First of all: there are only a few hotels in Fort Lauderdale on the beach. Most are separated from the beach by Highway A1A. While that doesn't mean a lot of walking, car traffic passes by many of the beachfront hotels in Ft. Lauderdale right between Beach and hotel entrance. However, there is another way. On our last Florida trip, we tried two hotels that offer direct beach access - and they couldn't have been more different. The location by the sea was perfect for both.
The Sun Tower Hotel & Suites
In the northern part of Fort Lauderdale, the Sun Tower Hotel & Suites is on the ocean-facing side of Highway A1A. This gives hotel guests direct access to the kilometer-long sandy beach via the steps below the hotel, and the sound of the waves of the Atlantic in front of the hotel's windows and balcony doors is the only sound that lulls us to sleep. In the morning we wake up to the first rays of sun tickling our nose through the window, and we enjoy our morning hours with the unobstructed view of the ocean, the cruise ships and ocean tankers that sail past in the distance on the way to the port of Port Everglades .
Rooms at the Sun Tower Hotel & Suites
Our room has a window and balcony front, which runs almost over the entire room facing the sea and allows us an unobstructed view of the sea. Wonderful if a stay at the beach is everything you want as a guest. Room amenities provide everything we need for a comfortable stay on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Restaurant and pool
Only the hotel restaurant and the pool leave a lot to be desired if you value food and a pool area. The pool is small, not very inviting and faces the noisy street. Here you really prefer to go to the beach for a swim. The hotel's restaurant is a beach bar, where the food is served on plastic dishes - and that's exactly what it tastes like. When we asked, the lady at the reception did not recommend us any other restaurant, even after telling us that we would like to eat somewhere else. She sends us back to the hotel restaurant, saying it's the best around. Here we would have wished for better service and, above all, advice that would help us to find a suitable breakfast restaurant.
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa
This hotel has all the comforts of a luxury hotel: from the valet service that picks us up the car and park through the concierge who brings our bags to the room faster than we can reach ourselves, to an elegantly furnished room that leaves nothing to be desired leaves. Here we can really feel good, I think after the first impression. Our room is located in 28. Floor with uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean, the elegant pool area below us and a spacious balcony from which we can fully enjoy the fresh Atlantic wind and the magnificent view.
Pool area at the Westin Diplomat Resort
Who visites swim will has a choice of pools for beginners and experts. And if you want your privacy, simply rent a beach cabana with perfect service: iced tea, soda or water are just as important as cable TV, a beach umbrella and a private seating area. Elegant, relaxed and just how we dream of our beach vacation in Florida.
Restaurants at the Westin Diplomat Resort
As far as the food is concerned, we have a choice of a coffee shop on the ground floor, where we can get warm pizzas, wraps or similar snacks, and a buffet restaurant, where we serve a delicious breakfast buffet or a la carte can - at high prices, which are, however, quite appropriate to what is offered. Dinner is not served in the restaurant. In general, the prices! The only thing that bothers us about this hotel is that we really have to pay extra for everything and everything we use. It does not matter if we use the telephone, want internet access, park our car, get the suitcases or have extra wishes - everything costs, and that's not all. And there comes in the end a very nice little sum together.
Services at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa
In addition, the service in this hotel - certainly also due to its size - is strictly organized. Everything is regulated and well thought out. When I call reception to get information about the area, I am addressed by name - but that of the lady who lived in our room in front of us. And even after I point it out to the lady at the reception, nothing changes. We are simply renamed during our stay at this hotel. Not as personal as the hotel management would like it to be.
Conclusion: Two hotels in Fort Lauderdale on the beach
Our verdict: although both hotels offer views of the Atlantic and beach access. There is more that serves the well-being of the guest. And both have not fully lived up to this claim, albeit at different levels. Service must be personal so that we feel welcome as a guest.
Source: On-site research with trip support from The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline