplomat family. And, hopefully, a good deal will come my way soon – so I can return for another visit here at my new home-away-from-home.

HOLLYWOOD EXPRESS YEAR-ROUND TROLLEY HITS THE BEACHES, THE MANGROVES AND THE DOWNTOWN SCENE The Broadwalk hugs the beach to the east. West Lake Park preserves the coastal mangroves to the north. And to the west, the historic downtown celebrates art and culture, food and drink, shopping and entertainment. Hollywood offers intriguing attractions in every direction, and the Hollywood Trolley makes getting to them fun, easy and refreshingly cool. Although the green and orange trolleys have a charming old-fashioned appearance, they feature a very welcome modern convenience: air conditioning. The service runs Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., departing roughly every 30 minutes from 16 stops. Catch the trolley at the beach location of The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa and see the sights on the south, north and downtown lines for $1 per ride; free for kids 5 and under. All trolleys connect from Johnson Street on Hollywood Beach, and they are wheelchair accessible. Following are some highlights along the trolley routes: For more information contact the Hollywood Office of Tourism, 330 N. Federal Highway, Hollywood, 877-672-2468 or 954-921-3478,



Source: City of Hollywood (map not to scale).

South Beach Line

North Beach Line

The South Beach Line – that’s Hollywood, not Miami – picks up guests at The Diplomat beach location and heads north to the Hollywood Beach Culture and Community Center (1301 S. Ocean Drive, 954921-3600), which offers various activities and a Broward County Library reading center; and the Johnson Street transfer area, where riders can pick up the North Beach and Downtown trolleys.

Get off at Johnson Street and visit the Hollywood Broadwalk, a 2 ½-mile brick-lined promenade along the beach between Hollywood Boulevard and Sheridan Street. Built in the 1920s, it has been beautifully renovated. You can shop, dine al fresco, enjoy some ice cream, pick up some souvenirs or join the flow of visitors and locals strolling, biking and skating through the sea breezes. For free entertainment



several days a week, stop at the Hollywood Beach Theater/Bandshell at Johnson Street (954-921-3404 or At Charnow Park, between Garfield and Connecticut streets, you will find paddleball courts, a children’s interactive fountain, playgrounds and picnic pavilions. The Hollywood Beach Welcome Center, open weekdays, is on the Broadwalk at Michigan Street. To the north of the Broadwalk, the 56-acre Hollywood North Beach Park provides access to 1.1 miles of public beach and views of the Intracoastal Waterway. The park has an active turtle hatchery program, and it features a 60-foot-tall observation tower. 3601 N. Ocean Drive, 954-357-5161, Just across the Intracoastal Waterway from North Beach Park lies Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park, a 1,500-acre preserve of mangrove estuary and uplands. Learn about this fascinating ecosystem by touring the nature center’s Exhibit Hall with its 3,500-gallon aquarium, by walking the boardwalk and trails, by climbing or riding the elevator to the top of the 68-foot observation tower. Head to the south side of West Lake Park (the next trolley stop) and you can rent a kayak or canoe and paddle the lake and mangrove trails, enjoy fishing, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, walking and biking (bike rentals available on weekends). The park also has tennis, basketball, racquetball and sand volleyball courts. 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, 954-357-5161,

Hollywood Event Sampler See many other events and activities at and Funtastic Fridays for Kids, 5-9 p.m. every Friday, ArtsPark (Hollywood Boulevard and Federal Highway), 954-9242980. Free family activities, including outdoor movies, bounce house, face painting, magic and more. Food Truck Invasion, 5:30-10 p.m. every Monday, ArtsPark

(Hollywood Boulevard and Federal Highway), 954-9213500. Enjoy offerings from a fleet of gourmet food trucks, plus live entertainment. Artwalk, 7-10 p.m. the third Saturday of the month, Downtown Hollywood, 954-9242980. Visit galleries and shops while enjoying art, cultural entertainment and hors d’oeuvres. Original artwork for sale. Live Glassblowing, 7-10 p.m. every Thurs., Fri & Sat., ArtsPark (Hollywood Blvd. & Federal Highway), 561-504-7847. Master glassblowers perform

