advertisement

The Fort Lauderdale beach has a hotel or motel on nearly every block, ranging from run-down to luxurious. Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort Hotel and Suites, 4221 N. Ocean Blvd. (tel. 800/329-7466 or 954/563-2521), has clean oceanside rooms starting at about $65. For a cushier stay, look into the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale resort , which opened in May 2007 as a St. Regis and was quickly taken over by the Ritz . Just opened in the fall of 2009 is the $220-million W Fort Lauderdale Hotel & Residences (tel. 954/525-8133), a boutique-hotel-slash-condominium with ocean views and a very hip and happening bar.

In Hollywood, where prices are generally cheaper, the Ramada Hollywood Beach Resort, 101 N. Ocean Dr. (tel. 954/921-0990; www.ramadahbr.com), operates a full-service hotel right on the ocean. With prices starting at around $79 in season and discounts for AAA members, it's a great deal. Marriott Hollywood Oceanfront, 2501 N. Ocean Dr. (I-95 to Sheridan St. E. to Fla. A1A S.; tel. 866/306-5453 or 954/924-2202), is a recently renovated beach resort with a fantastic location right on the beach.

Hollywood Beach's reasonable prices may not last much longer, though. In 2010, a developer signed a deal with singer Jimmy Buffett to bring the first ever Margaritaville resort to a city-owned site on the ocean. Plans for the resort include Tiki bars, an amphitheater with free concerts and rates 15 percent higher than area hotels. Despite the deal, Planet Hollywood is said to be fighting for that same land to open a hotel and water park. At press time, the two teams were set to battle it out in a City Hall meeting. If either or both parties win, it could dramatically change the sleepy landscape of Hollywood Beach. Stay tuned.

Extended Stay America/Crossland Economy Studios (tel. 800/398-7829; www.extendedstayhotels.com) has four super-clean properties in Fort Lauderdale and offers year-round rates as low as $45 a night and $159 per week. The studios are designed with business travelers in mind: Each includes free local calls, a dataport, a kitchenette, and a well-lit desk.

For rentals for a few weeks or months, call Florida Sunbreak (tel. 800/SUNBREAK [786-2732]) or check the annual list of small lodgings compiled by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (tel. 954/765-4466). The latter is especially helpful if you're looking for privately owned, charming, affordable lodgings.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.