A May 2006 trip
to Fort Lauderdale by mplunkert
Quote: Fort Lauderdale was the perfect place to "kick back" at the end of an otherwise grueling trip.
Our original plan had been to drive to Miami to spend the last couple days before catching our flight home, but we found Fort Lauderdale so totally relaxing, we extended our stay there. Having spent so much time in an automobile on the trip, one of the features we liked best was being able to walk the 3-mile stretch of the Boulevard, which is dotted with shops and restaurants, while leaving the rental car parked. The salty air was intoxicating and the beach here rivaled many that we have visited in the Caribbean. Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place to do everything you ever dreamed of at a beach resort or to lay back and do simply nothing. We chose the latter.
Hotel | "Waterfront Inns Beach Resort"
The Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Inns Beach Resort was the perfect place to unwind from our business trip. I would have expected to pay much more than the $80 a night (which included my AAA discount) we were charged, even if we were there in low season (mid-May). It is an older property, but the rooms are clean, comfortable and well decorated. (They were also just beginning to renovate some of the rooms when we left.) In addition to the typical amenities (coffee maker, hair dryer, iron), our standard room came with a microwave and a refrigerator.
Dishes, glassware, and silverware were also supplied, making it easy to reheat some of the "doggie bags" we brought back from the restaurants we sampled. The property is ideally located just across from the beach and within easy walking distance of many of the shops and restaurants along Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard (also known as A1A). The room comes with a free continental breakfast. Be forewarned: It is just a basic continental breakfast—coffee, tea, juices, bagels, fruit, and sweet rolls—not the expanded version you find at some of the hotels these days. Nevertheless, you’d be hard-pressed to beat the ambience of the dining experience. My bagel and cream cheese became a gourmet treat when consumed at one of the tables on the Inn’s large, covered front porch, which reminded me of a porch of an old Southern mansion. The view was incredible and the ocean breeze provided the perfect accompaniment.Free high-speed Internet access is available in the lobby and on the covered porch. There is a computer available for public use in the lobby, or you can use your own laptop. The hotel’s pool faces the beach, so you can still capture the beach experience if you tire of the sand but still want to play in the water. This property is owned by the same people who own the Fort Lauderdale Oceanfront Hotel right next door, and we were able to use that Hotel’s exercise room, bicycle rentals, and other amenities had we chosen to do so. The staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful—which is why we decided to stay here for three more days rather than moving on to Miami as we had originally planned. I would have preferred a room with an ocean view, but only the suites had that view, and they were, of course, more expensive. For more information, visit their website at www.waterfrontinns.com. Phone: (800) 543-2006.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 30, 2006
Waterfront Inn Beach Resort
521 FT LAUDERDALE BEACH BLVD
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304
3049 Alhambra Street
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304
Restaurant | "Shooter's Waterfront Cafe USA"
Despite the abundance of restaurants along A1A within walking distance of our hotel, we decided to explore the alternatives as well. We selected Shooters Waterfront Café because of its location on the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), and we were looking forward to watching the boats maneuvering along the ICW as we dined. The experience was a disappointing one. The first problem was finding a place to park. We initially pulled into a lot across the street and then saw that it was for "El Mar" customers only. We were in the process of leaving the lot when an attendant hurried over and told us we could park there anyway—for $10. Since we had passed a couple of lots about a block and a half away that cost $5, we politely said, "No, thanks."
He got very nasty at that point and said he’d better not see us even pulling into his lot to turn around. His attitude was not the start of a perfect evening. We ended up having to park at a lot a couple of blocks from the restaurant since the others were full, but we don’t mind walking anyway. Once in the restaurant, we managed to get a seat on the outdoor patio that was right on the ICW, so we were thrilled. Unfortunately, the views we had anticipated seeing were non-existent. Several big boats were docked right beside the patio, blocking the view of the ICW.
We decided to have some appetizers, which looked interesting on the menu, and some drinks. The appetizers were pricey for what you got, but they were good. We had the spicy clam dip, which was served with a mini-loaf of bread, and cost $12.95. The serving size wasn’t large to begin with, and there were several empty clam shells. Our spinach, bacon, and onion dip was served with chips and cost $9.50. Again, it was good, but not a large portion. House wine was $6.50 a glass, and beer was $4.75. We each had two drinks, and the bill came to $47.81.
The ladies restroom came with a "guardian," who sat in a chair and apparently expected to be tipped although she wasn’t doing anything that I could see even remotely resembled a "service." The only positive thing I can say about our experience at Shooters is that the waitress who waited on our table was very good. Should you want to go in spite of this review, the hours are 11:30am until 10pm Sundays through Thursdays, and 11:30am until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 3, 2006
Shooters Waterfront Cafe USA
3033 NE 32nd Ave
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308
Restaurant | "Egg & You Diner"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 3, 2006
Egg & You Diner
2621 N. Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 4, 2006
600 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2006
Fort Lauderdale Beach
1100 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316