Downtown Line From Johnson Street, you can catch the Downtown Trolley and see what Joseph W. Young envisioned in the early 1920s when he designed Hollywood-by-the-Sea – wide, palm-lined boulevards punctuated by traffic circles, verdant parks and Mediterranean-style architecture. (The trolley passes Young’s former home, at 1055 Hollywood Blvd.) Today Downtown Hollywood’s tree-shaded streets are filled with intriguing shops, galleries, restaurants and night spots. www. ArtsPark at Young Circle, on Hollywood Boulevard at Federal Highway, is a 10-acre oasis of art, culture and nature in the heart of the city. It features Ritsuko Taho’s water sculpture Millennium Springs, visual and performing arts spaces, ancient baobab trees, a children’s park and interactive fountain. For information on ArtsPark’s many free activities, including music, dancing, fitness classes, outdoor movies and a Saturday evening market, call 954-921-3500. The Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, just a short walk from the ArtsPark trolley stop, presents innovative and unique visual and performing arts programs. 1650 Harrison St., 954-921-3274,

live demonstrations. Artwork is for sale. Classes for novice to advanced levels are available. Historic Hammerstein House Tours, October-May the first Sunday of the month, 1-4 p.m., 1520 Polk St., 954-923-5590, www.hollywoodhistoricalsociety. org. The Hollywood Historical Society offers free tours of this Tropical Modern home designed by architect Bayard Lukens in 1935. The society also allows visitors to do research in its archives by appointment. Josh’s Organic Garden, 9 a.m.-5:31 p.m. (yes, that’s

5:31) Sundays, on the beach Broadwalk at Harrison Street, 954-456-3276. Weekly organic market featuring certified organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and juice bar. Beach Concerts & Dancing, 7:30-9 p.m. Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri. & Sat., Hollywood Beach Theater, on the beach Broadwalk at Johnson Street, 954-921-3404. Move to the music or just sit and soak in the scene. 56th Annual Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade, 7 p.m. Dec. 3, 2011, on the Hollywood Broadwalk (along the beach), NOTE: Events can change so call 954-921-3404.

to verify before heading out.






Today I’m planning to venture out of the resort to explore South Florida. Comprised of three counties — Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade — the region is a diverse playground with something for everyone. Whether I want to shop at some of the finest boutiques in the world, game at a glitzy casino, be entertained in a state-of-the-art venue, catch a sporting event or get a taste of some history, I can find it close to The Westin Diplomat. The Hollywood Trolley and the Water Taxi, which make stops at the resort (see map, pg. 71), make it easy for me to get around to many attractions nearby. Consult the concierge about the best way to reach the rest. Here’s just a sampling – please note listing information is subject to change. I recommend phoning in advance of your visit. Everglades Holiday Park



Broward County Attractions Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Located on Big Cypress Reservation, 17 miles north of Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), exit 49, Clewiston. 877-902-1113, www. Learn about the history and culture of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and visit a living Indian village. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (call for holiday hours). $9, adults; $6, students and seniors. Anne Kolb Nature Center/ West Lake Park 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, 954-357-5161, This 1,500-acre coastal mangrove wetland is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Boat trails offer access to the area for sightseeing and fishing. Tour the Exhibit Hall, rent a canoe or kayak, take the elevator or stairs to the top of the 68-foot Observation Tower, fish or hike a scenic trail. Open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Billie Swamp Safari Located on Big Cypress Reservation, 17 miles north of Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), exit 49, Clewiston. 800-949-6101, www.billieswamp. com. Explore 2,200 acres of untamed Florida Everglades preserved in its pristine state by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Take an airboat or swamp buggy tour, attend an educational alligator or snake show or enjoy authentic Seminole food at the Swamp Water Café. Open every day except Christmas. Prices vary based on activity. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens 900 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale. 954-5635393, Experience a slice of Old Florida at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, set on a verdant 35-acre tract that Hugh Taylor Birch gave to his daughter, Helen, and her husband, artist Frederic Bartlett, as a wedding gift in 1919. Take a guided tour of the home and tropical gardens - and keep your eyes open for a view of the swans or wild monkeys. Closed Mondays and some holidays. Hours and prices vary. The largest butterfly park in the world, with three acres of lush tropical gardens, thousands of live butterflies, hummingbirds and an insectarium. Open daily. $24.95, adults; $19.95, children 3-11; 2 and under, free. Carrie B Cruises 440 N. River Drive East, Fort Lauderdale. 954-768-9920, Enjoy a ninety-minute sightseeing cruise on the New River and Intracoastal Waterway. Cruises depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily. $22.95, adults; $12.95, children 3-12; kids under 3, free. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays in summer. Charter One Yacht Charters 3555 S. Ocean Drive, Hollywood. 954-7710102, Luxury charter yacht cruises, including the new Floridian Princess mega-yacht. Dave & Buster’s 3000 Oakwood Blvd., Hollywood. 954923-5505, A

touch of Florida history on 60 acres of lush gardens showcasing rare, exotic and native plants, or explore native wildlife in the aviary and wildlife sanctuary. Closed Mondays during the summer; closed Christmas and Thanksgiving. $18, adults; $15, seniors; $10, kids 4-11; 3 and under, free. Fort Lauderdale History Center 219 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954463-4431, www.fortlauderdalehistorycenter. org. Historic buildings, the museum’s permanent collection and changing exhibits depict the development of Fort Lauderdale from 1870 to 1930. The center includes the 1905 New River Inn Museum of History, 1905 Philemon Nathaniel Bryan House and 1907 King-Cromartie House. Open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $10, adults; $5, students (through age 22). Hugh Taylor Birch State Park 3109 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954-564-4521, hughtaylorbirch. This park is an oasis of tropical hammocks nestled between the Charter One Yacht Charters

Boomers 1700 NW First St., Dania Beach. 954-921-1411, Go-karts, bumper boats, arcades, miniature golf, thrill rides and batting cages. Call for hours and prices.

huge sports bar and family restaurant with billiards, video games, virtual reality games and numerous televisions for sports viewing. 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday.

Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Rent a canoe and paddle along a freshwater lagoon, or fish from the seawall. You can also hike, picnic or enjoy the beach. Open daily 8 a.m. to sundown.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954-4620222, Year-round theater, dance and musical performances at a state-of-the-art facility.

Everglades Holiday Park 21940 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale. 954-4348111, See the Florida Everglades from an airboat, camp out, fish or rent a boat to explore on your own.

Butterfly World Located in Tradewinds Park, 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek. 954-977-4400, www.

Flamingo Gardens 3750 S. Flamingo Road, Davie. 954-4732955, Enjoy a

IFGA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach. 954-9224212, The museum includes five galleries, an outdoor marina, a theater and indoor/outdoor demonstration areas. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. $8, adults; $5, seniors and children 3-16; free for kids under 3.



International Swimming Hall of Fame 1 Hall of Fame Drive, Fort Lauderdale. 954462-6536, The Museum, Library and Archive contain the world’s largest collection of aquatic memorabilia and the single largest source of aquatic books, manuscripts and literature. View Johnny Weissmuller’s Olympic medals, Mark Spitz’s starting block and tributes to American presidents who were swimmers, or request a showing of Million Dollar Mermaid, with Esther Williams, or Tarzan the Ape Man, with Weissmuller. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. $8, adults; $6, seniors; $4, students. Jungle Queen Riverboat Located in the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, at 801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954462-5596, Enjoy a barbecue rib, chicken and shrimp dinner, and entertainment, as this 550-passenger riverboat cruises past interesting sites and beautiful homes. Departs daily at 6 p.m. $39.95, adults; $21.75, children. Narrated sightseeing cruises also available and depart at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. $17.50, adults; $12.75, children. Museum of Art/ Nova Southeastern University One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954525-5500, One of the area’s leading cultural attractions, with major traveling exhibits and a permanent collection of over 6,000 works reflecting the cultures of South Florida and the Caribbean. The collection includes significant works by the American painter William Glackens, by the artists of the northern European CoBrA movement, and by contemporary Cuban artists. Closed Mondays. $10, adults; $7, seniors, military and children 6-17; children 5 and under and college students, free. Museum of Discovery and Science & AutoNation IMAX 3D Theater 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, 954-467-56637. Visitors can ride the Everglades Airboat Adventure, experience hurricane force winds, dig for fossils alongside a giant prehistoric megalodon, enjoy the playful antics of river otters, meet an alligator and be charmed by a 6-foot-long snake. Take a ride to Mars or soar through the skies in an FA-18 cockpit simulator. Family fun, for all ages. Stranahan House 335 SE Sixth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954-5244726, Built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan, Fort Lauderdale’s first postmaster, and his wife Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, the area’s first teacher, Stranahan House is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County. Tours given at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

daily. $12, adults; $11, seniors; $7 children. River Ghost Tours every Sunday at 7:30 p.m., $25. Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District Stroll along Fort Lauderdale’s New River, and enjoy shopping, dining, nightlife and historical sites as well as venues for theater, music, dance and visual arts. Water Taxi 413 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954467-6677, This relaxing 45-minute trip along the Intracoastal Waterway travels between the heart of Hollywood Beach and Water Taxi Stop 7 in Fort Lauderdale. Fare: $12-$20 for an all-day pass. Water Fantaseas Luxury Yacht Charters 786-220-6603, Charters from half-day to full-day excursions — and beyond. The fleet includes megayachts, speed boats, fishing charters, sailboats, catamarans and more.

Palm Beach County Attractions Mizner Park 327 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. 561-362-0606, An outdoor shopping plaza with unique boutiques, sumptuous eateries, energizing music and inspiring art. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach. 561-4950233, A center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida, with rotating exhibitions in its galleries, tea ceremonies performed monthly in its Seishin-an tea house and Japanese traditional festivals celebrated several times a year. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and major national holidays. $12, adults; $11, seniors; $7, children and students. Palm Beach Kennel Club 1111 N. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach. 561-683-2222, Yearround greyhound racing and simulcast action, as well as poker and dining. Worth Avenue 561-659-6909, One of the best known shopping venues in the world, Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue features legendary international boutiques as well as unique specialty stores found only on the Avenue.

