If you’re looking for a safe, local getaway this winter, look no further than The Pillars Hotel. Due to its location right on the Intracoastal Waterway, this hotel offers 5-star amenities in-a-small-town comfort, it’s no wonder why The Pillars Hotel won the Condé Nast 2020 Johansens Award and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Whether you’re visiting to escape the cold or just need a change of scenery, The Pillars Hotel offers amenities and activities for just about every kind of traveler. The plantation-style building houses a charming swimming pool area, private water taxi stop, private parking for guests, and a 36ft luxury Hinckley Picnic Boat that guests can charter. There’s no need to rent a car or boat for a beach day because The Pillars has its own private beach entrance. It is also walking distance to the boutique shops and art galleries of Fort Lauderdale’s downtown.
Guests looking to spend their days outdoors can arrange to enjoy a number of activities like biking, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing and golfing. There are plenty of options for you to soak in the sun, but if you’re visiting when temperatures dip below 70 degrees, you can still enjoy a dip in the heated kidney-shaped pool. The lounge area decor along with the surrounding landscaping is inspired by sleek art deco pastels and foliage.
The two-story hotel features 18-rooms, which undergo housekeeping services twice a day and follows strict COVID-19 cleaning protocols. Guests can expect to find an espresso coffee machine in their room, the hotel also offers laundry and dry cleaning services, and a full or continental breakfast. The quaint rooms feel as though you’re visiting your own home in the country, without all the extra maintenance. The Pillars’ most requested accommodation is the Queen Poolside Cabana Room that includes a tented outdoor living area with views of the pool and intercoastal waterway.
The Secret Garden is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant and the crowning feature (apart from the menu) is its newly unveiled dining room that overlooks the waterway, where diners can enjoy an intimate evening overlooking the glimmer of the cruising by. Though the restaurant is open to hotel guests, it is also a private members club where members can visit the hotel, without a reservation, for special events like cocktail hour, fine dining with wine pairings, and an international dining program.
One of our favorite parts of our stay was dining at The Secret Garden. Executive Chef Youssef Hammi cooks with a focus on elegance, he prepares food that is both fresh and multi-culturally inspired. While there’s so much we can say about Hammi’s thoughtful dishes, the highlight of the fall menu was definitely their selection of fresh seafood.
We also had some time to explore the local food scene and enjoyed dinner accompanied by modern cocktails at YOLO. The restaurant decor alone commands an air of casual sophistication but the large and cushioned booths offer privacy and convenient social distanced space between diners. The dish that stood out to us was the grilled oysters, its buttery flavor, drizzled with a squeeze of lemon, along with the harmonious textures of a crispy exterior and soft oyster meat is indulgent perfection. If you couldn’t already tell, YOLO also places a special focus on sourcing fresh fish but also has something for steak lovers and pasta lovers.
The Pillars Hotel offers guests 5-star hotel amenities, a short commute to the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, and modern comfort without all the frills. The extravagance of this hotel is not conveyed with chandeliers and gilded furniture but with the attentive service of hotel staff, delectable dining, and understated mid-century-meets-modern-country decor. Perfect for a relaxing getaway from whatever 2020 has thrown your way, if only for a weekend.
Photo Credits: Small Luxury Hotels Of The World