While most of the US is being hit with an arctic chill, Fort Lauderdale is warm and balmy.

To thaw out, I reserved a standard room via SPG’s website for a long weekend.  At check-in, as a SPG Platinum I had the choice to get upgraded to a W Flat, or a Fantastic Suite. The Flat had a full sized kitchen, but no view. So we went with the 1300 sq ft. Fantastic Suite, which ended up being pretty fantastic. How about making your New Year’s resolutions while enjoying a leisurely breakfast on your balcony with this view?

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Dining Room.

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Bedroom.

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The complimentary water for Platinums was Fiji, which was a nice surprise.

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The closet had just a touch of bright Miami color.

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Work area.

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Living Room.

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This high-end Bang & Olufsen speaker was great for rocking out on the balcony.

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When it’s time for a swim in the pool, you can’t go wrong with a Cabana. This can be arranged for a daily fee (I think it was around $100) by calling the “Whatever, Whenever” concierge line.

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The pool turned out to be less of a swimming hole than a people watching area. So with the scorching sun, it was refreshing to get two sun loungers (with umbrella) facing the pool, AND two in a semi-private shaded interior with adjustable curtains.

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A small fridge comes stocked with chilled Fiji, and suddenly it’s command central with your own TV.

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Of course, all that channel changing can work up an appetite. Good thing the pool bar delivers, from 11am-8pm.

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When I had my fill of beach and pool (and people) for the afternoon, I retreated upstairs, but I was disappointed to find the first few days that the room wasn’t cleaned until 4pm, maybe because the property was very busy. I was able to come to an agreement with the cleaning ladies directly, by telling them what time I wanted the room cleaned by and tipping them in advance

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A soak in the tub was enjoyed with Bliss Spa’s “sinkside six” bath amenities.

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Steak 954 is the onsite restaurant and we had a very tasty meal here, but there are many other options nearby. If driving, I recommend calling down for your car about 30 minutes in advance if the property is busy, since valet took a while.

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Website – W Fort Lauderdale