Hotel Review: Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach

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The cheery sound of live steel drum music livened up the pool area, and the smell of the grill fit right in with the warm sandy beach. There were hot dogs, ribs, hamburgers, plantain bananas, potato salad, coleslaw and a slew of condiments all laid out in buffet style. I casually took a plate and filled it up, swaying in time with the music.

bbq 5

Earlier I had checked in and received keys to room 312. Usually when staying at a hotel I rely on status to get upgraded to a suite but there was no need here. I had simply booked a paid reservation for the hotel’s top room type (2 bedroom oceanfront suite) which cost less than $200. Typically that room type goes for around $300 which is still a great deal considering you get the two best bedrooms and views in the house, plus two balconies.

lobby 3Lobby

lobby 4Lobby

Lobby 2Fresh lemon water and apples

Once I took the elevator up that was located just to the side of reception I found my room all the way at the end of the walkway towards the ocean.

bedroom 312Bedroom in 312

The view wasn’t great since it was only on the third floor and was in line with the palm trees, but it sure was oceanfront.

view from 312

I noticed a washrag on the floor of the kitchen though, and the kitchen cupboards were all open. I went down to reception and let them know it looked like housekeeping was still working in that room.

I said I wasn’t in a hurry and that if a different room would be ready a little later on I’d be fine with waiting. She said it wouldn’t be oceanfront since her system showed that I’d booked a 2 bedroom ocean view. I pulled up the reservation confirmation from my email and showed it to her. She conceded that it must have been an issue with the computer and agreed to put me in another 2 bedroom oceanfront room when one was ready. There was an onsite barbecue in full swing, and she gave me complimentary tickets to enjoy until the room was ready.

bbq sign

bbq 3Plantain bananas and BBQ sides

bbq 4Salads and BBQ fixings

A wooden bridge led from the resort out towards the beach where there were cabanas and jetskis for rent.

DSC04060

There was a cheesy fake grass sitting area, but I figured it looked better in the evenings with the tiki torches lit.

DSC04080Cheesy fake grass area with tiki torches

The beach itself was pretty clean, with minimal trash.

DSC04061

A path led from the Residence Inn to nearby hotels like the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 11.25.48 AMResidence Inn location per GoogleMaps

The hotel also had a little convenience store that was well-stocked with sundries and snacks. The frozen bananas were a nice snack for kids that came in from the swimming pool and wanted something sweet.

DSC04059Convenience store

DSC04081Bananas

About 30 minutes later the hostess from the front desk appeared with a new key. She apologized for the inconvenience and said the new room was ready. Great!

The new room was on the 10th floor and was located in the same spot that the earlier room had been. Walking along the outside hallway I thought that it was a little odd that the walkway wasn’t enclosed since it was all the way up the 10th floor, but at least there were fresh breezes.

DSC04107Hallway to room

The view was much better from this room, and I had a bird’s eye view of the resort and could see all up and down the beach.

poolPool

view 4Beach with cabanas

view 2Path leading from hotel to beach

view 8Awesome view

The room actually took up the entire front of the top floor of the hotel. Windows were floor to ceiling in both the living room and the bedroom, and since it was a 2 bedroom suite the balconies on either side were also mine.

DSC04065Front facing view of hotel, with my room on the top 10th floor

I could even see the ocean from the shower in the master bath! The bathroom was super clean as was the entire place.

showerShower with view of ocean

The carpet had worn a little thin, but this was definitely a place I could stay at for a few weeks. Yes, the furniture was a little worn in places too but it had a comfortably beachy lived-in feel rather than an oh-no that needs to be replaced right away vibe. Plus, the floor to ceiling windows in each room were fantastic.

DSC04055Huge windows

couch in 312Couch

A washer and dryer were in the hallway, along with a large closet. There was also a second closet right when you came in the door so if you were staying a long time there was plenty of hanging space.

DSC04053Washer/dryer in hallway

DSC04054Large closet

The kitchen had a dishwasher, microwave, pantry, fridge, burners, and of course plates and utensils.

kitchenKitchen

There was a pantry that would come in handy for longer stays.

pantryPantry

Each bedroom had plenty of room, and there was a separate side balcony for each.

bedroom 4Master bedroom view into the sitting room

The 2nd bedroom was on the far side of the sitting room so it separated the two bedrooms well. If two couples were staying in the suite there would be very little noise heard (if any) between the bedrooms.

bedroom 32nd bedroom

view from 2nd bedroom2nd bedroom

2nd bathroom2nd bathroom

balcony 2nd2nd room balcony

bedroom 2Master bedroom view towards sitting room

living roomCouch in sitting room

The master bathroom was not ensuite with the master bedroom. Instead you walked through the sitting room/kitchen to get to the bathroom. Not a big deal for me, but something to note if you are traveling with a group.

living room 4View towards master bedroom and kitchen

There were just two of us in the room so we didn’t even use the second bed/bathroom, and since it was a one-night stay the kitchen didn’t get any use either.

I loved watching the ocean from the huge windows, and at nighttime the view right from the bed was gorgeous.

view from bedView from bed

DSC04095 Nighttime view over the ocean

Breakfast downstairs the next morning was chaotic. There were lots of people, many of the serving bowls were empty and breads were out, so people kept coming back to check.

DSC04099Chaotic breakfast area

DSC04100Muffins

I also didn’t like the plastic plates that the hotel used. Some hotels have plastic where others have paper, and I wonder how much money a hotel really saves by getting the cheaper, less environmentally friendly plastic ones.

DSC04098Waffle machine…and plastic plates

The big hit was the waffle mix with do-it-yourself toppings.

DSC04096Waffle toppings

Check-out was quick, and valet brought the car around shortly thereafter.

This hotel was an unexpected gem for such a low price (under $200 for a 2 bedroom oceanfront suite). The front desk staff was friendly and helpful to everyone, even during busy times. I was only staying for a single night with my husband but if I was traveling with a bunch of family members like Points with a Crew does, the 2-bedroom oceanfront setup would have been perfect.

Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach.

Category 7, 35,000 Marriott Rewards points needed for a free night.

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Good To Go

+ Prime views from entire front of the top of the hotel
+ Floor to ceiling windows, lots of space, clean rooms
+ Friendly guest service with fun extras like BBQ and live band

Good To Know

- Valet only, for $20
- Not much within walking distance
- Pool area was a little small
- Computer issue originally showed me booked in an ocean view rather than ocean front room
- Busy breakfast area had too many people for too few items, and was understaffed

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 4/5 Magic Stars

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