since this was apparently my 10th stay at the property (they knew on check in, I didn't), I think it's my turn for a trip report.
This was one of my most recent pain in the tuchus SPG bookings because of ever changing rates. By the hour it seemed. I finally got the Comfort rate via the hotel's spa site offers for three nights and an award night for Friday night when rates went from $189 to north of $400. I like the Westin, but not *that* much. If I wanted to pay even $200+, I'd have gone across the street to the W.
Arrived around 1pm after a flight and my repeat stays were acknowledged. As always, check in here is wonderful. She asked me if I had a particular desire to keep the two double-bed room I booked and I said no. She said then she could either give me a double bed/city view then or a king/water view later. Gee, tough choice. So I checked my bags and went to the beach/Las Olas. I was also offered an upsell at a very good rate to the poolside Lanai rooms, but I personally hate those. They're too noisy since the pool area is now open 24/7. This was an especially wise choice as there was a large meeting at the hotell full of < 40 year old men acting like frat boys. "Cannonball!"
Ended up in 949 in the North tower. South facing King with view of the Intracoastal and the Ocean. Best of both worlds. I've been in x49 before and it's one I like. Only down side is you're right above the air compressor which is rather loud when the sliding door is open. Luckily, I'm not one to sit in my room with the door open - I'd rather be outside. Usual Westin Heavenly Beds, rain shower with half glass and enough towels to wash and dry all of FT a few times over. I love the rain shower but don't care for the half glass as there is always water on the floor and I hate leaving a mess.
Pool: Ray and Joe are both wonderful. Joe has been there as long as I've been going down there (before it was re-flagged as a Westin). He has a great memory and great customer service.
Waves: still overpriced. Actually more over priced then it was last stay earlier this year and I think the quality has gone down. The staff used to make regular rounds of the pool chairs to take orders and deliver a plate/tray - now it's all in plastic to go and you need to walk up to order. Not a problem - but not a nice change.
Shula's: breakfast was included in my room so I went. It's a fancier and heartier breakfast than I would normally eat - but the portions were good and it was delicious. The way it works is that there's a $50 breakfast credit to the room (it's meant to be for two) so you can order what you want. I didn't find their menu extensive (and lurker's lobster egg benedict is no longer on it) but there were more than enough choices.
Workout room: small, but not at all crowded so minimal machines weren't an issue at all. There are 4 treadmills, 3 ellipticals, two recumbent bikes, one stationary bike (no partridge in a pear tree though). Some free weights and a few nautilus machines. Not enough to do a hardcore workout but more than enough to get a workout in while away.
Misc: shop is overpriced, go to CVS at Beach Place for anything you need. Bigger shops are at the mall a mile or two away.
Didn't use: Starbucks, business center, meeting rooms.
To me, it's the service at the Westin that makes it my favorite hotel to stay in when in FLL area and not staying with family. Yes, the Diplomat is nice but Westin is in a more walkable area. Is the W a little newer and trendier, yes. But the service isn't there - and yeah, the Sheraton is a relic that needs a magic wand. I've never stayed at the Westin Fort Lauderdale up by the mall as my interests when in FLL are the ocean so no opinion on that one. Service was 99.9% great. Although I'm not a plat, I feel like a plat at this hotel.
This extra touch is part of what I love about the hotel. Stacy the concierge made about 6 calls for me to find a bar that had Saints/Falcons when I'd have been happy with the names/numbers of the bars and I'd have done the leg work.
Checking out was a slight disappointment. Was denied late checkout for the first time ever at Starwood, status or not.
This is about half a mile north of Las Olas, Beach Place and the Fort Lauderdale beach strip. It's about 2 minute walk in either direction to the W and the Ritz. The hotel isn't on the beach, but there's an easy walkway from pool level. There is a LOT of beach erosion stemming from Sandy and the other storms. They're apparently working on it, but it's a sad mess. There are real concerns about the beach and AIA and they're working on this.
Beach Place/ Las Olas MUCH quieter than I expected but I guess with schools in this week it really was off peak. Most of the places were open but a few were still "closed for the seaon". Some empty stalls at Beach Place but lots of choices to eat/drink/play, etc. If you're an NFL fan, it can be hard to find a place with NFL Network to watch the game. Finally lucked out at Dirty Blonde's as Fat Tuesday's and Lulu's in Beach Place didn't have it. I didn't have an interest in Hooters. My kingdom for a sushi joint on the strip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our waterfront setting offers diving, sailing, fishing, or just quiet relaxation. But beachside bliss is only the start: we have a rejuvenating spa and fitness center and a serene oceanfront pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale Hotel Fort Lauderdale
- The Westin Beach Resort And Spa, Fort Lauderdale
- Westin Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Lauderdale Westin