W HOTEL, GLAAD MEDIA & ABSOLUT VODKA PRESENT: PRIDE PERFECTED
On Saturday evening, June 18, Odyssey visited Fort Lauderdale, the #1 gay travel destination in the US, to celebrate Stonewall Gay & Lesbian Pride Festival at the ‘Pride Perfected’ kick-off pool party held at the sleek, new, “W Fort Lauderdale”.
Sponsored by GLAAD and Absolut vodka, this chic pool party had a DJ spinning electro-lounge beats at the resort’s Wet West Pool on the Fifth Floor of Tower 2. It was the best kind of partying because it was for a good cause, with all proceeds from the ticket sales benefitting GLAAD charities, as the organization celebrates its 25th year of supporting LBGT causes. What made this pool party such a shout-out for the cause is that live social media links were tying us into sister events around the country! Of course, there was real live eye candy all around, plus an open vodka cocktail bar, courtesy of Absolut. As the sun set over the Atlantic, and the palm trees swayed in the balmy breeze with the sky showing purple/pink hues, we knew this wouldn’t be our last time sipping and dipping at the W.
Let’s face it, this former college spring-break town has definitely changed, and the W Hotel is proof positive. Put quite simply, the W is THE hottest hotel in the city right now. The W brings “Oceanfront Wow” to the shores of South Florida, positioned directly on Fort Lauderdale Beach with crystal blue waters of the Atlantic on one side and the yacht-lined, intracoastal waterways on the other. And we don’t say that just because Trip Advisor members just voted the 517-modern monument “The Trendiest Hotel in the U.S.” No, we mean you can just feel it when you walk through the place. It doesn’t hurt that Clodagh designed both the inside and the outside of the place. The famous designer says that the building’s shape was inspired by a sailboat on the move, and its cool blues, crisp whites and sandy browns celebrate the sun and the sea. But our favorite touch was how Clodagh brought in the state’s most famous lizard (the alligator) shape wherever she could – from sitting stools on the pool deck to chairs on the outdoor terrace … and even to stuffed white gators on every bed!
The hotel chain’s famous “Whatever, Whenever” concierge service – if you can dream it, the hotel will help you do it – is headed up at W Fort Lauderdale by a gorgeous man simply called “Tokyo” (who used to be on “MTV New Orleans”, but that’s another story).
And there are the amenities we’ve all come to expect at a W – an outpost of New York’s very own Bliss Spa, Stephan Starr’s first restaurant in south Florida, Steak954, which boasts the biggest and best lobster dinner we’ve ever had; Randy Gerber’s hot (straight) nightclub Whiskey Blue; and our favorite, a see-through voyeuristic ‘human aquarium’ of a pool called, Wet which turns into a full pool party on Sundays called ‘Sublime Sundays’. This party includes a bar, food, DJ, and South Florida’s most gorgeous guys. But first, visit Sweat, a state-of-the-art fitness center that will keep your beach body looking its best.
We tried it all, and we highly recommend this hotel to all of the LGBT travelers interested in visiting this urban resort town for the unbelievably awesome amenities, but also for the LGBT inspired packages created specifically to benefit a charity close to our hearts, GLAAD.
So even though Pride in South Florida lasts for just one weekend, you can celebrate it all year long with W Fort Lauderdale’s very own Pride 365’, and ‘Pride and Joy’ bliss packages.