We were heading out to Fort Lauderdale to start a cruise from Port Everglades, however due to the time different between home and the US we decided to have a couple of days staying in Fort Lauderdale pre cruise. There was a few hotels our travel agent gave us to choose from but we opted for the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Check in Arrival
As we were flying in from the UK to Miami and had around an hour drive to Fort Lauderdale we didn’t arrive at the hotel until late afternoon. Check in was really easy we had to leave our credit card details behind reception as with the majority of hotels for any damages. WE had to pay the resort fee up front at reception for our stay however, I can’t remember how much this was. The guy behind reception gave us a quick introduction to where everything was, he explained that we could get two free bottles of water from the cafe at the front of the hotel everyday but we would need the voucher that was with ur room key. He also gave us a couple of free drinks vouchers for the pool bar which was a nice. Off we went to our room which was on the 21st floor. One thing i was surprised at was bearing in mind how much luggage we had with us, nobody offered to help with our bags which we have had before at other Hilton Hotels.
When booking the hotel we were given a studio ocean view room which sounded pretty good to me. As mentioned above our room was on the 21st floor of the hotel. When we unlocked our door we were surprised to see the size of the room it was very big. As you walked into the room there was a large hallway with a double wardrobe, you could then continue down the hallway into a kitchen/lounge area or you had a door leading to a bathroom. The bed was then separated with a partition which then led out onto the balcony.
The kitchenette area had all the facilities you needed, there was coffee making facilities, a microwave, a fridge, cups/plates etc. We only really used the fridge to keep our drinks cold and store the slab of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. The lounge area had a sofa bed and an arm chair with a coffee table. There was also a workstation if you needed to work while you were away. This area was quite large and actually became our suitcase area as we were only there for 2 nights so we didn’t unpack. The sleeping area was separated by a small partition which was nice as it felt separate from the lounge area. The bed was comfortable, apart from the dreaded jet lag I had no problems sleeping. Next to the bed there was a clock radio with docking station for iPhones, this became very useful for charging the phone during the night.
The room had a large double wardrobe with a large safe which was big enough to take our cameras/ipads and other personal items. I believe it would have been big enough for the average laptop. The bathroom was very big, it had a separate bath with jets and shower and a large sink area with a huge mirror. The hotel also supplied a hairdryer which worked well.
Lastly our balcony was quite big, as we were on the side of the hotel we could see the ocean one way and Fort Lauderdale the opposite way. I spent a the early mornings on the balcony watching the sun come up over the ocean. The balcony had two chairs and a table which were clean and tidy.
We aren’t really messy people and we were only there for a couple of nights so the maid was never going to have a huge job on her hands with our room. I always make a conscious effort to make the bed as I can’t stand going out and leaving it all messy. However, the maid always did a good job, the bed was always immaculate by the time we got back, bins were always empties and fresh towels in the bathroom. I can’t say the hoovering was the best as there seemed to be some crumbs still on the floor but it wasn’t the end of the world. We did tip our maid on both days as we are always grateful for what they do.
Bars: The hotel had a couple of bars however, we only really used the pool bar, Ilios, which was inside but had an outside terrace area. During the day we sat in the outside terrace area and at night we sat around the bar as this went round in a big circle. The hotel also has two alternative bars/dining areas which were S3, and Balqony. Drinks were lovely, I kept to daiquiris however, I was quite surprised to be asked for ID at the bar, I will take it as a compliment though. The bar staff were all lovely and always engaged in conversation with us while we were sitting at the bar.
Shop/Cafe: The little cafe downstairs by the lobby was where we collected our two our two free bottles of water in the morning, you could also have a free coffee however, neither of us are huge coffee fans so we left that option. There was plenty available here though from Starbucks coffee, to pastries and sandwiches and small gifts.
Restaurants: I can’t really comment on the restaurants at the hotel as we didn’t eat at the hotel at all. There are lots of different options for food at the hotel, there is Balqony which offers a bar food menu. In room dining which is available 24 hours 7 days a week. Le Marche Gourmet Market which was the little cafe I mentioned above, S3 which served brunch, lunch and dinner and lastly Ilios which was also available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Wifi: Wifi at the hotel was good, with the network I am on I can use my internet data in the US free of charge so I never find this essential when looking for hotels now however, I know a lot of people still do. We did connect to the wifi here and there especially if I was face timing home but even for the time I actually used it I didn’t really have any problems with connection apart from when I was sitting on the balcony with the balcony door closed that did cause a bit of a connection loss.
Swimming pool: The swimming pool area was nice and tidy and never really seemed that busy, I am not sure if people just spent more time at the beach as the sun seemed to be around longer on the beach compared to the swimming pool. By around 3pm the swimming pool seemed to be completely shaded so I think a lot of people spent the time down on the beach. There was plenty of sun loungers around the pool for people to use and I didn’t come across any towel reserving however, I probably wasn’t at the hotel long enough to notice this. There was plenty of bar staff working around the pool clearing cups and taking drinks orders.
Beach: The beach was lovely, and the sea was lovely and clear. The hotel provides sun loungers on the beach as part of the resort fee. As far as I am aware you just need to take the beach towels from the pool down to the beach area, however, we never sat down on the beach so I can’t confirm for sure. It was nice to see that each hotel had their own section on the beach.
Luggage storage: The hotel offered luggage storage behind reception however, we didn’t actually use this as we had a late check out and we left the hotel to go straight to Port Everglades so we didn’t need to use this facility.
The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is around an hour from Miami Airport and only 15 minutes from Fort Lauderdale Airport. The hotel is across the busy road to the beautiful beach and promenade. Personally I would say the hotel isn’t the closest hotel to the dining options in Fort Lauderdale. A lot of the dining options are down in Las Olas Boulevard, I wouldn’t say this was walking distance. We opted for an Uber on both occasions we went for dinner down in Las Olas Boulevard. The hotel was around a 20 minute drive from Port Everglades which was ideal for us however, next time I think I might opt to stay closer to the Port and maybe only for one night. If you were coming to this hotel to enjoy the sun and beach you can’t go wrong. However if you are keen on a bit more nightlife I would maybe opt to stay closer to Las Olas Boulevard.
All the staff we came across from check in staff, bar staff to the bell boys working on the forecourt everyone was lovely and friendly. We didn’t come across anyone that was rude or made us feel unwelcome during our stay at the hotel.
Overall we had a pleasant two night pre cruise stay at this hotel. All the facilities the hotel had to offer were great, the staff were lovely and the rooms were perfect. However, I probably wouldn’t rush back to this area of Fort Lauderdale and would probably stay closer to the port. This was simply just a head down hotel for 2 nights pre cruise to get us used to the time difference so we could enjoy our cruise without the jet lag. In my opinion there wasn’t as much as I had initially thought there was to do in Fort Lauderdale. If I were to return I would probably venture out to do some shopping at Sawgrass Mill. I would recommend the hotel for people that are simply there to have a beach break the beaches really were beautiful.
*All opinions in this review are my own*