We stayed for one week in a small efficiency studio with a small kitchen area and refrigerator at the Estoril Paradise Inn and in comparison to other locations we consider the Tripadvisor ratings too good. We certainly had a different expectation from the ratings we had seen. You should be aware that there are many rules that need to be adhered to. At one moment we felt we were in a holiday camp for teenagers and not an inn for adults. This is a business run facility.
The facility does not justify a 5 star rating but is a good location for a stay in South Florida. The drive to the Inn along Route 1 can be very slow if you travel at the same time as all the commuters, I95 is better.
The facility is essentially two buildings with approx. 12 rooms, in a C-form around a 40m x 13m terrace. The terrace has an area to sun, relax, eat a meal or grill on the gas barbecues and is protected from the road by a 2m high hedge and garden. The terrace is good because it can be quite windy on the Fort Lauderdale beachs. Parking on the other side of the hedge, off road.
The property has a variety of positive and negative aspects to it:
The beach is within 15 minutes walking distance. The road is well lit and appears safe even in the evening. There is a great Italian ice cream and cake shop on the left hand side going to the beach - don't miss it. Parking at the seafront usually costs 1$/hr at the meter (max 3 hours).
The pool is heated and very clean. It is across the road but no problem to access from 9 am until evening.
The facility is very tidy and the daily cleaning is good.
The lighting in the rom is bright.
No pets are allowed
There was a clean microwave and a coffee-maker in the room.
Free internet via WiFi or cable access.
The road in front of the facility is a quite residential road
A washing machine and a dryer are available at $1.25 a load.
There is a cinema as well as Publix and Target supermarket 5 minutes walk down the road.
The fridge is loud, it is new and clean but we had to switch it off in order to sleep at night.
The a/c is loud and can not be left on at night. We could even hear the units from neighbouring rooms.
The bathroom and bedroom each have a fan and these are also loud. The fans do stop condensation in the rooms, which is good.
The shower rail and a lamp in the bathroom were rusty.
There was mould in the bathroom and this was cleaned away on the same day.
The main desk is not occupied on Sunday but the owner can be called.
Rules: for exmaple: which towels should be used for what.
The smaller rooms are small and space is tight, fatter people would have more freedom of movement in the larger rooms/suites.
We hired a car from Hertz that we picked up at the airport . It was cheap and we were well looked after. The gas/petrol is cheaper outside of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The tolls on I75 are usually only $1-1.25 per toll and worth paying instead of taking the other roads (I95 can be used too).
Places to eat:
Frankie’s and Johnnies, 11 am -11 pm, on Oakland (just round the corner from the Estoril Inn), was always busy and must be good.
Fort Lauderdale Ale House, South on Route 1, r.h. side. Typical sports bar with standard range of edible dishes.
1. Grand Lux Café at Sawgrass Mill. Excellent food, excellent atmosphere,interesting eating area, very high quality, very tasty, excellent service and value for money. The Devil’s chicken is outstanding and the Warm Rustic Apple Pie is made freshly and enough for 2 people. A really good place when you want a break during the shopping trip.
2. Emerald Coast, 16850 Collins Avenue, RK Centre South, Sunny Isles Beach, just off A1A in a small shopping centre, almost in North Miami and 35 minutes drive from Estoril Inn. An outstanding buffet. The buffet (evening meal $24, lunch $10) is full of crabs legs, shrimps, salads, sushi, meat dishes and has a good variety of desserts. The place is well frequented by locals (always a good sign) and even offers special prices for children less than 12 years old. If you want to try lots of different seafood this is the place to go.
3. Billy’s Stone Crab, 400 Ocean Drive, Hollywood on A1A, 20 minutes from Estoril Inn. Directly on the waterway from the harbour with a balcony where you can watch the boats coming back in the evening. Great atmosphere. The service is good, the food too. Try the excellent scallops or the crabs. It is a little more expensive but the food is worth it.
Places to visit.
Besides all the breaches, the following places are worth a visit:
1. Sawgrass Mill Outlet Centre. Easy to get to and great when it rains.
2. The Everglades: we drove along Route 41 and took a airboat ride ($20 for 30 minutes). Well worth the money and a great experience, we even saw two large alligators. It is better to go on the boats later in the afternoon and not at lunchtime, as the animals stay in the shade at midday.
