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“Nice Lobby, Good Location, Small Rooms...”
Review of Riverside Hotel

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Riverside Hotel
Ranked #22 of 127 Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 August 2011

LOCATION: This hotel is located in a very nice area/downtown in Fort Lauderdale. Convenient to shops and cafes; expensive boutiques, fine and casual dining, as well as other sight-seeing amenities... The river runs behind the hotel, but it is not considered a major attraction nor is accessible from the hotel property, just barely appreciated from patio/open area behind the hotel, next to the parking garage... The river walk is nearby, but you need to walk a few blocks to get there. Once there you can walk (just that, mostly walk!) along it for about a mile or so, and admire the beautiful mansions and yachts located on both sides. All you'll find along the river walk will be access to some of the downtown buildings, which include hotels, residential high-rises, and the 3D theatre and museum, and a small park almost at the end of the trail...there is also a restaurant/Irish pub along the way, and a tropical fruits smoothie stand, and that's it!
HOTEL: Very nice lobby, an attentive and curteous staff, esplendid restaurant and bar overlooking the street with outside seating and live Jass music during the evenings. Classic and elegant decor, along with a piano man next to the lobby bar each evening...everything is so nice and elegant in and around the lobby area; but that's it! Starting from the elevator, it's very small that it can probably fit 3 people at the most. Yes, there is another larger one that will fit maybe 5 people, but 3 at the most if they are carrying a piece of luggage each! We reserved the "traditional" rooms, and in deed were they traditional...If you dicide to stay at this place, please adjust your thinking that traditional or classical is always larger; it's the complete opposite at this hotel! Our room was just big enough to accomodate two people carrying mayme just enough items for a couple of nights there...very small room with barely enough room to walk around the bed...old type TV, small bathroom, litttle bathtub, stand alone bath sink, one towel bar, small closet, small coffe table/cabinet for little coffee maker and ice bucket, small desk with one chair... just one chair in entire room; you need to seat other people on the bed! also, old fashioned TV armoire; careful, I crushed head-on with it when I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night!!! Of, course you can pay extra for a larger room or an executive suite; I would not be able to know how spacious they are since I did not see them... However, my point is that beeing used to all the ammenities that come with the payment for a typical hotel room are not there anymore; this seems to be a trend throughtout Florida, I think... You will be charged a "self-parking" fee or a "valet" fee, per night if you bring a car, and you better rent a small car too; please be ware the online sites do not always tell you about these extra fees! You will also have to pay extra for a safe, a microwave (remember, no leftovers from that good cafe where you had to order the biggest plate they had!), a fridge, etc...
Again, nice hotel (lobby), great location and a friendly-professional staff!

Room Tip: Book in advance, and get all the specifics/details of the room requests in writing!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ozkar-F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dobrikowh, General Manager at Riverside Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2011

Dear "Oscar F",
wow...I loved your review and it is a very detailed. You stayed in the hostoric section of the hotel, which was built 75 year ago. Maybe your next stay you try our executive tower units which are larger in size.

Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

Heiko Dobrikow
General Manager

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1,213 - 1,219 of 1,545 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2011

If you're looking for a classic hotel in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, you will enjoy the Riverside. The old-style lobby and large rooms are s step above the average mid-level chain hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank MeantToBe521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dobrikowh, General Manager at Riverside Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2011

Good Afternoon "MeantToBe521",
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about our hotel. The Riverside Hotel is one of the few hotels that still has an old-florida charm to it and loved by many. I am glad that my staff took good care of you during your stay and I hope to see you soon again in the near future.

Have a nice Sunday Evening,

Heiko Dobrikow
General Manager

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Reviewed 20 August 2011

My wife and I just stayed at Riverside for the 2nd time. Amazing. The price is right, rooms are wonderful, and enough extras in the hotel to keep us happy. Very few negatives, but then again, I'm not sure what people want in a hotel/room. If you want perfection, I guess you'll have to pay for it. I just don't understand what guests don't like about this hotel. It's clean, the staff is friendly every time you walk in, helpful, and it's in the middle of everything.

I love all the little "nook" at Riverside, too. The courtyard, the balcony, quiet spots at the pool, along the river. Half priced drinks at the bar during the week (b/t 5-7). Never at at the restaurants, but they were always packed and featured a live singer every night. The pool is very nice - small, next to the river, but open so you can get some sun, cool off, and avoid a trip to the beach when you don't feel like getting sandy.

All around the Riverside is great shopping, people watching, and dining/eating. The people of Ft. Lauderdale are friendly and eclectic - we truly loved hanging out in this area. The Riverside is 2 miles off the beach, which we found nice. Getting away from the beach crowd was nice. Very busy down here, but not overrun with t-shirts telling me that "I'm in Miami B**tch!" Thank God.

Getting to the beach is easy, though. You can walk it (about 40 min each way), take a taxi (didn't do that, but probably cheap). take the #11 Bus (1.75 each way unless you get a fare card), or take the 50 cent trolley that you can wave down (you just don't know when it will stop!). We went to the beach 3 of our 5 days. We love it, but with a pool this nice, we really didn't have much of a reason to go anywhere else.

Stop looking at other hotels. Just stay here. You'll love it :)

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jakebig13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dobrikowh, General Manager at Riverside Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2011

Good Morning "Jakebig13",
I really enjoyed reading your review this morning and you have captured the essence of our hotel. From our service pefection to the best location in town the Riverside Hotel prides itself to be a leading hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

Thank you for your review and staying with us.

