The Atlantic Resort & Spa
The Atlantic Resort & Spa
Address: 601 N. Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
Web Address: http://www.luxurycollection.com/atlantic
Fort Lauderdale is a wonderful place for a Quick Escape. The weather is beautiful year-round, it is a short driving distance from Miami, Orlando and even Jacksonville and it is a quick and usually inexpensive plane ride from the Northeast. On my last visit, my 6:15am flight got me in to Florida at 9am, time for breakfast before hitting the pool. If you are traveling with children, the area has lots to do for the little ones.
THE HOTEL: There is no shortage of beach front hotels in Fort Lauderdale, but most are the traditional cookie cutter chains. The Atlantic Resort & Spa is an elegant and charming Mediterranean styled luxury boutique hotel with 124 rooms, 58 suites and 5 penthouses, most with balconies and stunning views of the ocean across the street. The first floor features reception, a Business Center, a small art gallery highlighting local artists, a comfortable lobby seating area and the hotel's restaurant and bar, Trina. The 5th floor is home to a state-of-the art fitness center (open 24 hours), a private sun deck with lap pool that looks out onto the ocean, a bar, a cafe (serving lunch) and a unique spa. The spa offers a full range of hair, nail, waxing treatments as well as skin care and massage treatments. It recently introduced an interesting concept by creating treatments indigenous to particular parts of the world and pairing them to the scents and sounds of that area as well. The treatment rooms are beautifully done and the staff is pleasant and helpful. Full breakfast is served as early as 6am and a Miami Herald and New York Times are on your door by then. Room service is available 24 hours.
THE ROOMS: Rooms are huge by most standards with the smallest at nearly 600 sq. feet. Suites and penthouses are also over sized with one penthouse at over 3500 sq. feet. My room had white walls, beige Berber carpeting, dark mahogany furniture and picture frames. Contemporary artwork splashed color on the soothing palette. A queen 2 poster pillow top bed was draped in luxurious linens and plump soft pillows. The view over the pool to the ocean beyond was spectacular and I was treated to a breathtaking sunset in the morning. The large marble bathroom was painted in a faux bamboo style and had a soaking tub and a separate glass enclosed shower. This is a "Hall of Fame" shower...perfect pressure and temperature. You'll linger way beyond the usual. Bathrooms are equipped with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, thick plush towels, hairdryers and plenty of mirrors. The rooms also have with a stylish kitchenette with granite counter tops, a coffeemaker, microwave, stove and mini refrigerator. Rooms have wireless, although there is a daily charge....which I do not find necessary.
THE RESTAURANT: East End Brasserie. First stop has to be the bar, known for making some fantastic drinks with various infused vodkas like Sky vodka with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Also a nice wines-by-the glass list and tasty bar snacks. You'll want to eat outside on the terrace, set with wicker chairs and tables, crisp linens and flickering candles. The inside dining room is much less desirable. Between large Corinthian columns the beach and ocean across the street provide a romantic backdrop for your dinner. The menu is casual and quite a value; truffled lobster mac & cheese, mustard crusted snapper and a wonderful veal chop to name just a few items. The wine list, while not very lengthy or deep, has some wonderful choices and very fair pricing. The pastry chef has created an interesting dessert menu with items like chocolate fondue for two, creamsicle creme brulee and deep fried Key Lime cheesecake spring rolls.
THE SERVICE:Guests are greeted at the entry by bellman who whisk luggage and car away. Check-in is swift and efficient. Staff members throughout the hotel greet you as you pass and they even have someone on staff whose sole purpose is to measure guest satisfaction. Customer service is a main p riority with management and it shows in the way the guest is treated. A very knowledgeable and friendly concierge staff can help you with activities and reservations.
THE RATES: $209-$709 low season, $449-$909 high season.
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
This "jewel of a boutique resort", "terrifically located" across the street from the ocean and a mile from the massive Galleria Mall, offers "big rooms" done in minimalist whites and outfitted with "extremely comfortable beds", flat screen TV's and balconies that afford "excellent views"; suveyors are split on the service ("sublime" vs. "forgettable"), however, and aren't impressed with the Med restaurant, Trina, or the "too small" pool that's "in shade by mid-afternoon" ZAGAT.
WHILE YOU ARE THERE: They say there’s 3000 hours of sunshine in FL each year and temperatures seldom get below 50 degrees at any time. FL beach is beautiful and The Atlantic has its own poolparasailing, waverunners, snorkeling (there’s a natural reef off FL beach), boating, deep sea fishing and sailing. For the history minded the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is a fascinating look at the preserved estate and artwork of Frederick and Helen Bartlett (and his second wife Evelyn) built in the 1920’s. The delightful Riverwalk is home to restaurants and bars and features the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Discovery and Science, Museum of Art and Old=2 0Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum. Las Olas Boulevard is the place for shopping with an array of upscale boutiques, cafes and art galleries. Nearby is a bargain hunter’s paradise: Sawgrass Mills, (www.sawgrassmillsmall.com) a huge outlet complex with over 300 outlet stores including ove rlooking the ocean. Fort Lauderdale offers a treasure trove of other water activities including an upscale section (The Colonnade Outlets) with places like Coach, Ferragamo, Cole Haan, David Yurmin, Barney's New York, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss and more. If you are traveling with children, Wannado City, in the same complex as the Sawgrass Mills Mall may just be the coolest thing I have ever seen for kids. Too much to explain here, but take a look at www.wannadocity.com. It is absolutely amazing and may be worth the trip to Florida alone. In West Palm, you can drive your car through the Lion Country Safari (www.lioncountry safari.com) and see over 1000 animals. A little farther away you can experience the wild and untamed Everglades by airboat. www.seminoletribe.com. www.sawgrassrecreationpark.com. www.ecosafari.com. Last by not least, there are plenty of golf courses around and here's some favorites; The Club at Emerald Hills, www.theclubatemeraldhills.com and TPC at Heron Bay. www.tpc.com.
DRIVING DISTANCE FROM: Miami: 33 minutes, Orlando: 3 hours, 20 minutes, Jacksonville: 5 hours