The grand opening of Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach gives its namesake Florida destination a coveted addition. Namely, the hotel adds a second luxury option to a region looking to expand its reach.
“Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach comes at a perfect time,” says Philippe Thevenet, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “It is a complement to what is offered already in Ft Lauderdale.”
Staying true to the brand, the 292 all-suite resort along North Beach will target high-end travelers and groups. But where Conrad sets itself apart, Thevenet says, is that its hotels are “not overwhelming…there’s just enough for the customer to feel like he or she is an luxury environment.”
Prior to Conrad’s opening, Ritz-Carlton had a monopoly on Fort Lauderdale’s luxury scene. Thevenet says there was a pent-up demand as a result. “Fort Lauderdale was not on the radar for last couple years a true luxury destination,” he acknowledges.
But the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB and local businesses have worked to take the already popular destination to the next level. Several high-end restaurants and shopping options have filled the city’s streets. Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is “part of that revival,” Thevenet says.
Long before its Oct. 10 opening, hotel staff was already receiving inquiries from various groups. In particular, corporations based on Florida have been interested in taking their incentive programs to the property. Thevenet also expects to book traditional corporate meetings and retreats.
Meeting planners will find the latest technological offerings. Among the niceties is that attendees will be given a phone number that hotel’s staff continually monitors to text message concerns (think temperature, etc.) should they not be able to get out of a meeting.
“A few years ago that was not widespread and it is now something we master and fully integrate into this hotel,” Thevenet says of the technology.
One of the property’s biggest selling points is a 20,000-sq.-ft. skydeck that will essentially serve as an activity hub.
Reflecting its oceanfront setting, the hotel sports a nautical theme. Thevenet adds it goes hand-in-hand with Fort Lauderdale’s reputation for being the “Venice” of the South because of its canals.
“You will feel like you are walking into a very high-end yacht,” he says.