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Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
Ranked #54 of 128 Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Reviewed May 9, 2008

My wife and I just got back from a 4 day getaway to Fort Lauderdale, and I would like to address the wide array of reviews for the Bahia Mar. As any traveler to southeast Florida either knows or will soon find out, the choices for accomodations can be so vast that they can be overwhelming and make the decision difficult. I can see how it's easy to get caught up in the hype and be disappointed. As a former resident of the area as well as a former hotel employee on the "Strip" in Fort Lauderdale (back in the early 80's), I would like to give the readers of TA the reasons I choose Fort Lauderdale for vacation and why I chose the Bahia Mar, and perhaps, if your vacation criteria is similiar to mine, why you should choose the Bahia Mar also.

First of all, I believe that Ft. Lauderdale is one of the most complete vacation destinations in the U.S.A., if not the world. It's easy to get to, has a beautiful beach, world class fishing, diving, shopping, dining, sightseeing, sports, night life, and on and on. It's safe, family friendly and relatively inexpensive - especially for Americans given the current value of the dollar abroad.

As for the Bahia Mar, the first thing I consider is the location of a hotel when I choose, and that could be the Bahia Mar's best asset. Across the street from a clean, protected beach, adjacent to a marina with any kind of water sport or sightseeing you can imagine, and an easy walk to any kind of restaurant or shopping you want. From the airport it's a $20 cab ride to the hotel (including tip) so unless you really need to travel outside the immediate area, you don't need to rent a car which will leave more spending money in your pocket (especially since regular gas is $3.85 per gallon in the area as of 5/9/08). I would highly recommend a water taxi ride during your stay which stops at the marina about 100 yards from the front door. They can take you to the Galleria mall (Sack's 5th ave, Nieman Marcus, etc) the shops of Las Olas (art galleries, boutiques, restaurants - the locals like to refer to it as there version of Rodeo Drive) or several other stops but the sights along the way of the homes and yachts is breathtaking and is well worth the $13 ride all day ticket. The Bahia Mar property also offers many recreation opportunities on the properyt as well. Tennis courts with lights, swimming pool deck overlooking the marina with a gym and a bar/restaurant with reasonable prices, an elevated walkway to the beach where you'll find brand new lit basketball courts, a fitness obstacle course, picnic tables w/barbeques, and a real nice playground. **NOTE** We went fishing one day and caught 5 nice snappers and Frank, the cook at the pool restaurant cooked them 3 different styles for us with a nice presentation, sauces and cole slaw for only $10 bucks!! Also on the property is a very nice market/deli that makes a great breakfast sandwich for $4 and has a very good lunch menu featuring top quality Boars' Head sandwich meats, salads, beer and wine, etc., again at very reasonable prices. ( I knew it was going to be good when I saw all the fishing captains and yacht crews going there for lunch).

As for the inside of the hotel and the rooms, yes, this hotel is about 40 years old and even though there have been a few remodels and touch ups over the years, you will see some chipped paint, dated furniture, worn handles, but the rooms, bathrooms and public areas were clean and secure and the beds were comfortable. My biggest complaint was that the balconies in the main building were too small for a chair - strictly Juliet balconies.

The personnel we encountered were very friendly and helpful. we had an early flight and they allowed us to check in at 9AM! Thank you Rey at the front desk. Keep in mind that these are regular folks, many of them rookies and not polished professionals that you would find at the St Regis or the Breakers.

When I read the negative reviews of the Bahia Mar they all seemed to center on the worn condition of the property or some inconsistant or rude service and I can understand how this can happen. If you demand and expect five star quality, than perhaps The Bahia Mar is not your place. I did walk through the St Regis and it is beautiful and you should consider it. However, I booked my stay through the hotel's website (which I recommend because you do not have to pay in full in advance like the other internet travel sites) and only paid $93 per night. Now, if you're like me and don't plan to spend a lot of time in the room, than I just don't see the need to spend $500 per to be up the street at the St Regis. Just give me a nice clean, safe place in a good location at a fair price and I'm happy. I would submit to you that in Fort Lauderdale, that place is the Bahia Mar Resort.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank landsold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 16, 2008

My friend and I just got back from Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Bahia Mar for 4 nights and I have to say we had an amazing time! We stayed on the 7th floor of the tower building. No, it's not the Ritz Carlton, but it was very clean and had everything we needed! It was close to the beach and has a pretty short breezeway over A1A to get there and the pool area was very nice as well. It's also a short walk to some decent places to eat. The staff was great and very helpful. On the morning we were checking out I noticed they charged me for 3 days of valet parking when we had no car there, they were very willing and quick about taking it off the bill. The only down side was really the elevator situation! It can take up to 10 minutes to get on one! The balcony was extremely small, enough room to only step out side to see the pretty amazing view of the marina & ocean. It seems like a great place for anyone, families, couples, a group of friends young or old. I would caution that if you are used to staying at the "Ritz" then it may not be the place for you. All & all...GREAT stay at the Bahia Mar!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank lisa0912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2008

