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“Not bad, but needs updating” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Palm Plaza

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Grand Palm Plaza
2.0 of 5 Specialty Resort   |   2801 Rio Mar Street, 501 Orton Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 (Formerly Palm Plaza Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Not bad, but needs updating”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

This was my third stay at the Palm Plaza and as much as I like staying at exclusively gay places, I have to say this place is showing its age. I met a few people over the course of my stay and so I had the chance to see a few other properties that were about 10% more expensive, and there was a real difference. The Palm Plaza is sort of like that quaint kitschy place that made gay men feel comfortable in the 80's. You know, the pictures of shirtless guys on the walls, etc. I think in 2013 we're kind of past that. The place has been purchased by a large umbrella company and the new manager is friendly, but I would agree that the place is in desperate need of a makeover. I get that its rates are cheaper than a lot of places, but they either need to do some work or lower prices. The concrete by the pool is chipping and looks bad. The walls are paper thin - I could hear the conversation of the guys in the room next to me (albeit they seemed to be talking pretty loudly). The air conditioner in my room didn't work properly - it did cool things down, but the thermostat seemed to have no effect. It was either "on" or "off" no matter what I did.

I assume they hired new cleaning staff when they were bought out because although my room was clean enough, it's clear that the cleaners are working VERY quickly. I found an empty cigarette pack in the drawer next to my bed from the previous guest. No one restocked the breakfast basket in the room, or the coffee supplies, and yet that "tip envelope" is there waiting for you every day. The little things make a difference. I want to love this place but it's not easy.

Room Tip: I've stayed in both a suite and a single room. The singles are ok, but a bit small. The suites...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ljaym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 reviews from our community

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CT
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

I stayed at the PP last year at the same time when it was under different management. I have no complaints towards the new management. They were personable and polite. It is, however, time for the new management company to invest some real money into this resort and update it.

My room's tub clogged every time I showered which ended up with me standing in ankle-deep dirty water. This, in turn, led to dirt stains on the bottom of the tub, which were never cleaned during my whole 5-night stay! I think the cleaning staff came in the room and cleaned the bare minimum each day and one day they didn't even clean my room or restock my breakfast basket! :( Another day, they didn't re-supply my towels.

The water coming out of the faucets was also brown. Not sure why and I did drink with no sickness so...

The grounds are pretty nice and serene and I found most of the other guests polite. I pretty much kept to myself and fortunately met a cool guy at the beach who I spent most of my time with so barely mingled with the other guests but a few times.

TVs are old clunkers and room furnishings are very dated. I think some guys probably like the "charm" that this denotes, and I do too, but it is time to get into the 21st century!

Towels and bed linens were very clean. Breakfast was OK, the best they could doo under the Health Dept restrictions.

Granted I knew what I was getting into when I booked the reservation so I take everything in stride. I am pretty easy going so didn't complain about the issues in my room. I chose PP because of price and proximity to the beach and you get what you pay for basically. Next year I will most likely stay at the Royal Palms, another resort owned by the same company and a little more modern with younger clientele.

Mostly older men stay here so if you are younger, you probably won;'t like it here.

All in all, my trip to PP was satisfactory.

Room Tip: Maybe the suites are a little nicer to stay in. I peeked in one and it looked nicer than my single...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ctmike15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

I found this place browsing through the Internet. I just called and checked room availability, they had two rooms with kitchens left where other hotels only had regular rooms. Andrew was very nice on the phone and took all my information and held the room for me until i could call back and make a reservation, i even got a hold notice in my e-mail. Finally we drove in and arrived a little after noon and thought we might have to wait a bit since check-in was 3 pm, but it was not an issue, they had the room ready for us. Just walking into the oasis of what is their courtyard is amazing. Palm trees and flowering plants everywhere surrounding the pool with ample space to lounge. All the rooms are surrounding the pool and have a beautiful view of the courtyard. The rooms are spacious and where clean and tidy, lots of attention to detail in the way the towels are folded and such, makes one feel special. Edward was especially nice giving us all information we needed right off hand and his service and welcome was warm and genuine. Luis and Andrew who are in charge of the rooms are also standouts, the room was always stocked, towels were always fresh and their smiles readily available. Every Moment of my vacation was perfect including my stay at this incredible place. This is the place i will return to on my next trip to Fort Lauderdale. An absolute Gem!!!