3. Kennedy Space Station, Cape Canaveral. The drive took 4 hours from the Estoril Inn. It is much better to book the tickets before you go there and there are even discounts available for AAA or other car club members, but you have to buy the ticets at an AAA location, no discounts at the cash desk. The tour we took cost $40/pers. and lasted approx. 3 hours. It was very good and it is even worth going there when it is raining as there are a great deal of attractions inside - even a complete rocket! There is a great deal to see, including a 3D-Film and as usual everything is professionally set up for families. After the visit, drive into Titusville (5 minutes) on US1 and have a meal at “el Leoncito”( 4280 S. Washington Av., Titusville). The food is Mexican and Cuban and is really good. The margaritas have been awarded prizes and everyone seems to drink them.
4. Key West. This again is a nice 4 hour drive (if you take I75 south of Miami).You see lots of coast/water and the keys are worth seeing once. On this drive, you go past so many boats and marinas that you start wondering just how many boats are in Florida…. There are plenty of places to stay on the way, if you decide to take two days to do the journey. Key West is interesting, very uaint and residential and it is really Duval St. and Trumann Av. that are the very touristy locations. There are lots of bars in the town, as well as lots of T-shirts shops. When we were there, there was also a cruise ship in dock and there were visitors everywhere. Apparently it gets very full in the evening. Not necessarily worth a second visit. There is a Coach Outlet shop on Duval Street which is worth a second visit and if you go there on the slower days (Mo/Tues) there are special discounts sometimes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Estoril Paradise Inn has achieved a high recognition among the elite list of small hotels and vacation rentals in Florida as a "Superior Small Lodging" establishment since 1989 by the Superior Small Lodging Association and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. The staff of the Estoril Paradise Inn was just awarded the "White Gloves Award," a very honorable recognition by the Superior Small Lodging Association where you must score 100% on the housekeeping part of our annual inspection. This award was only presented to very few Superior Small Lodging properties in the state of Florida. Superior Small Lodging is a quality brand for independently owned small hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and inns. To qualify as a Superior Small Lodging, each accommodation undertakes a rigorous annual inspection on key elements of hospitality standards: cleanliness, professionalism and service. This means you're assured well-maintained grounds, attractive decor, comfortable accommodations, and naturally, a friendly, hospitable staff. Our Fort Lauderdale hotel is a tropical jewel located in an upscale and elegant area of Fort Lauderdale. The entrance to our Inn is filled with colorful bougainvilleas and hibiscus where a transformation takes place the moment you step into our tranquil and relaxing tropical oasis. You will be surrounded by palm trees, tropical flowers and foliage of many colors accented with tasteful landscaping. Truly a stylish, relaxing setting that takes you away from the daily grind. Our accommodations are decorated in a tropical motif taken from the surroundings of Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. Coming for Business? We are just a 10 to 12 minute drive from downtown Fort Lauderdale and The Broward County Convention Center. Estoril Paradise Inn is your home away from home offering quality furnishings and comfort. We offer direct dial telephones with voice mail that can be retrieved from anywhere outside your room. We also have added Wi-Fi "Wireless" high speed Internet service that can be obtained from anywhere on our property. We also offer fax service and will place all your incoming faxes in your room. Conduct your business and then drive a few golf balls until 10:00pm at a lighted driving range just 2 minutes away or play a round of golf at nearby golf courses. Coming for a Vacation? We are located in one of the best areas of Fort Lauderdale, just a 2 minute car ride to the beach, water taxi, waterfront cafes, golf driving range, shopping mall, fine dining; 5 to 10 minute car ride to diving/snorkeling, fishing boats, jet skis, entertainment centers and Beach Place; 15 minute car ride to the Fort Lauderdale Airport, Downtown Riverwalk, Las Olas, Port Everglades Cruise Ships, golf courses and many area attractions. Let us book your tours or 1 to 2 day cruises. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Estoril Paradise Hotel Fort Lauderdale