Each year we book a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale and we have used Priceline to book some very nice places (Riverside and Renaissance in Fort Lauderdale and the Westin Diplomat and Crowne Plaza in Hollywood). Maybe it is because the economy is improving or possibly it was our choice of check in date (New Year's Day), but we just could not find anything at a bargain price as in the past and we just do not want to chance some of the flea bag chains.
We were scrolling through Hotels.com when we came across The Estoril Paradise Inn which is in the Oakland Park section of Fort Lauderdale. We crossed referenced Trip Advisor and were pleasantly surprised to find consistently positive reviews and the prices were a bargain. It appeared that this hotel would satisfy our three major priorities (1--safety; 2--cleanliness; and 3--convenient location). There are a variety of room sizes with different rates.
We called the hotel directly and spoke with the owner, Steve, back in mid-November. He booked us into the smallest hotel room at our request which was $110 per night for four nights. When we stated that we expected to arrive late (c. 10 p.m.) he explained that the desk closes earlier and he would leave our key in the outside mailbox. I called a couple of days before our arrival to confirm arrangements.
We know that it was going to be an expensive cab ride from the airport to the hotel due to the distance and it was around $40, but we did save hundreds of dollars compared to what we would have paid to stay at a hotel elsewhere. When we arrived shortly after 9:30, the key was in the office mailbox as promised and we located our room quickly. We were surprised to see two swan towel animals welcoming us along with the air conditioning on to have the room at a pleasant temperature. The room was small, but we expected that and our cabin on the ship for our cruise was going to be smaller! It was indeed super clean. We had a queen bed, a flat screened television, a microwave and small refrigerator, a coffee maker with coffee, and a table with two chairs along with a small upholstered chair. The closet was spacious. The bathroom was super clean and came equipped with a nice selection of toiletries and plenty of towels including two pool towels.
Since we were staying for four nights we stayed close to the hotel the next day when the temperature was in the low 80's. It had a very spacious courtyard with tables, chairs, and gas grills just steps from our room. There was a small laundry a few steps away along with a book swap and what appeared to be chairs, umbrellas and beach toys for use of guests. The heated pool which was spotlessly clean was across the street. Do not let that deter you as the hotel is in a quiet residential neighborhood.
The Coral Ridge Mall is a five minute walk and has a full service supermarket (Publix), a sub shop, pizza shop and other assorted stores including a Target. At first, we couldn't find the Starbucks, but it is located inside of the Target. We used the deli and hot food take out from the supermarket to enjoy meals outside of our room in the courtyard. The Sun Trolley (free) goes right by the hotel every 30 minutes or so. The Broward County Transit has stops just a five minute walk from the hotel. We took advantage of both of these as we did not have a car although most of the guests did. Two of our days were a little overcast, thus we took the trolley to the Galleria Mall (upscale) and the County Transit to the Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall (huge).The beach is a healthy fifteen minute walk from the hotel, but the trolley and bus are options.
Steve, the owner, met us the next morning and checked in with us constantly over the next several days to see if we needed anything. Some may object to the fact that there is not daily maid service, but there are more than sufficient towels and supplies on hand.
The office is closed on Sunday (it is a small hotel), but he provided us with the telephone number of the yellow cab. When we were ready to go to the cruiseport, the cab arrived in less than fifteen minutes after our call. The ride from the hotel to the ship was around $30.
We would highly recommend this hotel and hope to stay there again in the future.
Consider spending a few more dollars and book a larger room.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.