Incredible Wellness Destinations: Dean Lane Of The Diplomat Resort Hollywood On The Secrets To Creating The Perfect Wellness Destination

Incredible Wellness Destinations: Dean Lane Of The Diplomat Resort Hollywood On The Secrets To Creating The Perfect Wellness Destination

Keep an open mind. It’s equally as important to be open to new experiences. Moments of spontaneity can lead to great memories or new practices that will further enrich your life and journey to personal growth. Try out a new treatment at the spa or take a bike to explore a new area. Travel is a great opportunity to start making positive changes in your life.

The pandemic has shaped the way we travel and live, with a growing trend leaning towards health, wellness, and a holistic lifestyle. More than ever, individuals are seeking not just getaways, but immersive wellness retreats that help rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul. Destinations that provide a serene environment, unique wellness offerings, and an unparalleled experience are in great demand. In this interview series, we are talking to property owners and hospitality companies who are at the helm of these wellness havens. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dean Lane.

Dean Lane, General Manager of the iconic Diplomat Beach Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton, boasts over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has worked with various hotel brands nationwide. A leading advocate for his surrounding communities, Dean is actively involved in organizations such as the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Art & Culture Center of Hollywood and Hollywood Beach Business Association. Throughout his esteemed career, Dean has earned numerous accolades, including Historic Hotels of America’s “Historic Hotelier of the Year”, the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association’s “Hotelier of the Year”, and he was honored with the Illumination Award by the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation (CLAF).

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Iwas born and raised in northern Nevada, the Reno -Tahoe area to be specific. I had easy access to the Sierra Mountains, Lake Tahoe, and numerous river and hiking trails. I spent a great deal of my time outside, exploring, hiking and fishing. I was heavily involved in sports specifically baseball. At a very young age, I observed the many tourists, enjoying the mountains, lakes, and casino hotels in the area. Some of my fondest memories were relaxing on the shores of Lake Tahoe after a long swim.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

During my college days at the University of Nevada, I was interning at a local brokerage firm, and in the evenings parking cars at a large 2,000 room casino hotel. I was placed in a small cubicle at the brokerage firm, which felt confining and lacking any socialization, however, during the evenings I found myself Immersed in an incredibly dynamic environment . I observed the general manager meeting and greeting dignitaries and VIPs, from politicians to celebrities and prominent business leaders. I was incredibly fascinated and interested in a potential career in hospitality. One evening, I gathered the courage to confront the general manager, and asked him how I could get his job someday. His advice was ‘while parking cars is a vital service to this hotel, you need to find a position inside the hotel to further your career.’ I took him at his word, and began my career working at the front desk. I never looked back, and within six years, I was working in the executive offices as the executive assistant manager, supporting the general manager of the hotel. I truly enjoyed the dynamic environment and creating a special experience for travelers. As I’ve often mentioned to aspiring hospitality students, to be successful in this business you must have a sincere desire to please others.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My father owned an electrical contracting business. I felt a bit of pressure having worked for him for a few years and expected at some point taking over the family business in the future. I really tried to give it a go however, I didn’t enjoy the work. I spoke to my father about this, and he said ‘follow your passion and never settle’.

It has been said that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

I will share a funny story, however, it wasn’t funny at the time ..during my time serving as the Executive Assistant Manager for a large Hilton casino hotel, one of my primary responsibilities was to care for company chairman Mr. Barron Hilton during his numerous visits to the hotel. On one occasion, Mr. Hilton was attending an offsite golf outing and my responsibility was to pick him up and take him directly to an early evening dinner function at the hotel where several dignitaries were waiting for him. During the ride to the hotel, he mentioned how hungry he was after golfing all day. I assumed that his function was in a particular ballroom; however, that assumption was incorrect, and I walked Mr. Hilton into a ballroom filled with Amway conventioneers. A few of the Amway organizers found out who he was and he spent the next 20 minutes, shaking hands and visiting with the conventioneers.

