More about Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel & Yacht Club
a nice day trip -- the "water bus" to miami
this is a lovely day trip from fort lauderdale to miami down the intracoastal waterway. even tho it takes three hrs to get to miami, the time does not feel anywhere near that long. you can sit inside or outside. inside, there are lots of open windows, and it has a top so that you don't wilt in the sun. there is a breeze on the water, which makes it cooler. there are no snacks or drinks for sale on the boat, tho, so bring your own. there is a restroom on board.
scenery includes islands, fancy houses, native plants and trees. occasionally dolphins come near the boat. one time, the boat people said, a shark came near the boat! the boat also goes under drawbridges.
the "water bus" makes the trip to miami on tuesdays and saturdays. it leaves fort lauderdale at 8:45 am, gets to pier E at marina in miami beach about 11:45 am. you have several hours to walk or take local miami transportation, see the south beach area (walkable from the marina) and elsewhere, shop, eat lunch. the "water bus" leaves for the return trip to fort lauderdale at EXACTLY 4 pm (do not be late!), gets back about 7 pm. reservations are required. cost is $18 round trip. unfortunately, i think you have to go and return on the same day (in other words, you can't spend a couple of nights in miami and come back on the next trip). but it wouldn't hurt to ask when you make your reservations!
the loading point is the stone gazebo close to the fort lauderdale grande hotel. EXACTLY where southeast 17th street meets the west side of the 17th street causeway, turn north, then IMMEDIATELY right/east (parallel to the causeway but below it). you can park all day for $8 in the hotel parking lot (see the valet guy at the hotel). the street address is 1970 southeast 17th street, fort lauderdale, FL, 33316.
for a terrific place to eat once you get to miami, see my "restaurants" tips for miami beach.
great convention hotel
I was grateful to receive a room beginning of December knowing that 300 room were destroyed by the hurricane. This location is great for conventions at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. Complimentary water with lemon in the lobby during the afternoons was an excellent touch and a welcome refreshment. I was able to get a later check out time so they were very accommodating at the front desk. Bartenders at the inside bar were great and very hard-working. We had a very friendly waitress for one breakfast. Loved the Bath and Body Works shampoo, lotion, etc.. amenities in the bathroom. Finally, loved the comfortable pillowtop bed and terrific showerhead. I do not work for Marriott. haha Just very pleased with the hotel and felt with the negative reviews that I should post this review.
Hurricane Damaged Hotel
We had booked a tower suite, but when we arrived we found out that Hurricane Whilma had wiped out most of their tower rooms so we were downgraded to a poolside room. I would have liked to have been told that before we arrived. They discounted the room price, but I would have preferred to stay somewhere nicer. Aside from a lack of access to rooms the rest of the hotel appears to be okay. We were supposed to stay another night, but after I spoke with the front desk about assuring us a tower room for the next night and was met with a somewhat abrupt attendant...I changed our reservations and went to stay at the Marriott Harbor Beach.
was once a nice hotel.......
We stayed here on Jan 27th 2006 for one night prior to a cruise. The lobby was very nice. Starbucks was in the lobby with limited hours and a gift shop with a small business center to check e-mails. The front desk told us that none of the rooms in the main tower from the 3rd to the 14th floor were open due to hurricane damage.
Our room was on the east wing 2nd floor with a harbour view. The room rate was $355.00 a night. It was worth about $100.00. We had ants, a toilet that never quit running, the thermostat kept making a buzzing sound and would luminate every 2 minutes all night long, we had to hang a shirt over it so we could sleep.
We did eat at the restaurant, and it was great. The pool area looked nice.We did take advantage of the free shuttle ride to the pier we left on sat morn at 10:50am.I believe the hotel is changing names soon. I can see why this is not a normal Marriott room. It was more like a Fairfield Inn quality.
Wrecked by Hurricane Wilma is a Lie
First off, if management or staff tells you that the tower was damaged and thus shut down by hurricane Wilma, they are lying.
Out of 300 rooms in this tower, only 10-15 actually sustained damage from the hurricane, which was window blowouts and other light damage.
What Marriott decided to do after the hurricane is start an extensive remodeling project that COMPLETELY shut down the tower.
We were there a week after the hurricane and had friends staying in another hotel which had sustained damage, much like the Marriott did and they quickly repaired and re-opened their building and kept the damaged rooms closed.
We too were TOLD THE DAY BEFORE OUR ARRIVAL that we'd have a tower room, when we got there we had a carpet soaked room down in the harbour which was gloomy and equivalent to a Motel 6. Staff seemed not to care, only created more lies and excuses.
