Need a change of pace in a hurry? Fort Lauderdale’s barely an hour’s drive from Miami and offers a totally different spin on a South Florida getaway. Here’s where to stay.
Best of What’s New
Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach
The luxurious nautical-themed Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach (551 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 954-414-5100) is the brand’s first foray into beach resorts. It boasts 290 all-suite accommodations, ample meeting space, a spa and elevated pool deck. There are also four food and drink destinations, including the signature oceanfront restaurant Terre Mare serving Mediterranean fare.
Plunge Beach Hotel
Head north to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, a throw back beach village that feels like you’ve stepped inside a 1950s postcard. Plunge Beach Hotel (4660 El Mar Dr., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea; 754-200-3346) plays up the kitschy mid-century charm with colorful, design-minded rooms throughout its campus of three buildings along the oceanfront. Dining is also top notch with a beach bar serving fresh fish tacos and a lobby restaurant with elevated small plates.
The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale
A towering luxury retreat in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, The Ritz-Carlton (One N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 954-465-2300) offers a panoramic perch to the glittering Atlantic Ocean. With a tranquil elevated swimming pool on the seventh floor and a luxurious spa, this hotel delivers exactly what you’d expect from a Ritz-Carlton: sophistication and stellar hospitality.
Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach
Tucked away on the northern stretch of the Fort Lauderdale Beach strip, the Sonesta (999 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 954-315-1460) offers comfortable rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the beach. There’s a small swimming pool and an onsite restaurant, but you’re probably better off exploring nearby dive bars and greasy spoons like Primanti Brothers, El Taquito, McSorley’s Beach Pub and the Parrot Lounge.
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa
In the heart of the Fort Lauderdale Beach strip, The Atlantic Hotel & Spa (601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 954-567-8020) offers spacious, residential-style studio and suite accommodations with fully equipped kitchens including refrigerators, stovetop burners and microwaves. There are two onsite restaurants, one at the ground level and the other on the elevated pool deck.
Hilton Fort Lauderdale
The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort (505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 954-414-2222) towers above the ocean, boasting a sprawling, elevated poolscape with the dramatic pool bar Balqony plunging into the horizon. There’s also a trendy sushi restaurant and lavish spa. The all-suite hotel is an inviting retreat to spread out, relax and soak up the sun.
W Fort Lauderdale
Fresh off a $55 million renovation, W Fort Lauderdale (401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; 954-414-8200) is easily the trendiest hotel on the strip. Relax at their stylish Wet Deck pool, indulge in a sumptuous meal from Stephen Starr’s Steak 954 or try a bite at the new Sushi Bar.
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort
The Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort (3030 Holiday Dr..; 954-525-4000) is a sprawling, family-friendly retreat in the heart of Fort Lauderdale with a lagoon-style swimming pool, water sports, inviting beach bar and the popular 3030 Ocean restaurant helmed by Chef Adrienne Grenier.
The Pillars Hotel
Tucked away on Fort Lauderdale Beach’s Intracoastal Waterway, The Pillars Hotel (111 N. Birch Rd.; 954-467-9639) is an intimate boutique hotel with tons of charm. Relax by the kidney-shaped swimming pool on a striped lounge chair and watch boats cruise through the waterway. Their Secret Garden restaurant offers a romantic dining experience only accessible to hotel guests and members.
Anchored by Chef Toby Joseph’s Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grill, The Riverside Hotel (620 E. Las Olas Blvd.; 954-467-0671) is a historic gem located in the heart of Las Olas. The lime green stucco façade is a portal into a bygone era of Old Florida charm, while placing travelers in the heart of the action in this bustling area.
B Ocean (1140 Seabreeze Blvd.; 954-564-1000) is a sprawling beachfront oasis with modern rooms and multiple dining options, including the historic Wreck Bar where live mermaids swim past porthole-style windows for nightly shows on the weekends. It’s also home to Ralph Pagano’s Naked Crab and a relaxing poolside café.
Hot For Hollywood
Margaritaville Beach Resort
A window into the chilled-out world of legendary singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville Beach Resort (1111 N. Ocean Dr.; 954-874-4444) is a destination that will delight both his devoted following of Parrotheads and anyone looking for a laid-back, yet luxurious stay with plenty of diversions for the whole family.
The Diplomat Beach Resort
The Diplomat Beach Resort (3555 S. Ocean Dr.; 954-602-6000) is a longstanding, sprawling resort in the heart of Hollywood Beach fresh off a $100 million renovation. The hotel is recognizable for its lavish poolscape, but celebrity chef-helmed restaurants by Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Schulson make it a foodie paradise, as well.
Hyde Resort & Residences
Hyde Resort & Residences (4111 S. Ocean Dr.; 754-201-2040) offers stylish, all-suite accommodations inside a modern oceanfront resort that looms large over Hollywood Beach. It boasts an elevated infinity pool, a beach club, spa and al fresco restaurant. Contemporary art is featured prominently throughout.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
A mega-plex of entertainment midway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (One Seminole Way; 866-502-7529) is a haven for gambling, live music, comedy, nightclubs, shopping and fine dining, all with the rock’n roll theme the international brand is famous for.