TRAVEL — 09 June 2015
Florida adding new resorts and attractions

By Patti Roth

Destinations magazine

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, Hollywood

Expected to open this summer on the Hollywood Broadwalk, a 17-story resort overlooking the Atlantic Ocean features a tropical vibe with 349 rooms and suites, three outdoor pools – including an 11th-floor rooftop pool and License to Chill Bar – a spa, watersports and a FlowRider® Double surf simulator. Eight dining venues and bars include JWB Prime Steak and Seafood and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. The Jimmy Buffett suite is 2,834 square feet.

1111 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, 954-874-4444, margaritavilleresorts.com 

Thompson Miami Beach

The boutique hotel with 380 rooms and suites includes two pools and a rooftop spa. The culinary whiz at the helm of Seagrape restaurant is local celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein. Other amenities include 1930s House, a lounge set in a historic home that was moved to the site.

4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 855-880-1240, 786-605-4041, thompsonmiamibeach.com 

The Hall, Miami Beach 

Features of the boutique hotel, expected to open this summer, are an Olympic-sized pool with cabanas, an outdoor lounge and backyard games like bocce, ping-pong and shuffleboard. Celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn oversees the menu at the casual courtyard restaurant. Mint and orange hues set the tone for room décor in the reinvented 1940s art deco buildings.

1500 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-531-1251; jdvhotels.com/hotels/florida/miami-beach/the-hall

New airline routes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport 

Azul – São Paulo, Brazil, 844-499-2985, voeazul.com.br

Allegiant Air – Syracuse, Ohio, Indianapolis, Memphis and Concord, N.C., 702-505-8888, allegiantair.com

JetBlue – Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh, 800-538-2583, jetblue.com

Norwegian Air Shuttle – London, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm,
800-357-4159, norwegian.com

Spirit – Cleveland, spirit.com

Southwest – Dallas Love Field Airport, Washington, D.C., 800-435-9792,
southwest.com

Tame – Quito and Guayaquil in Ecuador, tame.com.ec

Volaris – Mexico City and Guadalajara,
866-988-3527, volaris.com

WestJet – Winnipeg, Canada,
888-937-8538, westjet.com

New airline routes from Miami International Airport 

Aerolíneas Argentinas – Córdoba, Argentina, 800-333-0276, aerolineas.com.ar

Aeromexico – Monterrey, Mexico, aeromexico.com

Air Europa – Madrid, aireuropa.com

American Airlines – Monterrey, Mexico; Frankfurt, Germany; Barranquilla, Colombia; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City and San Antonio, aa.com

Frontier Airlines – Atlanta, 800-432-1359, flyfrontier.com

Thomas Cook Airlines – Manchester, England, thomascookairlines.com

Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale 

Carnival Conquest rolls out of Fort Lauderdale on four-to-eight-day voyages with varied itineraries that may include Nassau, Ocho Rios and other popular stops in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Accommodating about 3,000 guests, the ship includes RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, Punchliner Comedy Club, Punchliner Comedy Brunch, a 214-foot-long water slide,  theater with musical productions, spa and an adults-only retreat.

1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale, 800-764-7419, carnival.com

Around the state 

Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach 

With a Mediterranean design style influenced by Zamora, Spain, the boutique hotel features 72 rooms, seven-slip marina, pool and pool bar and a restaurant serving Spanish fare. Design features include high ceilings, arched windows and a palette of orange and red tones with turquoise accents.

3701 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 877-798-2434, thehotelzamora.com

The Orlando Eye

See the Orlando theme parks, skyline and natural landscape from the vantage point of a gently rotating observation wheel. The enclosed air-conditioned capsules on the 400-foot-tall wheel each accommodate about 15 people. The ride spins fully around in 20 minutes. Before boarding the wheel, guests enjoy a pre-flight 4D movie. For an extra treat, purchase a ticket that includes a frosty glass of bubbly to sip during the ride. The Orlando Eye is part of the I-Drive 360 group of attractions.

8401 International Drive, Orlando, 866-228-6438, officialorlandoeye.com

Sea Life Orlando Aquarium 

A walk-through tunnel provides an inside perspective of an aquarium stocked with thousands of fish representing sea life from different parts of the world. The aquarium is part of the I-Drive 360 group of attractions.

8449 International Drive, Orlando, VisitSeaLife.com/Orlando  

Madame Tussauds Orlando

Snap a selfie with Ricky Martin, Selena Gomez, Brad Pitt, Jimmy Fallon, Sofia Vergara, Rihanna and other lookalikes.

8387 International Drive, Orlando, 866-630-8315, MadameTussauds.com/Orlando

Space Coast Brews Cruise 

A van excursion to three craft breweries in the Space Coast region. Guests participate in tastings and behind-the-scenes tours.

321-806-9894, brewscruise.com/spacecoast/

LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven

A smoke–breathing LEGO dragon, interactive LEGO play areas and vibrant LEGO-theme décor are featured at the hotel built in the popular theme park. The hotel along the shore of Lake Eloise includes a pool, restaurant and 152 rooms.

877-350-5346, LegolandHotel.com 

HeartLake City at LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven

Expected to open during summer, HeartLake City joins an assortment of themed zones in the park. This one is based on the LEGO Friends line of toys. The focal point is a horse-theme disc coaster, Mia’s Riding Adventure. Another highlight is a singing and dancing show.

One Legoland Way, Winter Haven, 877-350-5346, florida.legoland.com

Crayola Experience, Orlando

Expected to open during summer, the family-friendly indoor attraction features 25 hands-on activities and projects including spin art, digital art and painting with melted wax. The attraction includes a live show about the making of crayons.

Florida Mall, 8001 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, 407-757-1700, crayolaexperience.com/orlando 

Jacksonville Southbank Riverwalk

The renovated and rebuilt structure on the St. Johns River includes shade features, colorful night lighting and seating.

1015 Museum Circle, Jacksonville

 

Destinations is an annual travel supplement of the Sun Sentinel, produced by City & Shore Magazine

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