Tuesday, May 13, 2014

At Long Last Waterstone Hotel


Waterstone Resort & Marina

By Skip Sheffield

It has been a long wait with many delays and detours, but it looks like the new Waterstone Resort & Marina was well worth the wait.
The Bridge Hotel at 999 Camino Real opened in 1976. It was really showing its age before its sale to become a Doubletree by Hilton resort. Co-owner Matt Lane of AWH Partners Spire Hospitality grew up in Boca Raton staying with his grandparents at the Polo Club, so he had a vested interest in making the best of what is a unique property: the only hotel, restaurant and marina complex open to the public.
“We want to stress that the community is invited to take advantage of our facilities,” he said Monday at a media sneak preview. “Location is the reason we became involved. There is nothing like the Waterstone in Boca Raton.”
Lane does not want to put an exact figure on the cost of taking the Bridge Hotel to its bare structural skeleton and redesigning key components, but he allows it was more than $10 million.
The most apparent structural change is a re-configured entrance on the south side of the hotel. Visitors formerly went through a dank auto tunnel and disembarked in a lobby. Now visitors disembark right out front and walk to a tastefully decorated, art-festooned entryway, all with nautical theme.
“Water is the recurring theme here,” Lane explained. “All our rooms have either lake or ocean water views, as do the restaurants.”
There are two ground level restaurants. The poolside Waterstone Bar & Grill features locally resourced comfort food and offers dock-to-dine service for boaters, who may tie up at the 280-foot seawall. A dockmaster can supply boat valet service.
The indoor restaurant Boca Landing presents more formal dining featuring fresh-caught Florida seafood.
A major change is the 4,650 square foot penthouse level which has been repurposed as a special event facility with two venues: the Atlantic Ballroom which can accommodate up to 200 guests and the smaller Starlight Room.
Hotel guests can take advantage of a free three-minute private shuttle to the nearby South Inlet Park. Jet ski, ocean kayak, paddle boat and bicycle rentals are available.
Each of Waterstone’s 139 rooms has a balcony for enjoying the fresh air. There are 10 larger executive suites and one two-bedroom Presidential Suite. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. The Promenade Lawn features brightly colored all weather sofa, table and even compartments for ladies to stow their handbags.
Waterstone is offering some introductory package deals through September with all-inclusive rates starting at $219 for two nights, which includes a $25 food credit. For more information, call 866-909-2622 or go to www.waterstoneboca.com/special-offers-en.html

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