by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson
GALLERYone is an all-suite hotel, just a five-minute walk from Fort Lauderdale Beach along the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s an excellent home base for a laid-back, Florida vacation, offering ideal accommodations for families with children of all ages. Every room has one or two bedrooms, a living area and fully equipped kitchen.
It’s adjacent to the upscale Galleria Mall, across the street from Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and just around the block from Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, making it a cinch to enjoy the sights and be able to easily return to your room for nap time. The hotel’s marina is also a regular stop for the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi–a great option for venturing further out without needing to drive.
Bonus: Upon check-in, each member of your family will receive one of those signature DoubleTree warm chocolate chip cookies. And yes, they totally live up to the hype!
Our Editor Loves
- Spacious one- and two-bedroom suites
- Well-equipped kitchens
- Sunny pool area
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Because GALLERYone is an all-suite property, every room type offers an ideal set-up for families. Each has either one or two bedrooms separated from the living area by a door, so when the kids go down for bed at night, mom and dad can hang out and enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine in the living quarters instead of having to tuck in as well.
Rooms are modern and spacious with marble finishings, rain showers, flat-screen televisions and pull-out sofas. Cribs and high chairs are available upon request. There are several suite types to choose from, though the main differences have to do with size, bed configurations, accessibility and view.
Each two-bedroom suite has one king-sized bed and two queen-sized beds, as well as a sofa bed in the living area. There's a fully-equipped kitchen with two-burner stove, microwave, mini-refrigerator, sink, dishwasher and coffeemaker that is restocked by housekeeping each day. Dishes, pots and pans and utensils are provided. There is also a dining table that seats four people.
Bathrooms have large, walk-in showers and plenty of counter space. These rooms have a water view, but no balcony.
City View 1-King or 2-Queen Suite w/ Balcony
These one-bedroom, one-bathroom suites feature the same furnishings and amenities as the two-bedroom suites, but instead of a second bedroom, they have large, walk-out balconies with city views. Tip: Try to get a room facing the pool -- many of these will give you a partial view of the Intracoastal without having to pay the upcharge for a water view suite.
You can also request a room with a French-door balcony instead of a full balcony to cut costs a bit; however, these rooms have just a single queen bed (plus the sofa bed).
Water View 1-King or 2-Queen Suite w/ Balcony
Water view suites are identical to city view suites, except they have full views of the ocean and/or Intracoastal.
The French-door option is not available for water view suites.
Water View 1-King or 1-Queen Suite
Again, these rooms feature all of the amenities previously mentioned, but are smaller in size than the other suites, with each featuring one bed, either king- or queen-sized in the bedroom, in addition to the sofa bed in the living area. They offer panoramic views of the Intracoastal and/or the Atlantic Ocean.
The hotel has eleven accessible suites, all of which are water view with one king-sized bed.
Skylight 2-Queen Suite
Suites on the hotel's highest floors feature skylights and two queen-sized beds. Water view and city view suites are available.
Tip: If you want housekeeping to service your entire room, be sure to leave the door between the bedrooms and living area open. Otherwise, the bedroom may go without tending.
by David W
We had a marvelous experience. The staff were all responsive and helpful. There is no doubt that we will stay here again! This was a “day before the cruise” stay, we were extremely pleased with the experience.
We would not stay at this particular hotel again. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite which overlooked the highway/bridge (with all of the expected highway noise day/night) and then some partial intracoastal views (we booked a 2 bedroom suite w/ Intracoastal views). The food was not great and room service was not much better. The outside patio was beautiful as it is expansive right on the intracoastal waterway. I suppose if our room was on a different side of the hotel it might have been better. The cleanliness of our room was not up to par. We complained at the front desk and a slightly more thorough cleaning was performed although it was still not what we would consider "clean," just the more obvious places (shower/sinks) were slightly better afterwards. Not worth the $1500 it cost for 3 nights in addition to the 135,000 Hilton points I dropped.
The outdoor pool at the GALLERYone opens early and closes late (7 a.m. to 11p.m.), making it somewhat of an all-day hangout spot for families. It's not so large that you'll have a hard time keeping track of your kiddos, but large enough that it's not easily overcrowded.
There's also a hot tub for parents to soak in while their children enjoy the pool. Just be warned that it is not an adults-only area and older children tend to descend on it when they get bored of the pool.
The pool area also features a large deck and a bar that is open seasonally. Food and drinks from room service or the restaurant can be delivered poolside throughout the day.
