by Terry Ward
The simple things take the spotlight at this throwback-to-the-’60s motel, located just a half a block west of Fort Lauderdale Beach’s calm and uncrowded northern stretch. Owned by the same family (Argentineans who moved north to Fort Lauderdale to escape hectic Miami) for more than 15 years, the Premiere Hotel is loved by repeat guests for its warm hospitality, affordability and ideal location just steps from the ocean. “People either love this place or hate it,” the owner quips, although judging from the constant stream of accolades referencing the hotel’s ambiance and hospitality on TripAdvisor, it’s surely primarily the latter. What the owner is probably referring to regarding polarized opinions about the hotel is likely the fact that this is a no-frills kind of place, compared to all the glitzy chain resorts lining A1A.
The mid-century building, with just 20 guest rooms, opened in 1964 and retains the same old-school faÃƒ§ade that looks admittedly dated next to the more glamorous, futuristic hotels nearby, like The Ritz-Carlton and W. But the interiors are mostly updated, with bright white linens, a lively blue and yellow color scheme, tiled floors and plenty of space for everyone to stretch out. Guests are primarily Canadians, Brazilians and Europeans, focused on soaking up the sun by the pool and enjoying the beach, just a short 30-second stroll across A1A.
And families abound here, thanks to the spacious rooms with full kitchen facilities, courtyard saltwater pool and very affordable price point. The under developed stretch of beach and tropical hardwood hammocks of pretty Hugh Taylor Birch State Park are just a short stroll north of the hotel. And since most of the rooms and suites have full kitchens, it’s easy to save on meals by eating in. Come evening time, most guests have gathered at the picnic tables by the pool around the free gas grill to cook up a dinner that feels very much like a potluck shared with new friends.
While there are many return guests here, new people are warmly welcomed into the fold. A stay in this laid-back neighborhood setting offers most of the amenities — and more, and for free! — found at the nearby luxury chain hotels, for well below their room rates. Things like underground secure parking and Internet are included in your room rate at Premiere Hotel. For a relaxing and affordable family beach vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Premiere Hotel is a very good bet.
Our Editor Loves
- Courtyard swimming pool
- Outdoor area with grill and picnic tables
- Rooms with full kitchens for preparing meals
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The 20 guestrooms and suites occupy a modest three-story building, with most units opening to a balcony or shared catwalk facing the courtyard pool and include chairs where you can sit and take in the scene or watch the kids playing below. The hotel's ground floor rooms are the only ones that don't open to a balcony or sitting space, but all you have to do is take a few steps out your door and you're at the pool.
All rooms and suites have flat-screen TV's; DVD's can be rented for free from the reception and on-demand movies are also available for free through the cable network.
With connecting rooms and suites of different sizes, there's a configuration for families of varying sizes, too. And the option of a few single rooms with a queen bed in a rather compact space are appealing to solo travelers or that accompanying relative who prefers his or her own private area to sleeping with the group.
With a roomy 400 square feet, the Efficiency Suites are suitable for a family of four, and have two queen beds, tiled floors throughout (that keep things feeling cool and clean) and a fully equipped kitchen with an oven and stove, in addition to a microwave and full-sized refrigerator. In other words, it has everything you need to feel at home. Full-sized tables make dining a pleasure, too.
The next room category up is the Two-Room Suite, with more 560 square feet of living space that can accommodate eight people. Rather than two separate bedrooms, these suites have two double beds in a separate bedroom, and two queen beds in the main living space, so you can easily cordon the kids off in their own area when it's early-to-bed for them and you plan to stay up later. There are also two full bathrooms in these suites. The two-room suites also have full-sized eat-in kitchens, with all the standard amenities and a table to gather around.
The rooms referred to as Single Rooms on the hotel's website could actually accommodate a couple on the queen bed inside, but the surrounding living is pretty cramped, making it primarily advised for singles only (you wouldn't want to spend too much time other than sleeping or reading in bed inside the rooms -- that's how small they are). The single rooms have kitchenette amenities that include a mini fridge, coffee maker and a microwave.
Connecting configurations that join the two-room suites with the efficiencies are also available if you're traveling with a larger group or just want additional living space -- and prices are so affordable here, it's tempting to take advantage of that option.
The room is very comfortable and clean, excellent location and beautiful pools, the attention and disposition of the staff is excellent
And the view of the larger rooms is wonderful, for its large windows
Found this little gem through hotels.com .
We needed just one night but wanted walking distance to beach and restaurants. Very clean and front desk staff amazing. Heated pool and another pool that's not heated. Small little bar on sight.
