9:59 AM EDT, June 25, 2010
1140 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; sheraton.com/fortlauderdalebeach; 954-524-5551
Back story: Formerly known as the Sheraton Yankee Clipper, the Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel reopened in January 2010 after a multimillion-dollar renovation. A Fort Lauderdale landmark, the hotel was originally built by George "Bob" Gill Jr., and designed in a V shape to resemble a cruise ship. The classic design of the hotel was maintained in the renovation, while incorporating upscale amenities in a relaxing, beach themed décor. The expansive outdoor area on the beach features a new infinity pool, cabanas, plenty of space to lounge around, and a Mexican-inspired menu at the Baja Beach Bar.
Just for fun: The Wreck Bar, designed like an underwater shipwreck, complete with port holes that peek below the surface of the swimming pool, was featured in the 1960s film "Where the Boys Are" and "Analyze This" starring Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal. While the design of the bar is something you won't want to miss, it is made even more enjoyable by the live mermaid show that takes place every Friday at 5:30 p.m. Though the show is free, get there at least half an hour early for the best view.
Sleep well: With 490 guest rooms and eight suites, the hotel is a favorite spot for vacationing families along with leisure travelers. All rooms are non-smoking and feature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Beds, which are designed to eliminate uncomfortable pressure points that cause tossing and turning. While there is a charge for in-room Internet service, Sheraton hotels offer a 24-hour complimentary Internet area called The Link.
Celeb cache: The hotel housed this year's AVP Pro Volleyball Tour, as well as many of the NFL's cheerleaders during the Pro Bowl. The New York Yankees once made the hotel their home during spring training, and it is said that a chunk of the bar remains missing, where the former owner broke it off so Marilyn Monroe could sign it.
Eat, drink and be merry: The nautical designed Clipper Diner is a 1950s themed restaurant offering traditional diner fare with kitschy names such as the Hungry Man Sampler and the A1A Waffle. Traditionalists will love the soda fountain and its old school banana split, featuring vanilla and chocolate ice cream, strawberry and pineapple sauce, hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream and a cherry.
Attractions: The oceanfront hotel is minutes away from the trendy boutiques and restaurants of Las Olas Boulevard and the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District. Along Riverwalk you will find attractions such as the Museum of Discovery and Science, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Stranahan House and other places of interest. Watersports are available on the beach and sightseeing cruises depart nearby. Fort Lauderdale's principal yacht harbor is just a short stroll to the west of the hotel.
Just for kids: The Sheraton Adventure Club for Kids is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, offering supervised games, arts and crafts, and movies. Special parents' nights out are also available, featuring dinner and a range of activities.
Prices: Special summer savings rates start at $109 a night through Oct. 16. Valet parking is $25 a night, plus tax, and self parking is available at $17 per night, plus tax.
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