It’s been a hidden gem in Fort Lauderdale, but the word now is out: The Pillars Hotel has been voted best hotel in Florida in the latest annual survey of readers of the upscale Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

The Pillars stands out as an intimate ecu-taste villa on the IntraCoastal Waterway, known for understated magnificence and private service. The smartly-landscaped property options simply 18 guest rooms, including suites, and serves superb dinners only for visitors and members of its secret lawn dining membership.

On Wednesday, German visitor Martha Feldkamp enjoyed a view of the hotel’s pool and leafy courtyard, plus the nearby canal and boats, from the terrace of her second-floor room. The marketing manager from Munich said she chose the hotel based on online reviews and found it charming and immaculate.

During her stay, Feldkamp said she’d taken the water taxi that forestalls on the lodge dock and preferred seeing waterfront properties and stopping to stroll on Las Olas street. She also referred to as a dinner at the resort some of the absolute best right through her Florida stay: watermelon salad with feta, smartly-pro Australian lamb with baby vegetables, and an espresso crème brulee plus “good purple wine, carrier great and excellent track.”

“It’s like artwork, you could say,” the well-traveled Feldkamp said of the boutique hotel.

The intimate Pillars opened 12 years ago, after local investors Michael and Barbara Landry made over what have been a 1939 non-public house and its later lodge addition at 111 North Birch highway. They created a calm parador that met quality requirements to enroll in the Small luxury hotels of the arena staff.

Some guests would prefer the oasis remain a secret.

“We have so many people write to us and say, “We like it so much we don’t want to tell people,” said Caroline Bonnell, 33, a stylish and detail-oriented Frenchwoman who has ably managed the hotel for seven years. “But we say, ‘There are days when you are not here, so please tell others.’ “

The Conde Nast visitor survey of readers gave The Pillars a ninethree.nine element score out of one hundred, edging out the second-best Marquesa resort in Key West for the highest spot this year.

Last year, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in Little Torch Key was rated tops.

Magazine readers called The Pillars delightful, polished and intimate with sunsets that are magical. British colonial–style guest rooms and suites, done in soft greens and yellows, with dark woods and black-and-white pictures by a local artist, are “comfortable, not pretentious.” Marble bathrooms have Molton Brown amenities. “Dining dockside is wonderful,” the magazine said.

The award must assist boost the hotel’s trade. in advance appearances at the magazine’s lists — regardless that by no means prior to as No. 1 — have introduced more guests, stated supervisor Bonnell, who makes use of the lists herself as a reference while she travels.

The Pillars has been nearly 70 percent full so far this year, with published room rates starting at $215 per night in summer and $350 per night in winter, she said.

For different hotels seeking readers’ desire, Bonnell offers this advice: construct a crew of people that care: so much of her staff are long-timers on the carrier-oriented hotel. And make guests feel like they’re home.

“I try to treat people the way I want to be treated,” said Bonnell. “And it seems to be working pretty well.”