Great little quick breakfast stand behind the hotel would highly recommend for the not so big breakfast eaters. There is a small kitchen you could cook your own in your hotel room. Beds are comfortable and good size for 2 couples.
Definitely will book again if we go back to fort Lauderdale. Happy Canadians thank you Premiere Hotel.
If your family is the beach loving-type that's usually satisfied with the simple things (a nice pool to swim in and a pretty stretch of beach right outside your door), you'll have everything you need here. The hotel is too small to offer its own kid's club, but with the beach as your diversion and all the other family-friendly attractions in Fort Lauderdale, there's plenty enough to do.
Most of the guestrooms overlook the hotel's saltwater pool, four feet deep at the shallower end and eight feet at its deepest. There are plenty of chaise lounge chairs surrounding the pool, and rafts and pool toys are available to use for free. Be aware that there's no lifeguard on duty though.
You can grab complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas from reception to carry down to the beach, just a block away, where fancier lounge chairs are also available for rent from the city. There's a lifeguard stand stationed at the beach here, too, so check the flag before swimming to see if there are any weather or marine life conditions to know about.
While there is no onsite restaurant at Premiere Hotel, many of the families staying here prefer to cook their meals inside, since the full kitchen facilities in the suites and efficiencies make it so practical to do so. The hotel's barbecue grill, near a patio with picnic benches next to the pool, is available for guests to use free of charge, too.
A Publix supermarket is located on nearby Sunrise Boulevard, the main west-to-east thoroughfare that connects the city to northern Fort Lauderdale Beach. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the Publix from the hotel, or you can get there in five minutes by car or taxi. There are a few good family-friendly restaurants within walking distance of the hotel as well.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
There are no elevators at the hotel, so if you're staying on the second or third floor, count on lugging your things up the stairs. South Americans and others addicted to the caffeinated drink called yerba mate will like the collection of free-to-use thermoses and mugs available to guests at reception.
Wireless Internet is complimentary and works well everywhere on the property, from the outdoor areas to inside the rooms. There are several computers in the lobby where you can get online 'round the clock for free, in case you're traveling without your own device.
Parking in a secured underground garage at the hotel is free for guests.
Beach and Pool Supplies
Beach chairs and umbrellas are available free of charge from the hotel on a first come, first serve basis, and there are buckets and pool toys for guest use, too.
The Art of Smart Timing
Fort Lauderdale is a year-round destination with extremely agreeable weather. And while the summer months do get hot, ocean breezes keep things quite comfortable when you're not cooling off in the ocean or staying afloat in the hotel's pool. Prices and crowds are at a premium during the busiest times around Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. But don't let Spring Break, another busy time (basically the entire month of March), scare you off. Fort Lauderdale still has a rowdy party scene, but the Premiere attracts mostly families looking to relax, rather than party, and you won't likely find spring break revelry interfering with your quiet tranquility on the property. Some of the most pleasant times of the year to visit are during the shoulder season months of late April into May, before school gets out for the summer, and also in October. Keep in mind that hurricane season runs from June through November in Florida. And during the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat show, held in late-October, the whole town is an absolute zoo.
Fort Lauderdale is located about 40 minutes north of Miami, by car. There's an international airport in Fort Lauderdale (15 minutes from the hotel) that's serviced by most major airlines. You can also consider flying into Miami or West Palm Beach International Airport.
All of the major car rental companies have outposts at the Fort Lauderdale airport, and it makes sense to rent a car during your stay if you plan to venture beyond Las Olas Boulevard and the main drag along the beach. If you're content to stay within that area, you'll be fine grabbing a taxi from the airport and using the water taxi and trolley system to get around once you arrive at the hotel.
The nearest water taxi stop is about eight blocks south of the hotel on Seville Street (wave to get the captain's attention, as they won't stop here unless it seems there are guests who wish to get onboard). It's a good way to explore the area and ogle the mansions and yachts lining the canals.
For Mom and Dad
Fort Lauderdale is a fun town that buzzes nearly every night of the week, particularly along Las Olas Boulevard, the main shopping and restaurant drag that stretches west from where it intersects the beach along a pretty, palm-lined road. If you're visiting on a Sunday, make a fun lunch date out of a visit to the gourmet farmers market on Las Olas Boulevard, where fresh guacamole is pounded before your eyes and, during snowcrab season (from mid-October to mid-May), you can order cold delicious claws with sweet mustard sauce to snack on -- all right there.
There's no spa at Premiere, but you can find one of the best in Fort Lauderdale just a few blocks away at Bliss, located inside the W Fort Lauderdale.