With 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, 165-miles of inland waterways, a smattering of $20 million Mediterranean mansions—don’t forget designer shops, all-the-rage cafes, exclusive hot spots and more— Fort Lauderdale boasts a summer party vibe all year long. It’s one of those urban playgrounds you glam up and then strip down to bikini basics: work up a sweat, then cool off and rev down Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard in a rental Ferrari. In other words, it’s a city to detox, retox, repeat.All.Year.Round.
Appealing to a clientele that savors this jaunty regimen is the W Fort Lauderdale. Located at the epicenter of vibrant Fort Lauderdale Beach, W Fort Lauderdale indulges guests not just for its proximity to shopping, dining and spirited revelry but also in its Atlantic beach views from one’s luxury suite balcony. This trendy, 517-room beachfront escape aspires to be at the forefront of buzzy, seasonal offerings by teaming with such partners as Ride Element for oceanfront spin classes, graffiti artists who will customize a fashion item for guests or Zodiac-inspired manicures with the “It Was Written In The Stars” experience.
Either way, W knows visiting here is all about Instagram- swagger. And the best way to inspire envy among a particular social circuit is to snap a “pic” of that cutout Tory Burch suit from the infinity edge pools overlooking the Atlantic. WET is the pool spot scene on the hotel’s fifth floor with prime rooftop ocean views, day beds, loungers, a full bar and live DJs. Leisurely sunbathers abound, but more often its 20-somethings luxuriating in style, taking selfies of their Hermes-scarf-wrapped beach hair and tanned abs that likely endured 15 minutes of plank pose just an hour before. Of course the cocktails, bites and bottle service at WET do amp up the high-energy poolside mood.
That mood continues with a literal kind of pulsing for 30 seconds at a time in a Pure Barre class in the W’s“living room.”At a pilot class, led by Pure Barre Fort Lauderdale, an instructor goes over the low-impact, high-intensity movements, inching up and down from a held position until the muscles burn and shake. Pain was lessened by the panoramic ocean views from the yoga mat. The class is open to hotel guests and the public on a quarterly basis.
When the sun sets, and assuming the signature Leo, Libra or Pisces manicure is still intact, put that one-shoulder mini dress on and prepare to dine at the James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr’s Steak 954. A dramatic jellyfish tank greets you there, but the scene is mainly about red meat and the progressive take on a classic steakhouse with Sanuki Ribeye or American Wagyu beef. Or, if you’re feeling a little more Baja-style casual, try the Snapper Aguachile at ElVez with summer peaches, avocado, cucumber, heirloom tomato and fresh herbs; or tacos al gobernador with chili marinated shrimp, Oaxaca cheese, avocado and crema.
Take your swank one step further when venturing beyond the W’s walls and rent a 60-foot Sea Ray luxury yacht with a captain and crew to explore the “Venice of America,” as Fort Lauderdale is often called. You will likely see more than a few soused partiers parked on a sandbar roistering loudly in the water, so don’t be afraid to live a little, jump overboard and join in.
This is Fort Lauderdale after all.
Detox, Retox, Repeat:
DINE: Step into the bougainvillea-drenched patio at Ya Mas! for flights of hummus and tzatziki (1103 East Las Olas Blvd)
DRINK: Sip colorful cocktails at the eclectic Rhythm & Vine. (401 NE 5th Terrace)
BIKE: Get your heart pumping with an open- air morning “Sea Sycle” cycling class from Ride Element (seasycle.com)
EXPLORE: Charter a boat to explore the iconic Intracoastal (Getmyboat.com)
GLOW: Schedule a curated treatment to get out the kinks at AWAY Spa at W Fort Lauderdale
W FORT LAUDERDALE, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd,, Fort Lauderdale, FL.