With a balmy, tropical year-round climate and average temperatures of 76F, Fort Lauderdale is an ideal vacation destination for those seeking an activity-filled getaway. This Floridian town along the Atlantic coastline is a diverse and inclusive location that is uniquely bouncy yet relaxing. Located in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale stretches from Palm Beach County on the northern perimeter to Dade County on the southern.
There are more than 23 miles of beaches in Broward County that are perfect for sailing, swimming, windsurfing, paddle boarding, water skiing, parasailing, kayaking, freshwater and salt water fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving … or just about any activity one can hope to try.
From sparkling beaches to 300-plus miles of inland canals and waterways, Fort Lauderdale has been called “The Venice of America.” The Water Taxi, which transports locals and visitors to some of the area’s most popular locations, travels alongside harbors that accommodate exquisite yachts and mansions belonging to the region’s wealthiest residents.
One of the water taxi’s stops is Las Olas Boulevard which features an extensive collection of shops and restaurants along Fort Lauderdale’s waterways. There are 17 blocks of sidewalk cafes, boutiques, world-class art galleries, and an impressive assortment of notable restaurants. One of the most celebrated is Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar & Pizzeria, an Italian eatery where everything from hearth-baked bread, pizza dough and pasta to artisan jams are made from scratch on the premises using only the freshest ingredients.
Executive Chef and Partner Louie Bossi serves yummy pasta dishes, Neapolitan pizzas baked in wood-burning stoves, home cooked Sicilian comfort food and house-cured Salumi (assorted cold cuts). The beverage menu offers a sophisticated wine list with a focus on Italian vintages including 50-plus wines by the glass. Handcrafted cocktails, craft beers, house-made limoncello (lemon liqueur), and locally-sourced coffees are also featured.
The setting is ideal for a romantic date night, girls’ or boys’ night out, dinner with friends or brunch. The restaurant can accommodate large parties and groups for special events and is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, late-night fare and weekend brunch. Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar & Pizzeria is located at 1032 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale is a distinctively artsy town, and a visit to the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale reveals some of its creative culture. The museum spotlights more than 6,000 works, including celebrated pieces with a special focus on photography through its Foto Fort Lauderdale initiative.
Shopping is another favorite sport in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. Sawgrass Mills, the world’s largest discount mall which features the high-end Colonnade Outlets, is one of the most popular. Galleria at Fort Lauderdale is an upscale mall that includes designer boutiques and plush departments stores. Seminole Paradise, Festival Flea Market Mall and Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, the largest indoor-outdoor flea market in the South, are also worthy of a visit.
Other enjoyable attractions include the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, the Sea Experience Glass-Bottom Boat, the Trolley Tour, the Anne Kolb Nature Center and the Billie Swamp Safari.
As much as the city has to offer those who like to play outdoors, Ft. Lauderdale also promises a great deal to those seeking a luxurious indoor escape. With vast options from which to choose when it comes to hotels and resorts, the newly renovated W Fort Lauderdale is not to be missed. Having recently undergone a $55 million-dollar renovation, the property, which includes the Hotel and the Residences, now has an even more beachy, vibrant ambiance than that for which it was already recognized. To celebrate the stylish revamp, W Fort Lauderdale threw an opulent party for 500 of its closest friends, complete with a mermaid and all the merriment one might expect from this chic hotel.
The W Fort Lauderdale offers tranquility for those who need to unwind and an active bustle for those looking to party. The 517 rooms and suites all feature skyline and coastal views and are adorned in ocean blues and rose gold hues. The entire property is designed utilizing mixed metallic details that contrast with an airy decor. The rooftop WET deck (pool space), meeting areas, outdoor terrace, as well as the hotel’s fourth floor lobby known as the “Living Room,” all enjoyed a nip and tuck, resulting in an even more artsy vibe.
The Living Room, considered the pulse of the hotel, is a high-spirited social space where guests can enjoy signature cocktails and meet new friends. It’s a favorite hang-out spot that converts from an informal daytime lounge to a trendy nightlife scene. And to make it ultra-convenient, W Fort Lauderdale has provided charging stations in the Living Room with plug-ins for every device, so there’s no need to cut visits short in order to run back to the room to re-charge.
The Wet deck’s unique “see-thru” pool is an inviting place to take a dip, and guests can relax on the new lounge chairs and day beds. There’s a full-service poolside bar and on weekends DJs provide high-energy entertainment.
The W Fort Lauderdale is the largest W hotel in the world and best-known for its impeccable service. Guests have 24/7 access to concierge services and each in-room phone is equipped with a Whatever/Whenever® button that can be used to request anything from forgotten toiletries to spa services. At the state-of-the-art FIT Fitness center, also on premises, guests can take complimentary beachfront boot-camp and yoga classes led by certified fitness instructors daily.
Post-workout, or anytime one wishes to self-indulge with an exclusive facial or body treatment, BLISS Spa is open for services. Massages like the Ginger Rub, Hangover Herbie, Betweeny Wax and Triple Oxygen Facial Treatment are soothing and therapeutic. The spa offers saunas and sink-side soap sampling, a brownie bar for pre-treatment snacking, nail lounge, retail boutique, and men’s and women’s lounges.
In addition to the endless activities and services, the hotel is an epicurean wonderland with fine dining on premises such as Stephen Starr’s Steak 954 and El Vez as well as casual eateries, WET Cafe, SUSHI Bar, and W Café.
W Fort Lauderdale boasts 140 double queen rooms,188 king rooms,16 suites, one Wow Suite, one Extreme Wow suite, 38 one-bedroom flats with a den and 133 two-bedroom flats. It’s also a prime location for weddings and events with an array of spaces to accommodate any guest list. The Indoor Ocean View room holds 220 guests and offers a stunning ocean view from the second floor while the Terrace can host 200. The new 4,000 square foot ballroom, Mingle, holds 350 guests and provides an elegant space on the fourth floor. The outdoor Courtyard accommodates 500-plus guests. The resort’s eight Studios can be reserved individually or in a combination to suit any size group.
W Fort Lauderdale is a short 20-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and flying from Southern California on Jet Blue is the quickest and most convenient way to get there. Because Jet Blue offers more legroom in coach, unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks, personal TVs at every seat with 36+ channels of DIRECTV® and 100+ channels of XM Radio®, the flight is well-suited for those seeking a pleasurable flying experience. In-seat power and USB ports as well as free in-flight Wi-Fi on 100% of the flights are also a big bonus.
Because of its ease of accessibility, it’s no surprise Fort Lauderdale is a favored SoCal getaway. Travel-lovers find that it’s a fun-filled escape with so much to offer those who love warm-weather adventures.
by Monique Reidy
W Fort Lauderdale
3625 East Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 230
Westlake Village, CA, 91362
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