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As I was looking for hotels around Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, there was no better choice than Riverside Hotel. It is the only hotel located on the trendy Las Olas Boulevard and walking distance to numerous restaurants, shops and bars. It is also the oldest hotel in Fort Lauderdale dating back to 1936.
Parking is limited by the hotel since it is mostly street parking so we used the valet service located at the rear of the hotel. Valet parking was $27 for the night. The staff of Riverside Hotel quickly approached us and helped us take out our luggage. They stacked our bags neatly on their cart and waited for us until we were done checking in.
We were quickly greeted at the check-in counter and to our surprise, we were given an upgrade to a suite with a balcony. I have no idea how we got this upgrade but we were very excited to check out our room! After we checked in, one of the staff members took us up to our room with our luggage and he was very nice and gave us suggestions on where to go in the area.
When they told us we were being upgraded, we thought we would get a slightly bigger room with a little balcony. Boy, were we wrong. As soon as we opened the door to our room, we were in awe of how humungous the room was. The living room alone was bigger than a normal-size hotel room and then there was a separate entrance with double doors to our spacious bedroom.
We always love having a balcony with our room and this one was the biggest balcony we've ever seen at a hotel. It wrapped around the corner of the hotel so that we got two different views: Las Olas Boulevard and the New River. It was so big that there were two sets of chairs and tables; one set in front of the living room sliding doors and the other set in front of the bedroom sliding doors.
The living room had a couch, accent chair, coffee table, HDTV and a little dining table with two chairs. It also came with a little kitchen area with a sink, coffee maker, refrigerator and ice bucket. We always love having a refrigerator in the room so we can stock up on our bottled water and any leftovers from eating out.
Our room had two comfortable queen-size beds, HDTV, working desk and accent chair. Our bathroom, again, was the largest bathroom we've ever seen at a hotel. I'm not sure if it's just us or every woman who feels this way but we love spacious bathrooms. There was a long mirror with two sinks, a large jacuzzi tub and a separate shower. We made sure to take a bath and it was amazing with the jet bubbles.
The Riverside Hotel offers many amenities including a pool, fitness room, business center, concierge, free wireless internet and pet-friendly rooms. They also have four restaurants on-site including Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille, Indigo Restaurant, Golden Lyon Vintage Pub, Preston's Wine & Martini Lounge and their newest addition, Boathouse at the Riverside.
We didn't get to enjoy much of these amenities since we only had one night here and wanted to explore Las Olas Boulevard as much as we could. However, we did manage to stop by the bar at Golden Lyon Vintage Pub and our drinks were well made and the bartender was friendly and attentive.
As I mentioned earlier, Riverside Hotel is the only hotel located on Las Olas Boulevard and that was the main reason why we booked this hotel because we wanted to be in the center of all the action without having to drive. The location was perfect, as expected, and we were able walk to many restaurants and shops. Our favorite experiences were Big City Tavern (right across the street from the hotel) and Stranahan House Museum (right beside the hotel).
We loved our stay at Riverside Hotel and highly recommend staying here if you are planning on exploring Las Olas Boulevard. The service was exceptional, the room was outstanding, the amenities were plentiful and the location was perfect!