Miami-Dade County Attractions Art Deco District Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. 305-672-2014, Art Deco District walking tours are conducted seven days a week. $20. For information, call 305-531-3484.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables. 305667-1651, One of the world’s leading botanical gardens, this 83-acre oasis features extensive collections of rare tropical plants, including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Christmas. $25, adults; $18, seniors: $12, children 6-17; children 5 and under, free. Jungle Island 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami. 305-4007000, Jungle Island is home to over 500 species of plants and 3,000 animals. Check out the bird show, flamingo lake and everglades habitat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekends. $32.95, adults; $30.95, seniors; $24.95, children 3-10; free for 2 and under. Zoo Miami 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami. 305-251-0400, Enjoy over 100 exhibits at this 740-acre park, with more than 2,000 animals, representing over 500 species (including 40 endangered species). 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. $15.95, adults; $11.95, children 3-12; children 2 and under, free. Miami Science Museum 3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami. 305-646-4200, Featuring award-winning educational programs, family focused exhibits, a historic planetarium and a rehabilitative wildlife center and clinic. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. $14.95, adults; $10.95, seniors, students and children 3-12; free for children 2 and under. Miami Seaquarium 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne. 305-361-5705, Located on a 38-acre tropical paradise with spectacular skyline views. Enjoy dolphin, killer whale and sea lion shows, or swim with the dolphins. 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. $38.95, adults; $28.95, children 3-9.

Shopping Aventura Mall 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura. 305-9351110, Aventura Mall offers over 300 fine retailers and is home to some of the most desirable names in fashion and a variety of culinary delights. 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Downtown Hollywood Hollywood Boulevard between Young Circle/ Arts Park and Dixie Highway. 954-924-2980, On the brick-lined walks of downtown Hollywood, you’ll find an eclectic collection of art galleries, DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE


boutiques, restaurants, bars and sidewalk cafes. It’s a great place to find out-of-theordinary artwork, gifts and clothing, or to just stroll and then grab a bite to eat. Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale’s stylish boulevard offers fashionable boutiques, eclectic galleries and a diverse selection of restaurants and outdoor cafes. Visit the website to learn more about special events such as art walks, outdoor movies, a farmer’s market and Christmas on Las Olas. The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale 2414 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954-5641015, A destination for fabulous restaurants, sophisticated stores and world-class service, The Galleria is anchored by Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Dillard’s. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. Sawgrass Mills 12801 W. Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise. 954-846-2300, Florida’s largest outlet destination, with more than 350 stores plus great dining and entertainment options. The Oasis at Sawgrass Mills and The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills enhance the mall’s popularity with outdoor dining, entertainment and shopping. 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Village at Gulfstream Park 501 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach. 954-378-0900, www. One of South Florida’s most exciting and picturesque attractions, combining over 17 signature restaurants and outdoor cafes, extraordinary fashion boutiques and top-of-the-line home stores. Adjacent to the Gulfstream Park horse racing and entertainment complex.

Professional Sports Baseball: Florida Marlins - Watch the Marlins play in their new world-class baseball stadium located just two miles from downtown Miami. The ballpark has a retractable roof, natural grass playing field and 37,000 seats. 877-MARLINS, Basketball: Miami Heat - AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. 786-7771250, Football: Miami Dolphins - Sun Life Stadium, 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens, 305-9438000, Hockey: Florida Panthers - BankAtlantic Center, One Panther Parkway, Sunrise. 954835-PUCK, Jai-Alai: Dania Jai-Alai - 301 E. Dania Beach

Blvd., Dania Beach. 954-920-1511, www. Jai-alai, poker, cocktail bars and sports bar, along with simulcast betting.

Racing and Gaming Gulfstream Park 901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-454-7000, Year-round casino action, with over 850 Vegas-style slot machines, poker, seasonal thoroughbred horseracing, simulcast wagering and a bustling nightlife. Present your room key at Guest Services (located in Champions Plaza at The Village of Gulfstream Park) and receive a welcome packet with valuable savings, a free gift and a free play card for the Casino. Mardi Gras Racetrack & Gaming Center 831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach. 954924-3200, A casino and gaming destination that features greyhound racing, slots, poker, entertainment, dining and an outdoor flea market on weekends. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. 954-327-ROCK, This spectacular complex features over 90 gaming tables and 2,500 slots, as well as 17 restaurants and lounges, 22 boutique shops, 12 nightclubs, the 400-seat Paradise Live theater and the 5,500-seat Hard Rock Live concert arena.

Bike and Roll

Turn your group outing into an unforgettable event with a BIKE AND ROLL guided tour!