There is no lifeguard on duty, so be sure to watch your little ones closely and bring flotation devices if needed.
Children's video rentals are available.
While the water taxi is not run by the hotel, one of its regularly scheduled stops is the hotel's dock. The water taxi is one of Fort Lauderdale's top attractions. Not only is it a fun boat ride and guided tour of the Intracoastal Waterway and coastline, it's also a hop-on/hop-off transportation method for visiting sights including Las Olas Boulevard, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Fort Lauderdale Beach, the 15th Street Fisheries and a number of fun restaurants and bars. Tickets can be purchased at the hotel's concierge or online.
Vue on the Water
This dining venue serves as the hotel's full-service restaurant. It has a more upscale vibe, but children are welcome and can be seen dining here at all times of day. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available, with either offering great views of the Intracoastal and all of the beautiful boats and yachts that pass by in a near constant parade--a sight children are sure to enjoy. The restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to midnight. Friday and Saturday, offering a buffet breakfast and sit-down lunch and dinner.
There is a Starbucks CafÃ© in the hotel's lobby, offering the usual drinks, pastries and some fresh fruit. Hours vary, however.
Room service is available from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and features a children's menu, as well as a full drink menu complete with cocktails, wine and beer. The kids' menu offers the standard burgers, fries, chicken tenders, and more, while the regular menu offers a variety of contemporary American dishes, small plates and dessert. From our experience, service is quite prompt.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Check-in starts at 3 p.m. and check out is at 11 a.m. When you arrive, you'll find complimentary iced citrus water and should be offered a DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie for each member of your party.
The hotel also offers baggage storage if you arrive early, or wish to sightsee after you check out.
GALLERYone often hosts business conferences and meetings, so there is a fully equipped business center on site, complete with computers, printers, copier and fax machine. Printing is complimentary, but faxes are $1.00 per page.
The hotel has a spacious and well-equipped fitness center, with direct access to the pool area. The fitness center is open 24/7.
Wi-Fi is available in all areas of the hotel. Though the hotel's policies list that Wi-Fi is complimentary in the lobby and incurs a fee in suites, when logging in from our room (three floors up from the lobby), we were automatically directed to log in for complimentary guest access and never incurred a fee.
Members of the Hilton Honors loyalty program always receive free Wi-Fi.
Parking is probably the biggest gripe at GALLERYone. Overnight guests are required to valet if parking onsite, which incurs a $30 per night fee. Daytime guests are charged $14 per visit.
This does, however, seem to be the standard in this area of Fort Lauderdale. There is metered parking available within walking distance, but meters have a four-hour limit. Parking can be renewed via a smartphone app, but if you're planning to leave your car at a meter overnight, you'll have to wake in the night to renew.
Both laundry service and self-serve laundry are available.
The Art of Smart Timing
A favorite destination amongst snowbirds, high season in Fort Lauderdale is between December and April, when daily temperatures usually reach the low 80's--warm, but not too hot.
The city is less crowded during the warmer months--between May and November--when whether is typically quite hot and humid, and thunderstorms are common. Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30, so if you travel during that time, you should be prepared for that possibility.
We visited in October during the height of the threat from Hurricane Matthew. Though the storm ended up skirting around Fort Lauderdale, the hotel was well-prepared for a direct hit and was stocked with extra food in order to offer an affordable buffet lunch and dinner to all guests stuck in the hotel, as well as complimentary bottled water throughout the day. Upon check-in, they gave us a checklist of the preparations that had been made and tips on what to expect.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is a 20- to 25-minute drive from GALLERYone, and it's pretty much a straight shot. You can, however, expect heavy traffic during the morning and evening commute hours.
Since the hotel is located on a major highway, it's necessary to drive to many places including grocery stores, some restaurants and attractions, but there are several eateries and the beach and other sights to see within walking distance.
The water taxi that picks up at the hotel's dock is a great way to get from sight to sight and tickets can be purchased at the hotel. A shuttle to and from the cruise port is available at the hotel (for a fee) and bicycle and golf cart rentals can be found within walking distance.
Of course, the hotel can also arrange for your transport by taxi.
For Mom and Dad
The hotel's restaurant has a lovely bar and lounge area overlooking the Intracoastal, making for quite the romantic atmosphere. It's open nightly until midnight and also offers light fare. If you're looking to venture off the premises without going too far, the Galleria Mall is right next door to the hotel and has several upscale restaurants with bars that are popular for nightlife.