Saying Goodbye to the Sheraton Yankee Clipper

I’m not sure what rock I’ve been under, that the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort was sold and is now B Ocean Resort.

The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort has also been sold, but it hasn’t been reflagged.

Starwood of course lost the iconic Diplomat hotel outside of Fort Lauderdale to Hilton.

But seeing the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort leave the fold struck me, in part because it flew the Sheraton flag since 1956. The Sheraton Beach Resort is the former Sheraton Yankee Clipper, and the Westin Beach Resort is the former Sheraton Yankee Trader.

Both hotels received makeovers in recent years, in my view the Westin a nicer one than the Sheraton. But it’s the Sheraton that holds the most memories for me because it’s where I stayed as a high school debate coach during the 1995 national finals.

The Sheraton had its own style, such as it is.

It is of course shaped like a boat, and looks out over the ocean.

The bar — most recently a coffee shop — is where I also got to know the effects of gin. For some reason straight Beefeater and rocks was particularly inexpensive in the bar years ago, and the older coaches enjoyed that I could keep up and then some with what tasted like water… until it didn’t. (Fortunately the bartender never carded there..)

I didn’t spend nearly as much time at this hotel as I did at the Diplomat. Yet it seems somehow wrong that it should be anything other than a Sheraton.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. That stinks. The sheraton was a really nice value for a points stay with beach access and even a nice kids area on beach. Any alternative suggestions for staying on the beach with the family for a decent rate in FLL?

  2. Living in Ft. Lauderdale, we’re always looking for quick staycations. Bummed about this. The Hiltons are nice, but I the Sheraton was a value great for points.

  3. I guess this explains why the Sheraton and Westin were available on Priceline and Hotwire. When a property can’t fill its rooms thru the usual channels, they place their rooms on opaque sites.

  4. I hate this loss, as well, but the truth is this was a very elderly facility. Low ceilings, quirky systems, tiny pools. All built many decades ago to suit a different time. I was in town over New Years and made a point to visit this old hotel for a walk down memory lane. We managed to be there on a Friday night for the long-standing mermaid show, which is always great fun.

    In the end, I, too, mourn the reflagging of this 50+ year Sheraton hotel, but it really no longer met the expectations of the Sheraton brand — and certainly not the expectations of where the Sheraton brand wants to go.

  5. As a bit of a funny aside, the SPG homepage frequently still displays the Diplomat as its top anchor image

  6. I am currently dealing with the Diplomat for a work related dinner and housing. I have to say – it is a struggle. They are confused, they are unhelpful and it is extremely frustrating. Glad I am not staying there!

  7. Lots of memories at those two places. I stayed at both locations on spring break in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bathtubs could hold a phenomenal amount of Old Milwaukee

  8. I usually stay at the W there, and it’s quite nice. I especially like their restaurant on the first floor, and bar up on 4 is pretty nice overlooking the water.

  9. Gary – my high school debate/speech team stayed at the nearby (then Radisson) Bahia Mar for 1995 NFL Nationals.

    As soon as I saw the words “Yankee Clipper” in your post it brought me back to that tournament.

    How am I not surprised that you were also a college debater? Kicking myself for not crediting miles during my college debate trips (1996-2000) to frequent flyer programs.

  10. @Grant we just missed overlapping, I graduated in ’96. My college debate career was mostly cut short early by a van accident that killed my debate partner coming back from the UNLV tournament. I stuck to coaching HS after that, came back for one tournament at the very end of my senior year (DSR-TKA Nationals where I did parli… since I hadn’t cut cards or gut spread in years… wound up in the final round). Memories…

  11. Sheraton Yankee Clipper brings back memories of my dad in the mid sixties. We had just moved south to Fort Lauderdale, and one of his favorite things to do was to take the family on drives along the beach. He never failed to show us the Yankee Clipper — proudly pointing out that it was shaped like a ship. This was a time when a Holiday Inn seemed upscale to us, so the Yankee Clipper seemed an unobtainable place reserved for the super rich.

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