Even though I did not stay overnight at the Ritz Carlton, I could not pass up the opportunity to at least visit the hotel, see the lobby, smell the fresh flowers, savor its ambiance, and simply enjoy its elegance. I always say, "If you can't do it like the Ritz, don't bother!" I was not disappointed. The Ritz sits right across the street from the beach and Atlantic Ocean and both its exterior and interior are dripping with elegance and class. I visited in November of 2012 and the lobby was decorated for Christmas.
The beachfront location of the Ritz Carlton is of course a fabulous feature. You can stand in the lobby and gaze across the steet to the white sand beach and waves crashing onto the beach.
The hotel is located in the very heart of the main strip along the beach where you will find numerous restaurants, bars, ice cream shops, etc for your pleasure. If you like spas, you will enjoy the 8,500 square foot Ritz spa.
My first impression of this very nice hotel was the delightfully friendly welcome we got from every member of staff we encountered - from the porter who helped with our luggage to the desk staff to the girl at the bar.
Our checkin was very quick and we were upgraded to a lovely corner room in the tower block. The room had a wrap around balcony that overlooked the cruise terminals on one side and the hotel's marina on the other. I will say, however, that it was noisy on the balcony as it is essentially in the heart of a busy and built up area.
Our rom had two very comfortable double beds, a large screen tv, and every comfort we could ask for including tea and coffee making facilities, an iron and ironing board, and a spacious shower.
The hotel pool is a beautiful lagoon style one with very comfortable and plentiful sunbeds. There were lots of lovely towels for the beds and iced lemon water from a little covered kiosk. There is plenty of natural shade from palm trees surrounding the pool and the orientation of the hotel means there are also shaded areas and sunny areas.
The pool bar serves excellent drink and food into the late hours at night, though prices are not cheap.
There is also an indoor restaurant which we did not frequent as it is Oriental and my travelling companion does not like oriental food.
The one thing that I found ridiculously expensive was the breakfast. We were charged per item and I paid over forty dollars for two bowls of cereal, a banana, two orange juices, and two hot beverages. Interestingly there is a small gift shop in the hotel where you can purchase cereal and juice bat a fraction of the price, but it does not sell milk!
I hadn't expected that I would be successful bidding on Priceline, there were several cruises leaving from Ft. Lauderdale on the day we sailed and most people tend to come in a day or two early to avoid problems. I booked a cancellable hotel when I booked the cruise which ended up being in the wrong section of Ft. Lauderdale after the swim race in Pompano Beach got cancelled so 3 days before we were leaving I gave Priceline a shot. I really didn't think that I would get a room but I just wasn't finding anything at all under $100 closer to the new swim race location that didn't mention cockroaches or mold or that wasn't listed as men only.
I started bidding at $75 for a 3 1/2*, the hotels I wanted were actually 3* but 3 1/2* had a lower median retail price than 3*. And there were 4 other areas that only had 3* or less but only 1 other area that had 2 1/2* or less so I knew I had 4 free rebids with 3 1/2 * which means I could start bidding lower. Only needed two free rebids, my 3rd bid for $85 was accepted and I got the 4* Hyatt Regency Pier 66 which was showing on that date as $289 per night.
www.biddingfortravel.com isn't as good of a resource as it once was, I didn't find it to be much help for this trip. But I'd still recommend at least starting there to get an idea of the bids and strategies for bidding Priceline. You can also have a look at www.betterbidding.com. It seems that waiting until just a few days before is a good strategy, the people that were trying 20 or more days in advance were paying more or just not able to find anything.
Our ACbin on the Emerald Princess was very spacious and comfortable. The cabin had a nice sized bathroom with sicnk and shower justto the left of the entrance. The closet was larger than normal with plenty of storage space. A fill floor to ceiling cabinet had six large shelves and a safe for storage. The desk area had more drawers and shelves. There was a decent sized flatscreen TV, Mini bar and the bed. The bed was rather comfortable and had nice sheets. It was a nice cabin that was clean and had plenty of space.
I liked the large closets that were perfect for all of our clothes as well as luggage.
The dual controled lighs were also nice with controls at the door as well as by the bed. The mini bar was large enough to hold our two bottles of wine and one bottle of champagne along with the ice bucket, glasses and other mini bar items.
On this cruise we booked a Junior Suite. The suite was very large and spacious. The bathroom had a full tub which I always like on a ship. The bedroom had a queen sized bed, couch, table, chair, ottoman, dressing table and an incredible walk in closet. Liz loved the closet and I knew she would. The room had an incredible balcony that spanned the length of the room. The balcony was large enough to accomodate two chairs, a table, a recliner and an ottoman with room to walk about. The room was nicely decorated and clean. Our stateroom attendant made sure we had everything we needed including my request for extra towels.
The suite was perfect for us and we loved the balcony for watching the ocean and sights pass by.
