I arrive early for check-in and my room isn’t ready, but as I’m staying in a club room, I’m able to wait in the club lounge, which has a balcony with sweeping views of the attractive canal and beach areas nearby.
This large hotel, built to resemble an ocean liner, enjoys a prime position on the Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, though it's not right on the beach, as some photos suggest.
Relaxed and breezy, the hotel is popular with young American families and European holidaymakers, particularly from the United Kingdom.
My room is on the 14th floor and faces north, with a balcony overlooking a narrow coastal strip flanked by water. It's lovely and quiet, but I have to keep calling for an engineer to work on the air con, which isn't cold enough and keeps going on and off. The pillows are limp and I'm surprised that there is no pillow menu. As a last resort, I stuff two pillows into one pillowcase. There's also an annoying flashing light over the bed. On the plus side, there is a good-sized bathroom with a fast-filling bath.
Mostly helpful, but staff in the club lounge are either always trying to strike up a conversation or unable to properly understand English.
It’s more assured at the spa, where I recover from a 16-hour flight with a 110-minute “intuitive ocean” treatment consisting of a salt and oil scrub, marine body wrap and massage (US$279; Dh1,025).
The hotel’s main restaurant is the recently revamped Burlock Coast, which is on the ground floor and opens up onto a terrace just across the road from the beach. Its seafood is delicious and well-priced – six ceviche tacos for $12 (Dh44) or $30 (Dh110) for a lobster pasta. Breakfast is both fun and sophisticated, and you can order à la carte or go for a buffet.
The location, views and spa.
The air con and limp pillow situation, and the fact that young children are allowed in the club lounge, which, at times, made it feel almost like a kindergarten.
This is a great base for a short break or holiday, if you can ignore the niggles and secure the lowest rates.
The bottom line
Double rooms at The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale cost from $358 (Dh1,314) per night. This price includes taxes but excludes breakfast.