Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale: Best Areas & Hotels

Written by Alison Abbott and Carri Wilbanks
Updated May 20, 2021
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Once considered a hot spot for spring break college students, Fort Lauderdale has gone through a major transformation, and today it's also a family-friendly destination. Often called the Venice of the United States, the extensive canal system for boating combines beautifully with white sandy beaches. In reality, nothing is too far from the waterfront.

Hotels are centered around The Strip, a section of A1A that runs from Las Olas Boulevard north to Sunrise Boulevard along the Atlantic, and this is the best area to stay in Fort Lauderdale. Also known as Central Beach, the area has a pedestrian walkway filled with joggers and walkers, a great spot for people watching from one of the many cafés dotting the area. Las Olas, running east/west, is a popular destination for specialty shopping, galleries, restaurants, and entertainment.

Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale for Luxury

Fort Lauderdale skyline and beach
Fort Lauderdale skyline and beach

The Ritz-Carlton is always synonymous with glitz and glamour, and its beachfront location in Fort Lauderdale is no exception. The upper floor rooms offer spectacular views in all directions, and elegant accommodations are appointed in traditional style.

Find rejuvenation in the spa's sea-inspired treatments, including a large wooden steam sauna. On-site dining features a modern menu with an accent on local seafood. Las Olas boutiques are less than a mile away, and the hotel's carefully curated activities will delight guests of all ages.

Old Florida style and grandeur greets guests at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort. The 500-foot private beach comes complete with complimentary umbrellas and chairs. For additional family fun, the city's only lazy river is a standout.

Enjoy a massage in the beach spa cabana before moving to a poolside lunch. With two thirds of the rooms being oceanfront suites and offering phenomenal views of the water, this will be a vacation to remember.

The award-winning Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club is a secluded property covering 10 acres in the exclusive area of Harbor Beach. Known for its deeply rooted hospitality, the hotel features understated décor that combines the influence of the Mediterranean with a bit of Key Largo. On-site dining options are many, from casual to more formal. Resort amenities include a private beach, two swimming pools, tennis courts, a putting green, full-service spa, and fitness center.

Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale: Mid-Range

Fort Lauderdale beach
Fort Lauderdale beach

Clean, fresh, and conveniently located, Snooze is considered a hidden gem for value, with a view of the ocean. Many of the rooms offer a kitchenette, and the open-air roof deck lounge is a favorite spot with guests for reading or relaxation away from the surf. A nice perk are the towel, sunscreen, umbrella, and water toys provided for no extra charge.

The general consensus for a stay at the centrally located Premiere Hotel is a lot of "bang for your buck." Free parking, umbrellas, beach chairs, and Wi-Fi make this three-story, smaller property a good mid-range choice. Lush greenery and umbrellas decorate the pool area. Intimate interior public space is warmed by wooden accents and shelves lined with books. Rooms are simply decorated in white. Steps from the beach, it is close to popular Fort Lauderdale attractions and seven miles from the airport.

A beachy vibe and state-of-the-art amenities are a signature of The Aqua Hotel. Located in the unique North Beach Village collection of mid-century modern architecture, this family-friendly spot has two pools and easy beach access two minutes away. Palm trees provide shade in the inviting gardens, where you can have a picnic or barbecue. Port Everglades access makes it ideal for cruise passengers.

A short stroll to the white, sandy beaches at the southern end of Fort Lauderdale Beach is the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel. Bright and sunny interior accents reflect the Florida weather. Stroll along a marina of million-dollar yachts parked on the Intracoastal. For a change of pace, take a water taxi to shopping and restaurants on Los Olas Boulevard.

Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale on a Budget

Sandy beach in Fort Lauderdale
Sandy beach in Fort Lauderdale

Travel a few miles north on Ocean Avenue and it's possible to find a relatively cheap hotel or budget property on the beach with a pool. Ocean Manor Beach Resort Hotel has many loyal guests returning year after year. Efficiency rooms have full-sized kitchens. Watersports and cabana rentals are available.

Their Bamboo Tiki Hut has a relaxed menu and offers live entertainment on the weekends. After yoga on the beach, indulge in a massage to the sound of the ocean in a beachside thatched roof pavilion. Just keep in mind you'll pay for all the extras.

