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Fort Lauderdale Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Atlantic
601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33304
Tel: 954 567 8020
Fax: 954 567 8040
www.atlantichotelfl.com

The first of the major new chain hotels set to pop up along the waterfront, the Atlantic is a quirky four-star hotel. The odd-shaped building looks like a lemon-yellow wedding cake, its floors stepped back to provide the maximum number of oceanview balconies and prevent casting a shadow on the beach—sadly, it doesn't help the hotel's own pool, which is sunless from 2 pm or so every day. All 115 rooms in tropical decor here are large and fully equipped: kitchenettes have granite countertops, two-burner stoves, and small fridges; there are marble floors as well as glassed-in showers in every bathroom. Trina, the high-end Mediterranean restaurant is worth a visit.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Green Island Inn
3300 N.E. 27 Street
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33308
Tel: 954 566 8951
info@greenislandinn.com
www.greenislandinn.com

This small 25-room hotel feels more like a Key West refuge than the 1950s-era Fort Lauderdale motel it is. That's partly thanks to its out-of-the-way location—in a sleepy residential area further north up A1A than most motels. But it's also due to the lush tropical tree-crammed courtyard that has a pool and a gazebo, equipped with a BYOB bar and BBQ area. Every room—whether studio or suite—is named after different islands in the Caribbean, has a kitchenette, and is individually painted and done up in bright poppy colors. And most have French doors opening onto a private verandah.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hyatt Regency Pier 66
2301 S.E. 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33316
Tel: 954 525 6666
www.pier66.com

Tucked away at the southern end of town, Pier 66 is a great respite for families and those wanting to steer clear of the brash boardwalk crowds. A $25 million renovation, completed in October 2007, upgraded the pool area with cabanas, man-made waterfalls, and a 40-person hydrotherapy pool. There is no beach access, but the hotel runs a free shuttle to the closest sand (five minutes away). The renovation also spruced up the hotel's iconic spike-topped tower and angular, pastel-painted balconies. But the money obviously didn't go into jazzing up the decor in the 384 rooms, which got a face-lift and all the necessary amenities (coffeemaker, large bathroom, lots of closet space) but remain uninspiringly beige, beige, and more beige. The remedy? Request a room high in the 17-story tower with a view of the Intracoastal Waterway. Looking out from your balcony at the yachts, cruise ships, and blue water adds a necessary splash of color.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Lago Mar
1700 S. Ocean Lane
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33316
Tel: 800 524 6627 (toll-free)
Tel: 954 523 6511
reservations@lagomar.com
www.lagomar.com

Lago Mar's location is unbeatable: a private oceanfront property with its own 500-foot beach. Owned for generations by one family, it's a luxe throwback combining a family-friendly resort with a country club for well-heeled snowbirds. The 206-room, bougainvillea-draped complex has two oceanside tennis courts, a mini-golf course and a swimming lagoon with an Olympic-sized pool. The common areas were overhauled by society decorator Carlton Varney in a vaguely Venetian theme to reflect Fort Lauderdale's obsession with watery, old-world glamour, while most of the rooms are suites with king-size beds and Key West–inspired tropical interiors. Many look out on water—either ocean or pool—but when booking, note that the hundreds of palm trees on the beach can block views from some suites; make sure to ask for one with an unobstructed sea view.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Pillars
111 N. Birch Road
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33304
Tel: 954 467 9639
guestservices@pillarshotel.com
www.pillarshotel.com

What makes this B&B such a hidden gem is its affable, unflappable staff: They help make the place feel more like a private home than a hotel. There's harp music in the main room, a complimentary glass of wine or champagne on arrival, and a 500-strong library of books and DVDs that guests can rifle through during their stay. All 22 of the British colonial–style rooms here have planter's chairs, mahogany headboards, floral bedspreads, and antique etchings as well as clever touches like blackout drapes for a sound night's sleep; the deluxe category ups the ante with wet bars, microwaves, and fridges. Make sure to spend some time at the hotel's charming free-form pool, which overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway—by day, there's free iced tea on tap and you can book an alfresco massage at the spa. An added convenience is that the water taxi stops just yards away.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33304
Tel: 866 622 1579
www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/FortLauderdale/Destination/Default.htm

Editor's note: This property is now the Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale.

