Fort Lauderdale on Florida’s southeastern coast is famous for its beautiful beaches and wide canals that attract travelers who love outdoor activities. With its sprawling beachfront promenade lined with food and entertainment venues along with its international cruising port, it makes for a family -friendly destination. When staying in Fort Lauderdale, parents should consider the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina for comfort in a hotel worthy of the Hilton name.
What Makes it Family Worthy?
This four-star hotel contains approximately 589 rooms and suites. Travelers will appreciate the location, near the Everglades cruising port, the Convention Center, and the Las Olas shopping area, at 1881 South East 17th Street. A large percentage of the hotel guests are traveling families and couples spending the night before or after the cruise. Moreover, due to the proximity to the Convention Center, this hotel also hosts business people and those attending conferences.
The lobby featured lots of subdued yellows, oranges, and whites, with curved sofas and a large circular overhead lighting fixture that gave the area a modern, futuristic look. The lobby area, divided into several sections, was large, so guests could sit quietly or work as they waited to check in.
We stayed in room 1116 on the 11th floor, a floor reserved for the Hilton Loyalty Program guests. As usual, all the pertinent safety information was on the back of the door. The door also had two locks to help secure the room.
Our room, decorated in neutral colors of white and grays, had been newly renovated. The room featured carpetings with lines of brown, taupe, and turquoise along with dark brown furniture. Aside from some artwork on the walls, the décor was minimalistic.
Since this property did not offer two queen sized beds, we settled for a room with two double beds. Each bed had a small power outlet next to it, so guests could recharge their phones while they slept. Between the beds was a nightstand with a phone, alarm clock, lamp, and shelves where guests could store more belongings.
Across from the beds, there was a desk with a swivel chair, lamp, phone, and full-length mirror. We were happy to discover several electrical outlets next to the desk, which made it the perfect place for working on projects or recharging devices. Near the desk was a glass topped table with two matching chairs, and a floor lamp, which perfectly illuminated the space.
Like many hotel rooms, ours boasted a large, flat screen TV positioned atop a cabinet directly across from the beds. The dark wood cabinet was topped with glass and had several drawers capable of holding more odds and ins. The room’s mini fridge was behind the cabinet’s only tan paneled door.
A small walk-in closet provided storage in the room with wooden hangers, a small luggage rack, an ironing board, and a medium sized room safe. The frosted glass paneling on the closet doors and motion sensor light inside were nice touches. We particularly liked the fact the whole space was well lit, so finding stored away things was easy.
The room had a small balcony from which we could enjoy spectacular views of the harbor. The balcony furniture consisted of two chairs and a table to allow guests to enjoy sitting outside sipping their morning coffee.
Frosted glass pocket doors led into the room’s bathroom area. We could lock these doors for more privacy, a feature every family would appreciate. The bathroom, decorated predominantly in white, boasted a Corian-like black countertop with big bold tan flooring tiles.
The vanity featured a smallish, round shaped sink with high sides that kept items from falling into the basin. Instead of the traditional cabinet with doors, it consisted of an open one that held extra towels and washcloths. An exceptionally large mirror lined with fluorescent lights hung over the vanity providing ample light. We found two plugs near the light switch so that people could use items like hairdryers without leaving the bathroom. On the countertop was a complimentary amenity kit of bath products.
The shower area, tiled in white porcelain tiles boasted a glass enclosure. The shower featured dark chrome grab bars, and a hand-held shower head, useful for parents and caregivers to bath kids. There was a standard toilet, which functioned fine but the handle on it was worn and stood out in the rest of the well furnished, recently renovated bathroom
Travelers looking for a quick meal could go to Antea, the lobby bistro bar, for coffee, baked goods, and sandwiches. At night, Antea turned into a social spot where guests could get to know each other. Nanking, featuring Asian style cuisine and fusion dishes, was by far our favorite. The venue featured bright, Chinese-themed decor and excellent service. We also liked The G by the pool. The area seemed to be a very ‘happening’ spot and attracted many of the younger travelers staying in the hotel.
The newly opened Waterway Room, serving American breakfast with views of the Intracoastal Waterway, was the perfect place to start our day. Our son with autism particularly liked the fact that he could make his own breakfast smoothie in his personal Nutribullet. Furthermore, the hotel offered room service for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to leave their rooms for dining.
The hotel featured a beautiful outdoor pool as well as an up-to-date gym.
Travelers staying at the hotel could take the Water Taxi from Fort Lauderdale to sightsee the main attractions without even exiting the boat.
This Hilton allowed both service dogs and pets to stay in the rooms.
We got free WiFi in the room since we are Hilton Gold Members, but otherwise, there is free wifi in the public areas.
Autism Travel Tips:
- This hotel is built next to a waterway. Therefore, it is pertinent for parents that have kids with autism who wander off to ask for a room as far away from elevators as possible.
- For noise sensitive travelers, ask for a top level floor room away from the pool area and the highway.
- There is a safety bar in the shower so that travelers with mobility issues can easily access the shower.
- Our room had a bath mat to provide traction for those that need it.
- There are double locks on the balcony, which is great. However, the structure might pose a safety hazard for those traveling with kids or other individuals that tend to wander. Therefore, parents should bring their own alarm for the door.