Margaritaville Magic in Hollywood
Photos courtesy of Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
Jimmy Buffett’s signature laid-back vibe has arrived at the Hollywood, FL oceanfront. The music icon’s famed Margaritaville brand is at the center of the South Florida locale’s revitalized Broadwalk area in the form of a Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort.
The $175 million, 349-room 17-story getaway is one of the latest additions to the diverse Margaritaville roster, which, in addition to a suite of resorts, includes over 30 restaurants on land and sea. Significant for the Hollywood property, it is the first Margaritaville resort to receive an AAA Four Diamond ranking.
A Coastal-Luxe Vibe
Garnering such a prestigious ranking doesn’t mean there is uptight formality in the resort. Classified as “coastal-luxe,” the trademark relaxed tropical vibe is evident right in the lobby. An array of tropical design elements (including a giant glass sandal sculpture) and Jimmy Buffett’s chilled out lyrics inscribed in random corners of the property, convey what the resort calls a “no worries vibe.” This ambiance is reinforced by guests of all ages walking from their rooms into the lobby and to the beach or pools in swimsuits, toting inner tubes and boogie boards.
The coastal-luxe theme continues into the guest rooms and suites, with a color palette influenced “by colors of sea, sand and sky,” as the resort puts it. Furnishings are finished in teak and the maritime accents are noticeable but subtle.
All rooms and suites have balconies, with a view of either the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway (and sometimes a little of both).
Bathrooms are all about the details, with roomy showers offering multiple showerheads and distinctive complimentary bath products. Even the sink handles are a surprise, shaped into a striking fishtail design.
Of the 349 total rooms, 178 feature King beds and 155, double queens — with rooms ranging from 450-600 square feet. There are 10 suites, divided between the “Banana Republics Hospitality Suite” and “Son of a Sailor Hospitality Suite” types, starting at 840 square feet.
At the top of the range, the 2,649-square-foot Vice Presidential is named “The Coral Reefer Suite” and the moniker of the 2,834-square-foot Presidential is “The Jimmy Buffett.”
As part of the theme, room doors appear at first glance to be of the familiar wood-slat beachside variety, but they are very much made of metal and sport peephole covers. Additional peace of mind is seen in elevator access — the lift moves to a particular floor only when a room key card is scanned. Since every part except the guestroom areas of the resort is open to the public, this is an important feature.
Nightly rates start at $206 and a nightly resort fee includes Wi-Fi, fitness center access, two beach chairs and one umbrella, plus other basic amenities.
Mother, Mother Ocean, I Have Heard Your Call
For a resort with such a prominent nautical theme, it’s no surprise that the water-related amenities are varied and popular.
At the beach, aside from just putting on a swimsuit and diving into the beautiful turquoise Atlantic Ocean, there are paddle boards and kayaks available to rent. But for basic relaxation, there’s that aforementioned beach chair/umbrella combo…
Just off the beach and getting a lot of attention by both guests and locals is the FlowRider Double, an ocean wave simulator that definitely attracts a crowd. There’s even staff on hand to show riders how to get maximum enjoyment out of the ride.
Latitudes and Attitudes for Both Adults and Kids
At the LandShark and Lone Palm pools at ground level, reservations are recommended for cabanas that offer privacy along with food and beverage service. For even more exclusivity, there’s an adults/resort guests-only pool on the 11th floor. This area, with a commanding view of the Atlantic, contains the License to Chill bar, providing cocktails in seclusion.
PHOTO: The resort's rear. Visible starting at the bottom is the Lone Palm pool, the Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville dining venue and at the upper floors of the hotel, the License to Chill area.
The little ones also have their own space at the Parakeets Kid’s Club, located behind the LandShark Pool at beach level. There, trained counselors conduct child-friendly activities at the pool, beach or indoors.
Cheeseburgers (and More) in Paradise
Given Margaritaville’s overall vibe, it makes sense that a number of its eateries put the emphasis on cocktails, coastal-inspired dishes, live music and grand vistas. Of these, the titular dining establishment has pool and beach views; LandShark Bar & Grill has an al fresco dining deck and is a prime vantage point for thrillseekers surfing on the FlowRider and The 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill across the street at the Intracoastal Waterway offers a great view of sunset.
PHOTO: LandShark Bar & Grill.
Right on the Broadwalk and within a stone’s throw from the beach, casual munchies and libations can be had at the tiki hut-style Lone Palm Beach Bar as well as at Floridays — a refurbished Airstream trailer which is a permanent shorefront fixture.
There are times, though when the occasion calls for more upscale dining and digs. JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, tucked into a corner of the lobby, fulfills that niche nicely.
Strummin’ My Six String
Diverse live music is an integral part of the Margaritaville experience and is seemingly around every corner as evenings progress — especially toward the weekend.
Over the course of a week, depending on the venue, one can hear solo acoustic guitar, top 40, classic rock, alt. rock, contemporary rock, party music, Latin, R&B, Reggae, country… the list goes on.
And even guests can get in on the musical fun. The weekly “In The Biz Mondays” Rock Star Karaoke at Margaritaville Restaurant lets guests front a live rock band, and on Wednesdays, the venue hosts a “Dueling Pianos” act that encourages audience requests.
A lot of diversity can be seen in groups that play on the Hollywood Beach Bandshell, which is right on the Broadwalk and another way that Margaritaville is integrated with the community. LandShark’s dining deck provides a quieter vantage point if you want to hear the music, but not have to yell to communicate with your friends.
Lookin' For Some Peace and Quiet
Treatments at St. Somewhere — a full service 11,000 square-foot spa — include hot stone, aromatherapy, deep tissue and Swedish massage therapy, facials, waxing, hair styling, manicures and pedicures. And though there’s plenty of gender separation, two unique couples treatment rooms are on-site.
Adjacent to the Spa is the Fins Up Fitness & Lifestyle Center. Yoga and Pilates classes are available, along with classes tailored to getting a well-toned beach bod. There’s also one-on-one or private group classes and personal training.
But the company isn’t stopping here. Margaritaville Grand Cayman Beach Resort is slated to open at the end of 2016, and an expanded partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line will bring Margaritaville at Sea to two NCL ships as well as a Landshark Bar & Grill each on NCL’s two private Caribbean islands — to name just a few recent, notable happenings.
More by Michael Isenbek
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