The iconic cruise ship-shaped hotel known as the Yankee Clipper that became the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale is now becoming the B Ocean Resort via a total renovation beginning in August, announced B Hotels & Resorts. The 60-year-old iconic Yankee Clipper, best-known for its mermaid shows at the Wreck Bar inside the hotel, was built in 1956 by Robert "Bob" Gill Jr., a Fort Lauderdale hotel pioneer. The hotel was also featured in the 1999 Robert DeNiro/Billy Crystal hit comedy Analyze This.
In 2010, the old hotel was reopened and rechristened the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. It was then sold in 2014 to the Carlyle Group for $107 million.
On Wednesday, South Florida-based B Hotels & Resorts announced a reflagging of the hotel with an extensive renovation beginning in late August and scheduled for completion in 2016.
"I am thrilled to announce our return to Fort Lauderdale," the president and CEO of B Hotels & Resorts, Ayelet Weinstein, said via a news release Wednesday. "This property boasts one of the most stunning locations in all of South Florida and is one of the very few resorts located directly on Fort Lauderdale Beach. We are excited to reintroduce our innovative brand programs and self-expression hospitality to the millions of travelers expected to visit the destination in 2015 and beyond."
The remnants of the Yankee Clipper Hotel, which began as a 150-room resort, will now boast 486 rooms as the renamed B Ocean Resort. The renovations will double the resort's indoor function space to 14,000 square feet and add a more modern look.
The B Ocean boasts two outdoor pools, a private beach, food and beverage venues, and, thank goodness, the Wreck Bar with its mermaid show will continue.
As for the renovation, the company says that additional accommodations, what it calls "B Signature Elements," will be added. This includes a spa suite with customizable spa treatments.
The hotel, which is located at 1140 Seabreeze Dr. in Fort Lauderdale, will remain open during the renovation work, and the company says there will be "minimal impact on guests' onsite experience."
"Fort Lauderdale Beach is where B Hotels & Resorts first emerged into the hospitality industry with our first B hotel," Weinstein said. "We are happy to return to this incredible destination that allows us to introduce what the B Brand is about and attract so many followers."