Here’s another in my series of Vacation Club reviews:
The Marriott’s BeachPlace Towers vacation club is located six floors above ground level, sandwiched between the intercoastal waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.
The resort’s lobby level and sun-kissed veranda sit atop the Gallery of Beachplace shopping center situated directly across the street from the Ft Lauderdale’s white sand beach.
The GPS announces that I have arrived and after doing a few dizzying circles up the parking tower I find a spot and proceed to take the elevator up one more floor level. My eyes adjust to the lobby area which looks out on the to the veranda, bar and pool area – white light reflecting from the tiles and pool water momentarily blind me and after a couple of blinks I make my way over to the front desk. After checking in I make my way slowly up the elevator to my room on the 14th floor (will talk about these elevators later). I opened the door to my 2BR villa and am hit by the feeling of familiarity, of returning home, of how much to come to identify with this, due to my nearly 20 years in this industry. I smiled as I ran my finger over the tabletop and inspected the condo, the clean open kitchen that flowed from a dining table to living area which opened on to a balcony shared by the master bedroom. I walked out onto the balcony and took in the sights of the intercostal view with its series of canals and small yacht harbored from the Atlantic. A silent tableau of white boats on blue water, red tile tops, and green vegetation. I stood there silent, no rush to do anything – my family would be joining me at the resort the next day.
I changed into my bathing suit and headed down to the pool area. Walking out barefoot on the veranda with the sun dropping from its zenith behind the tower, the warm heat rising from the baked hardtop, I decided to soak my travel weary body into one of the hot tubs. I closed my eyes and focused on the waves breaking in the surf, the hum of activity rising from the shopping and dining area and the self-defeated strains of Margaritaville sung by the guitarist playing at the pool bar. It was all very nice in a calm and frenetic way.
And this probably best describes Marriott’s BeachPlace Towers resort’s setting: the dichotomy of a beach resort located in an urban setting, a mixed cocktail of calm relaxation surrounded by a vibrant city famous for being the seminal spring break capital of the country. Later I reflected on this mood as I took to the streets passing beachgoers in sun hats and wrapped towels mixed with people in business suits and expensive Tommy Bahama apparel.
This was a resort that I felt confused about. I remember visiting Marriott’s BeachPlace Towers years ago with my wife and another couple and absolutely loving the place. Was that what was clouding my feeling for the resort, or was it complacency and desire for quiet and tranquility that has seeped into me as I have aged? Either way, I said the heck with it, had a libation at one of the bars on the street below and proceeded to walk down Las Olas Blvd. I passed over the intercostal bridge and stopped for dinner at a wonderful Brazilian buffet. Returning to my room later that night I was blown away by the view of Ft Lauderdale at night – it’s up to a beautiful maze of canals, lights, and illuminated luxury yachts.
Over the next couple of days, I jotted down my reflections of Marriott’s BeachPlace Towers.
- Wonderful views – intercostal views are amazing, and the owner’s lounge on the 19th floor offers a beautiful Atlantic view from the top floor
- Friendly staff
- Great location – you can go with the beach and pool vibe, or the dining and shopping, or the nightlife – or everything. Probably the most diverse vacation club in terms of setting.
- Slooooowwwww elevators. The front desk mentioned that the elevator system has been overhauled twice in since the resort was built. It didn’t bother me really, I wasn’t in a rush going anywhere.
- Parking is relegated to the parking garage below and took time going up and down 5 levels.
- Some people complained about the pool being too small, but this is a resort basically set upon huge balcony elevated above the white sand beach far above the hustle and bustle of Ft. Lauderdale.
After the original ambiguity of my feelings towards the resort and location, I settled into my stay, spent quality time with my family and found myself enjoying the whole relaxation/excitement vibe of the Marriott’s BeachPlace Towers.