This is not a 5 star resort, but very clean and well maintained. We had a 1 bedroom apartment with a sleeper sofa and twin day bead, full kitchen and separate bedroom. This motel is across the street from the beach on a quiet street. We walked barefoot to the beach. The beach is beautiful and clean. WI-FI internet worked well. Grocery's and other shopping are a few blocks away, easy walking.
close to the beach and grocery shopping
I stayed here twice because I love the hotel location, close to the beach. No matter what room you have, you will see the beach from your balcony.
The rooms show their age a little bit, but they are clean and comfortable. Nothing fancy, but will do for people who are not looking for a 5 stars hotel experience.
The restaurant serves great food and the staff is very friendly. We used their room service twice and the food got delivered fast and it tasted great.
My only complaint was that it was hard to take a nap in the afternoon as the pool area gets loud (music is loud). Also, there is a daily happy hour by the pool bar, so if you have a room facing the pool, it may be a little loud for your taste. I ended up just making sure we spend a minimum amount of time in the room during the happy hour :)
Very friendly staff, excellent location (in a total of 5 minutes, including the time you need to get out of your room and get downstairs, you are on the beach)! Great breakfast and pool.
I stayed here on a number of occasions while working in the area and not yet living here. The hotel is located west of downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beaches, in a central, residential area known as Plantation. The location is halfway between the airport and the West Broward/Sawgrass Mall area. Its not the best bet for tourists and a bad idea if you don't have transportation of your own. But it is a well run hotel with a few perks.
The jacuzzi suites are a nice upgrade given usually to Starwood members. The restaurant serves a decent breakfast and the Bonefish Grill located at the next door nearly vacant Plantation Fashion Mall is a good alternative for dinner. There is a decent gym on the top floor which is open 24 hours (just use your room key).
The hotel hosts flight crews on a regular basis and its share of conventions, so rooms may be hard to come by and room prices are on the high side, although there are weekend and summer specials to be found.
I stayed 1 night at this rather expensive hotel and I have to say that the service you got in return was appaling! To check in I had to wait for a long while and after doing so I had nobody to escort me to my room or carry my suitcase. It might sound spoiled but I have stayed in cheaper hotels that offered this service! Up in my room i needed a special plug for the american electricity socket since I have a european laptop....i called reception, and they didnt have it to lend but made me buy one, also didnt they have someone to take it up to my room so I had to go and get it!. Since I had an evening flight, at checkin i asked if i could stay a bit longer, also this wasnt possible!!
I have to say the rooms were big and very comfortable! Especially the bed....i was at the end of a big trip and that bed was the the bed i needed to relax and have the best sleep ever!! They advertise with their beds and i understand why! they give you a magical sleep!! just a pity that the staff is not really willing to help and treat you like you are in a 2 star hotel.....
Great Beds!!! Spacious and comfortable rooms!!
Great accomodations. Very 1950's retro. Clean. Good breakfast provided with room. My room had kitchenette with pots, pans, dishes, and silver provided. Office personel very helpful. Location directly on the beach. Heated pool, also. Dining within walking distance. Free wireless Internet connection.
Most rooms have ocean view. Wonderful to watch the sun rise in the mornings.
We really enjoyed our stay at this hotel. They were in the process of renovating, but it wasn't an issue at all for us, as there was no noise, dust, etc. that we noticed. Check-in was a breeze as we had reserved well in advance and although we arrived around 2, our room was ready.
We stayed here before and after our trip to the Bahamas. When I originally booked, we received a better rate by pre-paying. I was hesitant to do this, as it was non-refundable, and I was afraid that if we didn't enjoy the hotel the first night, we were still committed for the last night. I needn't have worried. In fact, we were looking forward to coming back to luxury, and the great pool after a week of 'roughing it' in the Bahamas.
The best feature has to be the pool. Its nice and big, with a hot tub at one end, but the best part was the waterfall. Our kids spent all their time playing in and around it, and thoroughly enjoyed sticking their heads through the stream of water while us grown ups sat back and soaked up with warm Florida sunshine.
Place needs ALOT of work. Wasn't worth the money I spent on it. Terribly over priced. I enlarged the picture of the swiming pool, just to show you how bad this place was.
When the Whitbread Race Around the World came into Ft. Lauderdale three of Liberty crew stayed with my husband and I for two days. Gordon knew one of the crew who was from his home town. The Liberty was the ship from England and so was the crew.
They had been out to sea for three months and needed hair cuts, so I cut all their heads.
The one thing they wanted to do when they woke up in the morning in my home was to watch cartoons on TV.
The most beautiful boats and yachts went past my back yard canal.
We stayed at the GOLD COAST HOTEL, which is very conveniently located just across from the beach on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Typically, most of this hotel's guests are from Western Europe and Scandinavia. Package deals are available, which include a Sea Breeze dinner cruise...
Lots of relatively inexpensive hotels on Ft. Lauderdale's beach espcecially if you come off season, but this little guy found a home in one of the state parks just across from the beach.
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