To be fair we were staying just after Christmas week (taking a New Year's cruise) so it was a very busy time. We stayed one night prior to our cruise, and the location is conveniently located near Port Everglades, and not too far from the airport.
When we began our checkin at 4:30pm, the lobby was jam packed with people sitting on every available seat, and floor area they could find, and quite a long line to check in; actually two or three chaotic long lines. When we finally got up close to the counter we could see a HiltonHonors line, but the lobby was so packed we couldn't have gotten there if we wanted to, and nobody seemed to be using it anyway.
I am a Hilton Diamond member and we received a water view room at the far East wing of the property, meaning you go thru a couple buildings and quite a walk down a few hallways to get there. Second floor room, of this low rise building, and offers a balcony with a view of the Yachts and walkway beside them, but can't see the cruise ships from there. The tower building is the main building which also faces the water. I think the Tower would have provided for better views on a higher floor.
There is a nice pool area, and pool bar adjacent which offers drinks and snacks (you can also order meals from here) in a nice waterfront setting. We found this much to our liking, and didn't venture off property for dinner. There is an Asian restaurant on-site, but the pool bar area provided enough food for us. We were in the transition period when we had drinks at 5:30 and had appetizers thinking we would go out for dinner. (the menu said served until 6pm, but they actually have a different dinner menu starting at 6pm, so we were glad we stayed for dinner.)
The hotel offers both self and valet parking; both for a nightly charge, ($21 and $25 respectively). The self parking is a bit inconvenient (vs the valet parking) as we were pointed to the self parking lot down the ramp and adjacent to the hotel which is a bit of a walk with your luggage. In hindsight I would have done valet where they take your luggage there at the drop off area. There weren't many choices within walking distance for food, other than other hotels. There are restaurants (Outback, etc) up the street, but I would drive rather than walk there, as it is a bit of a distance. You can't tell it from the photos, but the parking and front of hotel border a busy street and freeway overchange, which gives it the feel of a busy city, instead of tropical resort. Once out by the pool however, it is much more relaxing.
The room was nicely laid out although a bit noisy. We heard a dog barking quite a few times from across the hall. The hotel had a feel of a busy convention hotel or busy Caribbean resort where the service didn't seem to be the top priority. Again, was there during the holiday period, but it didn't have the feel of a business hotel at all to us, and wasn't very personal for service (with the exception of the great waiter we had at the pool bar/restaurant). The lobby/front desk always seemed packed.
Normally with the Diamond benefit I get a complimentary continental breakfast in the dining room or Executive Lounge. I don't believe this hotel has an Executive lounge, or if it did, I didn't get my normal invite for evening hors dourness or breakfast; Rather received two coupons for breakfast in the Antea Restaurant. When I looked for the Antea Restaurant the following day in the busy lobby for breakfast I had to ask a bellman where it was. I got a puzzled look on his face, I guess because I said restaurant and he pointed to this snack shop with the super long line we had already seen just off the lobby. I don't consider this a restaurant as it was just a to-go snack shop where you order and pickup your food in line, fast-food style, although they did have a few occupied tables there to sit. We waited quite a while in line hoping to get just coffee, juice and a croissant, along with everyone else before we decided to leave and just head to the cruise as the service was so incredibly slow. There was a sit down breakfast offered in the nice -looking Asian restaurant, but the Diamond breakfast coupons were not good for there, and anyway there was a long line to be seated there as well.
Overall it's fine if you are only there for a night or two prior to the cruise, but it was a bit too busy and had a mass-market feel compared to most other properties I have stayed at. I would not stay here again. and rated this a 3, but 2 1/2 would probably be more accurate - compared to other Hiltons.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel offers the ultimate location on the Intracoastal Waterway. Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina is a stunning resort-style hotel close to the city's vast attractions including Las Olas Boulevard, which is alive with shops, restaurants and bars. All guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows delivering amazing views of downtown, the Intracoastal Waterway or the bustling Fort Lauderdale marine port. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel Fort Lauderdale
- Hilton Hotel Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel Yacht Club
- Grande Hotel Fort Lauderdale