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“Not a bad stay, but could have been better”

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Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
Ranked #59 of 128 Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
west yorkshire
Level Contributor
46 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Not a bad stay, but could have been better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

We'd booked this hotel for a 5-night pre-cruise stay.

Even though we were from England and could probably be expected to be "first time visitors" to Fort Lauderdale, the check-in, although friendly, was perfunctory and we weren't given any handouts or information on the area - not even a street map or eating recommendations; just a hotel site map. Perhaps we'd just arrived at a busy time.

We'd booked in on a bed and breakfast basis into a Marina view room. When we opened our door I can only say that our first impressions were largely disappointing. The outlook wasn't too bad, although the marina view was marred to an extent by the deli roof and the proximity of the main road and the internal furnishings were "cheap" looking plastic chairs and a "cheap" looking wardrobe unit with one of the doors completely off its slider. The storage unit below the TV, which is shown in the photo's with doors, didn't have any, so all your things were on open view. The sheets were also stained.
I fixed the wardrobe door the following morning but reported the problems and our disappointment to reception, who were mildly apologetic and assured us that the housekeeping issues would be resolved (they were) but there was no offer to re-locate us or any sort of follow up to check that we were happy with the new bedding.

Food and dining: The breakfasts were good and we were well looked after by the waiting staff. We had dinner in the restaurant one night and this was generally reasonable but the menu was fairly limited and more of a "pub grub" level but at hotel prices. The deli was o/k but always a bit too busy for our liking as it was of course open to non-residents. It also looked out over the road at one side and the car park at the other.

Location: Despite our room being close to the road, the windows and curtains provided a very high level of soundproofing. The overhead walkway was very useful in getting from the annexe to the main building in the teeming rain we had on a couple of days. The marina and the yachts was stunning and a joy to walk round, with nice islands of greenery. The hotel is very close to both the water taxi stop, and the Jungle Queen, and the beach and promenade so couldn't be in a better location.

Hotel Facilities: The pool was average and the pool snack bar was good; we found the pool/gym attendants (and indeed most staff) friendly and helpful; the hotel shop had some rather nice things on sale at very reasonable prices and wasn't at all tacky or touristy and the staff here were always very welcoming and helpful. The hotel reception and annexe atrium could do with a bit of a more welcoming makeover, everything was a bit bland and utilitarian.

Would we stay again? We thought the location was perfect for us and well away from all the pedestrian hustle and bustle and if the rooms were updated, or if we opted for one of the tower rooms, we would very likely choose this hotel again. The price was reasonable for what we got.

Local recommendations: We spent a full day and evening on the Water Taxi with a hop-on hop-off all-day ticket:- EXCELLENT value for money, friendly and helpful staff, and a really excellent way of seeing the sights.
We also went on the Jungle Queen evening dinner and cabaret. This, too, was good value for money and although the cabaret left us a bit bemused (because it was a "take" on American TV celebs who we didn't know), the food was plentiful and the after-dark return was quite scenic and atmospheric.

Room Tip: only a few of the annexe rooms have small balconies and the ones further from the road are probably...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PeteWM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012 via mobile

Even basics seemed to defy their understanding! Twice we went back to the rooms and found that our rooms had been cleaned and they left us with no towels to shower with, when we called downstairs (twice) we were hung up on. One day our rooms weren't even cleaned until 5! Check in was supost to be at 4 and we got one room at 4:30 and the second room was not ready until 5:30! Our bags were not brought up like the front desk promised that they would be and it took an extra 30 minutes to get them to the rooms! The beach is beautiful (once you pay for your $10 beach chair and $20 umbrella not supplied by the hotel) and Las Olas was not far to walk but I would have payed the extra money and stayed almost anywhere else!

Stayed March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank em061606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bahiamar, General Manager at Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, responded to this review, 3 April 2012
Dear EM601606,

Thank you for sharing you feedback with us and please accept my apologies for the poor performance of my team.

As much as I don't excuse our process, honoring the request of both rooms to be on the same floor with a nice view limited the flexibility of the front office and, as a result we were behind our normal check in time. I understand our Front Office team apologized to you and extended your party of complimentary drinks at our pool bar for the inconvenience.

In addition, the team was not aware we had a technical problem with our "on hold tape" which lead you to believe that instead of placing you on hold, an agent disconnected you; something that would be completely against our believes. Unfortunately, we realized this tape was down this morning and we could not clarify it to you.

I am glad our customer service team stepped in and connected you with me last evening so that we were able to make things right.

Again, please accept my apologies and I hope to have a chance to welcoming you back in the future.

Warm regards,

Marcos Borras
General Manager
Warm regards,

Marcos Borras
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

I arrived mid-morning and they told me I could leave my bags there and enjoy the beach until check-in time, but then they realized they had a room that was already ready, so they kindly offered it to me and I got to check in about 5 hours early, which was great! And they gave me two of their delicious warm chocolate chip cookies, which was also great. :)

I needed to buy an underwater digital camera and was able to buy a really good one at the hotel's dive shop, whose staff was very knowledgeable. I also signed up for a snorkeling trip with them for the next day, which I can't review because it was cancelled due to bad weather. :(

My room was in the marina building, facing the parking lot and the beach, and was close to the All About Food store on the ground floor that was very convenient - hot and cold food, snacks and drinks. Beware the high fee on the ATM in there, though - better to get your cash elsewhere. I took a 15 minute walk down the beach a couple of times to the Beach Place area to pick up some items from the 7-11 and CVS - this is where all the action is, i.e. people, restaurants and shops, while the Bahia Mar is on a less crowded, quieter part of the beach.

