Fort Lauderdale, Florida (October 5, 2010)—The Royal Palms opened in Fort Lauderdale in 1991, creating a new brand of luxury accommodations for gay getaways and helping to launch the city's international reputation as a top gay resort destination. Now, Royal Palms founder Richard Gray is raising the bar again with a major expansion and renovation that adds 50 rooms in two neighboring properties to the existing 12-room guesthouse.
When the new Royal Palms Resort and Spa is unveiled in January 2011, it will become the largest full-service luxury gay resort in North America – just steps from the Atlantic Ocean.
"The gay guesthouse model worked really well in Fort Lauderdale for many years, but it's now time for something more contemporary," says Gray, who has collected numerous awards for the RP. "Our new hotel will embrace the South Florida setting while showcasing a clean, modern boutique design and a European sensibility. It will be all gay, but our bar will definitely be hip and heterofriendly."
Visitors will find a blend of tropical sensuality and chic urban design in the new buildings: crisp white exteriors, bougainvillea, and grey pavers accenting a pair of heated pools. The totally remodeled guestrooms and baths will be styled in white and grey with accents of dark purple – a design nod to the fresh orchid blossoms that have welcomed guests since the Royal Palms opened. WiFi will be available throughout the property and guests will have access to iPads for on-site use.
The RP, renowned for its stellar service, will accentuate the overnight experience even further with the addition of a gym, spa, full bar, and indoor/outdoor café, creating a social buzz around the new buildings. Guests looking for an intimate escape will still find the original 12-room RP a lushly landscaped oasis with signature suites and a clothing-optional heated pool.
"It's going to be a must-stay for gay visitors, and a fresh alternative for Floridians," says Nicki Grossman, President/CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We have boutique hotels and gay guesthouses, but nothing that brings the two together in this kind of hip, urban way."
Rates for standard rooms will start at $159, making the hotel an affordable oasis of style one block from Fort Lauderdale Beach.
"We've established Fort Lauderdale as a top gay destination, and Richard and the Royal Palms have played a significant role in that," says Broward County's openly gay mayor, Ken Keechl. "It's only fitting that Richard and the RP take the lead in moving the market yet another step ahead."
For more information, please visit www.royalpalms.com and www.facebook.com/royalpalmsresort