Diplomat Beach Resort named a finalist in Boutique Design's Gold Key awards


LEO A DALY’s lobby design for the newly renovated Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla., is a finalist in Boutique Design’s 2018 Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design. The project is recognized in the category of Best Lobby Luxury.

The Diplomat’s lobby is the centerpiece of a comprehensive, $100-million makeover for the 1000-room resort – now part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. LEO A DALY’s design reimagines the dramatic, three-story volume, removing bulky escalators and fountains to create a luxurious, indoor/outdoor bar and lounge. The design epitomizes breezy South-Florida hospitality and highlights the beachfront location that first cemented its legendary status as an icon of style and sophistication.

During its mid-20th century heyday, the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood was the playground of choice for A-listers such as the Kennedys, the Rat Pack, and Judy Garland. The reinvented resort pays homage to this storied past with a modern take on design and amenities, a luxurious spa and 10 new culinary concepts.

The lobby instantly sets the tone for the resort, evoking a sense of nostalgic glamour with intimately-scaled teak cabanas draped in billowy fabric. Guests wander a ceramic-plank boardwalk through a series of tropical vignettes punctuated by palm trees, lush landscaping, hand-made pottery and driftwood that give the space a playful sense of indoor-outdoor ambiguity.

Furnishings have a one-of-a-kind quality, with weathered wood finishes, and woven textures all atop brightly colored, handmade rugs. Seating groups are flexible and organic, comfortably accommodating any size group. In the evening, the cabanas are washed in flickering candle light from hurricane lamps and woven metal wall sconces, providing an intimate feel.

The three-story space-frame curtain wall has been punctured to feature a new Hotel Bar serving both lobby and poolside guests. A vanishing wall connects indoor and outdoor spaces, creating continuity between the lobby, two-sided bar, pool deck, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

 “A great lobby sets the tone for the guest experience. It’s that moment of transition that lifts the guest’s mood from the frenzy of travel to the delight of a beautifully designed space,” said Pat Miller, global practice leader at LEO A DALY.  “The Diplomat’s new lobby is incredible because it takes advantage of this expansive volume, provides an instant connection to the beach, and puts guests in the perfect mood to mingle and unwind.”

Now in its 38th year, the Gold Key awards are the industry’s oldest and most prestigious distinction, honoring outstanding interior-design work in hospitality. Winners in 21 categories will be announced at the Gold Key Awards Gala, to be held Nov 14 at the Waldorf Astoria, New York.