It’s a fun, unique and informative way to see the sites. We promise to deliver a fun time, safe ride, and a memorable experience for every rider and all ages. Bikes and accessories are provided. Team Building • Corporate Groups • VIP Tours Reunions & Parties •Family Outings • Architectural Rides Sunrise Rides • Scavenger Hunts




Cuenca Cigars

• Montecristo Lounge by Membership (One time day Pass available)

• Premium Cigars • Wide selection of exotic beers • Unique line of humidors & cigar accessories • Wi-Fi • Events and offers to our subscribers on “Que Pasa” Newsletter ...and yes, we are Open 7 days 11am till midnight A Fort Lauderdale Tradition




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H A PPY H O U R ever yday 4pm-8pm FRESH SE AFOO D GRE AT D R I N KS SU N DAY B RU N CH 11A M - 3PM

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Westin’s Superfoods, health-enhancing choices that are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Breakfast offerings include Steel-Cut Cinnamon Scented Oatmeal, drizzled with honey and topped with sliced bananas and pecans, and Blueberry Orange Granola Pancakes. Tempting lunch entrées include the Chairman’s Reserve Steak and Green Tea Infused Salmon. Be sure not to miss the daily buffet and the seasonally themed holiday buffets. Open for breakfast daily from 6:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – R.A.F. SPLASH Beachfront and poolside bar. Casual fare served in classic Florida style. Bite into a juicy burger as you enjoy the Atlantic breezes, or enjoy Florida and Caribbean delights such as a bucket of peel-and-eat Florida Gulf Shrimp, Blackened Mahi Soft Taco or a classic Cuban sandwich. The full menu, including some delicious tropical drinks, can be delivered to your cabana or poolside chaise lounge. Open from 11 a.m. until dusk. – R.A.F.


Editor’s note: Restaurants in the dining guide were reviewed by local fine dining writer John Tanasychuk (J.T.), Judith Stocks (J.S.); and Diplomat magazine writer Robyn A. Friedman (R.A.F.), except those noted with a ++, where the information was provided by the restaurant. Information is subject to change – call ahead to confirm hours of operation, etc. Dining options at a glance at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa (see full story, pg. 22) and nearby. At The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Diplomat Landing and The Diplomat’s golf resort HOLLYWOOD PRIME Located in the lobby. With just 15 tables, Hollywood Prime has captured a slew of prestigious awards, including the AAA Four Diamond Award every year since 2003. Starters include a classic Onion Soup Gratinée, Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Oysters

Diplomat (with Creamed Spinach Hollandaise) and Beef Carpaccio. The appetizers only whet your appetite for a taste of the restaurant’s 21day dry-aged beef, from the 10-ounce Prime Striploin to the 48-ounce Prime Porterhouse — and every succulent dish in between. Seafood choices include Live Maine Lobster, Salmon Filet or Tuna Loin. Side orders are served family style and include steakhouse classics such as Creamed Spinach, along with Jumbo Green and White Asparagus with Hollandaise, White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and Yukon Gold Potato Hash Browns with Truffle Oil. Don’t miss the Roasted Mushrooms. The wine menu boasts over 400 selections, including organic, boutique and rare vintage wines. Open from 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are required. – R.A.F. CAFE Located in the lobby. The perfect spot for breakfast or lunch. Dishes include creative soups, salads and sandwiches as well as

THE LINKS RESTAURANT & LOUNGE Located at The Diplomat’s golf resort, just a short complimentary shuttle ride away from the beach. Golfers can grab a quick bite before they tee off for the day – or enjoy a leisurely lunch on the veranda. Breakfast offerings include a Belgian Waffle, or Egg Panini with maple-cured ham and provolone on a grilled soft roll. Lunch specialties include Fresh Seared Salmon Ciabatta with limecilantro mayonnaise and The Old Diplomat, a shaved roast beef sandwich with three melted cheeses, tobacco onions and herb mayonnaise. After a full day on the course, golfers can replenish with Seared Florida Snapper with Coconut Sauce, a Certified Angus New York Strip Steak or the Montrachet Salad, a delightful blend of greens, goat cheese, caramelized onion and pancetta. A full wine list is available, as are kids’ and spa menus. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. – R.A.F. AiZiA Located at Diplomat Landing, just across the skybridge from The Westin Diplomat’s beachfront resort. AiZiA is The Diplomat’s Pan-Asian contemporary restaurant, where Chef Mauricio Gutierrez’s goal is to delight all your senses — sight, smell, hearing and touch, in addition to taste — via the dining experience. AiZiA offers guests their choice of dining indoors or alongside the Intracoastal Waterway. The menu features specialties such as Lava Seafood (served in a bubbling cauldron), Kona Coffee Rubbed Beef Satay (which arrives on a sizzling rock), Wild Salmon (served on a flaming cedar plank) and a full slate of nigiri, sashimi and sushi. The homemade vanilla gelato with figs and DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE


