Community Briefed On Wilton Manors Hotel Proposal

Rendering courtesy Wilton Hotel & Pool Club.

The lack of a hotel in the city of Wilton Manors has been a point of discussion for years. Now the city is getting a look at what could be. On July 12, the new owners of the lot where the Kelis funeral home sits on Dixie Highway, just south of Five Points, unveiled their plans for a hotel.

Plans for the Wilton Hotel & Pool Club were on display during CANA’s (Central Area Neighborhood Association) regular meeting at Hagen Park. A standing room only crowd heard from the developer, who laid out plans for a 123-room hotel (100 standard rooms and 23 suites).

“The goal was not to be so small as to compete with Air B&Bs and places of that sort, and not too big,” Mark Ellert, the head of the development company, said.

He says the goal is to create a place that sets itself apart while being an accessible part of the community.

“I didn’t want any of these ‘dumb it down’ limited service/select service hotels.”

Current plans call for an amenities deck with a five-star pool as the centerpiece. Ellert says he wants something resembling the romantic vibe of the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach.

Community Partner

“The importance to me is to help the hotel reflect the community’s character,” Ellert said. “The gay community is a huge community in South Florida and is totally underserved [in lodging/accommodations] by all stretches of the imagination.”

Having been a developer in Key West in the 1970s and ‘80s, he’s seen how the LGBTQ community has been displaced as an area evolves. Many employees commute in from Stock Island or further. Ellert doesn’t want that for this hotel. He believes part of the hotel’s style is hiring staff from the area.

The hotel will also advance the area’s art scene.

“The Wilton Walls is an important part. This community is all about the arts. I figured what better way than to take the iconic Five Points intersection and turn it into a real signature gateway for the city.”

He has been working with local artist Claudia Castillo, who’s advising him on how to integrate the hotel into the city’s art culture. Local artist, Maxence Doytier, said he’s excited about an expanding art scene.

“I love that this development project has a strong public art program.”

There are still many hurdles before a grand opening or even a groundbreaking. But Ellert has a vision and seems determined to make it a reality.

“I want it to be the social heartbeat of the community. I want people to see it in a magazine and say, ‘This is our hotel.’”


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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