Ft.L/Miami/Keys query - Help!

Old Oct 7th, 2003, 11:24 AM
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Ft.L/Miami/Keys query - Help!

Help! I need to book my tickets and don't know where to start.

My husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary with a one-week vacation (sans children!) first week of November. We are considering a few days in either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, and a few days in Key West.

We are in our early 40's, so are not looking to mix in with the the party life on South Beach. We are looking for probably a resort type hotel, with a beach or romantic setting, and nice amenities. Probably around $150/nite. I might be able to talk him into a smaller guest-house type place for Key West, but definitely not for Miami/Ft.Lauderdale.

Any recommendations you can offer will be really helpful.

Thank you,
Travlhappy is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2003, 11:33 AM
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Nice resorts in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area; Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove, Sonesta Beach Resort, and the Grove Isle Resort in Miami. In Ft. Lauderdale, the Westin Diplomat and the Lago Mar are two that come to mind.

With the exception of a couple of places like Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada or Little Palm Island, the keys don't really have any "resort" type places. The closest thing I can think of in Key West would by the Hyatt or one of the Wyndhams. My sister rants and raves about the Gardens, The Heron House, and the Marquesa in Key West.
Old Oct 7th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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GoTravel is right about the absence of resorts in the keys. Casa Marina is probably the closest thing to a true resort in Key West, but you may have a problem finding a room for $150 a night, as rates will have begun to hike in November. In addition, the Casa Marina isn't in a location that's convenient to sunset celebrations, restaurants and other tourist activities.
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Old Oct 7th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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For Miami I would suggest the Sonesta Key Biscayne. I was in the area and kicked myself for not booking there. The beach was beautiful and uncrowded, and you can probably get a deal at either Quikbook.com or directly through the Sonesta site. As for Ft. Lauderdale I think the Wyndham Bonaventure there might work but not sure on rates.
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Old Oct 7th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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I love Key West (particularly the Gardens Hotel), but to do Miami/Ft L AND the Keys will require a lot of driving.
A good day will be spent driving to Key West, and a day back. (Actually only 4-5 hours - each way - of driving, but that's a lot of driving. Plus, add in the time required if you want to stop along the way)
You might be better off staying in one spot and just making day trips.
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Old Oct 7th, 2003, 12:39 PM
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missjanna, with all due respect, the Wyndham Bonaventure is at least a 45 minute drive to the beach in good traffic.
Old Oct 7th, 2003, 04:27 PM
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Even tho you are 40 something and not into the South Beach scene, I would encourage you to stay on Miami Beach near the Lincoln Road area. You will have a beautiful beach to relax on and a great place to walk around at night. Lincoln Road is a pedestrian mall that is entertaining for all types and ages. You could even head up the beach a bit and stay at the Fountainbleu and cab down to Lincoln Road.
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Old Oct 7th, 2003, 04:55 PM
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I am 40 and my hubby is 41 we stayed in Fort Lauderdale at Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa
-it was wonderful! A lady that lives in Fort Lauderdale said it was the best there...it is on the beach...really nice....great beach...nice pool....you can't go wrong!
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Old Oct 7th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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I live about half way between Ft. Lauderdale Beach and Wyndham Bonaventure. I'd say the drive to the beach is closer to 30 minutes. However, I wouldn't recommend it because it's so far west and not in Fort Lauderdale.

The Diplomat is in Hollywood, not Ft. Lauderdale. However, it's a nice area and loads of people like it. I haven't been there since they re-built (they blew up the old building and built from the ground up.)

With only a week, I'd suggest flying to Key West (EYW) from Ft. Lauderdale (approx $200/pp r/t & the flight is beautiful!) You'll be there in an hour. No car is needed in KW, but you'll need one if you want to see other parts of the Keys.

You might want to just stay in the Keys for the week. I recently spent 6 days just in Key West and wasn't bored for a minute! Loads to see and do, but the beaches are horrible.

I can't comment on Miami Beach or South Beach area, as I haven't been there in many years and I'm sure it's changed.

If you decide on Ft. Lauderdale, you need to know there will be an International Boat Show the first weekend of November (it runs for 5 days and ends around Nov. 2nd) and the marinas along the beach area will be full of beautiful boats & yachts. You might enjoy the show, but I wanted you to be aware this might affect the room rates in the area of the Radisson Bahia Mar (host hotel) and the Marriott Harbor Beach is just a few blocks away. The show is huge and even spreads to the Convention Center, which is near the Marriott on SE 17th Street. You might want to stay in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and catch a cab to the beach area if you want to see the activity, but have a quiet retreat to return to. LBTS has some nice motels right on the ocean. Most of the hotels on Ft Laud beach area across the street from the beach.