Room Tip: Get a suite (with kitchen) you can make your own food.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

Palm Plaza remains my preferred choice to stay when I visit Fort Lauderdale. It's charm, serenity, and attentive management/staff has lured me back at least a dozen times in the past several years. Recently, the resort has gone through changes with a new owner and management staff. Edward, the new manager, is still learning the ropes, but is pleasant and friendly. He has dealt with some challenges since he has come on board, particularly during 'Sandy'. He appreciates constructive criticism in his efforts to improve this wonderful little hide away, such as kitchen items that would make the larger suites more accomodating, or attending to plumbing issues (it is a rather old structure; but that adds to its charm). In addition, the other staff members are also friendly and helpful, and do take the time to talk to you and answer any questions that you may have.
As one who likes to be good to our planet, I would love for this resort to show a sincere effort to have a recyclying program in place and set the standard for other guesthouses and hotels.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Terry J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Sitting in the airport waiting to go back to Canada, I am already missing the comforts of this resort. The grounds are like a private sanctuary. Evenings were spent sitting in the gazebo, listening to the soothing water fountain or late night swims in the heated pool. The rooms were wonderfully maintained and you won't find a better staff or management anywhere in Florida. During the day it was beautiful laying by the pool and mingling with other guests. In fact, I was hard pressed to leave the grounds as this private Eden left you wanting nothing. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this resort and plan on coming back. Choosing the Palm Plaza was a super smart move on my part.

Room Tip: I actually had a double room my first night before moving into a single and both were very comfortab...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DeanRoss1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

I have stayed at Palm Plaza numerous times, and always looked forward to Steve and Ron's hospitality and professionalism. Now that they're gone, someone new--I can't remember his name--is the manager. He was pleasant enough, but I resented his presumptuousness. My first day there, I was at the pool, and he said, "You need to get some sun." I thought that was a tactless comment, for not only had I just gotten there from New York, where it was winter, I don't have melanin in my skin, which means I don't tan. Steve or Ron would never have been that brash. Even though Palm Plaza remains the most economical of all the guesthouses in FLL, from now on I'll stay where I hope I won't get insulted. I do want to say that the guy who cleaned my room was very cordial and friendly. Also, to his credit, the manager did inform me that I could use the Royal Palms gym, since they're presumably owned by the same company.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ishernyro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrandPalmPlaza, General Manager at Grand Palm Plaza, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Hello, first I would like to publicly apologize on behalf of myself and my staff if we offended you in any way. It is NEVER our intention to make any guest feel uncomfortable or come off offensive. Speaking for myself, I do my best to make sure everyone has a pleasent stay. I wish I could say more, except I do make mistakes, but try to learn from them so not to repeat in the future. I am sensitive and committed to the health and comfortability of all my guests. If there is anything I can do for you, please reach out to me.

Warm regards,
Edward Otto Zielke, General Manager
Grand Palm Plaza 954-260-6568
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barre
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights preceding an RSVP cruise and it was as pleasant as the last time there several years before. Beautiful pool, and flora and fauna surrounds the common area..along with the "sights" of folks taking advantage of it's clothing optional rule. It's very private and a VERY short walk to the gay section of the beach. It's a little motel, and slightly long in the tooth but still feels safe and inviting and clean..and welcoming...the men in the office went to great lengths to accommodate us when our travel plans changed. Also, it's quite handy (with a rental car) to anyplace you could ever want to go..shopping, bars and the like. We WILL be going back. It's just cute and we love it.

Room Tip: If you travel in a group and are just relaxing, consider the Plaza as your destination. And one of y...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank patriotemt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Palm Plaza

Address: 2801 Rio Mar Street, 501 Orton Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 (Formerly Palm Plaza Resort)
Location: United States > Florida > Fort Lauderdale
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Fort Lauderdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:2 star — Grand Palm Plaza 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A secluded, tropical, fun and frisky oasis - Perfect for relaxation, rejuvenation and romance. We guarantee you will never want to leave! Dreaming of escaping to a beautiful paradise is everyone's idea of a perfect retreat from their everyday life. Whether it be with your lover, a group of close friends or freely unattached, the Grand Palm Plaza guarantees our unique tropical paradise is perfect for any memorable affair. Here, you are not only treated like a VIP, you are treated like family. First-class service is a guarantee at Grand Palm Plaza. Our warm and friendly staff is renowned for their unique customer service and vast knowledge of the Fort Lauderdale area. No request is too small for our team of hosts. As our guest, you can sunbathe in our very private, seductive, tropical paradise; or skinny dip in our turquoise, clothing-optional, heated pool. Continental breakfast is served daily. Frozen grapes, scented cold face towels, and impromptu cocktail beverages are served pool side. If you want to experience Fort Lauderdale's famous beaches, you can take a peaceful 2 block walk to our legendary sandy beaches. We are also a few blocks away from the well-renowned gay beach located at Sebastian Street. Complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas & towels are provided. With activities like snorkeling, water craft rentals, bike rentals and more, you can enjoy all the beaches have to offer. If you want a more relaxing experience, you can dine at one our many beach front restaurants and bars. After spending the day in the sun, enjoy the best gay nightlife at one of Fort Lauderdale's flirtatious bars and nightclubs. Wilton Manors has a vast amount of night entertainment, perfect for everyone. Our resort is just a 15 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale airport and 10 minutes away from Port Everglades. There is ample complimentary and off-street parking available. Book your stay today at Grand Palm Plaza. Our courteous staff, comfortable studios, suites and nearby beaches, gay bars and night clubs will make it easy for you to escape, play or celebrate! A memorable, affordable and relaxing getaway is right around the corner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palm Plaza Gay Male Hotel Fort Lauderdale

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