Disclosure: Hotel stay and amenities were received in exchange for an honest review.
A few weeks ago, my family and I were lucky enough to stay at the gorgeous Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, FL. My husband and I had no idea when we accepted the offer from the Diplomat, but the week before we left happened to be a very stressful week for us. Getting away for the weekend with our sweet little boys was the best thing we could have done, and I am eternally grateful to the Diplomat for this wonderful opportunity to make happy summer memories for our family!
The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa is located at: 3555 South Ocean Drive, Hollywood, FL 33019
Their Twitter account can be found at: https://twitter.com/westindiplomat
Visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/WestinDiplomat
We had such a wonderful time at the Westin Diplomat that I am still thinking about it a few weeks later. The weekend we chose to stay happened to fall at a lucky time, as my parents were visiting the same weekend before flying to Europe to go on a cruise. They actually booked their hotel reservations at the Diplomat so that we could all enjoy some time together. It was so great to have some family time.
The Westin is a gorgeous hotel. Everything is immaculate and impeccable! The hotel is beautifully designed and includes modern artwork and furnishings throughout. While I’ve visited the hotel before as a wedding photographer, it never fails to “wow” me a bit! I know that my kids definitely thought that the lobby area was very beautiful and kept gravitating towards this metal sculpture and water fountain surrounded by columns of palm trees. Oh so very Floridian!
We went up to our room after arriving and meeting up with my parents. The room was a corner suite with a living room and a bedroom. The living room had a pull-out couch for the kids and my husband and I had the master bedroom. The bedroom and bathroom were beautiful and included everything you could possibly need for a weekend away: plush and silky white sheets and comforter, bathroom essentials in the Westin’s signature White Tea and Aloe scent, a luxurious bathtub and separate shower area, lots of towels, and even a cozy bath robe.
We had a totally amazing view of the ocean and the pool area. Looking out at the ocean is soooo relaxing. Adrian and I could have sat out here for hours just watching the waves and enjoying the fresh air.
The kids also loved the view. Zachary and William ran right towards the windows and sliding glass doors right away so they could see outside. This was such a cool room for kids because they loved looking down and seeing the life below them. While a balcony always requires supervision, I was pleased to see that it wasn’t unsafe for the kids, because they just loved being outside!
Soon it was snack time and we all spent some time in the room & relaxed a bit. William hung out with my mom on the couch (this is the one that pulled out into a bed) and ate some chips.
Adrian and my dad enjoyed the stunning view!
Then, Zachary and William decided to check out the bed. Zachary got very comfortable. Yes, that’s how I felt too! I could have slept there for many hours, as it was one of the most comfortable beds that I have EVER slept in!!
We had a dinner reservation that evening at Rivals, the Westin’s Waterfront Sports Grille. You can choose to eat either indoors or outdoors. It had been a little rainy that afternoon, so we ate inside. The outside has a great view of the intracoastal waterway, where you can see boats, homes, apartment buildings, and people-watch.
We were served a plate of delicious assorted appetizers along with a bottle of wine for the table! My mom and dad both had salmon, Adrian had the blackened mahi sandwich, and I had fish tacos. It was all yummy! The kids ate macaroni and chicken tenders, most of which was eaten before I had a chance to photograph it, so you will have to use your imagination for that. I can tell you that we all tried it, and it was all very tasty as well!
After dinner, we received the first of a series of amazing surprises during our special weekend. William had just turned 2 years old that week. This absolutely fantastic and delicious cake was brought out to our table for our little birthday boy! What an incredible treat — I still can’t believe that it happened! William absolutely loved it and we blew out his birthday candles together. I’m so happy that we were able to have our own little birthday party with a super special cake thanks to the Diplomat – and best of all, my parents were there, too, to celebrate with us!
I love the happiness in this picture!
After dinner, we took a stroll around outside. The boys both loved this giant fountain right in front of Rivals. After running around a bit, we walked across the street back to the hotel. There is a little bridge/overpass leading to the hotel. Couldn’t resist this photo of my 3 boys holding hands.
And if the amazing evening of dinner and cake was not enough, we returned back to our hotel room to find this lovely box full of goodies – various cookies, chocolates, gourmet marshmallows, and a bag of things for the kids complements of the Westin Kids Club, including an adorable hat, a rubber duckie, and a night light! It made for a lovely end to a perfect afternoon and evening with family.
When we woke up in the morning, the boys were excited about going to breakfast and then to the pool. I’d heard great things about the Westin’s pool area from friends of mine, so I was really looking forward to checking it out. First though, everyone had to try on the Kids Club Hat – and then we headed up to the Westin Executive Club Lounge, where we enjoyed a small breakfast spread and a seriously amazing view of the city!
After breakfast, we hurried back to our room to change for the pool! The Westin had provided us with a complimentary Poolside Cabana, which we loved. It was so nice to have a private area in the shade to sit with the kids, enjoy some drinks, and stow our items so that we could walk down to the beach to check out the ocean. We also received some yummy snacks! The pool area itself is totally beautiful and is something that you simply *need* to experience at least once!