Whatever you decide on, I'm sure you'll have a great anniversary week. Congratulations!

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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 07:30 AM
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i might suggest that you fly into West Palm Beach (PBI) and book your stay at the Marriott in Delray Beach. Not FL or Miami, but if my wife and i are going to be away from the kiddies, this is where we stay. And because the hotel is literally right across A1A from what i believe is one of the best beaches in S.Fl., a few miles from I-95, and walking distance from a nice downtown (Delray Beach) it is absolutely perfect for our getaways. The Marriott is a resort type hotel, with a great pool, nice rooms (get an ocean view) and a quiet, relaxed, non-snobby atmosphere. And might i suggest, for one of your anniversary dinners, the Sun Fish Grille in Pompano Beach (Atlantic Blvd) is just about the best seafood resto south of Le Bernadin in NYC.
flopmeister is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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heartburn, which route are you taking? It always takes me at least 45 minutes to get to the beach from the Plantation area. I'd love to have a faster way to get to the beach!
Old Oct 14th, 2003, 11:21 AM
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Start by checking air fares/availability between your home destination and PBI (West Palm Beach)FLL (FT Lauderdale) and MIA (Miami). See if it's possible (probably not) to fly into one of those & out of Key West.

Whichever destination has the best flights/fares/avail. will determine where you spend the first part of the trip because all these loactions ahve great hotels. BOOK IT NOW before prices go up. That will decide where you start out. I agree flying to Key West is the best option. The most flights & best fares are out of Ft Lauderdale but will still be abt $200 /person RT. If you could depart from Key West, you can buy 1 way tkts there.

Once you have your destination check roomsaver.com for discounts. All the hotels people have mentioned are good. FYI Delray Beach is nearest PBI but also not too far from FLL.
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Old Oct 14th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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Not sure where you are flying from, but Atlanta has direct service to Key West now via Delta.
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Old Oct 14th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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FLOPMEISTER has given you the BEST advice....

The Marriott In Delray Beach is across the street from the Beach, but there are NO builings on that section of beach, making the rooms OCNFRONT....

It is in a PERFECT area of Delray, filled with boutiques, and terrific restaurants...You do NOT even need a car if you just want to veg and shop and eat...THE perfect area with TONS to do...and IF you get a car, you can drive straight up A1A to Palm Beach....

To get to Delray Beach, you need to Fly into WEST PALM BEACH...
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Old Oct 18th, 2003, 10:28 PM
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If you want to be away from the Duval Street madness in Key West, try the Sheraton Suites. It is on the south side of Key West right across the street from Smathers Beach which is the nicest and widest beach in Key West.
I nailed a room there for $99.00 a night on Hotwire in the middle of March, which is peak season and spring break time. Granted, it was a Garden View Room, not an Ocean View, but still, these rooms and this hotel is very nice. Rooms go for over 200 to 300 a night and higher for March. I was very happy when I heard it was Sheraton Suites. There is a shuttle that runs from Morning to Midnight to Duval Street from the hotel. Try Hotwire, you will not know until after you purchased, but a four star near a beach in Key West may be the Sheraton Suites.
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Old Oct 19th, 2003, 01:19 PM
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You have a lot of good hotel suggestions here so i won't add any, but i'll mention a couple of general things...

- Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach are more laid back. You can relax in Miami Beach/Key West too, but they have more of what you'd call party atmospheres.
- Key West has one beach and it doesn't really compare to Mia/Lauderdale. Your best bet is a B&B near center of town.
- Miami Beach restaurants are generally more expensive.
- At $150/nite, you'd probably have more hotel options outside of Mia. Bch.
- Key Biscayne, which is a small island south of Miami Beach, has beautiful beaches/hotels. Definitely relaxing, but if you stay there you should have a car.

I think Ft. Lauderdale or Key Biscayne might be better choices for you. If you stay in Palm Beach, you'd have a VERY long drive to Key West (Mia to KW is about 3.5 hr drive, add 1 hr from PB). Pricewise, I'm not sure you can get $150 at Key Biscayne during high season, so Ft. Lauderdale is probably best.
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