The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, with its sleek glass exterior and stunning contemporary lobby, is actually part of an exciting historical continuum that began a half century ago with The Diplomat, a luxury hotel opened on this site in 1959. The hotel was technically opened in 1958 as the 150-room Envoy by supermarket tycoon Samuel Friedland. But it found its groove in the decades to come, after Friedland expanded it to 370 rooms, entrusted it to the care of his daughter and son-in-law, the Cowans, and renamed it The Diplomat.
A ritzy and opulent retreat, The Diplomat quickly made Hollywood, Florida a popular destination for the rich, famous and anyone seeking a little glamour with their surf and sun. During the Cowans’ tenure, the hotel saw performers from Bing Crosby and Maurice Chevalier to Woody Allen, Bob Neuhart, Liza Minnelli and Kenny Rogers in the renowned Café Crystal or more intimate Tack Room. Numerous presidents, from Harry Truman to every office-holder from 1974 until its close, paid a visit to The Diplomat. Frank Sinatra returned from retirement for a December 1974 show in the Tack Room. Through on-and-off financial troubles, The Diplomat survived to see Bob Hope host a New Year’s celebration in 1984. Ronald Reagan addressed the longshoremen from the hotel the same year. Financial woes became worse throughout the decade, however, and the hotel was closed and finally sold to the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices. The original building, with all its stories and legends, was demolished in 1998, and soon new construction began.
In 1999, The Country Club at the Diplomat, now also owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, opened with a Joe Lee-designed golf course, pro shops, and 60 luxury guestrooms. The spa at the Diplomat opened in 2000. In January 2002, on the site of the original Diplomat, The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa opened its doors to a 39-story, 998-room tower complete with infinity rivers in the lobby, a two-level glass-bottom pool, and a convention center. Our guestrooms’ subtle art deco curves pay tribute to a by-gone era of tapestries, gold and glass chandeliers, when Hollywood was discovered as a destination thanks to The Diplomat's unforgettable festivities and beachside grandeur.