In an age when many luxury hotels want to catapult guests into the future with fashion-forward design, minimalist furnishings and cutting-edge technology, it’s reassuring to find a vacation retreat happily embracing history.

Pelican Grand Beach Resort is an absolute beachfront hotel in sun-splashed Fort Lauderdale blending the grandeur and elegance of old Florida with modern-day comforts in a languidly tropical setting.

Opened in 2004, Pelican Grand doesn’t actually have an extensive history of its own to speak of, yet it manages to capture the breezy and laid-back lifestyle of a bygone South Florida era and serve it up with both a classic and contemporary twist.

By day, it’s the place to kick off your shoes, don anatty Panama hat and Bermuda shorts or a sarong dress and Jackie O sunglasses, and drift down to the long covered verandah for a Planter’s Punch.

After a leisurely lunch, overlooking the cerulean waters of the Atlantic Ocean, you can stroll onto Pelican Grand’s private beach for a dip, followed by an ice cream in the hotel’s 1950s-inspired Emporium.

By night, in the sleek setting of the OCEAN2000 restaurant, the ambience fast-forwards more than half a century, with attentive staff delivering reinvented cocktails, first-rate New American cuisine, and a well-curated wine list.

This old-meets-new ambience pervades every corner of the resort from its imposing marble-tiled entrance lobby to the 153 comfortable rooms and suites, many with private balconies and panoramic ocean views.

The resort also has a zero entry (no steps) oceanfront pool and a fun “lazy river” where guests can float in rubber tubes pushed along by a gentle current.And unlike many Fort Lauderdale hotels that claim an “oceanfront” location (but are actually separated from the sand and water by busy roadways), Pelican Grand boasts 500 feet of absolute, private and pristine beachfront with powdery sand and bath-warm water.Located at 2000 North Ocean Blvd., a short drive or taxi ride north of Fort Lauderdale’s commercial center, Pelican Grand offers a quieter and more intimate residential setting than many of its rivals.

The hotel’s relaxed vibe extends from its spacious guest suites to the stylish OCEAN2000 resaurant 

The chilled Floridian vibe continues in the comfortable guest rooms and suites, configured in city and ocean view rooms, and the more spacious queen and king oceanfront suites. Opt for a suite on one of the higher floors for sweeping views of the Atlantic and spectacular sunrises.

The accommodations have undergone a recent makeover with new carpets, wall coverings, linens, upholstery and artwork, giving the resort a relaxed beach-chic look that’s ideal for the waterfront location.

Part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts portfolio, which also includes restaurants, spas, and marinas across the United States, Pelican Grand appeals to families as well as couples looking for a weekend or longer vacation in the sun.

The hotel is also undergoing an expansion this year, adding two new ballrooms for weddings and events – one oceanfront on the ground floor and one on the rooftop with terraces – a new penthouse suite with a 65-foot terrace, and the new Spa Sweden which is scheduled to open in February 2015.

The spa will offer Swedish-inspired treatments and products that will only be available in America.

While Fort Lauderdale has some excellent restaurants and bars, all an easy cab ride from the hotel, food and wine play a key role at Pelican Grand, attracting local clientele as much as in-house guests. Dinner at OCEAN2000 is a must, but the resort’s expansive verandah-lined with classic rocking chairs for quiet relaxation – is an ideal choice for breakfast, lunch sundowner cocktails, and an excellent Sunday brunch.

The hotel also capitalizes on its beachfront perch, offering a handful of tables set up on top of the sand dune for an intimate and romantic alfresco dining by day or under the starlit sky.

With the chills of winter just around the corner, an escape to Pelican Grand Resort will help banish the seasonal blues, on Planter’s Punch at a time.

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Image Credits: Photo by Fresh Air Photo.