Chic hotels and star-studded places to stay line up along the shores of this southeastern Florida city. On the Atlantic Coast, north of Miami and the Keys, Fort Lauderdale has seemingly endless sunshine, intricate canals and miles of glorious beaches, making it the perfect destination for a resort holiday.
The so-called Venice of America remains one of the country’s vacation beacons, drawing in everyone from wealthy retirees to backpacking hipsters and apple-pie families. There’s something for everyone here – especially with our guide to the best resorts, bookable on Culture Trip.
Backed by the verdant mangrove-lined gardens of the historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Tranquilo boasts an enviable location in a quiet neighborhood two blocks from the ocean. There’s a wide range of rooms and suites with kitchenettes in its adjoining buildings, plus several small heated pools. It feels like a slightly upscale motel with neat, unfussy rooms, gleaming white walls and cream furniture. Guests can rent bicycles or enjoy barbecues in the open sunny courtyards and terraces.
Just beyond the northern tip of Birch State Park, the Pelican’s gleaming pale-yellow facade seemingly reflects the glorious sands over which it looms. A refurbishment has upped its game and helped clinch several awards. The lobby and public areas exude a classy retro feel, with wingback chairs and deeply molded ceilings – almost at odds with its exterior – while most rooms suggest boho-tinged beach chic. A 500ft (150m) private beach is staffed by attendants and waiters, and there’s a good spa to help tease the sand from your toes.
Lago Mar sits close to where the Stranahan River meets the Atlantic at the barrier island’s southern tip – a quarter virtually surrounded by a knot of canals. This expansive family-owned property is a venerable Fort Lauderdale landmark with a clutch of accolades and awards. Wood and rattan furnishings suggest an elegant Old Florida style, and spacious suites dominate the rooms. Facilities and activities, from a private beach and two pools to tennis courts, volleyball and basketball courts, make it particularly popular with families, many of whom never stray beyond its bougainvillea-dotted gardens.
Few, if any, Lauderdale hotels resemble a cruise liner; fewer still offer a surreal mermaid aqua-burlesque show. In reviving (and completely renovating) the Yankee Clipper – an iconic 1950s beachfront property – B Ocean Resort has made it their own. Stylish modern design with a playful beach-chic aesthetic and marine-inspired artwork are complemented by infinity pools, five restaurants and bars, plus a fitness center. Tired of the private beach? Revive yourself in the spa or explore the local byways on free bicycles.
Framed by the Intracoastal Waterway, a marina and the azure ocean, Bahia Mar’s location is unique even by Fort Lauderdale standards. Then there’s the private road-crossing skywalk leading you from the hotel’s pool to the beach. The paired buildings – one a dazzling white tower with more panoramic rooms – together conjure a truly swanky resort, though its casual beach-chic vibe will make you feel relaxed and comfortable.
With its balconies’ distinctive blue glass railings and sea-facing pool alongside a thatched-roof tiki bar, Ocean Sky pays playful homage to the ocean it overlooks. Featuring plenty of wood tones and finishes, rooms and suites are comfortable rather than stylish, and all have coffee-makers and mini-fridges. Children will love the mini-golf and games room, but at heart this is a casual and unpretentious hotel that embraces the beach and water sports on its doorstep.
Behind the curved-block facade overlooking Fort Lauderdale’s palm-lined northern beach strip, Sonesta’s renovated interiors offer sleek crisp design – think yacht-club chic fused with natural sand patterns – in spacious rooms and suites. Their recurring blue motifs echo spectacular oceanfront views, particularly from the lofty upper floors, and the pool and fitness center tick those resort-ready boxes. The restaurant eschews standard fare, instead delving into Caribbean-American fusion cuisine, and there’s also a Beach Market for casual snacks and take-out.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.