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“Wonderful, hidden gem, perfect for pre-cruise stays”

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The Pillars Hotel Fort Lauderdale
Ranked #2 of 128 Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 December 2013

I am particular about the hotels and resorts I visit when traveling on vacation, and I am happy to report that Pillars exceeded my expectations. My family and I were boarding a cruise ship over the Thanksgiving holiday, and four of us needed a nice place to stay prior to boarding so that we could address some other pressing matters in south Florida.
Pillars is tucked away right on the intercoastal, and this eighteen room, boutique property delivers on all fronts.The scoop:
1) Location
It's about a twenty minute drive from Fort Lauderdale airport, and fifteen minutes from the cruise embarkation port, making it convenient to both locations. The hotel will gladly pick you up at the airport and drop you off, but we needed a car and made our way there on our own.
The property is more "inn" than "hotel", so be prepared to find a fairly non-descript property, and we honestly weren't certain that we'd found it when we pulled up. As nice as the web site is to tell you to look out for a yellow building, it's difficult to make out at night, and that's when we arrived.
The location on the intercoastal is devine, and we opted to take a water taxi to a restaurant on our second night, which was a terrific idea. For those that don't know, Lauderdale's intercoastal contains some of the more opulent homes and over-the-top yachts anywhere, so taking a forty minute boat ride through the nonsense was a pleasant surprise. The hotel needs to call the water taxi and let them know when you'll be ready, as the hotel's dock isn't a scheduled stop.
2) The rooms
We stayed in a wonderful suite, upstairs and overlooking their small (read intimate) pool. In fact, all rooms overlook the pool and intercoastal. Some rooms also come with enlarged balconies and cabanas, but we chose not to go that route, as we aren't sun worshippers.
The suite was well-appointed, with an oversized living room, frankly over-the-top closet space, substantial windows, and a french door leading to a cozy living area with a soft, comfortable sofa.
Our travel partners stayed in a "deluxe room", which they reported was comfortable but not over the top.
The bathroom was very nice, but if I'm honest, I'd have preferred a shower and tub, instead of just a tub. Sorry, but I just prefer that, though it might not be important to others.
3) The restaurant
Pillars has a wonderful restaurant, not the best I've ever dined at, but certainly excellent, and worthy of a good dinner. I had hoped to dine on their dock on the intercoastal, and had heard much about that adding to the experience, but it rained heavily that evening and we were forced to dine indoors.
4) The experience
I'm not a huge fan of B&B's, and was a little hesitant about booking Pillars. I know others love that experience, but the idea of sitting with strangers on a sofa making small-talk doesn't really thrill me.
Perhaps it's that there are eigtheen rooms, but somehow, though we found ourselves sitting and chatting with others, I didn't feel the pressure to "perform". Once again...it was excellent.
Other "stuff"
It's a block and a half off the beach, so it's also convenient if that's what you'd prefer doing.
It's a block and a half from the Ritz, and though I'm a huge fan of five star resorts, for a shorter stay, I'd opt for Pillars, and I wouldn't say that about all smaller properties.
That water taxi will take you to at least a dozen excellent restaurants, and scores of average ones. Though Pillars is a smaller property, you won't feel locked in there.
The one negative
Typical of smaller properties, the staff is excellent and attentive, but they aren't nearly as staffed as a larger property. There are times that I found myself waiting around to find the desk person. Wasn't a big deal, but I'm simply going to be honest.
Bottom line: go there, and enjoy yourself. good choice.

Room Tip: Opt for one of the few suites. Spend the few extra dollars.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank steve l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 November 2013

We were staying 3 nights in the small hotel Pillars before going cruising. We were very tired when we arrived late afternoon after travelling 20 hours. The hotel staff took our luggages to the room and gave us glasses of exellent orange juice. It was the perfect way to enter the hotel and room. I ordered something from internet to be delivered to the hotel and the package was waiting in our room.

During these 3 days everything went very smoothly. The service was excellent without making a fuss. We really enjoyed the European style atmosphere in the service! We had the bed and breakfast package. The breakfast was ok, but we were a little bit disappointed that you couldn't choose from the whole breakfast list what you wanted. The coffee was excellent, though. Also the option to have breakfast anywhere in the property was a unique idea, which we loved.

One night we dined by the canal. Once again the service was excellent and the food was tasty and prepared with excellent ingredients. The view to the quiet, dark canal and tranquility of the whole area was absolutely stunning!

On the next day we ordered some food to our room and waited for the same quality of food, but the chicken was extra dry and the pizza wasn't any better than a frozen one. So maybe you should stick with the dinner menu.

We had a basic room heading to the pool. The pool was small but we didn't see anyone else using it so was big enough for us. For daily swimming exercise the pool wouldn't be suitable but for some leisure swimming and water gym it was ok. The room was ok, clean and the bed was comfortable. The air condotioner was very loud so we left it on when we weren't in the room and took it off or put to auto when we were in the room.

