The South Florida coast has attracted travelers for decades. Nestled between busy Miami and touristy Fort Lauderdale is Hollywood Beach; a town that offers the fantastic weather and beaches of its neighbors without all of the headaches. When I need to get away from it all (and when I have the time!), I like to find a hotel on the beach and just unplug for a while. So for my latest adventure, I took some time out and stayed at the wonderful Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. Hollywood Beach is where I had a client years ago, and my trips here and to other clients in Florida twisted my arm to move from Chicago to Florida.
The Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach had everything I was looking for in a beach hotel; giant rooms, beautiful pool, beach access, patios to watch the sunset, and a poolside bar. The “business traveler” part of my brain also noticed some amenities that I always look for when I travel; a fitness center, business center, meeting rooms, in-hotel restaurant, and a kitchenette in the room. So while the intention of my visit was to relax, I still managed to keep work on my mind. Isn’t that always the case? Though working poolside is much better than sitting at a desk!
Relaxing in the room was easy. My 462 square foot room offered plenty of room to just spread out. The two patios gave me a choice of which view I’d like to enjoy my coffee with. The bathroom sink was located outside of the bathroom which kept the mirrors from fogging up after a shower.
What I have never seen before is drapes that come with clips to keep the drapes closed. Having curtains that do not close all the way is a common complaint amongst travelers and this hotel has it covered! It is refreshing to see hotels offer this standard so I don’t have to use my hotel hanger tip and can instead use the hanger for my clothes.
When work calls, there is a large, well-lit desk with a network cable ready. Wi-Fi is also included with the room. The kitchenette includes a microwave and mini-fridge for bringing back and reheating leftovers. I always like to find these amenities to be able to keep a few food items in my room. The in-room safe is large enough to fit a laptop and power outlets are everywhere! It’s the little things.
Outside of the room, the property has a lot to offer. You can choose to dine under shade outside or comfortably inside at the Elements Bistro. Dinner choices include salads, steaks and seafood, or you could just relax with a glass of wine at the inviting bar. The inside dining room is intimate and the wait staff professional. Come down early for a quick breakfast buffet or have the kitchen make you some Raisin Bread French Toast.
The poolside Lava Tiki Bar offers some lighter fare and tropical cocktails. Overlooking the intercoastal, have a piña colada and a blackened Mahi sandwich while envying the people on the passing boats.
The Crowne Plaza Hollywood also offers ample meeting space in case you’re looking to get a tan during your next conference. 10,000 square feet of space is spread across six different rooms. My favorite was the waterfront pavillion, which happened to be used for a high school reunion during my visit.
And if you’re looking to get off property, Hollywood Beach and the surrounding area has a lot to offer. Just a quick walk across the street, you have convenient beach access. Hollywood Beach Boardwalk is just further up the beach. The Crowne Plaza is just a quick drive from the Fort Lauderdale airport, Dolphin Stadium, Seminole Hard Rock Casino, and a few racetracks. It is also a short distance from Miami (though not a quick drive thanks to traffic). The hotel displays a weekly calendar in the lobby of things to do each day ranging from concerts in the area to wine tastings and art exhibitions — again, a little thing that makes a big difference. If you don’t feel like driving, a $1 Trolley stops at the hotel to take you around town, which is great when you may not have a car or want a fun way to tour around.
You know how I am about rewards programs, so I was happy to earn points during my stay. Crowne Plaza is a part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, which also includes Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn.
This hotel is definitely one I would visit again. It’s a great place for both business and family. Here are a couple of things I would do differently next time:
- Let the wait staff in the restaurant know that I’d like the check once my coffee is brought after the meal. It took about 45 minutes for me to get my check and it wasn’t a very busy night.
- Watch for pool puddles on the lobby floors from the kids running in from the pool. This was a weekend, so the kids were more prevalent than they probably are during the week.
Also, I am not sure if the premium tv channels (HBO, for example) were out due toweather or just out. I was hoping to relax with a movie, something I almost never do. The manager said it was weather-related but I wasn’t able to get HBO all weekend. Funny … I am finally able to relax this weekend and want to watch a movie and then the movie doesn’t cooperate. Oh well; small stuff to let you know things you may be interested in, though what’s most important is that this is a hotel you want to check out on you next trip to the Hollywood/Ft.Lauderdale area.
So if you’re looking for a good place to to relax while working, or work while you relax, even bringing the family with you on your next business trip, check out Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach.
Thanks go out to The Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach for hosting this visit.
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