After reading the previous reviews we were a little worried about what we might encounter at the Bahia Mar. We were pleasantly surprised. We arrived early and requested an early check in, but went with the advice of the employee to wait for our room on the 15th floor instead of taking a different room on the 7th. Room 1511 was at the end of a hallway on a nonsmoking floor. It had a kingsize bed, minifridge, and small balcony to enjoy the view of the ocean and marina. It also had a large closet and small room safe. Sure, the carpet had begun to fray at some edges and there were a few scratches in the tub, but nothing to ruin your vacation over. All the employees we dealt with were very pleasant. Jose and Melissa at the concierge desk were very helpful with restaurant suggestions, directions, and running routes. We ate at the deli a few times for something quick and found the breakfast and lunch sandwiches to be acceptable. We ate a decent salad at the hotel restaurant and had good service. I never had a hard time finding a lounge chair by the pool, never waited long for an elevator, and the gym was hardly ever full. The walkway over the road to the beach was very convenient. The water taxi also stops at the Bahia Mar marina and makes for a fun way to see the waterfront mansions and million dollar yachts. There are lots of great restaurants within walking distance or easily accessible by water taxi or by beach trolley. May we suggest The Floridian for breakfast. It is a diner style restaurant with awesomely huge omelettes. Next, try Promanti Brothers for lunch. This Pittsburgh joint is famous for serving its large sandwiches with coleslaw and fries inside the bun. For a romantic dinner, you must try The River House which is stop #11 on the water taxi. This historical waterfront house serves the most delicious fish dishes around. We started off with an escargot potpie then I had the swordfish and my husband had the seabass. The menu changes weekly to take advantage of the local fresh fish. Our service was right on, even though you could tell they were busy. After dinner take a stroll down the river front to enjoy live music and people watching at the local bars and clubs.
If you are looking for a high end luxury resort, this might not be the place for you. The location and proximity to the beach, restaurants and shopping make Bahia Mar a great choice and value.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled on business
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3  Thank TandJFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2008

As regular travellers to Florida we had been to Fort Lauderdale before – staying in the Lauderdale by Sea area. It was solidly booked this time and we wanted to see more of Fort Lauderdale itself anyway so we “discovered” the Bahia Mar Beach Resort.
The hotel is on a fairly busy road but there is a dedicated skywalk over to the beach. Just down the road you have a stop for the water taxi, which is a very good way of getting downtown and other areas. The hotel has its own pool and gym area both of which seemed to be pretty good. The bar and dining area felt to be a little smaller than the website led us to believe but not terribly so. The service at the bar was excellent and was generally good throughout the hotel. The only downside for us was that the room and décor generally was dated and a little shabby. We thought that prices were reasonable but definitely not cheap. We were only staying for 4 nights en route from Miami airport to the Gulf coast. It was goodish for us but perhaps not as good as the website portrays. So we would stay again – but probably only if it were just for a one or two night stopover. Incidentally ask for a room in the tower part of the hotel. The others seem to be in what we would call annexes some 200-300 metres away. They may be linked by walkway but felt out of it.
Just a few other comments about the area. Some guidebooks describe the beachfront promenade area as having developed over the years into a more sophisticated area with good dining etc. Well the food can be good and there are bars – but sophisticated definitely not! The Las Olas Boulevard shopping mall is very good and fairly close, but it is nowhere as near as big or as all encompassing as the edge of town Sawgrass Mills mall. We have done Miami several times and wanted something different. We also had very good memories of nearby Lauderdale by Sea. We popped along to rekindle those memories but were disappointed with what we saw. It was very busy, slightly tatty and undergoing very significant development. Was it the wrong time of the year – don’t know but we didn’t like it.
Finally, for international travellers flying into Miami as a gateway airport, you could easily stay in Fort Lauderdale for a different option. It is an easy drive as long as you don’t mind interstate style roads. It’s just about 30 miles or so.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank trekker512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2008

We stayed at the Bahia Mar in February 2008, two nights pre-cruise.. Overpaid for the room on Priceline ( I was trying for something else) and ended up getting the hotel for $155 per night. Same price that their website advertised.

We were given a "Garden" view room (parking lot room on first floor) in the Marina building. Although the room was a little damp smelling (sheets were clammy as well), the room was nicely refurbished with new bedding, curtains and carpet, and very sound proof from the parking lot, but not from the hallway. Luckily, we carry a sleep sound machine with us and didn't hear anything after we turned it on. Slept great and the 2 queen beds were very comfortable! The bathroom was a little cramped, with a very low push button toilet. I am not sure the bath had been re-done. The counter was granite, but had some wear to it.

