Diplomat Resort restaurant tops USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards

The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla., announced that its new highly acclaimed restaurant Monkitail has won the top spot for Best Hotel Restaurant in USA Today’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson brings his modern Japanese fare to the area with the spring 2017 opening of his seventh restaurant, Monkitail. His menu is a contemporary take on the classic izakaya, featuring sharable small plates and sushi. Tucked away beyond the main dining room is Nokku, a discreet cocktail lounge with four private rooms, each having full karaoke capabilities.

A panel of experts partnered with USA Today’s 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Marla Cimini (USA TODAY), Claire Endean-Cance (Luxury Travel Diary), Eric Grossman, Gerrish Lopez, Eileen Ogintz (Taking the Kids), Christopher Parr (Pursuitist) and Nancy Trejos (USA TODAY) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the hotel scene across the nation. The other nine notable restaurants awarded in this category are as follows:

  • Monkitail - Diplomat Beach Resort - Hollywood, Fla.
  • Bardot Brasserie - Aria Resort & Casino - Las Vegas
  • Jiko - The Cooking Place - Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Orlando
  • é by José Andrés - The Cosmopolitan - Las Vegas
  • Chefs Club - St. Regis - Aspen, Colo.
  • Immigrant Restaurant - The American Club - Kohler, Wis.
  • Lacroix - The Rittenhouse - Philadelphia
  • Orchids at Palm Court - Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
  • Joël Robuchon - MGM Grand - Las Vegas
  • La Mer - Halekulani - Honolulu

“I am extremely humbled by this honor. The Diplomat Beach Resort has been a wonderful partner and we thank our guests for their unparalleled support,” chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson said in statement. “I have the most incredible team at Monkitail and Nokku – from the kitchen to the wait staff, everyone strives for excellence on a daily basis.”

Emerging from a recent $100-million transformation, The Diplomat Beach Resort is an oceanfront, experiential destination offering a fresh new take on vacationing. From the Atlantic coast to Intracoastal, the reinvented property pays homage to the hotel's storied past as a social hub, which began in 1958, with a modern take on design and amenities. The property boasts more than 10 new culinary concepts, reimagined public spaces, a deluxe spa experience and more than 209,000 square feet of meetings and events space. As part of Curio Collection by Hilton, a global set of distinguished upscale hotels handpicked for its unique character, the resort redefines comfort and style with 1,000 guestrooms and suites bringing the resort's sunny, beachfront location to life.