The Pillars Boutique Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, a peaceful Retreat far from the Bustling Crowds
September 14, 2018
We love Florida and have had many a superb holiday there, staying in various great hotels, mainly large impressive and stylish ones. So to be offered the rare opportunity to experience a boutique hotel was wonderful.
The Pillars Hotel, part of The Small Luxury Hotels group, is a mere 20 minute drive north of Miami and in Fort Lauderdale and was a welcome retreat from the bustling, flashy, slightly impersonal usual spots we stay in. The Pillars Hotel is ideally situated right on the Intracoastal Waterway and offers a casually elegant, chic and extremely comfortable experience. The Pillars Hotel is a beautiful mix of classical British Colonial architecture and 30’s “Art Deco”.
Our suite was beautifully designed with maximum use of space, the bed was huge and sumptuous with luxurious soft furnishings, the Colonial style shutters provided privacy while allowing the Florida sunshine to pierce through into the rooms. The rooms create a beachside holiday home ambience. We were able to relax and work all at the same time, while taking in the view and sipping a rather delicious bottle of champagne…Heaven.
We had four glorious days here, the hospitality was second to none, a very personal service with hand picked staff. From the moment we entered the reception area to the moment we had to sadly check-out we were treated with the upmost care and understanding. For example, breakfast at The Pillars is usually from 8am, but we had a lot of business to attend to, with early starts, breakfast at 7;30 am was no problem, the staff were so obliging, knowledgable and friendly.
The breakfast served on the Dockside was individually prepared, with hot options, unlimited coffee, fresh pastries and fruit in abundance, the perfect way to start the day, while watching the luxury yachts cruise by.
Chef Hammi is the mastermind behind the fine dining experience that only available for hotel guests and members of the hotel’s private dining club. The dining club concept provides an intimate and special fine dining experience for the locals with a discerning palette. Diners can opt to have their meal served in the elegant dining room or at a table overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway (weather permitting). The extensive wine list includes offerings from all around the world, my particular favourite, first supped in Miami is Whispering Angel, a classic Côtes de Provence rosé, sorry it’s not an American one, but the list is endless and there is plenty of help to ensure you make the right decision for your chosen dishes.
Chef Hammi believes that fine food preparation should take advantage of nature’s bounty. He combines fresh food with interesting cross-cultural ingredients and elegant presentations. His clean and bright flavors reflect the influences of a Moroccan heritage and techniques absorbed while working under top chefs in some of New York City’s greatest kitchens.
After graduating from the New York Restaurant School, he trained under famous New York chefs including Michel Bourgignon of L’Absinthe and Terence Brennan of Picholine and Artisanal. Chef Hammi sources the freshest fish, fruits, vegetables and meats as locally as he can.
The hotel boasts a stunning pool, surrounded by luscious foliage, thick spongy sunbeds and the stunning waterways views, it is peaceful and classy. This hotel does not attracts large groups and therefor maintains an air of elegance and relaxation.
The beach, shops, bars and restaurants are a short five minute stroll from the hotel, but why go anywhere else, it’s all here at The Pillars, no need to venture out.
On the other hand if you do fancy an excursion, why not charter the hotel boat, Pique- Nique, it is appropriately called as it cruises at 25 knots and can deliver you to Miami or Boca in a little over an hour. Or if you just want to be lazy you can drop anchor in an Intracoastal lake or off the beach to swim, snorkel and sunbathe. As well you could couple this with a sumptuous picnic lunch prepared by the hotel’s kitchen. Sadly we didn’t have time to experience this, but hotel guests informed me it was a superb way to wile away a few hours, especially with a ‘Pique-Nique!