Melding the brand's urbanity with the town's identity as a top yacht market and cruise port, the 187-room St. Regis resembles a glossy Art Deco ocean liner, from its curvilinear marble lobby, filigreed banisters, and velvet taupe banquettes sprinkled through the lobby, to the seventh-floor pool deck that gives guests a sight line over any potential beach-boulevard riffraff and straight into the ocean. Room decor is simple, with beige upholstery and dark wood, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the Atlantic or the Intracoastal Waterway. A can-do attitude, rare in South Florida, makes up for any service missteps: When one guest lost her valet ticket and the hotel's inability to locate her car threatened to make her late for an appointment, a chauffeur drove her in the house Bentley. Oceanfront Cero is a romantic dinner spot but shockingly overpriced for breakfast. And the hotel would do well to provide free chairs and towels on the beach, instead of leaving guests to be accosted by umbrella vendors. But quibbles aside, and taking into account the upcoming Trump and W hotels flanking this one, you'll want to be the first on your block to catch the wave of new Fort Lauderdale.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Riverside Hotel
620 E. Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33301
Tel: 800 325 3280 (toll-free)
Tel: 954 467 0671
moreinfo@riversidehotel.com
www.riversidehotel.com

Originally built in 1936, the Riverside is the oldest hotel in Fort Lauderdale. It's conveniently located in the heart of downtown. In fact, you can stay here without a rental car—take a cab, free tourist bus, or even walk to the beach along the newly revived Las Olas Boulevard. The vibe of the common areas is pioneer South Florida—ceiling fans, rattan furniture, and coral-rock accents, plus black-and-white pictures from the hotel's heyday (Ronald Reagan slept here). There are two very different accommodation types among the 213 rooms here—larger, blander Executive Tower Suites in the 12-story tower that was added in 1992, and so-called classic rooms in the original low-slung building. The latter are more appealing: Not only do these spaces have more character, but they were also more recently renovated (in 2002) in a tropical Tommy Bahama–inspired scheme with maple wood and terra-cotta tiles that was finished earlier this year.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Westin Diplomat
3555 S. Ocean Drive
Hollywood , Florida
Tel: 800 627 9057 (toll-free)
Tel: 954 602 6000
www.diplomatresort.com

The once-glitzy party town of Hollywood, a 30-minute drive from downtown Fort Lauderdale, has languished for years, but now it's finally being revitalized by several new tourist-luring hot spots. The anchor of the new Hollywood is this 39-story, twin-towered megaplex, opened on the site of a now demolished namesake 1950s motel. It cost $600 million to build, and it shows: though the H-shaped, sorta Deco design may be unimpressive, the facilities are outstanding. At the hotel's adjacent Country Club, there's a tennis center with ten clay courts, eight acres of man-made lakes, and an 18-hole Joe Lee–designed golf course. The real luxe touch, though, is its stunning pool with waterfalls and see-through glass bottom. As for the rooms, there's little variation—all have water views and the standard Westin Heavenly Beds. An added plus for party types is the nightlife complex that includes a vaguely Asian eatery, Aizia (that becomes a nightclub and lounge at 11 pm), Hollywood Prime (an upscale steakhouse), and Rivals (a waterfront sports bar).

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
W Fort Lauderdale
401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33304
Tel: 954 414 8200
Fax: 954 414 8250
www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1522

There's no surer sign that Fort Lauderdale has transitioned from the tacky Spring Break bastion of decades past into a viable alternative to Miami Beach than the W Fort Lauderdale's opening in 2009. W's first Florida outpost (another W has since opened in South Beach), the sophisticated, high-design hotel has big-city glamour with just a touch of debauchery. In the lobby lounge, called the Living Room, you can watch other guests swimming in the architectural wonder of a rooftop pool, overhead. The hotel's two adjoining oceanfront towers house 517 guest rooms, including condo-style accommodations. The bright rooms are dominated by whites and creams that put the focus on the views; plush linens and minimalist furnishings round out the contemporary look. A qualm: There are no bathroom doors (all the better for the open flow of the rooms, so they say), so you better be comfortable with your roommate. The higher floors, naturally, have the more spectacular views. Most have private balconies with lounge chairs that add movie-star quality to peering over Fort Lauderdale's oceanfront. The highlight of dinner at the hotel's Steak 954 is a two-way tie: the delicious Kobe steaks or watching scores of moon jellyfish pulse around a glowing aquarium that seems to hover within the dimly lit dining space. Fort Lauderdale has never felt edgier.—Terry Ward

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.