Everyone enjoyed swimming as well as relaxing. Our bar waiter brought out fruit punch mixed with lemonade for the kids and they absolutely loved it! Adrian had a mai tai and I had a piña colada — what a special treat!
The picture below was actually published in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper about two weeks ago! They spotted it on my instagram account and wanted to run it in the paper. The dinosaur in the picture is a Parasaurolophus; it’s our favorite dino. We take the toy on vacation with us and get at least one shot of it doing something – anything – just as a fun family tradition. For this trip, I captured the dinosaur catching some rays on the balcony of our suite. It’s something fun that we always do. :)
Another fantastic perk that the Diplomat provided to me was a massage at the beautiful spa. It is called the Heavenly Spa, and I can attest to that! When you walk in, you are greeted by the scent of relaxing essential oils. You are led to the locker room by an attendant, where you can lock up your personal items and change into a comfy robe. Then, if desired, you can relax in one of the gorgeous relaxation areas before you are collected for your treatment by the massage therapist (or whoever is doing your treatment that you’ve signed up for).
I received a Heavenly Spa Signature Massage, which included a very relaxing hot compress followed by a Swedish Massage which loosened all of my muscles and made me feel refreshed. Following the massage, I decided to sit in the sauna for a bit. I’d never had that experience before and figured there was no time like the present to try it out. I liked that quite a bit! After the sauna, I felt like I needed a shower due to the sweat and the massage oils and was happy to see that the spa provided everything from a private shower area with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, to fresh towels, to amenities like a hair dryer, hair spray and other personal items. The photo of me below is my “after massage” pic — feeling (and looking – IMO) — very refreshed!!
After my massage, I returned to the room to relax. Adrian and the boys were napping, and when they woke up, we were all hungry. We had been invited to the pool bar and restaurant earlier that afternoon, but it rained before my massage, and we didn’t get to go. I called down to see if they were back open again for dinner since the rain had stopped, and they were, so we went down. They were happy to see us, as they had been expecting us earlier that day before we got rained out. We enjoyed a delicious beachside/poolside dinner out in the fresh air, some yummy drinks (electric lemonade & a caipirinha) and relished in the beautiful view.
That afternoon, we were treated to yet another incredible treat! It appeared that they had done a little looking into some of my favorite things and this incredible TARDIS filled with treats was sent to our room! The tray included a delicious cheese/cracker plate (I seriously love cheese), a Stevie Nicks CD (my favorite singer!!), a package of Jamaican coffee (perfect for me as I’m a total coffee addict), and lots of delicious chocolates and cookies. Not to mention the actual TARDIS!!!!! My husband, parents, my boys, and I were all completely amazed by the Westin Diplomat once more! Such a special blogger treat!
That evening, we had a perfect sunset from our balcony. I am not very good with taking Panoramas on my iPhone, but I particularly liked this one. It really shows off the fantastic view! Our room was simply wonderful.
The next morning, we woke up, and the kids knew it was the last day. They stood in the window enjoying the view one last time before it was time to get ready to head up to breakfast.
They both ate a big breakfast with all of their favorite foods! Then, they sat at the ledge and looked out at the view once again. William watched quietly, and Zachary told me how much fun he had over the weekend and that he would really miss the hotel.
We hung out in our room for a while and finished getting packed up. Soon it was time to check out and go downstairs. Our stay at the hotel was over, but the weekend wasn’t quite done yet! Our family friends, Barbara & Michael, were coming to have lunch with us at The Cafe! The hotel was able to hold our bags for us so that we didn’t have to worry about them during our lunch after checking out.
Here’s a photo of my mom with Barbara. They’ve been friends since before I was born. I’m glad I have a nice picture of them together now! The Cafe was a great choice to take our friends and our family for breakfast. You can either order breakfast by the plate, or go through the buffet. I’m not sure if it was a daily thing, but the day that we were there, the kids’ buffet meal happened to be free. This worked out great as I was able to get a variety of items for the boys to choose from – waffles, fruit, bacon, eggs, and more!
Soon it was time to say goodbye to our friends and to my parents. I realized that I didn’t have too many photos of myself since I was the one taking all of the pictures (of course), so I decided to grab a quick selfie before stepping into the car. It was definitely sad to leave the hotel, but I hope that one day, we will be back again to enjoy another fun weekend.
If you are from outside Florida and looking for a resort that has everything that you need, The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is definitely your go-to spot! From restaurants to pools to the spa – it’s all here, and it’s convenient to the airport, cruise terminal, and lots of sightseeing. And if you’re a local South Floridian, who, like me, just needs to get away without actually flying off to a Caribbean island, don’t worry! No passport is needed to go to the Westin Diplomat since it’s right here in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, but it feels like you have traveled to a tropical paradise. Whether you have little kids like we do, or don’t have any kids, the Westin is the perfect choice for fun and relaxation during the summertime and all throughout the year!
Thank you SO very much to the Westin’s PR team – Jana Rosenthal, Judy Erickson, and Sami Ari – for putting together this very special weekend so that we could explore the Diplomat and everything it has to offer. We had the most amazing time, and the memories of our wonderful summer days at the Diplomat will stick out in our memories for quite a while.