We’re on our way down for a break from the freezing cold temperatures of winter in New Jersey for a quick getaway to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I can’t wait for some sunshine and warm weather as we set off on our next trip.
My kids (5, 4, and almost 2) are no strangers to traveling, but we only like to travel in the winter! I try to travel hack when I can because taking vacations with a family of five can get pricey.
Traveling with Young Kids
I hear often from parents who think that traveling with young kids is not a “vacation.” That it’s too stressful and you’re just dealing with the same stress and daily life with children, but in a new place.
For me, that’s absolutely not the case. Our kids actually seem to be better behaved while on vacation and we are less stressed.
This is because of the abundance of new things for them to do or merely being able to get outside and play more (compared to winter up north).
I very much enjoy not cleaning my kitchen three times a day, wiping down the high chair, and vacuuming the floor. I don’t have to yell at my kids to get dressed and brush their teeth because we are in one small hotel room and they just do it themselves!
As parents, we are able to unplug and not have our heads stuck in our phones and laptops for work and business needs.
Our kids have been on several flights so far, and travel days are by far the hardest. The runaround of airport security, airplane boarding and being confined in a plane cabin for hours is torture with young children, but if that’s the worst part of vacation, sign me up!
When in doubt, take the trip! You’ll never regret it.
I digress, but this is a post reviewing the Marriott Beach Place and the surrounding Fort Lauderdale area for young kids. Hopefully I can help you to make a decision to plan your next vacation!
Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Babies and Toddlers
Marriott Vacation Club Promotion
We found a great deal from a promotion through Marriott Vacation Club on this stay. In exchange for attending a presentation on purchasing their vacation club membership, we scored a super low rate for our stay.
Our 2 bedroom suite was drastically decreased to $800 for 4 nights at this hotel. If you catch wind of that promotion (or more typically the $199 for 3 nights in a standard room), I would book it fast!
I share more on the results of the presentations at the bottom of this article, but I was very pleased with the cost of this trip due to this promotion.
Marriott Beach Place Fort Lauderdale Review
We took our young kids on this trip in early February and we had a fantastic time! The weather unfortunately didn’t cooperate as well as we had hoped, but we made the best of it.
We still made some core memories for the years to come. I was very pleased with the hotel and I’ll give you my honest review below:
This is always my biggest concern when booking a family friendly trip. I want my resort or hotel to have many easily accessible amenities as possible.
The Marriott Beach Place had some planned activities for kids and adults, a kids club room (adult-supervised), and a nice pool.
When visiting Florida, a pool is a must. Of course this hotel had a pool and it suited our needs, however it left a lot to be desired.
It was definitely not the resort feel that we are used to, but that’s due to the location. The pool was heated, but on cooler days it felt cold, even for the kids.
We were so close to the beach, but the ocean view wasn’t as nice as I had hoped. This would have been a great spot for an infinity pool, however if you look over the roof top, you’re staring at another dirty roof.
You could see a glimpse of the ocean from this rooftop, but other buildings are blocking any view of the beach and coast.
Most of our days were quite chilly so there was plenty of seating on the pool deck, however I’m sure that on hot days, it gets packed. They also don’t let you reserve chairs, so even if you get down early, you’ll only be able to keep your seat if you’re there all day.
The pool was open late (until 11pm if I remember correctly), but we couldn’t take advantage of that because it was so cold.
There were two good size hot tubs that were great on the cooler days. We honestly spent more time in those than the actual pool.
There was a pool bar which was nice to be able to order food and drinks to bring back to your lounge chair, but no servers that came around to take your order or trash.
They do give you pool towels, as well as beach chairs which was a nice plus.
Related Post: Hammock Beach Golf Resort and Spa Review as a Family Friendly Florida Destination
This Marriott vacation club didn’t provide as much activities as the Marriott Ocean Place that we had previously stayed. They had a couple things going on during the day, but most were available for a fee.
Also, the fun stuff happens more on the weekends, like the Splash Party with a live dj, but they canceled it due to inclement weather which was unfortunate.
