We'd booked this hotel for a 5-night pre-cruise stay.
Even though we were from England and could probably be expected to be "first time visitors" to Fort Lauderdale, the check-in, although friendly, was perfunctory and we weren't given any handouts or information on the area - not even a street map or eating recommendations; just a hotel site map. Perhaps we'd just arrived at a busy time.
We'd booked in on a bed and breakfast basis into a Marina view room. When we opened our door I can only say that our first impressions were largely disappointing. The outlook wasn't too bad, although the marina view was marred to an extent by the deli roof and the proximity of the main road and the internal furnishings were "cheap" looking plastic chairs and a "cheap" looking wardrobe unit with one of the doors completely off its slider. The storage unit below the TV, which is shown in the photo's with doors, didn't have any, so all your things were on open view. The sheets were also stained.
I fixed the wardrobe door the following morning but reported the problems and our disappointment to reception, who were mildly apologetic and assured us that the housekeeping issues would be resolved (they were) but there was no offer to re-locate us or any sort of follow up to check that we were happy with the new bedding.
Food and dining: The breakfasts were good and we were well looked after by the waiting staff. We had dinner in the restaurant one night and this was generally reasonable but the menu was fairly limited and more of a "pub grub" level but at hotel prices. The deli was o/k but always a bit too busy for our liking as it was of course open to non-residents. It also looked out over the road at one side and the car park at the other.
Location: Despite our room being close to the road, the windows and curtains provided a very high level of soundproofing. The overhead walkway was very useful in getting from the annexe to the main building in the teeming rain we had on a couple of days. The marina and the yachts was stunning and a joy to walk round, with nice islands of greenery. The hotel is very close to both the water taxi stop, and the Jungle Queen, and the beach and promenade so couldn't be in a better location.
Hotel Facilities: The pool was average and the pool snack bar was good; we found the pool/gym attendants (and indeed most staff) friendly and helpful; the hotel shop had some rather nice things on sale at very reasonable prices and wasn't at all tacky or touristy and the staff here were always very welcoming and helpful. The hotel reception and annexe atrium could do with a bit of a more welcoming makeover, everything was a bit bland and utilitarian.
Would we stay again? We thought the location was perfect for us and well away from all the pedestrian hustle and bustle and if the rooms were updated, or if we opted for one of the tower rooms, we would very likely choose this hotel again. The price was reasonable for what we got.
Local recommendations: We spent a full day and evening on the Water Taxi with a hop-on hop-off all-day ticket:- EXCELLENT value for money, friendly and helpful staff, and a really excellent way of seeing the sights.
We also went on the Jungle Queen evening dinner and cabaret. This, too, was good value for money and although the cabaret left us a bit bemused (because it was a "take" on American TV celebs who we didn't know), the food was plentiful and the after-dark return was quite scenic and atmospheric.
- 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