Re-imagined Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach shines

Re-imagined Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach shines

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By Steve Pike

Located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront, the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort’s multi-million-dollar renovation has transformed the 432-room property from just another hotel to one of the jewels of the South Florida beach scene.

“The transformation over the past year has been amazing,’’ said hotel General Manager Danny Estevez.

Indeed. From dark and a bit outdated to bright and lively, each of the 432 renovated guest rooms at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort features modern and crisp decor that reflects the blue waters of Fort Lauderdale Beach, new pieces of artwork, upgraded lighting and furniture, new bedding and updated flooring. Guest suites each have floor to ceiling windows.

The three new video walls around the lobby area help launch the guest experience, which also includes a lively 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space overlooking the beach and intracoastal, and Lona Cocina, the outstanding Mexican restaurant created by Chef Pablo Salas that has gathered rave reviews since it opened this past January.

Lona Cocina will be one of the participating restaurants in the Drag Brunch, in collaboration with PRIDE Fort Lauderdale, on February 23, 2019, at the nearby Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

“The renovation of our rooms and suites, along with the launch of Lona Cocina, takes our resort to the next level and we’re ready to welcome guests from around the world, and around the corner,’’ Estevez said.

Lona Cocina certainly is an inviting place to begin the experience, for guests and locals, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.

Lona Cocina is a menu with a more standard take on Mexican cuisine. For example, you won’t see burritos and refried beans, but will get Salas’ versions of guacamole, tacos, fajitas and enchiladas. The Tacos Al Carbon are a must-have. If you’re into seafood, don’t pass on the Salmon Mole.

“Basically, Pablo started cooking for his family,’’ said Jeffrey Merritt, assistant general manager at Lona Cocina. “That’s why he does what he does.’’

Lona Cocina features weekly specials such as Taco Tuesday and a Bottomless Beachside Brunch on Sunday. It’s outside patio is a great spot for lunch and for views of the beach.

“We want people to come here just to enjoy themselves and enjoy the beach,’’ Merritt said. “So far everything has been great.’’