Therefore, we didn’t really get to experience all that they offered. However, I do have to say that the staff was very friendly, especially the head of the activity center!
Kids activity center
The indoor kids activity center was one of the highlights of our trip! Unfortunately, we had a weekend full of bad weather so we had to spend a lot of time inside.
When you can’t fit all the kid’s toys in their suitcase, hanging out in the hotel room isn’t a great option. The activity center had so many toys and activities that kept my kids occupied for hours!
From games and blocks to puzzles and books, this room has it all. There was plenty of space for them to run around, play, color, and more!
They also had some activities planned in this center, which included making a candy bar necklace, decorating cookies, and eating pancakes during our stay.
We upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite which was ideal while we brought my parents with us, as well. The room was so spacious and had a fully stocked kitchen and washer and dryer!
Everything was very clean and the room seemed quite modern and updated.
Our view was the marina side and it did not disappoint! Even my two year old woke up each morning shouting “Boats!”
One of the best parts of the Marriott Vacation Club Beach Towers was the location! You don’t get much better than right on A1A, across the street from the beach. Not only that, but the hotel is located within Beach Place which has restaurants, stores, shops, and food stands.
We took serious advantage of the convenience of all these great spots right below us. Also, everything is covered so on those rainy days when you need to grab something or just to get out of your hotel room, you have plenty of places to go.
We needed random items like medicine, drinks, and snacks during our stay and it was super convenient to have a CVS right there. In addition, we grabbed the best wings at Hooters and had delicious lunches at two other restaurants.
In the morning we were able to grab a smoothie at the smoothie stand, breakfast sandwiches at a bodega, and shop for souvenirs at the beach shop. From ice cream and coffee to umbrellas and Tylenol, you can find anything at Beach Place!
Aside from Beach Place, Fort Lauderdale beach has an amazing array of restaurants, shops, and beautiful attractions. You just can’t go wrong staying here on a family vacation!
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The only restaurant on property is the pool cafe as mentioned above. The food included salads and sandwiches which were average at best. If you’re lounging by the pool, do yourself a favor and order from one of the restaurants downstairs at Beach Place.
Beach Place certainly feels like part of the resort, where there are 3 full service restaurants and at least 3 other small food establishments and carts. Within walking distance are plenty more restaurants so you certainly have no shortage of dining options!
The customer service at Marriott Beach Place was very good. We felt like welcomed guests and the staff answered any questions that we had.
If you’re renting a car or driving down to the Marriott Beach Place, you may think twice if you hear about their parking rates. The pricing was absurd in my opinion which is why we chose not to rent a car.
The first night, parking was $45, although this may have been due to a big beach event going on the weekend of our stay. Parking prices fluctuating per day from $25 to $45 which is a lot to pay in addition to a rental car fee.
Also, the traffic around the hotel is pretty busy, but you are walkable to so many options so it shouldn’t be a problem!
Marriott Vacation Club Presentation
Since we got this trip on a promotion, we went to the 90 minute sales presentation to learn about the vacation club. It was about a 10 minute walk away from this hotel, but I didn’t mind because we walked along the beach so it was a nice excuse for a walk.
We were under the impression that we would be in a large room with other patrons, but it was actually in a small office with just us and a sales person.
If you’re wondering, were the vacation club sales people pushy or aggressive? The answer is no.
Of course they were trying to make a sale, but I did not feel pressured. The presentation did take about 2 hours because first we spoke to a salesman, then the finance guy came, then once we said no again, the quality assurance representative came out for one last shot.
We actually enjoyed learning about how the vacation club works and it did seem to make sense for those that travel at least once a year. However, we weren’t ready to commit to something this expensive at the moment.
It was unfortunate that they didn’t leave the deal open for us to go home and think about it because if we had more time, we have become owners. We did ask a bunch of questions to learn more because we were somewhat interested.
Overall, we very much enjoyed our trip to Fort Lauderdale and our stay at Marriott Beach Place Towers. I love making family memories together and can’t wait to get back there soon!