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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fort Lauderdale, Florida -- FLL airport / Crowne Plaza

March 2012, Weekday points redemption, One-night, Presidential suite #1128

Status perks
I had reserved a regular suite with 25,000 points--the standard award amount, and received an upgrade to the presidential suite! 

The presidential suite at this hotel was a fabulous upgrade. The double door entrance, which entered into the living area, had a deadbolt lock. I was glad to see this since I have stayed in guestrooms with a double door that did not have a second lock before. 
entry & table

There was a full size fridge, small sink, microwave, and coffee maker in the kitchen area. The large living area contained a table with four chairs, a desk and chair, flat screen TV, couch, two soft chairs, and coffee table. There were plenty of outlets, and the Internet connection speed was good. All of the furnishings were comfortable and in good condition. The bathroom in the living area was located between the kitchen and living room. 

This suite contained a separate and spacious bedroom with a closing double door. There was a large suitcase bench at the foot of the bed, and a flat screen TV in the bedroom, in addition to a closet, night stands, lamps, and more outlets.

The spacious bathroom located in the bedroom included a walk-in shower--with a comfortable stone look grip floor, whirlpool tub, chic vanity, and separate toilet area. Everything was clean and well maintained.
whirlpool tub

Food & Beverage
We ordered a club sandwich to share at the bar, which was very good. It was prepared on sourdough bread with fresh ingredients, and was served with fries. The portion size was large enough to share. 

At check-in, we had received a coupon good for a free beverage with the purchase of an entree. When we were in the bar that evening, it sounded like this perk was given to all guests, and not just PCR members. The bartender let us use the coupon even though our food item was not a dinner entree. Two guests next to us used their coupon for similar food items, and after they ordered two items, the bartender deducted two beverages from their tab.

The pool is located on the 5th floor, as is the bar and restaurant. The pool chairs were comfortable, and there was cushioned seating on the patio outside the pool area. The only thing we thought the pool area was missing was a whirlpool tub, and since we had one of those in our guestroom, this did not impact our stay. We were staying at this hotel pre-cruise, and we could see the cruise ships from the patio.

Misc. and overall
The hotel shuttle was very prompt when we arrived at the airport. The hotel offers a shuttle to the cruise port; however, it is less expensive to take a taxi. Our cab ride was less than $10 before tip. Taxis do not wait at this hotel because there is no place to park. If I had known this, I would have called down ahead of time, so we wouldn't have had to wait after checking out. The wait was less than 7 minutes (the time quoted by the front desk agent), so it wasn't too bad. And, if you don't call the front desk or bell services for a cab beforehand, you may get lucky to have one nearby anyway. We met some guests at this hotel who were going on the same cruise that we did, and they told us that there happened to be a cab at the hotel when they checked out.

I observed only one restaurant very close to the hotel--Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. If you don't mind walking, as we don't, there are other restaurants and shopping just under one mile away. We walked to the Publix shopping center (to visit the wine store) behind the Embassy Suites on 17th St. You can cut over on 20th St. from N. Federal Highway (US 1). We walked to McDonalds on the corner of 17th St. and N. Federal Highway for breakfast. Both of these walks were just under one mile one-way.

I was happy with everything at this hotel--the service, room comfort, location, food, pool area, and bar. At the last minute, I had changed our plans from a Jr. Suite at the airport Hilton (also with 25,000 points) to this Crowne Plaza because I had read some bad reviews about the Hilton. I was somewhat worried before our stay because the pool area at the Hilton looked tropical and grand. After our stay, I was happy with our decision to stay at the Crowne Plaza instead.