Tourism & Cruises

Diplomat Resort & Spa joins Hilton’s Curio collection

At an event Thursday, artist Robert Gerdts paints a rendering of a glass Curio that will be installed as a permanent part of Diplomat Resort & Spa.
At an event Thursday, artist Robert Gerdts paints a rendering of a glass Curio that will be installed as a permanent part of Diplomat Resort & Spa.

The towering Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood is a Westin no more. On Thursday, the hotel removed all the signs of its previous brand and officially joined Curio — A Collection by Hilton.

Thayer Lodging Group paid more than $500 million for the 998-room hotel and related parcels in August.

“The buy was an obvious buy,” said Shai Zelering, managing director of Annapolis-based Thayer Lodging Group. “I don’t think you’ll ever see another hotel of this size built on the water in Florida or any location for that matter.”

Curio, which was introduced in June, is a group of independent upscale hotels whose owners want access to Hilton’s reservations system and loyalty program but prefer to maintain their own individual brands.

“They don’t want to participate in a typical franchise,” said Dianna Vaughan, the global head of Curio. The Diplomat, which is now managed by Hilton, is the third property in the collection, though 25 more are expected to join next year.

Zelering said Thayer believed the Diplomat brand stood on its own.

“It’s a perfect balance between having a curated experience that is not scripted, that is local, that is individualized, that respects the history of the locale while benefitting from over 40 million Hilton HHonors members,” he said.

The new owners are investing $100 million in renovations including room upgrades, new food and beverage spaces, beach offerings, a new children’s club and other enhancements.

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