The Room: I’m one to appreciate a bright, clean room design. So, right off the bat I was a fan of my “Deluxe Ocean King” room at Sonesta Ft Lauderdale. Here’s what I found inside… For cleaning up: A very typical sized washroom adds little extra value to your stay,but the modern vanity, Aveda brand amenities and rainfall shower head provide a little bit of luxury to your daily grooming. For sleeping: Wow. I”m not sure if it’s because the mattress was brand new or if the hotel had a contract with the sleep fairy, but I slept VERY well. Referred to as their “Blissful” bed, I can’t think of a better description. For work: There’s not much room to spread out on such a small desk so it’s not particularly suited for business travelers. (See video review for a brief look at the junior suite which has an expanded living & work area. ). Wi-fi works well in the room and in each place I tested throughout the hotel. – -My overall impression of the room was pretty solid. Mixing typical space with fresh, upgraded design Sonesta’s rooms feel welcoming and are quite comfortable.
Service: At the time I stayed at Sonesta Ft. Lauderdale (then called “B Ocean”), the hotel had only been open for 10 days so there were a few very minor trips. First, some confusion regarding what comes with breakfast (the menu in the room was different than what was posted in the kitchen) and a little more confusion when I tried to check out one of the hotel’s iPads for use in the lobby/restaurant area. Everything else was handled with a smile and everyone from the valet to housekeeping was very helpful.
Perks: Did I mention the Aveda amenities? It’s one of the things I like about Kimpton hotels, and I appreciated it just as much here. The large touch screen concierge is a perk if you’re not used to it’s human counterpart. You can book a table at Joes, but no computer can sneak you a tee-time at an exclusive golf club…at least not yet. As mentioned, iPads are available for use (free) within the lobby area. It’s a nice touch, but they were all checked out each of the times I asked. Hopefully they’ll add more.
Location: At first look, You’d think the location would be a disadvantage when compared to the Westins, W’s and Marriotts down the road. But there’s just as much (if not more) shopping, just as many (if not more) quality restaurants and a far less crowded beach in the area around Sunrise Blvd. Plus you’re surrounded by the beautiful greenery of Bonnet House to the South and Hugh Taylor Park to the North. If you’re in town for a cruise, Port Everglades is a little further than from other hotels in the area, but not by much.
Lobby: Walking in you get a sense of class and comfort. A clean design adds to the refreshing feel of being in a vacation setting. One caveat is the mood lighting, which is a nice touch but is very strong and can be a bit jarring if you’re checking in at night. It made me dizzy.
Overall: On our scales this is a clear 4 star hotel on par with the quality of a Westin. Rooms are comfortable and modern with excellent views of beautiful neighboring parks and (of course) the ocean. A smallish pool area could be a drawback during peak times, but again…the ocean is across the street. I very much liked it here and hope the service levels continue and any early-run snafus are worked out soon.
Rating: 4 Hops (out of 5)
The Deal-How I got it: Travelzoo does it again. Introductory rates were offered at TZ’s website (not their weekly top 20 list). We recommend monitoring this and similar sites like Jetsetter and SniqueAway for sales that may not be listed in their e-mail newsletters & offers.