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The Latest Developments in South Florida Locales Miami and Fort Lauderdale (2024)

InterContinental Miami Oceanview Room View

South Florida continues to delight meeting professionals with its plethora of recent restaurant openings, ongoing hotel developments and renovations, and a vast and diverse selection of stylish venues for meetings and conventions.  

Quite simply, Fort Lauderdale and Miami are keeping up with demand. According to Visit Lauderdale research, events on the books for 2024 are currently up 6% compared to 2023 with attendee numbers up a staggering 66%. Even better, interest in meetings and conventions is up significantly over pre-pandemic levels: Q1 2024 event leads, room night leads and delegate (attendee) leads are up 32%, 55% and 67%, respectively, compared to Q1 2019.

“In 2024, we are elevating the dynamic energy of meetings and conventions in Greater Fort Lauderdale. The continued expansion of the Broward County Convention Center shows our commitment to hosting unparalleled events and extends with the addition of over 8,000 new hotel rooms throughout the destination in the next two years,” said Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “We have set the stage for a new era of remarkable events and are cultivating opportunities for transformative experiences that will leave a mark on both the attendees and Greater Fort Lauderdale.”

Similarly, demand for meetings in Miami remains strong for 2024, according to Carol Motley, SVP, convention sales and services for Greater Miami CVB. She anticipates a successful and productive year ahead with many new opportunities.

“We have over 10 new citywide meetings at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) in 2024 and are seeing an uptick in international meetings and sports, attracting more interest in Miami and Miami Beach,” Motley said. “Incentive meetings remain robust, providing us with the opportunity to host the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Classic at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in September 2024.”  

Motley anticipates increased demand for meetings and conventions. “Face-to-face meetings are back," she added.

With world-class convention centers, exceptional accommodations, miles of pristine beaches, abundant venues and restaurants, and every conceivable activity on and off the water, Miami and Fort Lauderdale remain strong draws for groups. Here are just a few of the new and notable hotels and resorts in South Florida plus more that have completed extensive renovations.  

[Related: On the Scene: All Aboard the Brightline to South Florida]

New and Renovated Properties in Miami

Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay lobby
Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay lobby

The MBCC has undergone a $620 million reimagining to provide state-of-the-art spaces within a five- to 10-minute walk of thousands of guest rooms. Additionally, The Miami Beach Convention Center District eagerly awaits the spring 2026 opening of the 800-room Grand Hyatt Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel, set to begin construction in the fall. Blueprints feature 90,000 square feet of indoor meeting and convention space and 10,000 square feet of additional outdoor space. Popular amenities include five tempting food and beverage outlets, two pools and a gym.  

Close to the convention center, the 652-room InterContinental Miami on the downtown waterfront has just completed a $40 million upgrade to its hotel rooms, including its two-story presidential suites. Look for an expansion of the Club Lounge and DayLife Cabanas on the pool level for after-meeting rest and relaxation.  

The InterContinental Miami is also known for its award-winning Toro Toro by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval and its mySpa and wellness options. The hotel welcomes groups with over 100,000 square feet of meeting space in 35 meeting rooms and a rooftop pool, also available for group functions. Perched on the 34th floor, the royal and presidential suites feature expansive views of the Port of Miami, Miami Beach and beyond. The 29th-floor Club Lounge, now twice its former size, delivers a 3,000-square-foot space, complimentary buffet breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for guests staying in Club Lounge Rooms.  

Thanks to a full transformation, the 31-story, 607-room Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay exudes a lively, coastal vibe. Picture a reimagined lobby, more than 47,000 square feet of event space, inside and out, 25 event rooms and 10 breakouts. For memorable events, consider the expansive, two-tiered 18,000-square-foot pool deck certain to charm guests with breathtaking views of both the cityscape and Biscayne Bay. This year, the expanded outdoor space will include a large grassy lounge area, private cabanas and a pool bar with a curated selection of tequilas and poolside snacks. Gold Coast Kitchen + Cocktails, the hotel’s newest restaurant, dishes up waterfront views and seasonal menu items such as crispy skin salmon, pompano with parsnip puree and hanger steak with crispy fries.  

