W Fort Lauderdale Hotel: The Coming About Of Luxury to the Area

I had never been to Ft. Lauderdale as an adult; my parents had brought me through as a kid and teenager, but traveling takes on a far different tone as an adult. I had no expectations. Imagining it may be somewhat like Miami that I had recently traveled to, I arrived open minded and ready for some beach time away from the snow starting to fall at home. A quick trip from the Ft. Lauderdale airport, sugary white sand beaches and a walkable boardwalk came into view in Ft. Lauderdale. We drive by beach cafes under palm trees speckled with diners enjoying a lazy afternoon, and people casually strolling along the expansive beach. Nothing like Miami. I like it here. The sparse crowds and relaxed atmosphere far from the spring break destination of years past.

W Hotel is my destination. Built in 2009, the architecture is that of a sail coming about; symbolizing the arrival of luxury to Ft. Lauderdale. I’ve been to a fair share of W Hotels, each touting luxury experiences or superiority to other options. Some live up to the hype, some don’t. W Fort Lauderdale definitely does. From the cheery front drive staff, to the sprawling 4thfloor lobby and lounge, to my room overlooking the ocean, every aspect of the property by the ocean seems to be on point. 

That feeling continues into STEAK 954 (the area’s zipcode). Weightless glowing moonjellies drift dreamily in a tank along the wall while Wagyu Steaks are prepared to perfection. Al fresco dining options are available on the large patio, where guests can enjoy the light breeze off the Atlantic and the sound of waves breaking on the shore. Retiring to my room, the Spartan design with thoughtful oceanic touches makes for a relaxing stay. Westin Heavenly Beds greet weary travelers and as my head hits the pillow, I’m out light a light.

From the Whatever/Whenever button on the room phone, to the poolside service at WET, W Fort Lauderdale delivers on its promise of service where others have fallen flat. I’m one who appreciates staff members saying “hello” or “good morning” as you pass in hallways or other public areas; a practice that is non-existent in many hotels. Every single hotel staff member made eye contact and had a friendly greeting—that doesn’t go unnoticed in my experience.

After reading a book at the pool, I head downstairs through the pool; a transparent boundary and hidden staircase melding the aquatic theme to creative architecture throughout the hotel. Landing in the lounge, the firepits overlooking the ocean and long bar are a perfect place to relax for afternoon cocktails or an after-dinner drink.

An extremely walkable city, Ft. Lauderdale affords nearby shopping in Los Olas shopping district, museums such as the Bonnet House and NSU Art museum, and dining galore. The Intracoastal Waterway also provides aquatic experiences such as “dock and dine” to several waterfront restaurants and scenic tours through the calm waterways. Whether planning on lounging by the pool or in the spa, taking yoga or going for a run on the beach, or enjoying the plethora of dining and nightlife options in the easy-going city of Ft. Lauderdale, the W Fort Lauderdale is an excellent luxury stay. For rates and reservations, visit

Chad Chisholm

Chad Chisholm is a professional photographer and travel writer. Marrying the two together, his travels have taken him across the world, staying in everything from Parisian Penthouses to huts in Ecuador in the rainforest. His work has been published in ISLANDS, Afar, WildJunket, AAA publications, and more. To see Chad's photographic work, visit ...(Read More)

Around the web