Have a "Funday" Sunday,

Heiko Dobrikow
General Manager

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Reviewed 13 August 2011

We frequently stay in this hotel.. The tower rooms are very noce so we request them. The service is pretty good, and the location is perfect. You walk right onto las olas. The pool
Is beautiful! I don't love that you have to cross the street to get to the pool with children, because cars are driving by and you have to be very careful, but overall it's a great hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank Drmelissam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dobrikowh, General Manager at Riverside Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2011

Good Morning "Drmelissam",
we are so pleased for your to give us a 5 out of 5 on every item. I will take your tripadvisor review today to our All Employee Summer Bash Celebration, as we are rewarding the team for their efforts in maintaining the highest degree of service standards.

I hope to see you soon again,

Heiko Dobrikow
General Manager

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Reviewed 4 August 2011

Couldn't imagine myself staying at a hotel in Lauderdale without being on the beach. Forget the beach. Being on the river was a pleasure. Incredible view of spectacular yachts and even more sail boats. Easy to get around on the river taxi. Everything about this hotel shouted comfort and relaxing. The pool across the street was not crowded at all. Getting food from the main building to the pool took longer than expected. Perhaps they can work on that. Incredibly friendly staff. Every time they saw you they would ask if they could help you or get you something. I liked the fact that they didn't sound phoney. I didn't care about a view, but I saw rooms with great river views. Great suites also.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank batyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dobrikowh, General Manager at Riverside Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2011

Good Morning "batyl";
I had the chance to share your wonderful review with my staff and they were just thrilled. For 75 years our hotel has been committed to provide the best service in town. Thank you for highlighting this in your review. You made our day!

See you soon again,

Heiko Dobrikow
General Manager

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Reviewed 30 July 2011

My wife and I live in the Bahamas and were traveling to the Keys last weekend. We decided to stop at the Riverside where we had spent our honeymoon 9 years ago. It was even better than we remembered. The valet welcomed us with a smile. As we made our way to the front desk at least 3 other staff member said welcome to "The Riverside". The front desk staff were fantastic. Terry Perugini and Wan (short for something oriental) Made us feel immediately at home. The room overlooked the river but we could also see the ocean from the balcony. We had a few bad experiences in other hotels recently because the beds were so lumpy we just could not get a decent nights sleep. Not the case with The Riverside. The bed was so comfortable we both slept an extra couple of hours. Another great feature about the hotel is its location. In this day and age when you have to really be careful how much you drink if you are going to drive, what's handy makes a big difference to your state of mind. There are a dozen fine restaurants within a 2 minute walk. There are also a few art galleries, clubs with live entertainment etc. within a stones throw. Breakfast on the sidewalk cafe makes you feel like your in Paris or Rome.
So we drove to Key West, had a great time there, and on the way back we decided to spend yet another night at The Riverside. Terry and Wan were again on the desk and made a wonderful fuss. It's hard to believe but everybody remembered our names!

Don't miss this place. It's truly a gem. You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JamesBBQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dobrikowh, General Manager at Riverside Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2011

Good Morning "JamesBBQ",
I have to tell you that Terri and Wan at our Front Desk were so excited when I showed them your review on Trip Advisor. I am delighted that we made it a perfect stay for you and your wife at the Riverside Hotel and Las Olas Boulevard. You really descibed the assets of our facility and of course we pride ourselves with outstanding service as we have done for the past 75 years.

Hope to see you sonn again.

Enjoy your Summer in the Bahamas.

Sunny regards,

Heiko Dobrikow
General Manager

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Reviewed 18 July 2011

There are a million great things to say about the Riverside. It's got a great old skool charm to it, great location, fantastic staff, but our recent visit did have a few issues. First, the curtains wouldn't close all the way. The windows had wooden slat shudders and nice sheer curtains in front of the windows, but on both sides were darker, heavier curtains, but those wouldn't close over the windows. In other words, if you wanted to sleep in, the curtains that you would use to close over the windows didn't! We took a safety pin and stretched them over the windows in order to block the light somewhat, but it wasn't pretty. I could see a screw that blocked the drapes from traversing all the way across the curtain rod,and if I had had a screw driver...

The other issue we had was the holder for the shower wand that would not stay up. It kept sliding down the pole, down to about your knees. No matter how often I pushed the button to 'lock" it in place, it wouldn't lock. I remedied this by taking a business card and folding it a few times and wedged it so that the wand holder would stay in place. Ghetto, but effective.

This was our second visit, having booked without hesitation after having such a great time on our first visit. Now I'm not so sure. Still, I really do like the place, but these funky issues were annoying.

Room Tip: book a room in the tower; they're nicer (and newer)
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jt1120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dobrikowh, General Manager at Riverside Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 July 2011

Good Morning "jt1120",
welcome back to the Riverside and i am glad you still love the Riverside Hotel. I want to thank you for the detailed description of the two issues that you had with your stay and I immediately informed my housekeeping supervisor to check all drapes and showerheads.

I consider your feedback a gift for us to improve.

We hope to see you soon again.

Have a delightful Summer,

Heiko Dobrikow
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riverside Hotel

Address: 620 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2287
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Broward County > Fort Lauderdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Family Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#20 Business Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#20 Romantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Price Range: £118 - £245 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Riverside Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 217
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riverside Fort Lauderdale

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