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Already tops in the Fort Lauderdale luxe guesthouse market and arguably responsible for catalyzing the city as a gay destination (PlanetOut didn't name it Best Gay Resort three years in a row for nothing!), the Royal Palms Resort is getting even better – 53 rooms better. Two neighboring properties will be combined with the original 12-room guesthouse to create a hetero-friendly boutique hotel concept (à la Axel Hotels) and the largest gay resort in the city. Although the head-to-toe renovations won't be complete until January, they're treating ShermansTravel.com readers now with 15 percent off rack rate and upgrades, if available, upon check-in. Standard rooms start at just $159/night. This exclusive sale is good now through February 1, 2011, minus Christmas and New Year's. Book using code SHERMANS.
According to resort founder Richard Gray, the new hotel will embrace the tropical setting while showcasing a clean, modern boutique design and a European sensibility, including a spa, ocean-view sundeck, cafe/bar, and gym. Think crisp white exteriors, dark purple accents, and bougainvillea setting off a trio of heated pools. Free Wi-Fi and iPads will also be available for on-site use.
"The gay guesthouse model worked really well for many years, but it's now time for something more contemporary," says Gray. And he should know: his strides in pioneering the LGBT travel market earned him the inaugural “Gay+ Award for Achievement in Making This World Gayer” from TripOut Gay Travel, Logo's travel hub (TripOutGayTravel.com). Despite the sale, that alone is worth some time in the sun.