I walked across the famous bridge to the beach once, and then I realized it was easier just to cross the street, which was pretty narrow in front of the hotel and not a long wait for the light to change.

I had read older reviews here about a "funny smell" in the rooms, which I only noticed when I turned the thermostat up - it was like a sulfur smell that came and went fairly quickly.

All in all, the Bahia Mar reminded me of a fewer frills, less stylish and trendy version of the B hotel, where I stayed last year - both rooms had exactly the same view, great location right across street from beach. I did not have a car, and I preferred the selection of shops in walking distance of the Bahia Mar to those near the B.

Room Tip: My marina room faced the beach, so not necessary to stay in the tower building for a beach view.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Allowingdiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

My boyfriend and I visit Fort Lauderdale often but hadn't stayed at the Bahia Mar before. We were pleasantly surprised and very happy with our choice! We had an Ocean View Balcony room that was just the right size with everything we needed! Room was updated and clean, the bed was super comfy. We were on the 11th floor, which was nice and quiet. We spent time at the pool and visited the beach, though it definitely wasn't swimming weather. The gym was clean and had all the right equipment, which was very important to both of us. Cybex! The location was just in the middle of everything, and we enjoyed walking to the bars and restaurants. Shopping is located close as well. Over all, was a great stay and I would definitely highly recommend it!

Room Tip: 11th floor Ocean View Balcony...can't go wrong with this view!! :)
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CHanson307
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Green Bay
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

We were here for 2 nights post cruise, arrived early, 9:00am, and a room was ready, so we could check in right away, front desk clerk fast and friendly. Room had view of ocean, marina and cruise ships-very nice. Great location, near water taxi, beach and a short walk to restaurants. Had a broken zipper on our bag, and the maintenance man (I believe his name was Mike) came up with his pliers to give us a hand. Room was quiet, clean, bed comfy, AC quiet, but plastic chairs? Would stay here again, and the cookies are good!!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hopeless56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
plainfield, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

My husband and I were hesitant to book the Bahia Mar because of the low price...but we arrived with our 3 and 5 year old sons and were pleasantly surprised. Pros: location is the BEST. Right across beach, within walking distance to all the restaurants, great bridge to beach, rooms were updated and clean, staff was helpful to us, deli downstairs was great.
I wouldn't even say I had cons, but if I had to name anything the pool was just ok, but even with that said it was our kids favorite part. I read a lot of the bad reviews and they sounded like they were describing a different hotel....we paid 111 dollars a night....u cannot expect the Ritz! But for that price it was WAY nicer than I would have expected. I would highly recommend and I would stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tigrwds26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
washington, dc
Level Contributor
26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

I stayed here for a couple of days. I found the staff overall to be friendly, from the valet guys to the front desk clerks. The building and all the facilities, however, need to undergo major renovations and many parts seem rather run down and outdated (e.g. the connecting bridges, slow elevator, paint and trimmings inside, outside appearance, etc.)

The ocean view room we were upgraded to was nice (thank you Kareen) and was so much better than the low rise marina view building we were initially put in. The bathroom area was spacious with lots of closet space.

The breakfast was not overly impressive. It was in the open area downstairs by the bar. $9 for continental and $17 for the full. The hot foods consisted of eggs, sausage, bacon, oatmeal, and some other thing. As a hilton honors member I got free continental, but had to pay an extra $6 for the full. I don't know if this is just for this hotel (and the Hilton down the street which I also stayed at), since I've never seen this before at any Hilton. I'm used to seeing made to order omelettes at least... or waffle makers. The b-fast here was not up to par.

The cost for parking was around $20 a day with in and out privileges. I had no problem finding a space at any time of day. The gym was compact...the pool didn't seem that big either.

Location-wise, it is a few minutes walk away from the main strip of bars and restaurants. The beach is a 5 min walk away - either via the connecting bridge/overpass or crossing the street. I was disappointed that there were no beach umbrellas or chairs provided by the hotel. Perhaps it's the city law prohibiting the hotel from doing this. There was a guy there not affiliated with any of the hotels renting umbrellas and chairs for $20 and $10, respectively.

If in the area again i would consider staying here again, but would hope for many improvements to have been made.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank niteflite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Property: Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
Address: 801 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-1629
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Broward County > Fort Lauderdale > Central Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach - a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy stunning surroundings and 44 breathtaking acres along the Intracoastal Waterway at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel- a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Located near the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel is a water taxi ride away from the shops, restaurants and nightlife of Las Olas Boulevard. Stay active with water sports, indulge the option to sail away on a cruise or simply relax on the white sandy beach. Bahia Mar is only a short drive from the Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Port Everglades Cruise Terminal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bahia Mar Beach Hotel
Bahia Mar Beach Resort
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale
Hotel Bahia Mar Beach

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