#TravelTuesday: W Fort Lauderdale for the Win

by Selena Swartzfager on February 1, 2022 in Travels,

Balance is the answer to a successful life and now is a great time to set a goal for balance in the new year. On a trip to south Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Beach you can practice this balance with activities that allow you to #DetoxRetoxRepeat. On a four-day vacation to what is affectionately known as “The Venice of America,” you can start practicing good habits that will eventually be a win in living a balanced life.

Lounging glamorously on 315 feet of south Florida’s sugar-sand coastline, W Fort Lauderdale lives up to its chic and glamorous reputation, with a bold personality to match. Courtesy photo

Your home base is the chic and glamorous W Fort Lauderdale, located directly on the beach with all the amenities you can ask for. With a bold personality it has been voted a top hotel in Florida by Conde Nast readers, where every guest room has a balcony, waterfront view and terry cloth robes. This adventure in equilibrium will allow you to choose from many activities and restaurants for a balanced experience. Even in the coldest month of January the average temp in Fort Lauderdale Beach is 69 degrees, making the winter months some of the best times to visit.

With every room at W Fort Lauderdale boasting floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of either the Atlantic Ocean or Intercoastal waterway, there’s no better place to soak in the view than from your own private balcony. Courtesy photo

#Detox at the W Fort Lauderdale

Sweat the impurities out at a Sea Sycle class on the hotel balcony overlooking the surf, where you will hear healing mantras from the instructor that encourage you to pedal at your own pace. These classes hold a limited number of bikes for use at no cost by hotel guests, so make your reservations as soon as you arrive.  Bikes are outside and spaced apart for an open-air adventure.

The hotel provides access to beach cruisers located right outside the lobby. Two hours of riding each day are included in the resort fee, which allows plenty of time to pedal one mile down the bike path on A1A to the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. This park is an urban oasis nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway where cyclists will see natural habitat for south Florida and may encounter a state protected gopher tortoise. The park loop is two miles, so take a break to sit on a bench and watch mega yachts travel down the Intracoastal Waterway.

The beachfront W Fort Lauderdale has partnered with Ride Element spin studio to offer guests and locals the ride of their life with four-times-weekly outdoor spin classes. This series, aptly named Sea Sycle, features outdoor, oceanfront spin classes with socially distanced spin bikes perched on the fourth floor Living Room Terrace. Photo courtesy W Fort Lauderdale

Detoxification opportunities abound at the Away Spa. The Italian Comfort Zone products are luxurious with scents that will take you away. After your detox massage or facial, spend some time in the steam shower or go back to your room allowing your body time to soak in all the exquisite lotions and oils used during the treatment.

Participate in a high energy pure barre class offered by Pure Barre Fort Lauderdale on the Living Room balcony. Neon lights and bass pumping music will get you excited about exercising and is open to hotel guests and the public on a quarterly basis. If you can’t keep up with the instructors, no worries!  You do you.

Two pool areas are available to meet your mood. Wet East is where you go to see and be seen. This pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean always has tunes playing, features a full bar and a see-through wall for fun Insta photos. If you aren’t feeling jiggy, Wet West is secluded with an infinity hot tub and is the place for quiet relaxation.

W Fort Lauderdale’s AWAY Spa offers a full beauty menu in addition to a lineup of massages and facials. Detox, retox and repeat with signature treatments that pamper the body after a day of soaking up the south Florida sun. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a colorful setting, vibrant graphics, and an Elixir refreshment. Courtesy photo

#Retox at the W Fort Lauderdale

All the detoxification means you can retox guilt free!  El Vez is an on-site restaurant that showcases classic Mexican fare with an emphasis on Baja-style cooking that celebrates the fresh seafood of the region. Open all day you can eat in or take out. When the weather is nice, which it usually is, outdoor dining is an option.

Meat and seafood lovers will find plenty of indulgence on the Steak 954 menu. Order the Sanuki Ribeye. It promises to be the most delicious cut of beef that you have ever tasted! Of course, it will spoil you for any future steak you try but it truly is a delicacy that should not be missed. If you aren’t a meat lover, other equally mouthwatering choices are locally-caught fish, decadent side dishes and a global selection of fine wines and spirits. When making reservations, ask to be seated by their famous jelly fish wall that could mesmerize you for hours.

At the Mexican eatery El Vez, helmed by Stephen Starr, an array of guacamoles, ceviches and classics likes Mahi Mahi Tacos on the extensive menu sit side-by-side signature dishes like Grilled Whole Branzino Baja Style and Traditional Tacos al Carbon. Courtesy photo

Off-site Options

While there is no reason you need to leave the hotel, most travelers do want to get out and see some of the sights. Renting a charter boat to cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway that makes Fort Lauderdale the “Venice of the South,” will give you a closeup look at the mega yachts and beautiful real estate of your dreams.

Visit the funky Rhythm and Vine for pre-dinner drinks where you can enjoy a Plaid Pants cocktail while sitting on a vintage couch under a mirror that asks, “Are you alive or just existing?” Bring a sticker from home to put on the Airstream trailer which houses the bar.  No need to ask, just do it, and leave a little bit of yourself in south Florida. Follow this up with dinner at Luigi’s Tuscan Grill on Las Olas.

At Sobe Vegan, don’t let the name fool you – this colorful and Insta-worthy dining spot is loved by all – meat-lovers included. Milkshakes, burgers, chicken, sausages and more are all served here. Zero meat, all of the flavor. Courtesy photo

Sobe Vegan is on the hotel property and is the place to experience how eating vegan can be a tool in the toolbox for healthier living. It will redefine what you’ve always thought “vegan” means. Organic juice, such as the watermelon sunrise juice, is the perfect way to start the day or to re-energize mid-day. Best meal options:  Acai Bowl and any of the burgers (you really will not miss the beef).


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Cover photo courtesy W Fort Lauderdale

Selena Swartzfager is a nonprofit president, an amateur athlete, lover of adventures and life. Her favorite type of travel allows her to learn about history while enjoying things for the first time. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter