Fort Lauderdale’s Historic Bahia Mar Undertakes $7M Refresh

August 10, 2017
Rendering of planned new lobby at Bahia Mar.

Rendering of planned new lobby at Bahia Mar.

As an iconic hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach, Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach — a DoubleTree by Hilton — is in the midst of an upscale new redesign that will reflect the city’s nautical lifestyle and reputation as the “Venice of America.” Bahia Mar’s exciting $7 million refresh will highlight the property’s prestigious status as the home of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest and most high-profile yachting event in the world. The new look will elevate the building’s guest rooms, common areas and meeting spaces, and will attract a wide demographic across business, group, bridal and family travelers. Bahia Mar also will become the top choice among the global elite who descend on the carefree beach town for events like the Fort Lauderdale Air Show, December’s Riptide Music Festival and more.

“Fort Lauderdale is a transforming global destination, and we’re thrilled Bahia Mar is at the center of its renaissance,” said James Tate, Bahia Mar co-owner and CEO of Tate Capital. “We welcome our neighbors and guests to enjoy a renewed experience at this iconic property.”

Expected to complete in mid-October, Bahia Mar will tout a new design aesthetic inspired by its prime location between the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean, a walkable and lively beachfront neighborhood. With diverse views of the marina, city and beach, the design team, ID & Design International (IDDI), wanted guests to feel like they’re on an island when staying at Bahia Mar. The main tower’s 181 rooms will feature a white-and-blue color scheme with custom carpet, floor-to-ceiling headboards, peak-wood dressers and desks, custom light fixtures with convenient USB outlets, flowy drapery and new appliances. King beds also are being added to the property’s coveted ocean-facing rooms.

“Bahia Mar has long been known as a jewel of the city, and for this redesign, we were mindful of the property’s unique history and its allure as a top yachting destination,” said designer Sherif Ayad of IDDI. “We wanted to capture this nautical feel by creating indoor and outdoor spaces that are reminiscent of being underwater.”

Throughout the entire 296-room hotel, which includes two ocean view suites, guests will be able to recognize the underwater design elements. Bahia Mar’s atrium will showcase a custom $50,000 chandelier with cascading strands of sliver-flecked blue glass shards. The stunning piece will reflect light similarly to how water glistens and is designed to be the focal point of the hotel’s entryway. Bahia Mar’s corridors and 28,000 sf of meeting space will feature new carpets with unique ripple-like designs and grand lighting fixtures. The ballroom, however, will receive the most dramatic new look that will be perfect for meetings, galas, weddings and events. As the largest ballroom on Fort Lauderdale Beach, the space will tout a second sealife-inspired chandelier designed by IDDI. The popular Waves Rooftop Pool Bar and Grill will also draw influence from the ocean. The white lounge chairs and cabanas will be accented with coral-colored cushions while the rest of the décor will remain a consistent blue and white.

Bahia Mar’s redesign of its interiors will be accompanied by new landscaping as well as an innovative new food and beverage program led by Food & Beverage Director Ronnie Montoya and Executive Chef Kelli-Ann Chin. Montoya will craft a robust menu of rotating specialty drinks as well as a Bahia Mar signature cocktail and also will revamp the menus for the property’s onsite restaurants. New programming and events for guests and locals also will be launched by this fall.

Additionally, the renewed Bahia Mar is the backdrop for a philanthropic effort benefiting Children’s Diagnostic Treatment Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. All of the hotel’s retired furniture and appliances, which would otherwise be discarded, will be donated to these organizations.

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