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W Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

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401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
Tel: 954 414 8200
Fax: 954 414 8250
view web site ›'s insider take:

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

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