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“Great Location for Downtown Shopping Area”
Review of Riverside Hotel

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Riverside Hotel
Ranked #22 of 127 Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 21, 2005

We stayed here Sept. 3-5, 2005 after a week aboard a five-star Caribbean cruise. Although no hotel compares with the all-inclusive nature of cruise vacations, the Riverside Hotel was very nice and we will stay again.

After the cruise, we decided NOT to rent a car since so many hotels charge extra for parking (this one too) and we had both the Water Taxi at our disposal (a short block away in either direction and just $5.00 a day). Unfortunately, the Riverside does NOT provide free shuttle service to/from the airport/cruise terminal. This is unfortunate since the tax drivers are a bit dim (at least the ones we had). However, upon checkout, the concierge arranged to have a van to drive us to the airport -- no stress, just a bit more $'s than the taxi drivers (approximately $6.00 pp plus tip).

We booked directly on the site since the online travel sites weren't offering any better prices at the time (I don't know about Priceline since I don't like the crapshoot reservation aspect of it). The person taking our reservation was pleasant and seemed like she carried a smile the entire time whilst on the phone.

The concierge(s) were attentive. We had a lot of bags (two couples and two rooms) so they seemed a bit winded after delivery of our bags to the room (maybe for effect, but I planned to tip anyway). We appreciate good a concierge.

We reserved a king bed with balcony in the NEW tower - we can't speak for the renovated one or the old rooms (although from afar, getting a peek thru some of the windows, they seemed nice). The room was spacious, the bathroom almost too spacious -- probably could have put a second vanity in there instead of offering so much floor space. The bath seemed wheelchair accessible even though it wasn't designated as such.

The room was above average, but I can't give it top rank since I have stayed in better. But it was very clean, with the usual niceties in the bath, CATV, lounge chair, table and chairs, etc.

Now, this is the one odd thing to be conscientious of... the REFRIGERATOR. This is actually a wet bar stocked with a wide variety of beverages and next to it, a wide variety of snacks, hard spirits and such. Both the fridge and snack area are placed within a cabinet in the TV armoire and requires access by key... and I believe whenever you open it, the front desk has it monitored since I saw a little red pin light turn on (located on the cabinet frame) every time I opened it. The front desk clerk offers a key when you check in by asking if you want access to the mini-bar. We said yes.

Tip: Make sure you ask them if "access" to the mini-bar is free. We were only interested in the use of the refrigerator because I'm a big milk drinker (someone who, say, needs insulin or medication refrigerated may want the fridge). The reason I say ask, is that upon check-out, even though we did not use a thing in the prestocked mini-bar, we found a mini-bar charge of approximately $30.00 dollars. After a few minutes of feeling completely cheated and bamboozled, I went down to the front desk and informed them that I did not consume anything from the bar -- without batting an eye, the front desk clerk removed the charge. Excellent. However, ask first if you simply want to use the fridge because a person comes up every morning to restock the bar if you're using it -- maybe that's why there was a charge, so maybe tell them you don't need restocking either.

Okay, that was lengthy, but I must add, the mini-bar was probably the BEST stocked mini-bar I have ever seen in any hotel!!!

The pool was very nice -- I can't remember seeing a jacuzzi. Our door overhead fans, tables, and right on the intracoastal -- next to a big yacht that sort of blocks the view of the river. But, it's a nice yacht and the whole ambiance feels like you are somewhere very nice (by the way, the pool is in fact a walk across the street from the hotel, but the road is not a busy street -- more like a semi-quiet back street).

The hotel restaurant and pub looked very nice -- the prices look a bit out of the range we were willing to pay since we had run low on budget and had been feeding on included five-star meals on the cruise. There are a lot of nice restaurants in the area, and a Cheesecake Factory (yes, not a regional experience, but we know the menu and enjoy their food). Starbucks is a block north and stays open late, and so is a CVS Pharmacy Drugstore for items like snacks, toiletries, medicine and milk! :)

Lastly, the location of the Riverside is at the mouth of Las Olas -- lots of great shops. And we arrived when the city was having a art street fair. It's a great place if you like shopping, or just visiting shops. And, with the water taxi stop nearby, you can get a great tour of all the great waterfront homes, and still gain access to the ocean, surf, and other resorts (although, if the surf is really your thing and not shops, then stay at the surf resorts).

