Johnny Jet: Changes in Attitude at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
For anyone who wishes that Margaritaville could be more than just a state of mind, raise a glass to this great news: The Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort just celebrated its grand opening, debuting a full-service oceanfront resort that can accommodate island dreams as simple as a seat at a tiki hut bar and as upscale as a feast of spear-caught fish.
While Margaritaville is familiar to anyone who has ever listened to the Jimmy Buffett song, I didn’t know that the “no worries” tropical concept had been created into a destination resort, too. When I was invited to explore the resort during its grand opening weekend celebration (that included a Jimmy Buffett concert!), I accepted with pre-conceived notions of typical “Caribbean-themed” hotels that have never suited my tastes. As soon as I entered the resort, though, I could tell that the resort was unlike any destination that I’ve ever been to. This one was going to be good!
The 349-room Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort—located on the legendary Hollywood Beach Boardwalk in Hollywood, Florida—effortlessly combines coastal luxe rooms with a distinct Jimmy Buffett-inspired tropical vibe to create a unique destination that will transport you to another place.
Margaritaville has always been a state of mind. Now it’s a place to eat, sleep and play.
Keep in mind, I’m not a Parrothead, a nickname for Jimmy Buffett fans. I know the songs, but I’ve never been to a concert. I’m not familiar with the multitude of lifestyle brands that the singer has masterfully created, and I had no idea what “Fins Up!” meant. Yet I had an amazing time.
Walking into the lobby, I quickly realized that the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is just a little different from the ordinary. A towering, electric blue flip flop sculpture (complete with a pop top nearby) is the first thing that I saw when heading to check-in. A stunning chandelier made entirely from margarita glasses floats overhead. Antique wooden surfboards, some from Buffett’s personal collection, hang on the walls. And there’s a pop-up bar selling Buffett’s Landshark beer.
While all of the tropical-themed decor and references could come across as too kitschy in any other establishment, at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, they fit right in. In fact, all weekend long I kept wondering who the designers were because they did such an amazing job! This is not a cookie-cutter resort. It’s unique, it has style and it unabashedly flaunts its one-of-a-kind persona.
For instance, the bedrooms are a serene combination of dark wood, bright teal and lots of coastal whites. The details of the decor—like tropical blue leather desk organizers, nautical door handles, engraved Margaritaville glassware, and pillows with Jimmy Buffett lyrics—can’t be found in any other resort. Surrounded by water—with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other—every room has a water view.
All of Jimmy Buffett’s restaurant concepts are located at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, the first destination to be able to make this claim. Margaritaville restaurant is one of the dining destinations, an impeccably themed restaurant complete with tropical maps on the ceiling, a plane flying through the sky, palm trees, and TVs broadcasting Jimmy Buffett concerts.
Though not yet open during my visit, the JWB Prime Steak and Seafood looks like an intriguing restaurant that I wouldn’t mind coming back for. Spear-caught fish will be among the highlights on this upscale restaurant’s menu, as will a raw bar and steaks served up in an intimate setting.
Outdoors, two lazy pools are surrounded by palm trees, cabanas and ocean views. A waterfall and waterslide at one of the pools are perfect for kids, and the water even changes color with themed lighting at night. Each pool is strategically located next to a bar concept, where the menu of margaritas is staggering and the Landshark lagers are plentiful. An adults-only pool can be found on the 11th floor with an aerial view of the ocean, Hollywood Boardwalk and the resort.
Regardless of the ocean conditions, surfing is always available at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort thanks to the FlowRider. Though I had no desire to try to catch a wave, I did want to chill out, which I happily did in the St. Somewhere Spa. If I had more athletic endeavors in mind (and let’s be honest, I didn’t), I could have grabbed a paddleboard at the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill on the Intracoastal Waterway and explored the waters. Instead, I watched paddleboarders from my balcony and marveled at their energy while I sipped a margarita (I highly recommend the Blueberry Pomegranate Margarita; that sucker is strong!).