walnuts — served in a hand-carved ice bowl — is to die for. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 6 p.m., AiZiA transforms into a high-energy dance club on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. A unique Sunday Brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – R.A.F. RIVALS WATERFRONT SPORTS GRILLE Located at Diplomat Landing, just across the skybridge from The Westin Diplomat’s beachfront resort. Rivals is a casual restaurant and gathering place with a unique open kitchen that allows guests to take note of the culinary expertise evident in menu items such as Florida Crab Cakes with a rum butter sauce, Pilsner Beer Battered Florida Mahi Mahi or a 10-ounce Kobe Patty Melt. Rivals also offers a full wine and beer menu, along with specialty cocktails and signature beer-tinis. With 32 big-screen televisions and a championship billiards room, you’ll come for the games — but stay for the food. Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and from noon to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. – R.A.F. COMMON GROUNDS Located in the lobby. Coffee, delicious pastries, Italian gelato, salads, sandwiches, energy bars and cold drinks. Common Grounds is a great spot for a quick bite anytime during the day. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. – R.A.F.

HOLLYWOOD HALLANDALE BEACH AMERICAN ++BIG EASY BAR AND GRILLE 1925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 954-5402662, Downtown Hollywood’s swingin’ hotspot featuring toe-tappin’, finger-snappin’ New Orleans style food and fun! Big Easy Bar and Grille is venue for live Jazz and Blues music. Featuring some of the hottest entertainment every Wednesday - Saturday night, and Sunday afternoons on a spacious covered outdoor patio. Classic comfort American fare with a cajun flair served by some of the friendliest servers in town at prices that allow you to let the good times roll! Dine indoors, outdoors on our covered patio, or alfresco along the quaint sidewalk streets of Downtown Hollywood. ++BILLY’S STONE CRAB RESTAURANT 400 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, located one mile north of The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa on A-1-A, 954-923-2300 or 800-4352722. World famous, with a view! Now in its fourth decade in business, Billy’s Stone Crab Restaurant and Market is a South Florida institution offering some of the freshest stone crabs and seafood. Specialties include stone 80


crab claws, Key West pink shrimp, Florida lobster, fresh Florida fish, as well as steaks and chicken. Billy’s second-floor dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows has a magnificent view of the Intracoastal Waterway, capturing its nightly yacht parades as well as outdoor dining on their dock. Open for dinner and lunch daily. Nationwide shipping. Private party room available. For more information about Billy’s or to order online, visit www. or call 800-4FLCRAB. ++BLUSTER BAR 115 N. 21st Ave, Hollywood. Located in downtown Hollywood, Bluster is a local Nightclub and Bar. Working with some of the biggest names in the industry Bluster Bar brings you the best local talent specializing in all genres of music. Visit us online for weekly shows and offers at ++CARINI’S 814 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-457-4444. Carini’s has New Yorkstyle pizza the locals love. You can get a large pizza and delicious garlic rolls at an affordable price. Delivers to The Diplomat, just minutes away, and the food is always hot.  ++CUENCA’S MONTECRISTO LOUNGE 1928 Harrison St., Suite A, Hollywood, 954364-7660. Cigar aficionados can savor a quality smoke and so much more at Cuenca Cigars, Hollywood’s only Cigar Shop open from 11 a.m. to midnight every day. Enjoy “Art & Cigars” at Montecristo Lounge - Exhibitions of local artists during Downtown Hollywood’s ArtWalk, the third Saturday of every month, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. ++GG’s WATERFRONT BAR AND GRILL 606 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, 954-929-7030, For fantastic steaks, seafood and a sophisticated bar scene, you can’t go wrong with Giorgio’s Grill. Relax in a spectacular waterfront setting and enjoy the sunset. Wine room and private banquet room, and outdoor dining also are available. Less than five minutes from The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. IL MERCATO CAFE 1454 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, 954-457-3700. Unassuming location with internationally inspired, affordable dishes such as gnocchi with short-rib ragout and chicken schnitzel. Moderate. Dinner. – J.T. ++JUNGLE QUEEN RIVERBOAT Bahia Mar Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale, 801 Seabreeze Blvd., Route A1A. World Famous “All You Wish to Eat” BBQ Ribs & Shrimp Dinner Cruise & Variety Review. Departs nightly at 6 p.m. Also, 3-hour fully narrated Sightseeing Cruises up the historic New River past plush waterfront homes and downtown Fort Lauderdale with a stop-off at our tropical isle to see rare birds, monkeys and an alligator

