South Florida, or “SoFla” for the enlightened, is home to more than five million residents, which is understandable given the region encompasses gorgeous coastal cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The area has remained a tourist hub for decades, even now attracting over 12 million visitors annually. A quick look at the weather makes it obvious why. For its part, Fort Lauderdale has a comfy mean temperature of 75 degrees, and its 23 miles of beaches receive close to 3,000 hours of sunshine every year.
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Wanderlust weather coupled with expansive Atlantic Ocean access has understandably made Fort Lauderdale a boating and yachting haven, housing 45,000 resident yachts—many of which a traveler can spot on the area’s various navigable waterways to include the New River that runs through Fort Lauderdale's bustling downtown. In fact, the city is famously intersected by a vast network of canals, measuring 165 miles in total, lending credence to the city's nickname of the "American Venice." The bounty of boating aside, Fort Lauderdale is also a tourism mecca that boasts a myriad of top-tier restaurants, golf courses, malls, museums, nightclubs and, of course, lodging.
One property of note just to the north of Fort Lauderdale is the Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, which has a good deal to offer relaxation-minded travelers and fun-seekers, alike. Perhaps the most distinguishing aspect of this property is that it’s the only beachfront resort in the area that sits directly on the sand, which allows guests to easily hop back and forth between the pool and beach where chairs, sunscreen and other provisions are offered. In all, this resort is a particularly great option for those looking to spend a notable amount of time funning and sunning on the sand.
As the resort is centrally located halfway between Palm Beach and Miami in Pompano Beach, named one of the top 10 “up-and-coming” U.S. destinations by TripAdvisor, there are many tourist-friendly attractions and activities nearby making jaunts around town a breeze. Or, stay on-site to enjoy an array of amenities, including casual and fine dining, a state-of-the-art fitness center and the SiSpa where sea-inspired treatments will reinvigorate the body and mind. Pay a visit to McCoy's Oceanfront, which offers a selection of seafood and American cuisine employing local, sustainable ingredients, and prepared under the direction of their Executive Chef, Eric Kaszubinski. The restaurant also has a prohibition-era flair, exemplified by drink options like the "Bootlegger" and "Repeal of 1933."
The boutique-minded nine-floor resort has 194 rooms, 25 suites and seven meeting rooms that total 8,200 square feet of gathering space. No matter which room you choose, each are equipped with a bevy of pleasing features and amenities: air conditioning, pillow-top mattress and down comforter, cotton-rich linens and duvet, wet bar, mini-fridge, coffee maker, marble bath with hair dryer and lighted electrical mirror, Bath and Body Works toiletries, robes, a safe, in-room cable on 42-inch flat screen TV featuring premium movie channels, desk area with ergonomic chair, multiple electrical outlets and daily newspaper delivery.
Technology is also abundant, including wireless high-speed internet that stretches to the sand, iPod dock CD stereo and two phones with speaker capability. Also, even before arrival the Marriott Mobile App makes it possible for guests to check-in in advance.
It’s Good to Be the King
While the hotel offers a variety of room styles each with their own specific features and views, one standout is the Oceanfront Deluxe King Executive Suite option. This non-smoking room measures 425 square feet to accommodate up to four occupants, and has sound-proof windows and sliding glass door that opens to a spacious private balcony overlooking priceless panoramic sea views. The corner room in which I stayed had a wrap-around balcony providing even more spectacular scenery, including an unencumbered view of the mesmerizing morning sunrise as well as the enchanting and iconic Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse built in 1907 that’s not far off in the distance. In total, there are 133 square feet of outdoor space from which to enjoy cathartic sea breezes as you sip on morning coffee and evening cocktails. This royal suite option has other appealing attributes, including separate living and sleep areas, two flat screen TVs with international cable/satellite and well-appointed bathrooms.
Activities for All
Pleasure seekers staying at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa not only have access to fantastic food, beverage, pool, beach and spa service options on-location, but are also only a short distance away from throngs of other things to do—from sailboat charters to shopping to designer duds. Indeed, retail revelers can easily get to the famed Las Olas Boulevard and the Galleria mall, both prime shopping locations for those who want to see and be seen.
On the water, there are diverse ways to pass the time on a trip. In addition to leisurely cruises, sport boat excursions and a multitude of fishing options (relaxing spots and deep sea), visitors can enjoy other water activities like SCUBA diving and snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding and jet skiing amid an abundance of rental companies. There's also a nearby cable-ski course at Quiet Waters Park, the longest in the nation, which is a peculiar hybrid activity that combines elements of surfing, skiing and wakeboarding. It's a surefire way for adrenaline enthusiasts to get their blood pumping. Or, simply meander the Intracoastal Waterway in a water taxi from which you can marvel at the parade of mansions along the way—and pop into any of the dock-friendly dining establishments where fresh Florida seafood shines.
A Lovely Locale
When asked about some of the long and short term goals for the property, its Director of Sales and Marketing, Susan Aichele-Sanders, conveyed a palpable sense of community pride. “We’re dedicated to educating visitors about the many great things that Pompano Beach has to offer as a travel destination,” she said. “While the resort is conveniently located between other more established tourist destinations like Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton, there is a true charm about Pompano Beach that should be discovered. The resort team is very proud of the city’s character and the many things that differentiate it from neighboring beach destinations.”
Be it business or pleasure, travelers of all stripes can certainly find something of value in scenic Pompano Beach. Accommodations-wise, the Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, through its central location, fine views, comfortable accommodations and committed staff, provides a quality respite where tourists can aptly relax, unwind, and enjoy quintessential oceanside ambiance.
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***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***