I would definitely go back anytime and recommend this small hidden treasure to my friends, too!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hanna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

If you want to get away from the sometimes over rated 'luxury' high rise hotels, opt for the simple elegance of this wonderful hide away in Fort Lauderdale and you won't be disappointed. From the road you would miss this gem of a hotel, it's so understated but the moment we entered The Pillars we were greeted by their wonderful staff with a welcome glass of wine and shown to our room via a stroll through the relaxing pool area that leads to the deck which sits directly on the intercostal water way. Our room was beautifully appointed overlooking the water. If you want a room with a bedroom,interconnecting seating area and outside private seating, then the Riverside Suite is almost perfect, the only downside is that it doesn't have a bath tub but the bathroom is fine and the housekeeping staff were meticulous. Nothing here is a problem for the staff, you can enjoy breakfast by the pool, on the deck, virtually anywhere on the property. The pool area and deck are very well serviced with comfortable sun loungers with towels, iced tea and water on hand throughout the day. The water taxi stops at Pillars deck and from there you can explore the miles of intercostal waterway by hopping on and off visiting restaurants, boutiques, the Mall and enjoy the decadence of the beautiful homes and impressive boats on the way. An excellent week, enhanced by the people who clearly enjoy working here, a special thanks to Morgan who was wonderful.

Room Tip: Personally, I would go for a upper floor room, having said that all the rooms looked lovely
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lyn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our second time staying at this luxury boutique hotel. It's location is superb, the rooms stylish and service excellent. More intimate and personal than larger hotels and less crowded round the pool. We stayed for 3 nights before driving on to Key West and after mentioning it was my wife's birthday during the booking process we were upgraded to a lovely suite (115). Also had a fantastic meal in the restaurant.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

We stayed at The Pillars Hotel in September 2013. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly and a refreshing drink was provided. The room was spectacular. The décor is to die for and the Molton Brown amenities were truly decadent. The view of the pool from up top is definitely worth paying for. Although we did not eat at the restaurant judging by the amount of people showing up to do so, I'd say it was good. I wish we had more time to sit by the pool because it was truly a great spot to relax in.

Just a few things though - If you are travelling with toddlers/babies be wary because they only have one crib on site. My LO had to sleep on the futon for a couple of days until we could get one. Also the amount of ants in the room was annoying. They were everywhere, including the bed and I took some with me in the luggage!! I must say this was just a small inconvenience for the beautiful nature around us. The staff were extremely helpful and accommodated all our needs as best they could. I cannot fault them.

Thank you Pillars Hotel for a memorable stay.

Room Tip: The deluxe pool view room which also overlooks the water is worth paying extra for.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Melanie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2013

This was our first stay at this property and we were very happy with it. As I indicated, we had the unique experience of having stayed at the Alhambra Beach Resort [a block away] two days earlier. Then, we went to Key West for a day. And, we booked the Pillars because we had difficulty finding a place during Boat Show Week in Fort Lauderdale.

First the room was excellent. High quality, upscale toiletries, super soft towels, etc. Second, there is a nice pool and you can walk back to a dock with a great view of the waterway. The staff was great. Very helpful. The one young lady took us around the property to show us the various features and facilities that were available. Probably, of the three different beds we slept on over the three day period, I found this one to be the best for me.

They have a nice breakfast available in the morning. However, it is really overpriced - $50 for two people. But, it was a lot faster than running around to find some place for breakfast that morning, as we got ready to go on our second cruise.

The Pillars presents a different value proposition than the Alhambra Beach Resort. But the Pillars delivers a luxurious experience. In all honesty, the next time we return to Fort Lauderdale, I will first try to book at Alhambra. But, if it is booked or the room I want isn't available, I will immediately call the Pillars.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AlandDiane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2013

My wife and I stayed 2 nights at the Pillars and we were smiling ear to ear over the location, rooms, restaurant and service. We had breakfast and dinner on the dock overlooking the intercoastal waterway and it was a memorable.
The place was so restful I can even overlook the small bathroom in our room. This will probably be our choice anytime we find ourselves in Fort Lauderdale in the future. It was that nice!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank steve247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Pillars Hotel Fort Lauderdale

Address: 111 N Birch Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304-4313
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Broward County > Fort Lauderdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#1 Romantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#13 Business Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Price Range: £190 - £401 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Pillars Hotel Fort Lauderdale 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on New River Sound, a block from the beach, the Pillars Hotel is a beautiful mix of classical British Colonial architecture and 30's "Art Deco". Well-known for its magical sunsets, unpretentious service and its special dining experience, the hotel caters to travelers looking for a sophisticated intimate venue. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Pillars

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