exhibition. The only true way to see Fort Lauderdale! Sightseeing Cruises depart daily at 9:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. For reservations and pricing, please call 954-462-5596. KUSSIFAY 2652 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 954-9251662. Home-style Argentine cooking with Italian accents served in rustic surroundings. Inexpensive. Lunch, dinner. – J.S. ++LA BARRACA 115 S. 20th Ave., Hollywood, 954-9250050. La Barraca is South Florida’s premiere Paellas & Tapas restaurant. La Barraca offers authentic Spanish cuisine in a relaxing environment accompanied by a selection of fine Spanish wines and beautiful Flamenco dancing. Chef Jorge Fernandez has taken his traditional culinary art throughout Spain, France, England, Amsterdam, the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, and the United States, presenting his delicious specialty paellas and other mouthwatering Spanish tapas (hors d’oeuvres). We offer a warm, inviting and informal atmosphere to suit both short visits for a quick bite to eat, and special occasions when you prefer a long, relaxed night with your partner or friends. LOLA’s 2032 Harrison St., Hollywood, 954-927-9851. Elevated comfort food such as Coca-Cola BBQ Beef Ribs and braised pork shank, served in a simple dining room. Moderate-expensive. Dinner. – J.T. ++MAMA MIA’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 1818 S. Young Circle, Hollywood, 954-9230555, Mamma Mia’s offers fresh ingredients and the welcoming ambience of an upscale restaurant. Their award-winning menu contains affordable pricing and a commitment to service that has proven to be so successful to their sister establishments in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Moderate pricing. MATTEO’S 1825 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, 954-455-4050. It’s hard to believe this comfortable, neighborhood spot is a chain. Portions are oversized. Service is friendly. Moderate-expensive. Dinner. – J.T. ++SUSHI ROOM - A SAKE LOUNGE 1810 S. Young Circle, Hollywood, 954-9221103. Located in the Heart of Hollywood, the Sushi Room offers a true taste of Japan with world renowned sushi chefs from Miami, Manhattan and direct from Japan. The Sushi Room offers the most unique dishes you will find this side of Tokyo. Also offers 15 sake drinks with creative flair. Open late night with Live DJs, Monday, Friday & Saturday from 9 p.m. till Close.

TACO BEACH SHACK 334 Arizona St., Hollywood, 954-920-6523. This outdoor Tex-Mex invites diners to come in their bathing suits for Korean short rib, kimchi-slaw burritos and more. Inexpensive. Lunch, dinner. – J.T.

meats and pasta are the freshest available. The intimate setting paired with delicious delicacies will make for a lovely evening or celebration. Open for dinner only. Call for reservations.

++VINO 1910 Harrison St., Hollywood, 954-929-8686, “In Vino Veritas” is a Latin expression meaning There is Truth in Wine. Harrison Street’s newest wine bar VINO protects each wine’s True Flavors so guests have a chance to sip and sample the unique qualities of every bottle. Utilizing a state-of-the-art Enomatic Wine Serving System and a climatecontrolled, UV protected vault, VINO provides Hollywood oenophiles a cozy sanctuary to taste and compare over 70 unique vintages.

++TATIANA RESTAURANT AND NIGHTCLUB 1710 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, 954-454-1222, www.fltatianarestaurant. com. The mystique of Russian Culture comes to Hallandale Beach minutes from The Diplomat. Experience the food, music and atmosphere known only to Russia.  Tatiana Night Club & Restaurant brings eastern European tradition to Florida.  A dramatic dining experience with upscale lounge complete with Russian cuisine, dining and shows open six days a week. Visit; or call for reservations, 954-454-1222.

++WHISKEY TANGO ALL AMERICAN BAR & GRILL 1903 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 954-9252555, The world-famous Whiskey Tango in Downtown Hollywood is good old-fashioned fun! Redneck cool, Trailer-park fabulous, Blue-collar vogue, whatever you choose to call it, it’s hip and it’s fun, with a downtown vibe. Whiskey Tango offers something to do and a place to hang seven days a week. Whether you’re looking for a light snack or a delicious dinner, you can’t go wrong at Whiskey Tango, where the menu offers gourmet tastes at bar prices. The kitchen is open till late, late at night. Just a few minutes from The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Whiskey Tango is all about Food, Fun and Entertainment…what more do you need? Grab some friends – or come make some new ones – and join the party!

ASIAN ++CHINATOPIA 1824 Harrison St. (on Young Circle), 954-9258884. Chinatopia brings to Hollywood 30 years of some of the finest Chinese cuisine in all of South Florida - specializing in Sichuan, Mandarin and Cantonese dishes. Signature entrées include tempting Peking Duck, sautéed Pepper Shrimp, Orange Beef and Eggplant Sichuan. Nice wine list. Moderate prices, informal dining.

