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W Hotel Fort Lauderdale

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W Hotel Fort Lauderdale

Fire pit on the terrace overlooking the water.

© Lyn & Arthur Dobrin.

W Fort Lauderdale in a Nutshell:

W Fort Lauderdale is different kind of hotel for Fort Lauderdale: chic, edgy, spacious, and angular. Opened in 2009, this is the largest property on Fort Lauderdale Beach, two undulating towers of 346 hotel rooms and 171 condo-hotel apartments. Because of W Fort Lauderdale’s modernist curves, nearly every room has a view of the beach and many overlook both the beach and the canals and harbor.

Guest Rooms at W Fort Lauderdale:

There are 23 different room configurations at W Fort Lauderdale. Ours was the “cool corner,” with floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to a wraparound terrace. A fun feature of the room is the glass wall separating the bathtub from the bedroom. The room is decorated in cool, calming white and beige.

Dining at W Fort Lauderdale:

The wow factor at W Fort Lauderdale’s Steak 954 restaurant is the huge aquarium wall filled with lazily floating moon jellyfish. The effect is mesmerizing. Steak 954 is the creation of restaurateur Stephen Starr, known for his consortium of savory and stylized restaurants that include Manhattan’s Buddakan. Beef is the star of the menu and our prime New York strip steak and Australian Tajima Kobe filet were perfectly cooked.

Spa at W Fort Lauderdale:

Brownies in the spa. Yes! We loved the array of sweets, cheese and crackers, olives and cucumbers offered to spa guests in W Fort Lauderdale’s Bliss Spa. The spa is on the fifth floor so it is pleasant to wait to be called for treatment on the outside terrace. A reprieve from typical spa music, jazz, blues and standards by Norah Jones and others were quietly piped into the rooms during our 75-minute massages.

Destination Weddings at W Fort Lauderdale:

There are several venues for weddings at W Fort Lauderdale. Outdoors, the courtyard can accommodate 400 people. Smaller parties have a good location on the fifth floor terrace with an ocean view or by the second, smaller pool area, with an Intracoastal backdrop. The banquet room accommodates 300 for a sit-down reception with a dance floor. For couples who have booked a block of rooms for their wedding, W Fort Lauderdale can create a custom website. From it wedding guests can book their own rooms. Note: Brides and grooms who want a wedding on the beach require a permit from city hall.

Honeymoons/Romance at W Fort Lauderdale:

Employing their Whatever/Whenever service philosophy, staff at W Fort Lauderdale work to enhance romance. One guest told them that his wife loved mariachi music and so it was arranged for a four-piece mariachi band to serenade her during her pedicure. You want it, you can get it -- strawberries and champagne, wine and cheese, chocolate body paint.

Nearby W Fort Lauderdale:

Las Olas Boulevard, not long ago a non-descript road whose only distinction was that it led to the beach, has been transformed into what some call the Rodeo Drive of Fort Lauderdale. This nicely landscaped road is a mix of chic shops for clothing and jewelry, art galleries and an array of wonderful restaurants. Our favorite spot to eat along the avenue is Johnny V. The Museum of Art is at the west end of Las Olas Boulevard. Also nearby: The Broward Center for the Performing Arts and The Museum of Discovery and Science.

What Could Be Better at W Fort Lauderdale?:

A couple of things could improve the experience: Breakfast in the room was lovely but with only a low coffee table, it was not a comfortable place to eat. Wi-fi is free only in the public spaces and for just for two hours a day. There is no turndown service, unless requested. Persistent use of the letter “W” gets too cutesy (Feel the Wuv package and Wow Vows, as examples).

Is the W Fort Lauderdale Right for You?:

If you like modern, edgy, upbeat spaces, W Hotel Fort Lauderdale is your place. It’s set up for fun. And you won't have to go far to go clubbing. Rande Gerber's Whiskey Blue is right on the property. We enjoyed hanging out in the Living Room off the bar area. There’s a pool table nearby. At the swimming pool, there are waterproof playing cards and a floating poker table. Bring your own kibitzers.

W Fort Lauderdale Info and Reservations:

The W Fort Lauderdale
401 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304
954-414-8200
Hotel Web Site

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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