Needless to say, he wasn’t particularly happy with me, the lesson learned was to always double check everything and properly prepare yourself for success.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

It’s a very simple, but incredibly important. “Always finish what you start”. Many of my greatest accomplishments were initiatives which I thought midstream were destined for failure however I kept going, far too often we allow the speed bumps and distractions to get in the way and prevent us from completing the task at hand.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

We are always evolving our offerings to enhance our guest’s needs. Within the last year, we added a series of wellness programming including sunrise yoga on the beach, oceanside spin classes and pool Zumba. We are currently exploring ways to incorporate more green spaces into the Resort experience, healthy break options for meetings and events, and developing of wellness rooms and packages. These offerings allow travelers to maintain their wellness goals while visiting Hollywood, FL.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview about wellness destinations. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or personal experience, why do you think travel can lead to better wellness? Can you share a story?

Travel has a remarkable ability to enhance wellness on multiple levels. Personally, I have found travel to be restorative during fatigue from work, but more importantly, it has lead to priceless time building memories with family and has enriched my life by being open to try new things and experience other cultures.

I had the opportunity to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with some college friends. One of the major takeaways from that experience was facing an entirely different culture through the Tanzanian guides that assisted our group. Since our cell phones did not work, there were no electronics or technology involved which allowed us to focus on conversation with each other and connection with the mountain, our guides and our surroundings. We all agreed one of the main contributors to this remarkable experience was there were no distractions with cell phones and phone calls. It’s not always possible, but to enhance wellness, relaxation and rejuvenation, if you can avoid electronics, you will not be disappointed.

What are a few things which distinguish your property from thousands of wellness properties around the world?

Our diversity, breadth, and abundance of wellness offerings ranging from physical activity, nutrition, mindfulness and connection. Guests can cultivate their own unique wellness experience and choose from offerings including our full-service spa, 24-hour two story fitness center, walks on the beach, swimming in our two pools, or our weekly fitness classes including HIIT workouts, sunrise beach yoga, spin and Zumba. Our 15,000 sq. ft. award-winning Spa + Salon offers a wide range of services designed to alleviate stress and improve well-being for locals and Resort guests alike. Additionally, our six restaurants and bars provide an array of healthy options from wellness shots to poke bowls and fresh seafood, completing the holistic experience.

What type of experience do you want your visitors to have when they visit?

Whether it’s for business or leisure, my aim is for guests to have an unparalleled experience. I put a lot of confidence in our top-tier amenities and service to create this. For all guests, we aim to provide the quintessential South Florida experience by having a tropical paradise essentially in their backyard, along with added luxuries such as 6 diverse culinary options, a full-service spa, exercise activities, and live entertainment. Additionally, we want to impress our business groups with our customizable and unique meeting spaces and experiences — it’s not often that large groups get the opportunity to enjoy ocean views from conference rooms and attend meetings in premier private dining spaces.

What makes your property a beautiful escape for a body and mind recharge?

From our service down to our design, everything at The Dip is meant to create a beachfront escape for body and mind recharge. The moment guests enter the hotel, they are met with a space that emanates a lush tropical escape. We have harmoniously blended the indoor entrance and outdoor spaces through elements such as greenery indoors and a large sunroof that allows natural light to flood in in both the common spaces as well as our event venues. Whether you are facing the Atlantic Ocean or the Intercoastal, our Resort offers panoramic waterway views. I should also add that we are located close enough to access Fort Lauderdale and Miami, however we are removed from the business ness of the city.

Can you share any transformative stories or testimonials from guests that visited your property?