For breakfast, we ate in the convenience store that is attached to the resort. The breakfast sandwich and hot chocolate were good and convenient. The only other place to eat breakfast would have been a tiny patio off the reception area. On our first night of arrival, we had dinner out there, and it was just OK. There was a very loud group of about 50 that took up most of the seating. They must have been part of a convention.

We did enjoy the location of the hotel, as it is right off the water taxi stop. Just walk down beside the marina and you will see the stop.

The beach area was extremely nice, but no chairs, so we opted to head back to the pool where we enjoyed a full day of sun, relaxation and wonderful bar/food service!

PS - I had previously written the hotel and ask that we be placed in a tower room, so as to avoid the garden building, because I had heard it was mildewy. I was worried about my husbands asthma. Never heard back from them, so when we checked in, we once again asked for a tower room and were told, " we were getting the last room available for "your type of room". Meaning a Priceline room. We didn't argue, because it was getting late and we were tired and hungry.

Overall, the Bahia Mar was OK and we had a nice stay, but would probably not stay there again unless we hear wonderful reviews after the renovation and the price is reasonable.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hotelcritique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2008

I'm just back from the Navigator of the Seas and I wanted to write a short review for Bahia Mar Hotel & Resort.

I booked this hotel on Hotwire and got it for $139/night. Since we were spending two days in FLL before our cruise, I liked the fact that it was right on the beach.

After reading some HORRIBLE reviews about this property I was honestly expecting the worst. I expected to be staying in a total dump. NOT SO.

I called the day before our check-in and requested an upgrade to a tower room since I read the rooms in the smaller building were older. The reservations center happily upgraded me.

My daughters and I took a taxi from FLL to the hotel on the evening of March 18 and like I said, I was expecting the worst. I couldn't have been more surprised! The hotel was lovely, I thought, and showed no signs of wear and tear. The lobby was very nice, check-in was painless and the front desk clerks were very friendly.

Our room was clean and looked as if it had been newly renovated. The beds and linens on the beds (fluffy pillows and duvets) were heavenly, there was a separate closet/changing area with a vanity with a granite countertop. There were granite countertops in the bathroom as well. The room was immaculate. Seriously.

I had to call housekeeping to get another duvet and pillows (I was sharing the bed with one of my daughters who is a blanket hog - LOL) and housekeeping was there within 5 minutes with what we needed.

One of the complaints I heard was that the elevators were slow. I did not find this to be true at all except during check out time. Several elevators stopped at our floor and they were full, but eventually we found one. No big deal.

We didn't eat at the restaurant or the deli, so I can't comment on them.

The beach was literally across the street and was accessible via a walkway directly from the resort. The pool was busy during the day, but we really didn't hang out there because we spent most of the time on the beach. The gym facility was small, but had the basic equipment and was very clean.

A couple of blocks away there were a lot of eating establishments and shopping (mostly touristy type shops - tshirts, etc.) We had lunch at Lu-Lu's at Beach Place and dinner at an Italian restaurant (can't remember the name). Both were excellent and within a few blocks (Lu-Lu's a bit further) walking distance.

Check-out was a breeze and they had a cab waiting for us at the time we asked for it.

In all honestly, I have nothing bad to say about this hotel and highly recommend it. Like I said, after reading the reviews, I came there expecting a total dump and was pleasantly surprised.

We will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank dakota503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2008

March break 2008, stayed at Bahia Mar Resort: Here are the positive points in my opinion: family friendly, great location, beautiful manicured beach, nice pool and pool-side entertainment, free internet access in the lobby and the possibility to print stuff free of charge. The negatives are as follows: daily cost of parking, no fridge in rooms unless you pay a $20 daily fee, the resort itself is a little on the older side, it must have been great 30 years ago but is now a little past it's prime.
Lots of dining possibilities very close by, but our favorite place we went to for brunch again and again was a small unpretentious Italian restaurant right across from the beach...they have great paninis and crepes and you can tell that the cook loves to prepare things in a special way...everybody in my group loved it since the food was always flavourful and creatively put together.

2  Thank joyclub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Address: 801 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-1629
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Broward County > Fort Lauderdale > Central Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Price Range: $156 - $366 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy stunning surroundings and 44 breathtaking acres along the Intracoastal Waterway at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel- a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Located near the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel is a water taxi ride away from the shops, restaurants and nightlife of Las Olas Boulevard. Stay active with water sports, indulge the option to sail away on a cruise or simply relax on the white sandy beach. Bahia Mar is only a short drive from the Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Port Everglades Cruise Terminal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bahia Mar Beach Hotel
Bahia Mar Beach Resort
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale
Hotel Bahia Mar Beach

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