Overall, we had a wonderful robust stay -- even if it was a short while. We will stay there again when visiting FLL. The room was spacious and quiet, the front desk people, in our experience, was pleasant, humourous, and attentive -- even with my justified gripe about the mini-bar, no problems.

Oh, I forgot, you may want to check if they are getting setup or are setup with wireless Internet access, but there is a computer next to the front desk for guest use with Internet access and it came in handy -- but for only a moment since I was, indeed, on vacation.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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12  Thank RootRootRoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 19, 2005

just spent 3 great nights.stayed in executive tower,very nice room.room size larger than most i've stayed(ex.hard rock orlando.borgata in a.c.)

location is perfect as front of hotel is on las olas blvd,back borders the new river where the pool is located(pool was quiet and refreshing).2 block walk to RIVER WALK.many restaurants to choose from(riverside has a couple and cheesecake factory actually is in the framework of hotel).

must do is the water bus for $5 dollar all day pass.takes you along new river and intercoastal waterway and to the beach(bring your own cocktails are welcome) beautiful scenery and MEGA-WEALTH (yachts,homes)everywhere.

Stayed: September 2005
3  Thank jerseyjoew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, IL
14
Reviewed September 1, 2005

Are you booking a BALCONY room with the Riverside Hotel, Ft. Lauderdale? It will cost you $20 per night in addition to the rate posted on expedia or hotels[---] (most online sites). Also, be prepared to pay $10 parking per night. That comes to about $30 per night in hidden charges.

I can't say the staff is polite - when I requested a BALCONY room, the receptionist rudly replied "No BALCONY ROOMS FOR EXPEDIA CUSTOMERS" - even though I paid for Executive King type. I wouldn't recommend dealing with this hotel -management staff wasn't very responsive either.

Stayed: August 2005
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2005

We enjoyed our stay at the Riverside Hotel. Our room was in the new executive tower. The room was large, quiet, well decorated and clean. The hotel is convenient to the shopping and dining on trendy Las Olas Boulevard.

The hotel seems to appeal to an older demographic. We didn’t see any partying college students here, unlike the hotels along Ft. Lauderdale beach.

The service was on the slow side, but the staff was struggling with a new reservation system, so I am sure that will improve with time.

The biggest drawback was that you are several miles away from the beach.

We would definitely stay at the Riverside Hotel again.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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1  Thank centerstripe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2005

Whoever designed the artistic touches of the executive rooms and their individual lobby did a terrific job.

We really like this hotel.
The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was extra roomy and very clean. All of the appointments were above average. We got a decent deal on the Executive Tower or whatever they call that class of room.

Nice neighborhood, too.

Only one transient problem. The balcony faced the blazing August sun and was nearly impossible to look out of without the burning of my retinas, but once I recovered the view was pretty cool out over the river.

1  Thank pablus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2005

Nice hotel along the Fort Lauderdale New River. This is not really a beach hotel, but perfect for a weekend get away. This is a great place if you want to experience Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Blvd (trendy shops and restaraunts). The location is terrific.

If you are staying ask for a newer tower room or a refurbished "classic" room in the older part of the building. Some of the tower rooms have ocean views as well. (Not ON the ocean - 2 miles away or so.)

Staff was helpful, but not overly friendly and amenitiy prices were very reasonable for this part of town.

The room itself was fine (the in-room coffee terrible though). Clean and the room was very large with just the one king bed.

Overall a nice little hotel right in the middle of the trendy part of Fort Lauderdale.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
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2  Thank DonFTL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2005

Had a wonderful stay at RIVERSIDE. Location was hide away from kids down for HIP HOP Memorial Weekend, but in the middle of upscale botiques of Las Olas. River Walk Mall and Science Museum near by. Water Taxi right
outside provides access to other areas of intrest A1A beach, Galleria, restaurants and 'homes of the rich & famous'.
My room was the SMALLEST hotel room I have ever stayed in...open T.V. and you had to climb over bed to other side. The pool (accross street) was delightful. Overall, it was clean, staff was courteous (printed out my boarding pass) and knowledgeable of area. There were few inexpensive dinning choices for my frugal taste.
Will stay there again on my future visits.

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
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3  Thank Postaljames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riverside Hotel

Address: 620 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2287
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Broward County > Fort Lauderdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Family Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#20 Business Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#20 Romantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Price Range: $155 - $321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Riverside Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 217
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riverside Fort Lauderdale

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