Hotel Online  Special Report

Fort Lauderdale's Historic Riverside Hotel
Completes $2 Million Update


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 21, 2005 - The "Old Florida" charm and grace of the Riverside Hotel has been enhanced by the recent completion of a $2 million update of its "Classic" rooms.  Built in 1936, the Riverside is the city's oldest and most uniquely located hotel in the heart of downtown on Las Olas Boulevard.

The latest project, which follows the addition of the three-year-old, 12-story Executive Tower, includes two new hospitality suites with verandas overlooking the world-class Las Olas shopping and dining district. The $25 million tower expanded the hotel to 217 rooms and suites and 11,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

"The update brings our 'Classic' rooms, built decades ago, up to today's standards and those of the Executive Tower, but also keeps them true to the feel of a time past," said A.J. Jabbour, Riverside's General Manager. "It was a difficult job, but we feel it has been successfully accomplished.

"The Riverside Hotel represents both the past and the future of the city's downtown and it is important that, as a cornerstone of the famous Las Olas Boulevard, we properly fulfill that role."

To accomplish this task, the Riverside turned to Linda Blackwell of Interior Consultants in Birmingham, Alabama. Interior Consultants specializes in hospitality design, and has overseen projects throughout the South including the restoration of the historic Redmont Hotel in Birmingham.

"The hotel's 81 'Classic' rooms are a perfect blend of 'Old Florida' charm with modern conveniences and comforts," Ms. Blackwell said.

"Casual, romantic and alluring, the very qualities of paradise are the inspiration behind the design of the Tommy Bahamas furniture used throughout," she said.

"The furniture is crafted in solid maple and the lush antique finish of the furniture adds a touch of spice and flavor to the tropical draperies and bedspreads."

Ms. Blackwell said the luxurious Posture Comfort bedding has a deep European pillow top. The sides are foam-encased with never-turn construction and both box springs and mattresses are covered in gold damask.

The original rich, Mexican terra cotta tiles have been cleaned and preserved and add warmth to the sunny corridors and their golden trim. The large handmade tiles have random insets of hand-painted ceramics. Rooms are decorated in tropical highlights, some including art work by Mary Wells, a member of the hotel's founding family.

In addition, bathrooms have all new high-end fixtures and tiles. The "Classic" rooms all feature high-speed Internet access, mini-bars and new flat-screen televisions.

Guests get to their rooms on newly renovated elevators, decorated in rich wood paneling and brass fixtures.

The renovations include the casual elegance of two new hospitality suites above the Las Olas Boulevard shopping and nightlife scene. The suites include multiple flat-screen televisions, full wet bars for entertaining and a full bedroom and bath.

"The suites are a great place for an intimate gathering with friends or a small corporate gathering," Ms. Blackwell said.

The Riverside also features a Ceremonial Ring patio for special outside events and a tropical swimming pool area, both set along the scenic New River and its gleaming white yachts.



Riverside Hotel
620 E. Las Olas Blvd. 
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Also See: A.J. Jabbour Appointed General Manager Of Fort Lauderdale’s Riverside Hotel / October 2003
Greater Fort Lauderdale Has 13 Hotels with Approximately 4,200 rooms Under Construction / December 2001
The 20 Year Old Marriott Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Receives Continuous Upgrading, Totaling $38 million / October 2004
HEI Hospitality Acquires the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel; Merritt Hospitality, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of HEI, will Manage / September 2004

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