Lago Mar or Marriott with 3 Kids?

Jul 24th, 2005, 10:35 AM
  #1  
FVP
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Lago Mar or Marriott with 3 Kids?

Hi everyone!
I'm aware these two hotels have been discussed in past posts and both seem to be quality hotels for families.
Our situation is a bit unique: my wife and I are travelling [August 15th - 22nd] with 3 children - two are ours [ages 16 months and 4 years] and the other a neighbor [she is 13]. The Lago Mar has a 1 BR suite at $175/night that will accomodate the 5 of us. The Marriott has only standard rooms or suites that are much more money.
Can anyone comment on the Lago Mar's 1BR suites? Is the Marriott worth the extra money ? I'll have a rental car so we'll be able to drive to activities, restaurants, etc. Any suggestions on day trips? Are the pools at both OK for small children?
Many thanks in advance for the advice.
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Jul 24th, 2005, 03:41 PM
  #2  
 
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We have stayed in the 1 bedroom suites at least 6 times and loved them. The ones in the main building are somewhat newer while the ones in the North building are somewhat larger. Lago Mar would be my choice over the Marriott in your case. Right on the beach with two nice pools, one of which is suitable for small children.
HarryR is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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We've stayed in both hotels including the one bedroom suites at Lago Mar. The one bedroom suites are perfect, and I prefer the Lago Mar anyway. The Marriott is too crowded. The beach at Lago Mar has much more room to spread out. Have fun.
HankR is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 04:39 PM
  #4  
FVP
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Hank R - the response is much appreciated. I am leaning towards the Lago Mar myself and glad to see you agree.
A friend recommended the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach. 2 BR suites are around $120/night and a full breakfast is included. According to the map, it's a bit north of the Lago Mar. Any comments - good or bad - about the Embassy Suites and is it a place that we should be considering?
Thank you.
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Jul 24th, 2005, 05:44 PM
  #5  
FVP
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Harry R - thanks to you as well.
The pools and close beach are a winning combination with a 16 month old and a 4 year old!
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Jul 24th, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Embassy Suites.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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embassy suites are ok with a nice beach across the street but go with lago mar, beautiful place and in ft. lauderdale instead of deerfield with much more to see and do. you wont be dissapointed
bobrxlex is offline  
Jul 25th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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We have also stayed at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield, and while it is very nice, for location I would definitely go with Lago Mar. Many more dining options in the area of Lago Mar, including some kid friendly places.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 12:02 PM
  #9  
 
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Here are some places that we like to dine. The Aruba Beach Cafe, Bravo Italiano and IsalMorada Fish Co. would be kid friendly, in addition there is a Cheesecake Factory on Los Olas Blvd.
http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/

Fort Lauderdale Dining

1) Bravo Italiano 1515 S.E. 17th St. (954) 523-9441http://www.bravoitaliano.com

From Lago Mar, go back out to 17th St.. Take a left and go over the bridge. After going over the bridge, Bravo is located in a shopping plaza on your right side between the first and second traffic lights. There is a sign for Bravo on the side of the road.

2) Sage French Café 2378 N. Federal Hwy. (954) 565-2299 http://www.sagecafe.net

From Lago Mar, go back to 17th St. and take a right. 17th St. will turn into A1A which goes along the beach. Follow A1A to Sunrise Blvd. which will be several miles, turn left onto Sunrise. Take Sunrise to RT.1which is N. Federal Hwy. Take a right on N. Federal Hwy. Sage will be in a shopping plaza on you right. The shopping plaza is shortly after you come to several large car dealers and has a Planters Bank located in front of it. It is also easy to get to and from this restaurant using 17th St. to Rt.1 then going all the way down Rt.1 to Sage. Well worth the drive.

3) Shirttail Charlies 400 S.W. 3rd Ave. (954) 463-3474 http://www.shirttailcahrlies.com

From Lago Mar, go back to 17th St. and take a right. 17th St. turns into A1A which goes along the beach. Take A1A to Las Olas Blvd. and take a left onto Las Olas. Take Las Olas all the way to the end and take a left onto Andrews Ave. Go over the bridge on Andrews Ave. and soon after take a right onto S.W. 5thSt.. Go about 3 blocks on S.W. 5th and take a right onto S.W. 3rd Ave.. Down the end of S.W. 3rd. there will be a parking lot on your right and restaurant is right at end of street. Hard to see restaurant and parking doesnít look like it belongs to restaurant, but it does. This place also offers a boat ride along the river after dinner and you should take advantage of that. This place can be difficult to find, but these directions should work out OK.

4) Aruba Beach Café 1 Commercial Blvd. (954) 776-0001 http://www.restaurant.com/arubabeach

From Lago Mar, go back to 17th St. and take a right. 17th St. turns into A1A. Follow A1A to Commercial Blvd. and take a right on Commercial. The restaurant is located right on the beach. It is actually located in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and is maybe a 10-15 minute drive.

5) IslaMorada Fish Co. Off Griffin Road http://www.IslamoradaFishCo.com

From Lago Mar, go back to 17th St. and take a left. Go over the bridge and go up to Rt.1 (Federal Hwy.)Take a left on Rt.1 going back towards the airport. You will go past the airport and take a right onto Griffin Road. After Griffin goes under I-95 you will be taking a left at the traffic light after you go over the railroad tracks. You will see a sign for Outdoor World on your left. Turn into this driveway and follow it around to Isalmorada Fish Co.. You will go around a small commuter railway station on this driveway also.