Opened in the heart of South Beach in early 2021, the 266-room Goodtime Hotel has become a member of Marriott International’s Tribute Portfolio from Marriott Bonvoy. The hotel’s 3,400 square feet of meeting space offers impressive floor-to-ceiling windows, state-of-the-art technology and turnkey service. The natural oak Library easily accommodates a range of activities for all, from casual coffee andformal cocktail receptions to informal business meetings and intimate gatherings. Saturday evenings feature Jazz on the Rocks with live, Gatsby-style jazz.  

Finally, the 376-room The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach renovated its entire hotel in 2020 and now has more than 35,000 square feet of meeting space, including 18 event rooms, with the largest room at 1,075 square feet.  

[Related: Southwest Florida Back in Business One Year After Hurricane Ian]

New and Renovated Properties in Fort Lauderdale

Omni Fort Lauderdale rendering
Omni Fort Lauderdale rendering

The $1.3 billion expansion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center continues apace with an expanded 350,000-square-foot exhibit hall added to the pre-existing 800,000-square-foot center. With full completion expected in late 2025, the facility's size will increase to a stunning 1.2 million total square feet of meeting and exhibition space.

The expansion includes waterfront ballrooms, meetings rooms, kitchen facilities, a six-acre outdoor waterfront plaza and an 801-room, five-story Omni Fort Lauderdale headquarters hotel that connects to the convention center. With numerous restaurants, a rooftop bar, Mokara spa and fitness center, the hotel will have more than 120,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space that includes a grand ballroom, junior ballroom, 25 breakout rooms and prefunction meeting space with spectacular waterfront views.  

The new 22-story Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale opened in March 2022 with 148 guest rooms and 41 hotel and private residences. Book your table for Evelyn’s Fort Lauderdale, where Eastern Mediterranean flavors blend with seasonal Florida tastes, creating delish dishes such as Key West pink shrimp, smoked eggplant, Superior Farms lamb chops with cherry glaze or Florida swordfish with passion fruit, local mango and Israeli salad. Meeting space totals 12,900 square feet and the Ocean Sun Deck is home to two horizon-edge pools. On the first level, Honey Fitz serves gourmet coffee creations and delectable pastries during the day and natural wines and cocktails in the evening.  

Opened in 2022, AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach is just steps from Sebastian Street Beach in Fort Lauderdale. The 171-room hotel boasts ocean views, an open kitchen for European-style breakfast and specialty culinary events, a library, a sizeable resort-style pool with cabanas, dining services and 954 square feet of flexible meeting space.

Plus: Notable Celebrity Chef and Restaurant Updates in South Florida

In want of an impressive dining experience for your next event? Celebrity chefs in South Florida deliver.

Celebrity chef David Myers heats up the kitchen in Miami’s ADRFIT Mare, dishing up such delights as beef ragu penne pasta, grilled prawns and roasted chicken with rosemary sauce. For full buyouts, the main dining room seats parties of up to 85, or 200 reception-style, while the private dining room accommodates 45 guests seated and 60 reception-style.  

Foodie fans await the grand opening of celebrity chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Coral Gables’ historic 1920s La Palma Building. A très bon menu features popular French dishes like steak frites and croque madame. A signature raw bar with “fruits de mer” (seafood) pairs with the bistro’s extensive French and California wine list. The Bocuse Room is ideal for private parties of up to 30 guests for a reception and 24 seated for dinner. Consider a buyout of the entire restaurant and courtyard for groups of up to 100 guests.

Gordon Ramsay’s recently opened two-story HELL’S KITCHEN in downtown Miami’s Met Square complex tempts diners with such delicacies as beef wellington and pan-seared scallops. A Chef’s Table will seat 10 while Hell’s Hideaway hosts up to 30 seated or 40 reception-style.  

Legendary chef José Andrés, already famous for his World Central Kitchen, has opened Zaytinya in The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. With a menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine, diners can choose delectable dishes like octopus Santorini (grilled and marinated in onions, capers and yellow split pea puree) and avgotaraho, traditional Greek pressed caviar. 

Read this next: More New & Renovated News

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Jennifer Juergens | Contributing Content Developer, Florida and Caribbean