Hopefully the sale to the LXR Group will rejuvinate this hotel because it certainly has the location!
Tower Rooms still closed - under renovation
I stayed a week here for the FL Governor’s Hurricane Conference in May. The hotel was being renovated; so many rooms were not available, including the Towers. (Or so I was told.) I had requested an intercoastal water view, but then ended up with a Yacht parked right outside my 2nd floor balcony the entire week, so did not get much of a view. The front desk, valet and baggage attendants were all very nice. Food was okay (very expensive), except for one bad experience with a “rare” burger (had requested well done) by the pool bar. Water Bus stop is located right next to the hotel, which was very nice for traveling to areas like Las Olas and the Beach so you don’t have to worry about parking, but not as convenient as I would have liked since they only picked up once an hour.
The beds and pillows were very comfortable - a real plus for me, since I cannot stand hard beds. Also enjoyed the toiletries by Rusk...very nice smell and worked well with the shower pressure (which wasn't bad considering some hotels I've stayed.)
Overall not a bad hotel, but I did expect it to be a bit nicer (~$100 plus tax and $20/night for valet parking (self is $15))…maybe after the renovations are completed? Also, this hotel is NOT on the beach, but on the intercoastal and right across from the Convention Center – close enough to walk.
We were transferred to the Grande after terrible service at the Hyatt next door (hard to believe they are the same company).
The front desk manager (Gustav) was more than helpful. He was quick and consise.
Led to our room with a nice view of the yacht club. Then he called later in the morning to make sure our stay was agreeable.
Awesome service. More like a 4 star than a 3.5.
I have stayed at this property numeorus times when it was owned by Marriott. While it was many years ago, I was surprised to hear all of the negative commentary. Realizing it couldn't be that bad, I went ahead with the booking. Prior to traveling and hotel cancellation policies, I called the front desk to voice my concern on what I saw on this site. They seemed very professional and I had a strong feeling that this would be a good stay. We were here for extended weekend vacation at the same time as the previuos reviewer. She was right about the boat outside her room.. we had a bit of that with our view, even so, in many of the rooms I have stayed in at this hotel, the views are good.
Staff: Excellent staff all around...very friendly and not too pushy.
Food/Bar: Again, very good. We liked the ice cream bars for sale at the pool. You are at a hotel, so we felt the prices were in line with comperable hotels/restaurants in the area.
Facility: Quite good. Looks like they are renovating many rooms so the decent rate we got will probably go up. The fitness facility was excellent and featured TVs on the cardio equipment. I don't even have this at my health/fitness center. Yes, the tower is being remodeled but there are still many rooms to be had. The pool was very nice!
Room: Beds were VERY comfortable, better than what we had on our honeymoon in Hawaii 7 months ago. Room looked great and always clean.
Location: Yes you are not by the beach. Big deal...the bus to the beach is 2 blocks from the hotel, there are hotel shuttles to/from the beach, and there is the water taxi, which drops off alomost on the hotel property. We were up toward the beach...not many nice looking properties up there anyways! Walk 10 minutes south (?) on SW 17th and there are many nice shops and restaurants, including Publix Grocery Store which was helpful as we packed lunch for the beach a few times.
Bad: Din't really see any glearing bad things here. Overall, this was a great extended weekend.
Very Disappointed With Food Service
I stayed at the Hotel for 4 days and except for the first night, the food service was terribly slow. At times it took 45 minutes just to be recognized. This was the case in all the different areas of the hotel that serve food. The food was prepared well and tasted fine. The service was well below average. I doubt that I will ever stay there again.
My husband and I will be traveling to Fort Lauderdale during the month of August. We are not interested in beach but do not mind being in the area. Actually we are looking for hotels close to the Olas and the beach broadwalk. We actually enjoy eating out, dancing, and site seeing. We are aldo going to spend a few days in Miami. We will appreciate recomendations for moderately priced hotels, restuarants, and what to do and see in Fort Lauderdale. Thanks!!
Re: Fort Lauderdale
Ft lauderdale is one of our favourite places to visit in Florida. We tend to stay just north of town in the Pompano Beach area. The Ocean Sands Spa resort does some specials. Google it and see what comes up. Do not stay at the Ft lauderdale Grande. We booked recently and could not stay as it was undergoing majot renovations. Also, it is right beside a bridge going over the intracostal waterway - lots of noise!