Florida, Fort Lauderdale: Hilton Marina

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

Extend your cruise vacation with a stay here. 

1881 SE 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316
(954) 463-4000

Friction Factor = LOW FRICTION
Value = RECOMMENDED

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina was our choice to stay the day after our cruise in the hopes of extending our cruise vacation (vs. just a place to stay before going home). This hotel nicely succeeded on that count. In fact, for the next cruise I want to schedule two extra days.

See also my extended review of our cruise on Allure of the Seas. A lot of information to plan your perfect cruise.

Hotel Comforts

Our first impression of the hotel was extremely positive. It came in the face of the hotel's Journey Ambassador Robert Perugini. Robert is a friendly, engaging long term hotel employee who does not want to retire...to the benefit of everyone around him. After he helped me locate one of our bags (stored while waiting for our room to become available), I observed him greeting and helping everyone with the same warmth that he showed us. Every hotel should be lucky enough to have a Journey Ambassador.

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina was build in 1980 and remodeled in 2008. When searching for a hotel, the location and amenities of this hotel appealed to me. But I was concerned about negative reviews and a relatively low rating in Trip Advisor. I am glad we selected it anyway.

Hotel amenities include a beautiful pool/lounge area (alas, no Jacuzzi...probably not much call for one in south Florida). and a 24-hour fitness center.

It is located on the Intracoastal Waterway. The view from our corner balcony room was phenomenal. Gazillion dollar yachts are lined up on the river next to the hotel. At night two downtowns are in view, offering an electric skyline.

Nanking Asian Grill

We had dinner at the Nanking, an Asian fusion restaurant on property and enjoyed an excellent meal of Peking Duck Spring Rolls, Mango Chicken, and Pad Thai.


Room Comforts

I highly recommend room 1129 or other high up corner room. The view is terrific and the balcony wraps around two sides for a choice of views. Large picture windows follow the balcony for a nice interior view, too.

We appreciated the complimentary bottles of Iceland glacier water waiting for us in our room.

As expected from a full service Hilton, the room has central air (which was also quiet) and a good thermostat.

Somewhat unusual for many hotel rooms, the room has with a large full length mirror.

In place of a bath tub, the room has a dual shower—the normal shower head plus a rain shower in the ceiling...very nice. And I was pleased to have a light in the shower to make shaving easier. The towels are large and soft. Plus, the room came with comfy robes and slippers.

As you can see from the photos below, there is a good workspace and comfortable office chair. I am picky about access to power outlets at the desk and bed. Happily there are power outlets on the wall in front of the desk that are conveniently placed above desktop level (why haven't all hotels done this?). Next to that wall power outlet is an Ethernet jack for those who prefer that over wi-fi. In addition, the desk lamps on the desk and on one side of the bed have built-in power outlets, though not the lamp on the other side of the bed.

The bed was exceptionally comfortable and this hotel provides the best pillows of any hotel I've been to in a long while. Please sell them to all other hotels!

There is even an ipod/iphone alarm clock. Nice touch, though I have Android.
 

MINOR ISSUES

There is no free breakfast but that is consistent with other full service hotels that have a restaurant on property.

There is a fee for in-room Internet access, also consistent with other full service hotels. However, unless you use a VPN service I do not recommend using hotel WiFi access; the security risk is too high. Instead I set up a secure hot spot on my smartphone. At a minimum, when you use free WiFi service, ensure your firewall is turned on and file sharing is turned off.

 

Sound insulation between rooms could be improved; we could hear the conversation of our neighbors (not a minor issue in some cases, but our neighbors were quiet).

The platform bed has sharp corners at shin height. The bell hop warned me but I still stubbed my toe twice.

The Local Area

A boarding stop for the Water Taxi is across the street from the hotel. Take a relaxing tour on the water taxi; it is a must-do experience. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Going up river the crew person offered tour guide information about the area, mostly information about the homes and yachts of the rich and famous as we passed by. You can get off at any of the stops and get back on at your convenience. We got off at one stop to walk over to a nearby beach to see if we could see Allure of the Seas going out on its next cruise (nope, but we really enjoyed walking along the beach...we are beach people).

Recommendation

After the cruise at the cruise port we had no trouble finding our shuttle and getting to the hotel. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina is located in a scenic area with ready access to the water taxi for an enjoyable ride to any destination along the waterway. Fort Lauderdale has much, much more to offer. All varieties of culture, entertainment, and vacation enjoyment. We were delighted to have the water taxi experience. Next time we look forward to taking advantage of other attractions such as the Jungle Queen Riverboat, museums and gardens, air boat tour of the Everglades, a gondola ride, and much more.

The hotel was comfortable, the staff (especially Robert) friendly, and a nice rest before returning home. Recommended.