Last year, I spoke with a guest at Diplomat Prime, our boutique steakhouse, while she was enjoying a drink. She’s a local from Miami who decided to spend a weekend at the Resort to unwind and escape the city chaos and her demanding job. Her most transformative experiences were: an 80-minute Spa massage, the oceanfront sunrise spin class, and basking in the breathtaking sunset view from her balcony. These experiences made her realize her struggle with being present in her day-to-day life. Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly), dedicating time to her own well-being left her feeling more prepared to dive back into her responsibilities, with a newly found appreciation of her life. Vacations don’t last forever, but the emotions they bring — such as the joy and peace of being present — can be integrated into our daily lives with intention. I saw that same guest a few weeks ago at the Resort! She brought her boyfriend this time and had planned several wellness experiences for them to do together!

Why do you think the experience you offer is so needed nowadays?

Amidst the chaos and busyness of modern life, taking time for oneself and engaging in restorative trips is essential for maintaining balance, health, and happiness. It allows individuals to recharge, gain perspective, strengthen relationships and explore self-discovery.

Do you think travel enhances our mindfulness, optimism, or sense of gratitude? How? Can you please explain with an example or story?

Absolutely. Travel promotes being present in the moment which supports all 3 ideals. Stepping away from daily routines allows guests to prioritize self-care and enjoy activities they love, reinforcing life’s priorities. I see families enjoy a healthy family meal together at one of our restaurants, which is something they don’t often get to do; couples’ recharge and bond with a couples massage or another rejuvenating treatment; families with little ones start their day with a morning stretching class on the beach; all of these small experiences have a large impact. These vacation memories offer a valuable reset, reminding us of life’s beauty.

What are your “5 Habits You Should Develop In Order Make Travel Into An Opportunity For Wellness & Personal Growth?”

  1. It’s valuable to establish the habit of setting your intentions of going to a new place. Setting an intention when embarking on a trip is crucial for a fulfilling experience. While you don’t need to plan every detail, being aware of your expectations allows you to seek out experiences that align with your purpose. Whether it’s simply to recharge in the sun, go on an adventure, or exploring a city, having a focus helps you make the most of your journey.
  2. Keep an open mind. It’s equally as important to be open to new experiences. Moments of spontaneity can lead to great memories or new practices that will further enrich your life and journey to personal growth. Try out a new treatment at the spa or take a bike to explore a new area. Travel is a great opportunity to start making positive changes in your life.
  3. Maintain your daily self-care routine, even while traveling. If you take daily vitamins and drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, make sure that continues. And if you thrive on exercising in the morning, take advantage of fitness centers and activities on site. We provide our guests with access to multiple fitness centers and offer a weekly wellness schedule featuring activities such as yoga and beach volleyball.
  4. If permissible, seek out unique cultural experiences. When you travel, you have the opportunity to engage in new and distinctive experiences that can broaden your perspective and contribute to your personal growth. I encourage everyone traveling to a new destination to immerse themselves in the local culture. Hollywood, Florida and our property alone has such a rich history. There is also a unique culture in South Florida worth exploring. Try the cuisine, explore the landmarks, listen to the music, engage with the locals, ask questions, and you may learn something new about yourself.
  5. Practice gratitude. By consciously taking moments to appreciate the environment you find yourself in, you not only enhance your travel experience but also nurture your own well-being. Recognizing the privilege of being able to explore the world cultivates a mindset of gratitude that can go beyond your trip.

Based on your experience, where do you see the future of wellness travel heading in the next 5–10 years?

Physical and mental wellness are important to focus on in life, and the pandemic reminded people of that. I feel that is what sparked the wellness travel trends we are seeing today, and I do not envision this trend to stop. Hilton, and other likeminded companies, will continue to introduce traditional and non-traditional concepts of wellness offerings in effort to deliver on our commitment to provide exceptional guest experiences and to meet guest’s ever-evolving needs.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

Sir David Attenborough

The reason — an outspoken advocate of Life on Earth, I marvel at his ability to enlighten his audience through his thoughtful introspection of how important it is for us to preserve our planet.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can keep up with my work at The Diplomat Beach Resort on our website ( or follow our @DiplomatBeachResort journey on Facebook, Instagram and X.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success.

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at

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