Galt Villas Inn is a vintage motel property, set back across the boulevard from the beach, with a Tommy Bahamas feel. Complimentary internet along with a fridge and microwave are in all the rooms. Fort Lauderdale Beach is four blocks away, and long-term guests will appreciate the on-site coin-operated laundry. A small pool and decorative murals brighten the outdoor space.

The reliable quality of La Quinta, approximately two miles from the beach, makes it a good budget selection. Comfortable rooms are equipped with the usual amenities, and a complimentary breakfast is provided. Las Olas and Galleria areas are a short drive, and guests can also relax by the on-site pool.

Situated two miles from the airport, Comfort Inn & Suites is another option in this category. Rooms are brightly decorated, and guests will appreciate the pool and hot breakfast.

Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale for Couples

Sun chairs set up on the beach
Sun chairs set up on the beach

For a romantic setting, especially as the sun goes down and the lights start to sparkle on the water, look no further than The Pillars Hotel. Located in an elegant garden setting on the Intracoastal, this 18-room property is part of the independently minded Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Gourmet dining takes advantage of nature's bounty and is only available to hotel guests and members of a private club. You'll find comfortable luxury in a boutique hotel setting just a short walk to the oceanfront.

An Instagram-worthy rooftop pool and the luxury Bliss spa make the W Fort Lauderdale a favorite with couples. This modern beachfront resort offers boot camp and yoga on the beach to start your day and dog-friendly accommodations for those traveling with their four-legged friends.

The seventeen-story Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina is a contemporary building on the Intracoastal. Well-equipped guest rooms offer amazing views of the surrounding area. Arrive by boat and book a spot at the 142-slip marina. Golfing couples will enjoy the guest privileges at nearby Grande Oaks Golf Club and can return for treatments at the hotel's full-service spa.

Active couples will find a romantic spot poolside at The Atlantic Hotel & Spa. The raised facility looks directly out over the ocean and is steps away from the beach. Private balconies are in all the rooms. Kitchenettes, complete with a two-burner stove and microwave, allow for a cost cutting meal in the room. The spa offers natural treatments and a romance package; the fitness center is open 24 hours.

Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale for Families

Toddler playing on a Fort Lauderdale beach
Toddler playing on a Fort Lauderdale beach

For families, Nobleton Hotel is just one block from the beach and offers good-value rooms in a great location. Choose from a variety of room styles, including studios and suites with kitchenettes and up to three bedrooms.

Whatever category you choose, all are ultra clean and modern with fun pops of bold color and art against a white-on-white color scheme. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool and free parking.

The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is right on the beach and another excellent family hotel that is also good value. It offers modern rooms and suites that were recently renovated and come with super comfy signature Westin beds. Away from the rooms, you can dine on Mexican at the signature restaurant or chill on a sun lounger in the sand or by the on-site swimming pool.

Right on the Intracoastal Waterway, the Manhattan Tower Apartment Hotel is another family-friendly hotel, just two miles from Fort Lauderdale's main beach. There are 13 apartments on offer, ranging in size from one to two bedrooms.

All come with full kitchens, as well as separate living and dining rooms. It is a good choice if your family is in town for a week or so as there is plenty of space to move around. On-site amenities include a heated outdoor swimming pool and free parking.

Finally, The Victoria Park Hotel is another option for families if you don't mind being a little farther from the water - the property sits on gated grounds about a mile from Fort Lauderdale Beach. It has a yesteryear meets modern vibe and offers affordable rooms and suites, which are spacious and comfortable.

Parents will like the in-room microwaves and mini-fridges, which make creating snacks for the kids easy. Amenities include a heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub. Parking is also complimentary.

Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale near the Airport

View over Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale's international airport is pretty close to the city center, but if you have a super early flight to catch or are arriving late at night and just want to sleep as close to the airport as possible, there are a number of options.

Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport is just a mile from the airport and offers free shuttle transport. The hotel is more than just an airport sleep, however, and could easily be used as your main base in Fort Lauderdale.

This family-friendly property offers modern rooms and suites with blackout curtains and desks. The hotel is also dog friendly if you are traveling with a pup. Other amenities include a heated pool, a restaurant with kids' meals, a yoga room, and coffee shop.

Another option near the airport is Homewood Suites Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port. This good-value property features modern one- and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens, which are also ideal for longer stays. A free breakfast is offered, and transport to and from the airport is also complimentary. Other amenities include a swimming pool and a 24-hour fitness center.

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