6) Shooters Café 3033 N.E. 32nd Ave. (954) 566-2855 http://www.shooterscafe.com

From Lago Mar go back to 17th St. and take a right. This turns into A1A which you will follow to N.E. 30th Court which is just before you get to Oakland Park Blvd.. Take N.E. 30th to N.E. 32nd Ave..There is a public parking garage on your right just before you get to N.E. 32nd which is the easiest place to park. Shooters only has valet parking.

7) Casablanca Café 3049 Alahambra St. (954) 764-3500

From Lago Mar go back to 17th St. and take a right. This turns into A1A which you will follow to Alahambra St.. You will see the restaurant on your left after passing Las Olas Blvd. but will have to go beyond it and turn heading back along A1A to get to it. This area of A1A is where it splits into north and south bound sides. The parking is down at the end of Alahambra St. and costs around $3 for patrons of the restaurant. There is little or no on street parking in this area but you might be lucky and find an open meter on the street.

8) Ambry Restaurant 3016 E. Commercial Blvd. (954) 771-7342 http://www.ambryrestaurant.com/
Very good German food. Donít be fooled by the exterior of the building which isnít impressive. Very nice inside with great food and staff.


Just for reference, 17th St., Las Olas Blvd., Sunrise Blvd., Oakland Park Blvd. and Commercial Blvd. are the only streets that go over the Intercoastal Waterway between A1A and RT.1 (Federal Highway)
HarryR is offline  
Jul 25th, 2005, 01:38 PM
  #10  
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Harry R,
Wow - thanks for the list of your favorite eating establishments. I was just starting to research places we should visit and this has given me a great start. I'll just print this out and take it with me!
Since I have a car [minivan actually], I was thinking of a couple day trips: Everglades National Park and a trip to Miami's South Beach area are two places I want to stop.
Any other suggestions that you think are worth the time? Is there not a big mall close by that the girls will enjoy?
I think we have decided on the Laro Mar. Thanks again Harry R and bobrxlex for your assistance - it is much appreciated.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 03:40 PM
  #11  
 
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The closest mall would be the Galleria Mall which is pretty nice. See -http://www.galleriamall-fl.com/
South Beach can be fun but isn't really kid friendly. There is plenty of time to go there though since it doesn't really start getting busy until late night for most people. We ate at Gloria Estefans restaurant Larios' which is right on South Beach, which has Cuban food. The traffic to Miami can be brutal, so be sure to avoid the rush hours morning and evening. Watch the local news in the morning and you will see just what the traffic can be like. I thought it was bad here in CT on I-95 going to New York, but Miami seems worse.
Another thing most people like, especially if it is their first trip to Fort Lauderdale is the Jungle Queen http://www.galleriamall-fl.com/ which takes you on a tour of the Intracoastal Waterway and all the beautiful homes along it. Don't bother with the evening Bar-B-Que dinner cruise as it's terrible, just take the boat tour during the day.
I'm not really familiar with the Everglades Nat'l. Park.
I forgot to mention that at Shirttail Charlies they will take you on a free boat ride after dinner. It is only about 20-30 minutes, but is fun.
Las Olas Blvd. is the Rodeo Drive of Fort Lauderdale. many places to eat, clubs, art galleries and a great place to people watch. The Riverwalk area adjacent to Las Olas is a great place to stroll along and see the sites. http://www.lasolasboulevard.com/
If you run into bad weather one day there is Sunrise Cinemas at S.E. 1st Ave. which is just down at the west end of Las Olas Blvd. and has something like 15 screens. Parking garage across the street and they validate for parking.
As you can see Fort Lauderdale is one of our favorite FL destinations. We usually go at least once a year.
Eating at Lago MAr can get a little pricey, especially with kids but there are many places close by for breakfast, dinner or whatever. Also you can take advantage of having the kitchenette in the room. Stop at Publix Supermarket on 17th St. before you go to LAgo Mar, that way they can take your groceries uo to your room with your luggage. Many people do this.
If you have a Hot Mail email address or one you want to post I can give you many other places to dine, etc. If not, just ask any questions you may have.
HarryR is offline  
Jul 25th, 2005, 04:25 PM
  #12  
FVP
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Thanks again Harry - [email protected]
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Jul 25th, 2005, 06:21 PM
  #13  
jd
 
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We have stayed in all 3 hotels you mentioned, and I agree with the others that Lago Mar is your best choice. There is also a little playground on the sand for the kids.
As for day trips, my kids always liked the Jungle Queen-it stops at an Indian Village where there is an alligator show, birds,animals and crafts.
Also Flamingo Gardens is a nice place to walk around.There is an aviary,lots of flamingos of course, otters,other small animals,and lots of pretty trees and foliage.
We have done the everglades airboat ride, and although it was fun, it may be too noisy for little kids. You have to wear earplugs.
When my kids were small we always took a day trip up to Lion Country safari in West Palm Beach, which they loved. It is about 1-1/4 hrs. away.
Don't forget to ride the water taxi, where you can get on and off all day for about $5 pp.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 06:31 PM
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Don't forget to try the water taxi's.
http://www.watertaxi.com
You can buy an all day pass & just stay on board while they make their stops. They make stops at some of the above mentioned restaurants. Have Fun!
mabella101 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2005, 08:13 PM
  #15  
FVP
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Thanks for the advice everyone. We're looking forward to our visit mid-August. I'm compiling a list of things to do that we will discuss as a group.
Your suggestions are most welcome and again many thanks to all.
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