In a nutshell, this place was essentially a hybrid between a nicer motel and one of those big resorts. It was great for us, an upper middle-class family because it was slightly more expensive than a bland cheaper hotel or motel but had the nicer features such as pool and bar that an expensive resort would have.
Outlining it in the order that I saw everything, let's start with the fact that it's 30 minutes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int'l airport (FLL). Pretty easy drive. Driving up to it, I was a little concerned because it wasn't as tall a building as the high-rises surrounding it and had a bland appearance. From the street, I actually thought it looked like a days inn. I thought "Oh well, you get what you pay for". There was a parking lot near the hotel and one directly across the street It's surroundings weren't bad, but not necessarily downtown Fort Lauderdale... It's in this great place called Pompano Beach, which has cleaner and less-crowded beaches than Fort Lauderdale but was a very short drive (15 or 20 minutes on beautiful Ocean Drive) to cute shopping and restaurant areas... maybe 25 mins to downtown Ft Lauderdale. Also about 20 minutes in the other direction to Boca Raton. Pompano has a nice laid-back, family atmosphere yet is still classy. If you can't tell, I loved where this hotel was. I realized all this AFTER I checked in, so this is a little off from the order I saw everything in.... continuing in the order I'm trying to keep, the next thing you notice when you pull in is that there is no valet parking. Even though some might enjoy this service, I find it worthless in a not-so-busy parking lot. Plus you avoid finding a few tip dollars everytime you want to use your car! After pulling up to the lobby area, we pulled the luggage out of the back of the rental car and started check-in. It went very smoothly, and we were very happily surprised that our room was ready earlier than the check-in time, 3pm. This was at about 11am, and after getting up at 4 in the morning to catch a very early flight I was happy that I didn't have to wait too long! The lobby was bland and kind of motel-ish, I was unimpressed. From the street-looks and check-in, I was getting kind of under satisfied. We were given our room keys... our room was 501. To get to it, you had to go outside through sliding doors through the lobby and the hallway to the elevators was directly left once you stepped into the pool area. Once I stepped into this pool/bar/lounge area, I immediately knew that this was no ordinary hotel or motel. The tropical landscaping was BEAUTIFUL! I immediately noticed this in the few moments we stopped to look at it while going to our room. Later in the stay, there's a few things I noticed which I might as well write about now to keep with the "flow".... the heated pool was great, however my family consists of more ocean people who spent their time by the beach. I'm either/or pool/ocean, so I really enjoyed the heated pool. It was right next to a cute tiki bar. There was a second pool in the villa area which was less crowded and I'm sure that hotel guests could use that one too. The poolside bathroom was pretty yucky. Not as bad as one I've seen in the Dominican Republic (which was actually at a 5 star resort, ironic, eh?) but pretty nasty. THERE WAS A WASHING/DRYING area for clothes close by, I capitalized that because I wish I'd known this earlier! I found out on the day before I left, so by then it wasn't really important. Did I mention the lush landscaping with the big fountain?!! It was beautiful. Alright, continuing to finding the room... coming into the hallway to the elevator, it looked decent. Not 5 star, but not bad. It had seashell decorations made out of cheap plaster, nothing special, nothing bad. The elevator was an elevator, nothing that wasn't like an unnormal elevator besides the noise it made. That thing made the funniest noise. The optimist in the family said it sounded like a bird chirping while being born, while the brutalist said it sounded like a bird dying. Haha, it was just funny and a good thing to smile at to ease the tension of awkwardness someone might have with a group of people in there. Walking to our room, 501, it was at the very back of the hotel (near the street) on the 5th floor. It was considered an ocean-view double bed.
I loved the way the room number was displayed. Instead of it being written on the door or on the side, which would look ugly imo, it was on a piece of glass on a tropical design thing made of plaster on the side of the door. Small detail, but I loved it. Walking into this room, to the right was a little kitchenette with a sink and miniature refrigerator. Nice find. I'll just mention that it was missing a cabinet handle and that the refrigerator was awfully small. Nice to have, but the tiny freezer compartment barely had enough room to squeeze more than a few water bottles in it. Looked slightly dated. Continuing into the room deeper, there was a changing area/closet area/bathroom. It was nice to have this separation as we were traveling with mixed family. There was VERY limited storage space throughout the room though. I wish the sliding-door closet had more hangars! Bring some of your own, you won't regret it if you have a lot of clothes! The bathroom was okay, it was dated though. It was also missing a cabinet handle. The shower/bath window led out to the public balcony facing the street, so that was kind of strange. The window had a bit of mold and chipped paint on it, and it was painted in several layers, very "ghettoishly". That thing needed to be replaced! The bathroom was decently clean, but I don't know if I would take a bath in that tub. No one in my family did. Partly because we were short on time, partly because it wasn't exactly "crystal" clean. The shower had AMAZING water pressure though. Great hot and cold water, which sometimes escaped and flooded the bathroom even with the shower curtain IN the bathtub. This got quite annoying to clean up. Alright, continuing deeper into the room was the bedroom area. It was nice how the room was separated into three. There was an air-conditioning vent that kept on falling off. After calling maintenance, they just screwed the piece of metal into the wall again in the middle, leaving a missing seal and random holes. Really?! The bedroom area was okay, it had two double beds and an LCD tv. Furnishing were cheapie beach-decor. Bed was soft and very comfortable. Pillows were firm but that's okay because I like firm pillows. But if you don't, take your own! They left a good stack of towel-cards which were nice, but the towels were kind of cheapy. The rrom was not bad, decently clean. Now to the grand-wow of the room, which was the balcony. It had two huge comfy lounge chairs and an amazing view of the ocean and pool areas even though it was all the way at the back of the hotel. Don't bother paying extra for ocean-front, this view was probably even nicer. I.loved.it. And so did everyone else in my group. Only complaint was that there was no privacy for the balcony... luckily ours was end-unit so we had one wall, but otherwise it would of been exposed from both sides which could get annoying. Also, the room wall to the balcony was thin, so you could hear the obnoxious teens on spring break in the pool screaming past midnight and slamming the doors. Nothing major, overall it was quieter since it was in Pompano instead of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The pool and beachside restaurant was great. There was this one male server with short blonde hair that was especially accommodating and nice, however all the staff there were wonderful. Food was pricey, but normal for Fort Lauderdale standards. Make sure to notify them that your there or else they won't notice!! Sometimes the maid staff could of been rude... they gave dirty looks especially this one older woman, which was not very pleasant. Avoid the service elevators on the sides of the hotel, these are meant to only transport cleaning supplies by maintenance! I accidentally went in it and it was small and ugly. But I wasn't supposed to go in there, so it was okay.
Overall, if you have 3-4 star expectations, you will be happy. The features such as the view and pool area make up for the neutral things. It was great to have the resort on the beach, as you didn't have to cross the road to get to it like a lot of the other resorts in downtown Ft Lauderdale!!!!!!!
Any questions let me know, feel free to ask.