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Hotel Check In: W Fort Lauderdale

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I have been staying at the W Fort Lauderdale since they first opened a few years ago. My friend Russ was involved with the launch which included a brilliant opening party which was a truly glamorous affair with the likes of George Clooney and other celebrities.

The W means modern, hip fun and the W Lauderdale is no exception. It has a perfect location on the ever evolving Lauderdale beach. There is a beautiful Ritz Carlton close by and the strip is dominated by Starwood. The Westin Fort Lauderdale beach is next door and down the road the Sheraton. But I like the W.

Fort Lauderdale was nothing like this 2 decades ago. It was always the older folks who stayed here. It’s where the rather unflatering name for elderly winter residents Snow Birds came from. Back in the day Fort Lauderdale was just a less hip version of Miami. Well it’s changing.

The W has a great vibe. Even though it’s young and hip, it appeals to families. Los Olas is so close by and the restaurant scene there is fantastic.

The hotel itself boasts a great pool. Seen from the lobby as part of it is tempered glass, you can see the coastline of the new Fort Lauderdale from the deck. My favorite place is the outside bar. It has the best views and a chilled relaxed feeling.

Breakfast is served on the street level as the Lobby is on level 3. The food is very modern and not what we think of as hotel food. 925 Steak is a really fabulous (but pricey) restaurant. It draws the crowed from all over the area. Not just hotel guests by any means which is always a good sign.

Rooms. Ok So W was known when it opened in NY for small spaces but contemporary Chic. The W has some great spaces. There are 2 buildings. The main hotel and the residence wing. The residence wing is full of apartment style suites. They are the best I have seen in the US so far. Sweeping views of the coast line and a separate swimming pool away from the main pool. 1-2 bedroom suites with a full kitchen. So now you got my attention. Not just a kitchen but modern, stylish and full of W crockery and silverware. Great Steel double refrigerator and all the appliances you need. All in all this is a perfect space to have the family.

The service at the W’s is called Whatever and Whenever and I really feel the staff get this. It’s not the normal American service, just after the tip. It’s the real deal. Helping every step of the way. The concierge service is fantastic. Let them guide you to what’s around.

Shopping is a European’s dream come true. Malls are close by but the best Mall of all time is Sawgrass Mills. This is an outlet mall that supersedes all others. They don’t only have all the main stores like Polo, Juicy and Gap but they have the colonnade that is full of designer boutiques. There is Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo and so many more. It is a 30-40 minute drive, but worth the day there.

Relax and enjoy the W. Don’t rent a car. It’s all walking distance on the beach. There’s a great tapas bar at the Hilton next door and Fort Lauderdale beach has really come a long way since the spring breakers used to over take it. It now has a real class and not the drama of Miami. It’s my favorite spot anytime I have a few days to get away.

The W Fort Lauderdale has nice touches. The residence suites have a little crocodile on the bed, a signature of the hotel We have 6 at home (of course all paid for) and none was a gift from Russ. Geez what are friends for if they won’t give you a crocodile or two?

Daniel - Living GreenDaniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.

To contact Daniel or learn more visit www.themodelcook.com or follow on Twitter @themodelcook.

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