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Ritz-Carlton club lounges provide priceless privileges

Enjoying club lounge privileges at Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale
Enjoying club lounge privileges at Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale
Richard Pietschmann

Ritz-Carlton club lounges rank as some of the tops in the industry and justifiably so. We have sampled the amenity add-on, that can run $100 an up a day per room, at the chain’s properties in Los Angeles, Laguna Niguel, Maui, New York and most recently Fort Lauderdale and can honestly report that each provide a big bang for your bucks.

Lunch in the club lounge at Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale
Richard Pietschmann

The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale club lounge sits on the 8th floor of the hotel in a luxurious room appointment with posh furnishings and generous servings of food and drink. There’s a long balcony on which to sip morning cappuccinos with breakfast or sunset cocktails with appetizers, free WiFi, flat screen TVs, newspapers, magazines and games for kids.

There’s also a well-informed and helpful concierge staff to serve and advise. But the best part is although you pay extra the cost is insignificant when you consider that you get breakfast, lunch, drinks all day and snacks that would run up quite a tab in a restaurant and for a family. At the Fort Lauderdale property it’s only about $100 extra per room a day for club lounge privileges no matter how many you are in a room. So think about how much breakfast in a restaurant would cost for say a family of four or five, or drinks at the a luxury bar (think at least $10 an up a pop).

The food service during our stay was generous and delicious. For breakfast there were eggs, bacon, oatmeal, cold cereals, all sorts of breads and bagels, yogurt, coffee (espresso and cappuccinos), tea, freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and more. For lunchtime they served sandwiches, super cheeses, nuts, fruit a hot plate, wine and spirits, soft drinks, cookies and more.

During the rest of day until 10 at night there was always drinks and snacks, sometimes creative appetizers of shrimp or crab.

The hotel itself is a pure delight. Situated within walking distance of everything from the famous Elbo Room to the beach (there’s an elevator from floor 7 that takes you direct to the sand), restaurants, shops and attractions, you rarely need a car and if you want to save $35 in overnight parking fees, it’s a good idea not to rent one and to rely on cabs if and when you feel the urge to travel far from the property. But with a world-class spa, fitness room, pool and restaurant you really won’t want to roam.

Whether you’re a snow bunny planning next winter’s escape from the cold, or just someone who loves luxury in the tropics, consider the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale for your next getaway, and do ask for club lounge privileges you won’t regret it and neither will your budget.

The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale is located at 1 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., 954-564-2300, www.ritzcarlton.com/fortlauderdale. For information about what to do and see in Fort Lauderdale go to www.sunny.org.

Now sit back and check out the slideshow that shows just how having club privileges is worth it.