ITALIAN ++FULVIO’S 1900 Harrison St., Hollywood, 954-927-1900. Fulvio’s will give you the feeling of eating fine pastas and Italian specialties in the heart of any major city with an Italian district. You can sense the detail and love in every dish. And don’t be surprised to find local and national celebrities dining next to you. The veal, seafood,


ELSEWHERE IN BROWARD COUNTY AMERICAN HIMMARSHEE BAR & GRILLE 210 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-5241818. This oasis on a street known for its bar scene features a solid new American menu with very good seafood. Moderate-expensive. Lunch, dinner. – J.T. SEASONS 52 2428 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-5371052. A beautiful spot with seasonally inspired cooking, nutritionally balanced meals and each menu item under 475 calories. The menu changes quarterly with full satisfying flavors. Have one (or more) “mini-indulgences” for dessert - three or four mouthfuls packed into tall square shot glasses. Great wine list. Moderate. Lunch, dinner. — J.S.

ASIAN RAINBOW PALACE 2787 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-5652. Sophisticated Chinese dining in pretty surroundings complete with marble pillars and jade. The wait staff is tuxedoed, but best of all, they’ve mastered the fine art of invisibility while being attentive. Start with portobello mushroom and Chinese eggplant, then have anything with big meaty shrimp, especially the ones glazed with Grand Marnier. Expensive. Dinner. — J.S.

LATIN/MEXICAN/SPANISH EDUARDO DE SAN ANGEL 2822 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954772-4731. A jewel box of a restaurant offering a chance at sophisticated Mexican-infused

international cuisine. Discover grilled cactus paddle paired with achiote-marinated loin of pork and guajillo chili sauce and the wonders of epazote-infused in pasilla chili-flavored chicken broth. Homemade desserts excel. Excellent wine list. Caring service. Expensive. Dinner. — J.S.

SEAFOOD ++15TH STREET FISHERIES AND DOCKSIDE CAFE 1900 SE 15th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954763-2777. Visit 15th Street Fisheries for an unforgettable waterfront dining experience in an authentic marina. The Fisheries, at Lauderdale Marina, provides fantastic food and fun along the Intracoastal Waterway near Port Everglades. Dine in a relaxing old-time Florida seafood house. Step out onto the docks to feed the tarpon! The Fisheries was voted “Best Waterfront Restaurant in South Florida” in a 2011 Sun Sentinel readers’ poll. SUNFISH GRILL 2761 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-6464. Excellent blue marlin dip, onioncrusted salmon, sea scallops and steak. Housemade desserts are a must. Moderate-expensive. Dinner. – J.S.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY AMERICAN ALTAMARE 1223 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-5323061. Chef-driven, intimate seafood restaurant puts the focus on local fish paired with fresh produce. Expensive. Dinner. – J.T.

MICHY’S 6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-759-2001. Chef Michelle Bernstein and her husband, David Martinez, serve inspired contemporary classics in an elegant, modern setting. Dinners. – J.T

ASIAN ++SUSHI HOUSE 15911 Biscayne Blvd., N. Miami Beach, 305-9476002. Welcome to Sushi House. We offer happy hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and early bird specials from 5:30-7 p.m. Hungry late? Don’t worry, we have a special menu until 3 a.m. Sushi House is the place for serious sushi lovers. Dine in a casual elegant and chic setting and enjoy the freshest sushi. Open for lunch and dinner. Cozy bar area. Just 10 minutes from The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa to our House. Closed Mondays.



Guest room furnishings are chosen with the environment in mind, incorporating LED lighting and recycled materials. The furnishings are recycled at the end of their useful life.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END As I stand on my balcony, watching the sun rise over the Atlantic, I feel a bit wistful that my time at The Westin Diplomat is about to draw to a close. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my stay here, from the pool to the beach, spa, restaurants, tennis — as many of the resort’s amenities that I could fit into my visit. But now it’s time to go. 82


From the moment I arrived, I felt welcome here. The Diplomat’s Ambassadors have done everything they could to ensure my visit was a wonderful one. And they did meet their goal; they exceeded my expectations. Even now, as I make my way to the main desk to check out, I’m greeted by Santiago, the Lobby Host, who asks me how I am, if I’ve enjoyed my stay and if I need anything. I feel renewed, rejuvenated. I feel relaxed. Maybe it’s the subliminal effect of the white-tea scent, Westin’s signature scent, that’s hitting my senses in the lobby. But that’s just a part of it. From the moment I arrived until now, my departure, I’ve received world-class service — the service that The Westin Diplomat is known for. And although I arrived as a guest, I know I’m now leaving as part of The Westin Diplomat family. Thanks to all of the 1,000 Ambassadors who took such good care of me. I’ll be back soon.

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When you get into the water with a dolphin one thing becomes quite clear. You are not the only inquisitive one in the pool. Our dolphins are as curious about you as you are about them. And that’s what makes the experience so remarkable. You will connect, you will feel it, and so will your new friend. 305-365-2501 ~ Located on Rickenbacker Causeway just minutes from Downtown Miami. *Advance reservations are recommended for Dolphin Interaction programs.