The Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lago Mar is a bona fide Lauderdale landmark with a clutch of accolades and awards
Lago Mar is a bona fide Lauderdale landmark with a clutch of accolades and awards | Courtesy of Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club / Expedia
Photo of Amar Grover
24 December 2020

With it’s sunny beaches and golden sand, Fort Lauderdale in Florida is a great place to take the family for a traditional summer break. The Venice of America is still a yachting and vacation “fun-shine” hub that draws families and retirees from across the US and abroad. Read Culture Trip’s guide to the best family-friendly options in this destination in the Sunshine State.

Riverside Hotel

Hotel
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Riverside Hotel
Courtesy of Riverside Hotel / Expedia

Overlooking the New River and sitting 2mi (3km) back from the ocean along trendy Las Olas Boulevard, Riverside’s imposing 1930s mansion-block oozes Old Florida style. Along with its executive tower, this is a substantial property with an array of rooms and suites. A heated pool with a snack service stands beside the river and the hotel’s private boat moorings, and there’s a large, well-equipped fitness club.

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The Atlantic Hotel & Spa

Chain Hotel, Hotel
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The Atlantic Hotel
Courtesy of The Atlantic Hotel / Expedia

North of the city center on a prime sea-facing location, the Atlantic’s terraced facade (which includes a roof-top pool) boldly embraces its fine beachfront vistas. The rooms are large and families are amply provided for in “condo-sized” two-bed ocean suites; while penthouses feature marble bathrooms and Jacuzzis. There are plenty of dining options within walking distance, as are the historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

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Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel

Hotel, Chain Hotel
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Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel
Courtesy of Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel / Expedia

Close to the city’s vital cruise terminal and a major convention center, whatever this imposing modern property lacks in engaging style is balanced by convenience. The smart, functional decor is softened with tropical touches and its pool-garden area more closely resembles that of a destination resort. Two informal restaurants and a cafe neatly skew the Renaissance away from an overly corporate atmosphere.

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Bonaventure Resort and Spa

Hotel
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Bonaventure Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Bonaventure Resort and Spa / Expedia

Right on the city’s rim by the edge of the Everglades, Bonaventure’s lush 23 acres (9ha) encompass an almost self-contained resort with three pools (one featuring a waterfall), restaurants and a spa. Many guests simply rest up here for the duration of their vacation. If the space and facilities aren’t quite enough, a tennis club and golf course lie within walking distance. There’s a shuttle service to one of Florida’s largest shopping malls and Lauderdale’s fabled beaches lie 20mi (32km) east.

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Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Chain Hotel, Hotel
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Pelican Grand Beach
Courtesy of Pelican Grand Beach / Expedia

Just beyond the northern tip of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the Pelican’s gleaming pale-yellow facade seemingly reflects the glorious golden sands over which it looms. A 500ft (152m) private beach along with a palm-fringed pool and (children, take note!) sinuous lazy river make it a particularly good family option. A recent refurbishment – the lobby and public areas exude a notably classy retro feel at odds with the exterior – has upped its game and helped secure several awards.

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  • Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club

    Chain Hotel, Hotel
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    Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club
    Courtesy of Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club / Expedia | Courtesy of Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club / Expedia

    Lago Mar (or Lake Sea) stands close to where the Stranahan River meets the Atlantic on the barrier island’s southern tip. Here, the Harbour Isles neighborhood is virtually surrounded by a knot of canals and ‘lakes.’ This well-known and expansive family-owned beach resort is a venerable Lauderdale landmark with a clutch of accolades and awards. Wooden and rattan furnishings suggest an elegant Old Florida style. Facilities and activities, from a private beach and two pools to tennis courts, volleyball and basketball courts, mean many guests never stray beyond its gardens.

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    Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

    Chain Hotel, Hotel
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    Sonesta Fort
    Courtesy of Sonesta Fort / Expedia

    Behind the slightly austere curved-block facade overlooking Lauderdale’s northern beach strip, Sonesta’s recently renovated interiors offer sleek unfussy design – think yacht-club chic – in spacious rooms and suites. Their recurring blue motifs echo stunning seafront views, particularly from the lofty upper floors. Unusually, the sole restaurant eschews standard fare by delving into Caribbean-American fusion cuisine, and there’s also a Beach Market for casual snacks and takeout.

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    B Ocean Resort

    Resort
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    B Ocean Resort
    Courtesy of B Ocean Resort / Expedia

    Few, if any, Lauderdale hotels resemble a cruise liner; and fewer still offer a ‘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. As for the burlesque’s unique so-called aquaticats and acquamen, the most thoughtful family-friendly properties always keep something back just for the parents.

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    These recommendations were updated on December 24, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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