W Hotel Ft Lauderdale, South Florida’s Hipster Hangout

All Images Credit Marriott Hotels

For the in-crowd, it is arguably the sexiest hotel brand in the world. Watering holes for the area’s hip crowd and the address to stay and play for the international traveler. Inside you’ll find edgy interior spaces with bold designs and daring color schemes and a pool area that is guaranteed to have that “wow” factor.  One could surmise that if this brand doesn’t have an outpost in a city, the city is most likely pretty far down on the cool town list; if it's on the list at all. This is the W Hotel brand and when that hotel group mixes its stardust with the sun and sand of Ft Lauderdale Beach, it is sure to be something special.

The W Fort Lauderdale has been the epicenter of cool in Ft. Lauderdale since it opened its doors. The imposing 517-room hotel stands out on the horizon, with two gargantuan sail-shaped towers overlooking the white sand and bright skies of Ft. Lauderdale Beach.  Most of the rooms offer indulgent views of the sea sand while others offer views of the intercoastal.  Any time of the day there is something to see from the mega cruise ships coming and going to the multimillion-dollar mansions along the intercoastal waterways as well as the sparkling yachts returning home or heading back out to sea. After all, Ft. Lauderdale is the yachting capital so any time of year you’ll see an endless array of boats and yachts at every turn.

The beach resort could not be more ideal to fully enjoy all that Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Across the street from the hotel guests have access to a 315-foot stretch of sugary white sand beach complete with umbrellas,  chaise lounges, and an endless offering of sun and surf. The location is on the main strip of North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard just a short walk away from the beach bars, restaurants, and shops for which Ft. Lauderdale is known. For those who want to find some action away from the beach, Las Olas Boulevard is a short Uber ride away where you‘ll find more restaurants from fancy to casual, plenty of first-rate shopping, and buzzing nightlife.

The nautical theme of the hotel’s architecture carries through the indoor airy spaces, atriums, and lofty ceilings. The Living Room is the lobby bar and a happening watering hole for guests and locals to bend the elbow while indulging in some serious cocktail culture.

Guests of the hotel will most likely alternate between the time at the beach and the time at their outdoor pool.  Wet is more than a pool, it is a chic outdoor hipster hangout that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean from its fifth-floor perch.  Around the massive pool deck are lounge areas, day beds, gazebos, and cabanas made complete with bottle service and a DJ spinning tunes on the weekend. 

The pool is as much functional as it is art with what appears to be a large abstract glass box at its center.  The cube is actually housing a stairway that divides the pool and descends to the next level of the hotel with glass walls on the sides where you can see guests frolicking about in the pool.  It’s quite visually stunning. 

Accommodations at the W Fort Lauderdale range in size and amenities with the W’s quirky names that go from Wow to Wonderful so it's tricky to figure out exactly what you are getting. All have a blue and white décor and the features you would expect in a luxury hotel. Bathrooms are equipped with a bath with a frosted window onto the bedroom to set the tone for a romantic evening. All have indulgent balconies as well with ocean views where you can sit and watch the action below at sunset or be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the waves crashing below at night.

When it comes to the dining scene, the W Fort Lauderdale ticks all the boxes. It is more of a dining hub with several options from sushi to Tex-Mex.  The resort's most renowned eatery is Steak 954, from the James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr. The restaurant offers outdoor seating on the terrace overlooking the ocean but also brings a bit of the ocean indoors as well. Part of the décor is a larger-than-life tank filled with jellyfish that mesmerize as they drift about. And that is not the only thing here to mesmerize guests. Of course, the restaurant offers a rounded menu of seafood, foul, and veggie dishes but the star of the menu is glorious, mouth-watering steaks. And not just any steak, the menu features a who’s who of best cuts from around the world from wagyu and Kobe to dry-aged Australian from a petite filet mignon to a Flinestone-esque 32-ounce tomahawk. After the selection, the culinary wizardry takes over and the steak is cooked to juicy perfection with a char-tinged crust with tangy herbs and spices. The sides are there to compliment the star of the plate with options such as truffle mac or broccolini, charred just right with crunch, juiciness, and full of flavor.  If you are hankering for a good steak dinner, it doesn’t get much better than Steak 954

South Florida is not just for snowbirds escaping the brutal winters of the north anymore. It’s become a year-round destination to enjoy a tropical getaway of sun and fun in the sea and sand. The W Fort Lauderdale is the ideal resort that offers so much to do in see in the resort and just beyond in Florida’s playground.

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 105 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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